Tallink Megastar ferry Review and Specifications
Specifications of Tallink Megastar ferry
|Year built||2017 / Age : 2|
|Builder||Meyer Werft (Turku, Finland)|
|Class||Tallink Shuttle cruiseferry (Ro-Pax ship)|
|Ferry route / homeports||Tallinn-Helsinki|
|Building cost||EUR 230 million (USD 270 million)|
|Speed||27 kn / 50 kph / 31 mph|
|Length (LOA)||212 m / 696 ft|
|Beam (width)||36 m / 118 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||49134 gt|
|Decks with cabins||1|
|Christened by||Tarja Halonen|
Current position of Tallink Megastar ferry
Review of Tallink Megastar ferry
MS Tallink Megastar ferry is a Ro-Pax passenger vessel operated by the Estonia-based company TALLINK-SILJA LINE. The ship has a max capacity of 2800 passengers and 150 cars plus 250 trucks/trailers. The vessel was launched in 2017 and currently operates on the Estonia-Finland ferry route Tallinn-Helsinki (crossing time 2 hours).
As cruise ferry, Megastar has 47 cabins (double and quads/max capacity 4 passengers), all located on Deck 10. All staterooms are air-conditioned, with en-suite bathrooms and are both inside and outside. The ferry company provides bed linens, towels, and toiletries. Some staterooms are wheelchair-accessible (adapted for disabled passengers). Cabins for passengers with allergies and passengers with pets are also available.
All cabins are with bunk beds (wall-mounted), mirrored vanity table (writing desk with stool), en-suite bathrooms (angled sink, wall-mounted toilet, shower cubicle, hairdryer). The boat additionally offers a total of 300 reclining seats (aircraft-type seats) available for pre-booking. The number of staff and crew cabins is 105.
All passengers must vacate their staterooms 30 min prior to homeport arrival. Passenger registration ends 1 hour prior to ferry departure.
Shipboard dining and entertainment options
As facilities, the SILJA Megastar ship offers:
- The Chef's Kitchen (A La Carte Restaurant) is a sit-down eatery with an open kitchen.
- (Deck 9) Delight Buffet (Self-Service Restaurant) has a capacity of 400 seats and is located in the ship's forward section. Here are offered soft drinks, tea, coffee, wine, and beer, which are all included in the buffet meals price. Breakfast is offered only on morning departures. Swedish buffet is available on all day and evening departures. The buffet restaurant has several theme-food stations, including Grill, Cold Table (meats, seafood), Green Market (Salads), Warm Dishes, Desserts.
- (Deck 9) Fast Lane Restaurant allows passengers to create their own warm dishes and make fresh salads. There are also two chefs for made-to-order food, as well as ready-made options.
- (Deck 8) Burger King Restaurant offers fresh-baked burgers.
- (Deck 9) Victory Bar is a pub offering traditional favorites and beverages, cold snacks, warm sandwiches. The bar has large TVs (broadcasting live sports events), Game Room (paid games), PAF's (slot machines).
- (Deck 9) Sea Pub offers various drinks and classic snacks. The pub has a small stage for live performances by guest musicians.
- (Deck 9) Coffee & Co (Cafeteria / Patisserie / Coffee Bar) offers cold and warm beverages, light snacks (including fresh-baked pastries, yogurts, fruit smoothies, sweet crepes) and meals (made-to-order food and ready-made options). Coffee drinks are fresh-brewed (from freshly ground beans). The Cafe also has a separate takeaway desk.
- Business Lounge (capacity 170 seats) is an exclusive bar lounge for business-class passengers. It offers premium WIFI services, food catering (cold and warm dishes), beverages, newspapers.
- Comfort Lounge is a classy bar lounge serving non-alcoholic drinks, light snacks, WIFI, power outlets, large TV, newspapers.
- Sitting Lounge is a reserved seating lounge with comfortable reclining Pullman seats (4 chairs - 1 table configuration, like on airlines business class), large TV, luggage lockers.
- Drivers Lounge is an exclusive for truck drivers only seating lounge on Deck 11, which services are ferry ticket price-included.
- (Deck 9) Kids Harbour / Children's Playroom (adjacent to Delight Buffet) is the ship's indoor playground area fitted with TV (for watching cartoons), Ball Pit Pool, craft tables. On each cruise, kids here meet the cartoon character Moomin and the SILJA LINE mascot Harri Hylje (Harry the Seal). Also here is the PlayStation Lounge (separate room for video games and arcade machines).
- (Deck 9) Beauty Salon offers professional services by certified cosmeticians, hairdressers and masseuses (face and body treatments, hair styling and coloring, manicure, pedicure). Reservations are required 24 hours prior departure.
- (Decks 7 and 8 aft) Traveller Superstore is a 2-deck shopping mall covering a total area of 2800 m2 (30,140 ft2). This is a duty-free shopping arcade with retail shops, boutiques, Deli, and convenience store. Here at tax-free prices are sold special occasion gifts and souvenirs, alcohol (brand spirits, wines), tobaccos, luxury-brand perfumes and cosmetics, jewelry, watches, sunglasses, leather goods, confectionery, fashion clothing and accessories, toys, electronics and gadgets, gourmet sweets, Deli handmade teas, and spices. Special offers (shopping promotions) are offered on each ferry crossing. Payments can be made in cash or via bank cards (VISA, MasterCard, EuroCard).
- Traveller Superstore has several entryways, plus a separate entrance from Garage Deck 7. All sale sections and the pre-order counter are on deck 7. The shop opens in the morning (before departure) and closes in the evening (after the last arrival). The shop is also closed while the ship is docked in ports.
- Lobby Shop (Deck 8) is a kiosk for smaller items, including packed food, drinks, magazines, newspapers, souvenirs. It is also where the collection game "Collect and Save" prizes are sold.
- Conference Room (deck 9) has capacity 32 seats.
- (Lobby Deck 9) Wi-Fi service, ATM / cash machine (next to Information Desk / Reception). A nurse can be also reached via the Reception. Small lockers are available for valuables.
- Midship on the top deck (Heli Deck) there is a helipad - helicopter landing area used in cases of emergency.
All onboard emergency instructions are displayed in staterooms, on the TV screens and at the ship's assembly stations (aka muster stations). Life jackets are issued at the assembly stations. In case of emergency, the use of elevators/passenger lifts is forbidden.
TALLINK-SILJA LINE deals
- 2-day cruise deals ("Europa 22 hour") are offered only shuttle ferries with departures from Helsinki (embarkation 8 am) to Tallinn (disembarkation 12:10 pm on the next day).
- On all Tallink-Silja ships (excepting shuttle ferries) is available Room Service with a la carte priced special occasion gifts, sweets, and beverage menus. However, cabin services must be ordered 4 days prior departure.
- Onboard Conference Rooms are equipped with data projectors and white screens, and available for booking with group rates (extra charge pp). The room must be booked for at least 2 hours, and for a minimum of 10 persons. Catering (snack package or buffet meals, also refreshments) can be booked additionally.
- Smoking on the ship is prohibited in all cabins, restaurants, bars and lounges, corridors, elevators, stairwells. Smoking on the ship is allowed at designated areas and only on outdoor decks (look for "Smoking Area" signs).
- "Collect and Save" program is based on collecting stickers with onboard purchases (on all Tallink-Silja ships stores). The program allows purchasing of selected products at up to 57% discount prices. With every purchase (min value EUR 10), the passenger receives 1 sticker (to be glued inside a campaign folder). By the "Collect and Save" campaign, passengers can buy different products after collected 10, 20 or 30 stickers. These products are handed out and paid at the Info Stand or at the ship's shops. The "Collect and Save" offers are limited to a time period, or until select products are out of stock.
- "Club One" is the company's loyalty program rewarding passengers traveling frequently with Tallink-Silja ferries. By the program are accrued bonus points - based on ferry tickets and onboard purchases), but also on Tallink Hotels rooms booked via Tallink-Silja. The program has 3 levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold) determined by the bonus points. Bonus points can be used for booking voyages, getting onboard shopping and dining discounts, Tallink Hotels (Tallinn and Riga) 10% discount plus benefits, Tallink Takso (Tallinn) 5% discount, Europark (Helsinki) 15% car parking discount.
The Garage Deck is designed with separate for passenger and cargo vehicles areas. The loading is on 2 levels, with 2 entry and exit ways that can be used simultaneously for expedite loading and unloading.
The separate passenger car deck (capacity 150 cars) can be accessed also during the crossing. The garage also has direct access to Traveller Superstore's upper level, which allows purchased goods to be carried directly to the car.
Follows a list of car decks related safety procedures:
- Disabled passengers or those requiring specific assistance should visit the ship's Information Desk (open 24-hours).
- Apply handbrake and place the vehicle in park or 1st gear position. Switch off the ignition, alarm, electrical equipment, headlights. Gas cylinders, if any, must be switched off. Lock the vehicle.
- From your vehicle take only valuables and essential hand baggage.
- Make a note of your vehicle's location and garage deck number/stairway before leaving the car deck.
- Access to the ship's vehicle (cargo) decks during the voyage is prohibited.
- Smoking on vehicle decks, as well as in cabins and passenger lounges is forbidden.
- Wait for the onboard announcement before returning to your vehicle.
- In order to avoid air pollution, don't start the engine until instructed.
The shipowner Tallink (headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia) is an Estonian shipping company that operates Baltic Sea cruise ferries and RoPax vessels with direct services connecting Estonia with Finland and Sweden. and Sweden with Finland and Latvia. Tallink-Silja current fleet includes the ships Baltic Princess, Baltic Queen, Silja Europa, Silja Galaxy, Silja Serenade, Silja Symphony, Tallink Isabelle, Tallink Megastar, Tallink MySTAR (2022), Tallink Romantika, Tallink Star, Tallink Victoria.
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Vessel's construction started on August 4, 2015 (steel-cutting ceremony) at Meyer Werft's Turku shipyard. The keel-laying ceremony was held at the yeard on February 9, 2016 (yard number 1391).
Newbuild's name was officially announced on July 1, 2016. The name Megastar was chosen from a total of 21,550 proposals submitted in an online contest. The ferry was floated out on July 15, 2016, and delivered to the shipowner TALLINK on January 24, 2017. The maiden voyage (inaugural crossing Tallinn-Helsinki) was on January 29, 2017.
Ferry's godmother is Mrs. Tarja Kaarina Halonen - Finnish politician, the country's President (Finland's first female) in the period 2000-2012. Vessel's financing scheme (building cost EUR 230 million) was 20% paid during construction and the remaining 80% financed via long term debt on delivery (OECD-term export credit loan with CIRR-based interest rate).
On March 8, 2018, Tallink Grupp signed an agreement with the Estonian company Eesti Gaas for the LNG bunkering of the Megastar ship while on the Tallinn-Helsinki route. Since 2015, all passenger and cargo vessels on Baltic Sea routes (including ferries between Estonian Islands and mainland Europe) must use environmentally friendly fuels.
In the 1-year period (January 29, 2017-2018), the Megastar ferry carried over 2 million passengers on the shuttle route Tallinn-Helsinki - the ever-highest number carried on a Baltic Sea deployed Ro-Pax vessel.
The Tallink ships Megastar and MySTAR (2022) are the biggest "floating superstores" on Baltic Sea as each liner has a 2-deck shopping area of retail outlets with the self-service "Q-shopping" option.
SILJA Megastar ship technology
Vessel's hull is ice-strengthened (class 1A Super) which allows year-round operations on Baltic Sea routes with extreme ice conditions. Hull's shape was designed using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) tools. A total of 35 different forms were evaluated before choosing the best and most effective hull form.
MS Megastar is Tallink's first-ever LNG-powered ferry. It uses LNG (liquefied natural gas) as prime fuel and MDO (marine diesel oil) is secondary fuel.
The ship is powered by a total of five Wartsila dual-fuel engines - three 12-cylinder (model 12V50DF, combined output 34,2 MW) plus two 6-cylinder (model 6L50DF, combined output 11,4 MW). The ferry's total power output is the staggering 45,6 MW. The propulsion system includes two Wartsila fixed-pitch propellers with twin propeller shafts. The )navigation systems are also from Wartsila, including the NACOS Platinum (integrated vessel control system). The rudders are from Becker Marine Systems.
The power generated by the main engines (power plant) produces electricity that is used by the propulsion motors, as well as all auxiliary systems and hotel functions. This innovative maritime technology allows the engines to be started and stopped depending on the onboard electricity demand, which additionally improves fuel efficiency. When compared to traditional marine engines, in gas mode, the ship's engines produce 1/4 less COx, 2/3 less NOx, zero SOx and no soot particles.
The onboard LNG system consists of 2 bunker stations, 2 horizontal LNG storage tanks by Linde (cryogenic, vacuum-insulated, stainless steel, total gas volume 600 m3), double-walled bunkering lines, pipelines (acid-proof stainless steel), special pipe fittings, gas distribution system, steam boilers. All the ship's electrical equipment is certified "explosion-proof". The LNG is stored at temperatures -160 Celsius (-256 Fahrenheit) and under pressure 4-6 bars.
The Ro-Ro equipment (bow door, bow-stern doors, front-rampway doors, ramps, lifting platform, hatches, passenger doors, hydraulic power facilities) were all supplied by MacGregor. The company ABB supplied the vessel's power and electric propulsion systems, as well as the Octopus (smart energy management system). While mechanical propulsion is optimized for a single speed, the electric propulsion is based on rotating speed control resulting in energy efficiency at all speeds. The ABB propulsion also improves passenger comfort as the cruise liner runs much more quietly and smoothly. ABB's Octopus is the newest marine technology, allowing real-time monitoring of the vessel's energy (and fuel) consumption. Based on the collected data, the software suggests optimal performance recommendations.
The cruise ship's cargo capacity is 3800 lanemeters.
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