Viking Grace ferry Review and Specifications
Specifications of Viking Grace ferry
|Year built||2013 / Age : 6|
|Builder||STX Europe (Turku, Finland)|
|Class||cruiseferry (Ro-Pax ship)|
|Ferry route / homeports||Stockholm-Aland (Mariehamn)-Turku|
|Building cost||EUR 240 million|
|Speed||22 kn / 41 kph / 25 mph|
|Length (LOA)||214 m / 702 ft|
|Beam (width)||32 m / 105 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||57565 gt|
|Decks with cabins||5|
Review of Viking Grace ferry
MS Viking Grace ferry is a Ro-Ro passenger vessel operated by the Finland-based company VIKING LINE. The ship has a max capacity of 2800 passengers and 500 cars plus 75 trucks (trailers). The vessel was launched in 2013 and currently operates on the Sweden-Finland ferry route Stockholm-Turku (crossing time 10 hours) via Aland (Mariehamn).
As cruise ferry, Viking Grace has 880 cabins. All staterooms are air-conditioned and with en-suite bathrooms (WC, shower, washbasin), flat TV, radio, phone. Suites and Premium cabins additionally offer hairdryer, refrigerator, double bed, double sofabed. The ferry company provides bed linens, towels, and toiletries. Some staterooms are wheelchair-accessible (adapted for disabled passengers and people with reduced mobility). Allergy Cabins are with furniture made of non-allergic materials.
Cabins can't be shared - if 2 passengers are booked in a 4-bed cabin, they can't share the remaining 2 free beds with other travelers.
Staff and crew cabins are located on decks 1 and 2. Passenger cabins are graded in the following categories:
- (Deck 5) S4 (Seaside 4), I4 (Inside 4), IP2 (Inside Piccolo 2), Driver
- (Deck 6) SD2 (Seaside Double), ID2 (Inside Double), S4 (Seaside 4, I4 (Inside 4), IH4 (Inside HC 4), DH4 (Double HC 4), SH4 (Seaside HC 4), SF6 (Seaside Family 6), IF6 (Inside Family 6)
- (Deck 7) SU3 (Suite Ocean), SU4 (Suite Flow), SD2 (Seaside Double), ID3 (Inside Double 3), S4 (Seaside 4), I4 (Inside 4), I2 (Inside 2), IH4 (Inside HC 4), S4R (Seaside 4 R / Allergy), I4R (Inside 4 R / Allergy), PRM (Premium)
- (Deck 8) SU1 (Suite Romantic), SU2 (Suite Organic), SD2 (Seaside Double), ID2 (Inside Double), S4 (Seaside 4), I4 (Inside 4), I2, IH4 (Inside HC 4), IP2 (Inside Piccolo 2), PRM (Premium)
- (Deck 9) ID2 (Inside Double), SH3 (Seaside HC 3), IP2 (Inside Piccolo 2), PRM (Premium)
- Family cabins are fitted with 6 beds (2 plus 4).
- Standard cabin door width is 64 cm. Suite and handicap cabin's door width is 89 cm.
- On overnight crossings, for Suite cabins (excluding Mini-Suites) Breakfast is included in the ferry ticket price. Breakfast (included for both adults and children) can be delivered via room service (in-cabin dining) or at the onboard restaurants. For en-suite dining must be filled out a room service order form and submitted to the Reception (info desk) the evening before. For restaurant dining, Suite passengers must show their cabin key in the venue.
Seaside (oceanview) cabins are with large windows, Inside and Economy-class cabins are without windows. Economy cabins are located on lower decks. Suites and Premium cabins are larger and better equipped. Only Budget cabins lack private bathrooms.
Suites and Seaside Premium staterooms offer additional / bonus amenities and services, including free Wi-Fi, exclusive VIP lounge access, early check-in and early boarding (excluding passengers with car parking) in Stockholm. VIP lounge's amenities include complimentary coffee, tea, bottled water, newspapers, flat TV (satellite reception).
All cabins are non-smoking and in-cabin alcohol consumption is forbidden. Cabin cleaning and sheets changing are done before port arrival. Staterooms are available during the entire crossing (also during cleaning).
Cot beds (for toddlers up to 1 year of age and weight under 10 kg) are also available, as well as bed rails for kids - provided complimentary upon request.
All passengers must vacate their staterooms 30 min prior to homeport arrival.
Shipboard dining and entertainment options
As facilities, the Viking Grace ship offers:
- (Lobby Deck 9) Reception (Information Desk, ATM/cash machine), Conference Center, Teens Lounge, Game Room (arcade machines, air hockey tables, claw machine), Shopping World (retail shops and general store), Victoria's Secret Shop, Seating Lounge (Air Seats), Navigation Bridge
- (Deck 10) Buffet Aurora Restaurant, Club Vogue (disco nightclub, lower level), Sweet and Salty Cafe (Internet), Rockmore Bar, Retro Bar and Dancing, Children's Playroom, Video Games Arcade, Casino, Sun Deck (outdoor area)
- (Deck 11) A la carte Oscar restaurant, Frank's Casual Dining restaurant, Seamore (Wine Bar / Champagne Lounge), Wine Shop, Children's Playroom, Club Vogue (disco nightclub, upper level), Spa and Wellness Center (2 large Jacuzzis / whirlpools with sea view, saunas with sea view, steam room, herbal steam sauna, snow cavern (room chilled at 2 C), massage rooms, Spa Bar, 2 VIP rooms / with their own whirlpool and sauna, available for private booking), Sun Deck (outdoor area)
- (Deck 12) Sun Deck (outdoor area)
- On top deck (Heli Deck) there is a helipad - helicopter landing area used in cases of emergency.
- Free wifi and Internet ("Viking Public" and "Public Internet") are available in designated areas - public spaces and passenger cabins, but not on car decks. The technology is based on a modern satellite system, but the speeds are still slower land-based WiFi and depending on weather conditions.
- Onboard shops are tax-free and sell brand perfumes, cosmetics and skincare products, designer clothes and accessories, watches, sunglasses, fashion bags, sportswear, kids clothing, confectionery, packaged food and drinks (beers, premium spirits, and wines), gourmet sweets, toys, electronics and gadgets, Viking Line logoed merchandise. Among the premium brands available via onboard shopping are Dior, Tiffany, Sensai, Hugo Boss, Marc Jacobs, Lancome, Efva Attling, Calvin Klein, Paco Rabanne, Yves Saint Laurent, Armani, Biotherm, Clinique, Clarins, Elizabeth Arden, Norr, Bjorn Axen, Bjorn Borg, LEGO. Shopping promotions and package discounts are always offered.
- Onboard entertainment is complimentary and includes themed shows with live performances by guest artists - music bands, singers, magicians, Swedish and international celebrities. On themed cruises are presented international cuisine specialties, holiday festivals and tributes to renown artists.
- On all Viking Line ships, there is a Casino with Blackjack and Roulette tables, as well as slot machines (throughout the ship). Bingo games are offered on most ferries, with location and schedule listed in the ship's onboard program.
- The nightclub is on 2 decks, featuring modern lighting and design interiors, large dance floor, LED screens, a stage for nightly live entertainment (orchestra, guest performers, themed club shows). VIP tables (4-seat) are in a dedicated VIP area designed for private party experiences. VIP tables can be booked after the ship's departure. Table price is inclusive of a bottle of Champagne, strawberries, 20 drink coupons, snacks, olives, nuts.
- The a la carte restaurant serves premium breakfast and a la carte lunch and dinner. The food is prepared with seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. There is a premium wine list and the menu includes fresh fish, seafood, steaks, vegetarian dishes, kids menu (smaller size dishes).
- The Wine Bar offers cocktails, champagne, and wine by the glass.
- The Casual Dining restaurant serves lunch and dinner. The menu includes pizzas, pasta, steaks, hamburgers fresh-made salads, wines, cocktails, desserts, coffee and dessert drinks. Children under 12 dine at 1/2 portions (half-priced).
- The Buffet restaurant offers buffet breakfast and a classic Scandinavian smorgasbord (multiple buffet-style hot and cold dishes) and international cuisine in the evening. The buffet meal price is inclusive also of wine, beer, soft drinks, coffee, tea. Alcohol (including premium wines) are at extra charge.
- At the Cafe are also served breakfast, lunch, quick dinner, night snacks. The restaurant has several different food sections for salads, sandwiches, baked food, home-cooked food, desserts, coffee-hot drinks, beverages (soft drinks, beers, wines), Ice-creams, also Take Away station.
- The Bar and Dancing lounge offers nightly trivia quizzes, live band music, karaoke, as well as drinks menu and light food menu (sandwiches, pastries, cakes, fresh-baked buns).
- The Coffee Shop sells specialty coffees and high-quality teas with fresh-baked (on the ship) sweets and salty snacks. In the evenings, the Coffee Shop becomes a wine bar also hosting wine tastings.
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.
Viking Line ferry and cruise deals
Viking Line cruise deals are offered on the following Baltic Sea routes: Helsinki-Stockholm and Helsinki-Tallinn, Turku-Stockholm and Turku-Aland, as well as Aland-Stockholm and Aland-Kapellskar. These are 1-night / 2-day cruises inclusive of 24-hour ferry travel and (optional) 2 evenings on the ship with 1 full day in the port destination.
- For youth group travel, the ferry company has a quota of 100 passengers per cruise (departures Sunday-Wednesday) and 40 passengers per cruise (departures Thursday-Saturday). The group cruise must be organized by the school (or other association), must have an adult group leader (teacher, parent, etc, at least 30 years old) and 1 adult leader per 10 participants.
- Mini cruises (without going ashore and return with the same ferry) are not open for youth group bookings.
- The onboard Conference Center is operated with conference packages inclusive of Inside Cabin (booked at double occupancy), buffet dinner and lunch (with included wine, beer, soft drinks, coffee) and breakfast, as well as coffee and fruits at the conference facilities. Group discounts are offered on all ferry cruises. Additional conference time could be added on hourly rates. Meal packages are not mandatory and can be substituted with pre-booked meals. Conference rates are per person and based on advanced booked meal packages and conference facilities, with a required minimum of 10 persons (supplement applies to smaller groups). Groups of 250+ passengers receive an additional discount. These rates are not combinable with other special offers or discounts. Supplement applies for the buffet meals on all packages during Christmas (November-December). Rates vary depending on route/ship and are for roundtrip itineraries only.
- Spa packages are for 2 hours (priced per person) and inclusive of bathrobe and towel. Spa treatments (massages) are from 30 to 50 min. Longer treatments must be booked in advance. For massages are used only high-quality organic products by Comfort Zone Group (Italy). Entrance to the Spa and Wellness Center is at fixed fee pp but is complimentary when booking a 50-min treatment. Spa Bar sells wine by the glass, fresh smoothies, small snacks. Spa's VIP rooms are with their own whirlpool and sauna and are bookable for private use.
- Each ship has a dedicated Luggage Room, which is locked 30 min after departure and opened 30 min prior arrival. At the Information Desk are available storage lockers (at a fee). Storage boxes (for small bags) are also available. They open via cards (purchased at Information Desk). The card can be saved and recharged (used on several crossings).
- As means of payment, Viking Line accepts bank cards and debit cards (including American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard, Mastercard, VISA, VISA Electron, Maestro), as well as cash (ATMs and cashier service at Information Desk / only banknotes). Travelers' checks are not accepted.
Pets on the ship
Guide- and assisting dogs always travel for free and permitted to go anywhere on the ship, including the lounges and restaurants.
- Pet animals are allowed on all regular ferry crossings - excepting cruises.
- Animals are allowed in passenger cabins (not in the beds) only if the owner books the whole cabin. They are not allowed in restaurants (excepting service dogs).
- When outside the cabin, dogs must always be leashed. They can be walked only the Sun Deck.
- For each pet, there is a fee, which varies by ship/route.
- On short crossings, animals are allowed to stay on car decks, but not left in the vehicles. These animals travel for free.
The engine room and most crew-staff spaces (cabins, mess hall, bar lounge, dining room, brig/jail) are on decks 1-2. Garage decks (for cars, buses, trucks) are decks 3-4-5. Car Deck 4 has a hydraulic platform that when lowered divides it into two (on 2 layers) to double the space for passenger vehicles.
Car decks are closed during the crossing. Visiting garage decks during the voyage is allowed only with the Captain's permission. 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 ship operator Viking Line (founded in 1959, headquartered in Mariehamn, Aland Finland) serves the cargo and passenger shipping traffic between Sweden and Finland (via Aland Islands), Estonia and Poland. Viking Line current fleet includes the ships Amorella, Cinderella, Gabriella, Grace, Mariella, Rosella, XPRS.
Viking Grace ferry wiki
The vessel's construction started on November 28, 2011 (keel-laying), and its name was revealed on February 17, 2012. The ship was floated out on August 10, 2012, delivered to VIKING LINE on January 10, 2013, and started its maiden crossing on January 13.
In January-February 2018, Viking Grace and the fleet mate Amorella (both deployed on the Turku-Stockholm route) were taken out of service for extensive drydock refits. In response to customer requests, ships' shopping areas were renovated, with more space allocated to fashion products, wines, and champagnes. Onboard restaurants were also redesigned and upgraded with new tables. Renovations also included all conference rooms.
The shipowner VIKING LINE takes out of service each its cruise ferries once every 2 years (on average) for drydock refurbishments, technical maintenance, and equipment upgrades.
Viking Grace ship technology
On April 12, 2018, the ferry became the world's first ever passenger ship equipped with a rotor sail utilizing the wind power. This also makes it the world's first hybrid vessel that uses both wind power and dual-fuel (diesel-gas) engines.
"Rotor Sail Solution" is an innovative technology developed by the company Norsepower Oy Ltd (Finland) in 5 years. It reduces fuel consumption and also COx emissions up to 900 tons per year (depending on wind conditions).
The cylindrical rotor sail has height 24 m (79 ft) and diameter 4 m (13 ft). The technology is based on the "Flettner rotor" (patented by Anton Flettner in 1922) and uses the so-called "Magnus effect" - the spinning rotor (rotating cylinder) drags airflow faster around one side. This creates pressure (speed) difference that moves it in the direction of the opposite (lower-pressure) side, creating the force at a right angle to the direction of the wind. This wind-assisted propulsion power drives the ship forward. Unlike traditional cloth sails, the rotor needs no furling (stowing), reefing (reducing sail's area) or line-tending. The rotor sail system is automated and shuts down when unfavorable changes in wind force or direction occur.
Added to the dual-fuel engines, the new technology makes Viking Grace one of the world's most environmentally-friendly passenger ships, operating with very low levels of emissions and noise.
Norsepower's wind propulsion system was also installed on VIKING LINE's newest vessel (still unnamed) scheduled for delivery in 2020. The China-built ferry is equipped with two Norsepower-produced rotor sails, doubling its wind power potential.
Ferry's hydrodynamic hull is ice-strengthened (classed "1A Super") allowing shipping operations in icy waters without icebreaking vessel assistance.
Ship's powerplant includes 4x Wartsila marine diesel engines (model 8L50DF, total power output 30,4 MW) plus 4x Wartsila 50DF (LNG engines installed in 2013). Propulsion is diesel-electric (2x complete shaft lines with fixed pitch propellers, bow, and stern tunnel thrusters) and wind-assisted (with 1x rotor sail). Engines are dual-fuel - using both MDO (Marine Diesel Oil) and LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). As the gas tanks are larger than marine fuel tanks. they need 6 times more space. To save hull space, both LNG tanks are located on the open deck. LNG tanks are two (type C / vacuum insulated), each with capacity 200 m3 and weight 140 tons (LNG weight 85 tons per tank).
MS Viking Grace is also the world's first ship with the modern energy recycling system "Ocean Marine" developed by Climeon AB (Stockholm Sweden-based company). The system converts the excess heat (generated by engines and exhausts) into clean (emission-free) electricity with annual capacity 700,000 kWh. This electricity is primarily used on cabin decks (including for heating, hot water, lighting). The technology uses heat exchangers that evaporate a carrier fluid circulating in a closed system. This gas (at 2-bar pressure) drives a turbine, then a 100 kW generator produces electricity. After that, the gas is cooled (in a vacuum chamber) and liquefies. Cooling is rapid, as the cold fluid is sprayed out. Then Heat exchangers cool the carrier fluid to temperatures around 20 C / 68 F.
In 2017, Wartsila signed with VIKING LINE an "Optimised Maintenance" for the "Wartsila LNGPac" (complete gas handling) system on MS Viking Grace. This was the company's ever first agreement for LNG-fuelled ships. The agreement also included Condition Based Maintenance (gathers data on average gas flow, heat exchangers temperatures, energy use, LNG pumps pressure) and online support for the LNGPac (onboard bunkering station, two LNG tanks, handling and process equipment).
Based on independent tests conducted in 2019, Norsepower's Rotor Sail on Viking Grace will result in LNG fuel savings between 230-315 tons annually, which equals propulsion power, respectively, between 207-282 kW. Norsepower's Rotor Sail technology is also installed on the vessels MV Estraden (IMO 9181077, 1999-built Ro-Ro Cargo ship owned by Bore Ltd) and Maersk Pelican (IMO 9319686, 2008-built Crude Oil Tanker owned by Maersk - currently ranked world's largest container shipping company by TEU capacity).
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