Viking XPRS ferry Review and Specifications
Specifications of Viking XPRS ferry
|Year built||2008 / Age : 11|
|Builder||Aker Finnyards (Helsinki, Finland)|
|Class||cruiseferry (Ro-Pax ship)|
|Ferry route / homeports||Helsinki-Tallinn|
|Building cost||EUR 130 million|
|Speed||25 kn / 46 kph / 29 mph|
|Length (LOA)||185 m / 607 ft|
|Beam (width)||28 m / 92 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||35778 gt|
|Decks with cabins||1|
|Christened by||Paula Koivuniemi|
Current position of Viking XPRS ferry
Review of Viking XPRS ferry
MS Viking XPRS ferry is a Ro-Ro passenger vessel operated by the Finland-based company VIKING LINE. The ship has a max capacity of 2500 passengers and 240 cars. The vessel was launched in 2008 and currently operates on the Finland-Estonia ferry route Helsinki-Tallinn (crossing time 2,5 hours).
As cruise ferry, Viking XPRS has 732 berths in a total of 238 cabins. All staterooms are air-conditioned and with en-suite bathrooms (WC, shower, washbasin), flat TV (satellite reception), radio, phone, mirrored writing table with stool. Premium cabins additionally offer a 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 deck 9. Passenger cabins are graded in the following categories:
- (Deck 6) LYX (Seaside Premium, TV), A4 (Seaside Standard), A4R (Seaside Standard Allergy), A2P (Seaside Standard, TV), B4 (Inside Standard), B4R (Inside Standard Allergy), B2P (Inside Piccolo), B2R (Inside Piccolo Allergy), B2S (Inside Piccolo Small, TV), HB3 (Inside Handicap)
- 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 round-shaped windows, Inside cabins are without windows. Premium cabins are larger and better equipped. 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 XPRS ship offers:
- (Deck 7) Business Lounge, Conference Center, Reception (Information Desk, ATM/cash machine), Tax-Free Shop / Shopping World, Fashion Shop, Music Pub Viking's Inn, Club X, Sun Deck (outdoor area)
- (Deck 8) Blue Deli Restaurant, The Buffet, Sun Bar & Grill, Wine & Dine, Robert's Coffee, Red Rose Bar Cafe, Family Cafe / Corner (Internet), Deli Shop, Game Room (arcade machines, air hockey tables, claw machine), Children's Playroom / Kid's Club.
- (Deck 9) Navigation Bridge
- (Deck 10) 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 features 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 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 - except 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 is on deck 1, while most crew-staff spaces (cabins, mess hall, bar lounge, dining room, brig/jail) are on decks 2-9. Garage decks (for cars and trucks) include 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 shipowner 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 current fleet includes the ships Amorella, Cinderella, Gabriella, Glory (2021), Grace, Mariella, Rosella, XPRS.
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The vessel was ordered on November 29, 2005, christened on September 14 and floated out on September 19, 2007. It was delivered to VIKING LINE on April 21, 2008, and started its maiden crossing (Helsinki-Tallinn) on April 27. During its first year, the ferry transported around 1,466 million passengers - a record number for Baltic Sea. Helsinki-Tallinn crossings (Gulf of Finland) are operated with 2 daily departures from each homeport.
The shipbuilding order for XPRS also included two more (optional) sisterships, but in October 2006 VIKING LINE announced the company will not exercise this option.
Ship's godmother is the Finnish singer Paula Kristiina Koivuniemi. Ship's name was chosen via online competition (May-June 2007) and from over 16,000 proposals. The abbreviation XPRS stands for "Xtreme Performance Rocket Ship".
There are separate garage decks for passengers cars and freight vehicles, and its passenger cabin capacity is relatively smaller as it does only daytime crossings.
Ferry's 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 8L46F, total power output 40 MW). Propulsion consists of two shaft lines with Rolls-Royce pitch propellers.
In April-May 2009, part of Deck 7's aft sundeck area was reconstructed into "Club X" (indoor bar with a smoking area). All reconstruction works were carried out while the boat was in service.
The shipowner VIKING LINE takes out of service each its cruiseferries once every 2 years (on average) for drydock refurbishments, technical maintenance, and equipment upgrades.
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