Author Topic: Finnlines, 17 th Feb. – 22 th Feb  (Read 6031 times)

Offline Cornelia Klier

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Finnlines, 17 th Feb. – 22 th Feb
« on: March 05, 2008, 09:39:20 PM »
Finnlines, 17 th Feb. – 22 th Feb., The relaxing way of travelling in peace and quiet featuring  FINNSTAR & TRANSEUROPA
This is a report about a slightly different ferry-trip than I had before, and it has made an impression on me, that makes me think, that it’s worth the effort to write a travel report abou t the trip, the style of travel and the ships. I am not going to describe the ships’ interiors in detail here, nor will I describe the food in all details, because thousands of words can never desc ribe so good, that you will be able to imagine exactly how it is, and I think, it is probably best to check these two links out here.
http://www.faktaomfartyg.se/finnstar_2006.htm
http://www.faktaomfartyg.se/transeuropa_1995.htm
 My sister and me have a tradition to do a tri together, once a year, and if possible more often, and we have been travelling on various ferries. It has always been nice, there are things you do enjoy, of course, which is the fresh air you can get on deck, the sound of the sea, the general feeling of travelling over the sea, the good food, and sometimes we have been able to find a chat with some folks working onboard, which is always more interesting than any TV or such, to hear about how the folks are working on those ships.
However, during  the recent years, it has turned out that the nice things mentioned above, are still valid, but that there are too many down-sides of ferry-travel. The talk was especially about drunkards onboard, people who book a trip, and drink their head full, to the annoyance of other travellers. Cheap entertainment which we don’t really need, what you are looking for, when at sea ? Some quiet time, ready to read a book, or just look outside. Aren’t we getting stuffed full with entertainment, with commercials, with this and that all day along ? A good place to get away would indeed be a ship on the sea. Unfortunatelly some ferry-companies have different ideas than this, and have brought on horrible floating shopping centers, where you go onboard and there is not much that does resemble in a ship, lack every “ship” feeling you would like to get. Yes, people like this – as you can see, companies are successful with that. It’s just not my style, I was looking for something else.
From what I read, this “something else” could be found on Finnlines’ ships, if I believe their advertising and from what people said.
So, sister S. and me decided to do the Finnliners to Helsinki and, learned that there is a port strike in Travemünde, after we arrived. We were supposed to be onboard the Finnhansa, but instead we were on “Finnstar”. To make a long story short, we had a very nice outside cabin, viewing over the bow of the ship. Indeed, the biggest cabin we ever had, 20 m2. 3 meals a day were included.  Each one of us paid around 480 Euros for the round trip, that meant 4 days onboard, each day 3 meals. Sounds expensive, but non-alcoholic drinks were free and also when there were not eating-times you could go and get a coffee or tea. Onboard the Finnhansa you did not have much facilities, there is a main restaurant, and a bar – and some extra rooms where you can sit down, that’s it. So, you could eat, then go to the lounge and read, or just outside on deck, where there are some sheltered places, where you can stay, and no wind. There have not been many people onboard, which was very nice, as it wasn’t loud and hectic. The interior has something rather 70ies like, a lot of brown and such, and they luckily have not put carpet everywhere. One thing I dislike on ferries is, that the carpets often do have a distinct puke-spot design and the likewise smell.
The passengers were either truckdrivers, or ordinary travelers like us, and luckily the ship was kid-free this time of the year, as well, which did guarantee a nice atmosphere in the restaurant and other areas. The three meals were each time buffet, you could indeed take as much as you want, and there was a lot of choice, as well, and everything was good and I was glad that they had coffee for free as well and a choice of teas, too. Instead of getting announcements again and again for whatever is on, you did get a “travel plan” when going onboard, where you can read the dinner times, sauna times, departure and arrival,  which we found a very good idea.
The two days did pass quickly, but well, what should I say, I can’t say here that we have done this, and that, and that this or that has been going on, onboard. The interesting of the whole trip was the “nothing” that did go on, onboard, you just did find time to eat well, sleep long and – just lay back and relax, have a good conversation with your travel-companion.
Of course I would not be me, if I had not been hanging around on deck, just waiting for ships to pass by, or in that case – which we took over, and sometimes the ships were close enough for a photo. Of course I did miss enough, which have been coming the other direction on the other side, just typical of course !
http://www.shipspotting.com/modules/myalbum/photo.php?lid=596109
http://www.shipspotting.com/modules/myalbum/photo.php?lid=594425
After two days we arrived in Helsinki, satisfied and relaxed and had everything in good memories, especially the food.
On the way back we were onboard the “Transeuropa” – older ship, and as you can see in the links on top,  it does carry less passenger than the newer “Finnstar”.
Getting onboard, we saw that the cabin was even bigger than the one on the previous ship we had, from what we saw, this one would have also been suitable for a longer trip, all fitted out with nice dark wood, two separate beds, a desk, a table and couch, which could be converted to a bed.
http://i28.tinypic.com/261kpc6.jpg
While there was Finnish crew onboard “Finnstar”, on “Transeuropa that was Germans, nothing against that, but I must admit, that the food on the Finnish ship was better, but that is just because I never liked the German style food, which is lacking of spices and too greasy, as well. There was just one main restaurant, reception and a small bar included in the restaurant, where one could have a drink in the evening. Very relaxing as well, and mostly elderly German travellers, who seemed to be in a contest, who does find most to complain about Finland, the ship and just every aspect of the world, and Russian truckdrivers, which seemed to be happy with the buffet and taking as much as they can. Best one onboard was the German barman, indeed – he was always talkative and told stories about when he worked for Superfast and Scandlines, and just other stuff from his everyday life. On the way back, the weather wasn’t the best, they have expected gales during 23 rd February and after we have put our stuff in the cabin in safe places, we have just slept very well during the night, but in the morning the restaurant was even more empty than before, of the 35 people onboard, there was less than 10 in the restaurant. Again, the two days have been passing quickly, despite we have not done much more than, eating well, sleeping long, look outside, or walk outside on deck, reading our books, have a good conversation, but when we finally went off the “Transeuropa” at  07.00 on 24 th February, it did feel like a real holiday, a few nice days in Helsinki, and a good ferry-trip to unwind from all the hectic and stimulus satiation.
Now, this is probably not the very best travel report written by me, but it’s indeed, just hard to describe, how it is, to enjoy the plenty of “nothing” to do onboard, which makes you unwind and enjoy, just a trip over the sea, and which also does much more add to the “ship travel” feeling, than 20 or something hours onboard a floating shopping center/amusement park/las-vegas-style hotel ever could.
Now, these two days have been passing  too quick, and when it was time to pack, and leave the ship, I just thought by myself, it would be nice to have two more weeks holiday, and let the “Transeuropa” sail down to Bilbao, multiple stops at small ports, ship and cabin would be perfect for that, not just those  too short 2 days from Germany too Finland. Of course it was time to stop dreaming, and heading for the train which should bring us home in around 7 hours.
What will be my next trip ? I am not sure. Not any Color Fantasy, not any Carnival cruiseship, I’m going to find me something like Finnlines, as I have found out, this is the way to travel.

Offline Tomas Østberg- Jacobsen

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Re: Finnlines, 17 th Feb. – 22 th Feb
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2008, 07:23:15 AM »
Pukespot, hehe... Brilliant... Very nice stuff.

Offline Andrew McAlpine

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Re: Finnlines, 17 th Feb. – 22 th Feb
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2008, 05:06:18 PM »
very interesting report Corneila, i have always wanted to visit Finland and sounds as tough this would be a great way to do it!.

rgds
Andrew

Offline Cornelia Klier

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Re: Finnlines, 17 th Feb. – 22 th Feb
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2008, 11:14:49 AM »
Yes it is, here a few other photos, of that sort you can't upload here at shipspotting, but which do show something about - what a trip of this kind, is about !

http://i26.tinypic.com/2z65x6g.jpg
Nothing better than this, if you go for a walk on deck after breakfast. No noise nor too many people or other distractions around, but just this rainbow, caused by spray of seawater. Ship was "Transeuropa" on the way from Helsinki to Travemünde

http://i32.tinypic.com/5cantl.jpg
Forward view, on the way there on "Finnstar"

http://i32.tinypic.com/a24w03.jpg
A Hamburg morning

 

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