Construction of the first of the two new Superstar ro-pax vessels has begun. The traditional steel cutting ceremony of MS Finnsirius was held at the China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) in China on 1 June 2021. The environmentally friendly ro-pax vessels will bring innovative solutions to Finnlines’ services and will enhance the customer experience to a new level.
MS Finnsirius is a part of Finnlines’ EUR 500 million Newbuilding Programme which includes two eco-sustainable ro-pax vessels as well as three hybrid ro-ro vessels. The other new ro-pax vessel will be named MS Finncanopus.
The new Superstar ro-pax vessels are set to start operating in July and December 2023 in the Finland–Sweden traffic. They will be larger than the existing Star class vessels and will be Finnlines’ flagships both in terms of size and technology, scaling up the connection and setting new standards to Finnlines’ customers. With a length of about 235 metres, their loading capacity will be 5,100 lane metres for rolling freight and 1,100 for passengers. In other words, the vessels have the capacity to carry approximately 200 cars and 290 trailers or 250 trucks per voyage.
The Superstar vessels are designed with the focus on fast and efficient cargo handling in order to guarantee Finnlines’ customers a short turnaround time. Automooring at berth will ensure faster mooring and more efficient port operations, which will enable a lower needed average speed at sea and lower fuel consumption. The enhanced functions will also reduce the environmental impact and emissions. Onshore power supply will provide an alternative source of energy, enabling emission-free operations in port. Light management and ventilation will be designed to enhance energy efficiency even in changing conditions.
Digitalisation and green values are playing an important role in vessel design. The aim is to develop “a paperless vessel” and printed materials will all be replaced by digital screens and mobile services. Environmental aspects and sustainability are given high priority and onboard this is reflected in many ways, for example in choice of materials, cleaning equipment, e.g. central vacuum cleaning system, and food assortment. The intention is also to engage local suppliers to provide goods for the retail and catering business on the new vessels.
The Next Generation Superstar vessels will offer an enhanced customer experience to passengers, highlighting the Archipelago. The scenery can be enjoyed through panorama windows and a spacious outdoor deck. All public areas will have their own design and service concepts and the heart of the new vessels will be the Arcade area, including Finnlines’ largest Duty-Free Shop yet, approx. 400 m2. New features will include some new cabin categories, a spa and a gym, a yoga studio and an A la carte restaurant.
“We want to lead the development of high-quality ro-ro and ro-pax services in the Baltic Sea. The new Superstar vessels as well as our whole Newbuilding Programme ensure that we are able to continue to offer premier services to our customers. We have made major investments in renewing and developing our fleet into more sustainable, using the latest technologies and green innovations available and will continue to do so,” says Emanuele Grimaldi, CEO of Finnlines.
With space for 1,100 passengers and 5,100 lane metres for rolling freight, the 235-metre long Superstar ro-pax vessels will be Finnlines’ largest passenger-freight vessels. These next generation vessels will raise the passenger experience to a completely new level with a new onboard concept.