MS Expedition

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MS Expedition.jpg
Expedition in March 2010.
Name: 1972—1978: Kattegat
1978—1985: nf Tiger
1985—1986: Tiger
1986—2008: Ålandsfärjan
2008 onwards: Expedition[1]
Owner: 1972—1978: Jydsk Færgefart A/S
1978—1985: Midland Montague Leasing
1985—1986: Townsend Car Ferries
1986—2008: Finlandshamnen Ab
2008 onwards: Gap Shipping[1]
Operator: 1972—1978: Jydsk Færgefart A/S
1978—1985: P&O Normandy Ferries
1985—1986: Townsend Thoresen
1986—2008: Viking Line
2008 onwards: G Adventures[1]
Port of registry: 1972—1978: Hundested,  Denmark
1978—1985: London,  United Kingdom
1985—1986: Dover,  United Kingdom
1986—2008: Norrtälje,  Sweden
2008 onwards: Monrovia,  Liberia[1]
Builder: Helsingör Skibs & Maskinbygg, Helsingør, Denmark[1]
Yard number: 398[1]
Launched: 24 March 1972[1]
Acquired: 14 July 1972[1]
In service: 15 July 1972[1]
Identification: IMO number: 7211074[1]
Status: In service
General characteristics (as Kattegat)[1]
Type: Ferry
Tonnage: 3,960 GRT
Displacement: 925 DWT
Length: 104.04 m (341 ft 4 in)
Beam: 18.93 m (62 ft 1 in)
Draught: 4.37 m (14 ft 4 in)
Decks: 6[2]
Ice class: 1B[3]
Installed power: 2 × HSM-B&W 10U45HU
8,096 kW (combined)
Speed: 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)
Capacity: 1,200 passengers
63 berths
220 cars
General characteristics (as Ålandsfärjan)[1]
Type: Ferry
Length: 105.20 m (345 ft 2 in)
Beam: 18.93 m (62 ft 1 in)
Draught: 4.71 m (15 ft 5 in)
Capacity: 963 passengers
180 cars
Notes: Otherwise the same as Kattegat
General characteristics (as Expedition)[3]
Type: Expedition cruise ship
Tonnage: 6,334 GT
Length: 105 m (344 ft 6 in)
Beam: 18.6 m (61 ft 0 in)
Speed: 14.5 knots (26.9 km/h; 16.7 mph)
Capacity: 140 passengers
140 berths
Crew: 55
Notes: Otherwise the same as Ålandsfärjan

MS Expedition is an expedition cruise ship owned and operated by the Canada-based G Adventures (formerly known as Gap Adventures). She was built as a car/passenger ferry in 1972 by Helsingör Skibs & Maskinbygg, Helsingør, Denmark as Kattegat for Jydsk Færgefart A/S. Subsequently she sailed under the names nf Tiger for P&O Normandy Ferries, Tiger for Townsend Thoresen and Ålandsfärjan for Viking Line, prior to conversion into a cruise ship in 2008.[1]

Service history[edit]

The Kattegat was delivered in 1972 and placed on the intra-Denmark GrenåHundested service of Jydsk Færgefart A/S. She stopped serving on that route in December 1977. In March 1978 she was sold to the London-based Midland Montague Leasing Ltd who leased the ship to P&O Normandy Ferries Ltd, also based in London. After rebuilding at Caillard S.A., Le Havre, France the ship was renamed nf Tiger placed on DoverBoulogne-sur-Mer service. In 1985 P&O Normandy Ferries was bought by Townsend Thoresen. The ship's name was shortened to Tiger, but she remained on the same service.[1]

In July 1986 the ship was laid up, and in November of the same year she was sold to Finlandshamnen AB, a subsidiary to SF Line, one of the owners of the Viking Line consortium. After being rebuilt the ship was renamed Ålandsfärjan(in English "The Åland Ship") and placed in MariehamnKapellskär service in May 1987. In 1993, following bankruptcy of the other Viking Line partner, Rederi AB Slite, the Ålandsfärjan‍ '​s route was extended into Naantali—Mariehamn—Kapellskär (freight only on the Mariehamn—Naantali part of the route), but this solution was found impractical and soon the ship reverted to the earlier route).[1]

Ålandsfärjan on the Åland Sea, October 2006.

In 2002 the ship was rebuilt at Baltic Ship Repairers, Tallinn, Estonia, where sidesponsons were added for increased stability.[1] In January 2007 Viking Line ordered a replacement for her to be delivered in summer 2009, codenamed Viking ADCC.

On 23 October 2007, the Ålandsfärjan touched the bottom near Mariehamn. Passengers were readied for evacuation, but an inspection of the ship revealed no major damage and she was able to continue to Mariehamn under her own power, arriving some 30 minutes behind schedule.[4] As a result of the accident, all departures until 22 November were cancelled.[5] Investigations revealed that the cause for the accident was the new duty rosters: the officer on duty was inspecting the new roster and because of that failed to notice that the ship should have made a course change while approaching Mariehamn.[6]

In September 2007 an Ålandian newspaper had claimed that the Ålandsfärjan would be replaced on the Mariehamn—Kapellskär route already in spring 2008, when Rosella would take over the route.[7] On 8 April 2008 Viking Line confirmed the claim[8] and on 30 May, the Rosella replaced the Ålandsfärjan the route. On 27 May, Viking Line revealed that they had sold the Ålandsfärjan to Gap Adventures with delivery in June 2008.[9] Following delivery to her new owners the ship was renamed Expedition,[1] and on 27 June the ship sailed for Aker Yards Rauma Shipyard.[10] Aker Yards subsequently drew up plans for conversion of the vessel, and on 2008-09-10 the conversion contract was signed between Aker Yards and Gap Adventures.[11] The Expedition is due to re-enter service after the conversion on 2009-01-04, re-launching Gap's polar cruise program that had been halted due to the sinking of their previous ship, Explorer.[12]

Between June and September 2009 the Expedition will be chartered to Spitsbergen Travel, a daughter company of the Norway-based Hurtigruten, for week-long cruises around Spitsbergen.[13]


As Ålandsfärjan[edit]

  1. Engine room
  2. Car deck
  3. Car deck
  4. Sea Side Café, Tax-Free shop, Parfymeria, Children's playroom
  5. Restaurant Rödhamn, Sun Deck Bar
  6. Bridge, Conference room, "Air seats"[2]

As Expedition[edit]

  1. Engine room
  2. Outside cabins
  3. Outside cabins
  4. Lounge, bar, library, outside cabins
  5. Dining room, pub, sun deck
  6. Bridge[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Asklander, Micke. "M/S Kattegat (1972)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  2. ^ a b "Däckspan M/S Ålandsfärjan". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  3. ^ a b c "Polar Expedition Cruises Aboard M/S Expedition". Gap Adventures. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  4. ^ (Finnish) MTV3: Ålandsfärjan ajoi karille, retrieved 23-10-2007
  5. ^ Viking Line traffic bulletin, retrieved 1. 11. 2007
  6. ^ (Finnish) Ilta-Sanomat 14. 11. 2007: Perämies tuijotti työvuorolistaa - laiva karille, retrieved 14. 11. 2007
  7. ^ (Swedish) Ålandstidningen: Rosella sätts in på Kapellskär till våren, retrieved 26. 9. 2007
  8. ^ "M/S Rosella snart tillbaka i Roslagens skärgård: Viking Line ersätter M/S Ålandsfärjan med större fartyg" (PDF). Viking Line press release (in Swedish). Viking Line. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  9. ^ (Swedish) M/S Ålandsfärjan säljs, retrieved 2008-06-01
  10. ^ "Aker Yards: "Ålandsfärjan" tulee perjantaina Rauman telakalle". Aker Yards press release (in Finnish). Kauppalehti. 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2008-06-27. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Aker Yards Converting A Ferry To Expedition Cruise Vessel". Aker Yards press release. Aker Yards. 2008-09-10. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  12. ^ "Gap Adventures Announces New Polar Expedition Ship". Gap Adventures press release. Gap Adventures. 2008-06-09. Archived from the original on 2008-06-27. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  13. ^ "New Expedition Vessel to Spitsbergen" (PDF). Spitsbergen Travel press release. Spitsbergen Travel. 2008-10-22. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 

External links[edit]