MS Mariella

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Mariella in Helsinki
MS Mariella in Helsinki in 2014
Name: MS Mariella
  • 1985–1995: SF Line (in Viking Line traffic)
  • 1995 onwards: Viking Line[1]
Port of registry: Mariehamn,  Finland[1]
Route: Helsinki–Mariehamn–Stockholm (as of 2009)
Builder: Wärtsilä Perno Shipyard, Turku, Finland[1]
Yard number: 1286[1]
Launched: 28 September 1984[1]
Acquired: 17 May 1985[1]
In service: 18 May 1985[1]
Status: In service
General characteristics [2]
Type: Cruiseferry
Length: 175.70 m (576 ft 5 in)
Beam: 28.40 m (93 ft 2 in)
Draught: 6.52 m (21 ft 5 in)
Depth: 14.65 m (48 ft 1 in)
Decks: 11[3]
Ice class: 1 A Super[2]
Installed power:
Propulsion: 2 propellers[2]
Speed: 20.5 knots (37.97 km/h; 23.59 mph)[1]

As built:

2,447 passengers
2,447 berths
600 cars
62 trailers[1]

As of 2009:

2,500 passengers
2,500 berths
430 cars
980 lanemeters[4]

MS Mariella is a cruiseferry delivered in 1985 to SF Line and has since operated as a part of Viking Line. She was built by the Wärtsilä Perno Shipyard in Turku, Finland. Her sister ship is the Olympia (now MS SPL Princess Anastasia). Mariella was the world's largest cruiseferry from 1985 until 1989, when the accolade passed on to her Viking Line fleetmate MS Athena.


When the Mariella was delivered in 1985, she was the first ship on Viking Line's HelsinkiStockholm service which was not owned by Rederi Ab Sally. She has remained on the same route ever since, except for a few brief times when she has been moved temporarily on to other Viking Line routes. This makes her the record holder for the longest continual service on the Helsinki–Stockholm route. At the time of her delivery, the Mariella was the largest ferry in the world in terms of gross tonnage, number of passengers and passenger berths.

In 1989, ahead of the delivery of the new MS Cinderella, SF Line considered moving Mariella on to a proposed express Helsinki–Norrköping service aimed at passengers travelling with their cars. The plan never materialised, and Mariella continued to serve on the same route even after the Cinderella was delivered and placed as the third ship on the route. Following the bankruptcy of Rederi AB Slite in 1993, SF Line was left as the sole operator of the Viking Line name, but this had no effect on Mariella's traffic.

Mariella was the first ship to arrive at the scene of perished MS Estonia in September 1994. 15 survivors were picked up from the sea and another eleven were brought onboard by helicopters, as Mariella was used as the main helicopter platform.

During the 1996 summer season a short cruise from Helsinki to Tallinn was added to Mariella's schedule in place of the nine hours she normally spent in Helsinki. These "picnic cruises" proved to be unpopular and they were not continued the following summer. When the EU ended tax free sales on routes between member states in July 1999, Viking Line added a stop at Mariehamn, Åland to the Helsinki–Stockholm route. As Åland is not a part of the EU tax union, Viking Line could continue tax-free sales on its ships.

In September 2000 Mariella was refitted at Naantali with rear sponsons and a new fast rescue boat. Her interior was also brought up to date, the disco moved from deck eight to deck seven, and for some time after the refit she sported the text "Updated 06/10 2000" on her hull. Another large refit was carried out in September 2006, again at Naantali, which included rebuilding of the tax free shop and parfumerie, one restaurant and disco, as well as the addition of one new restaurant next to the Food Garden restaurant.


The ship has eleven decks, labelled from bottom to top:

  1. Engine room
  2. Anchor deck – C and economy-class cabins, Sauna and hot tubs
  3. Car deck – Trucks and buses.
    1. Upper car platform deck – can be lowered hydraulically to divide the car deck in two giving space for two layers of passenger cars
  4. Bell deck – B and A -class cabins, handicap accessible cabins, boarding
  5. Sextant deck – B, A and luxury-class cabins
  6. Info & Shopping deck – B, A and luxury -class cabins, suites. Tax-Free shop, Coffee & Joy -cafeteria, Childrens playroom, Game room, Information desk, boarding
  7. Restaurant deckThe Buffet -restaurant, Food Garden À la carte -restaurant, Ocean Grill -restaurant, Plate -restaurant. Club Mar -Night club, Bar Music Meister(live/ karaoke/ disco), Cava Bar, Casino
  8. Conference deckAuditorium, conference rooms, Sundeck
  9. Compass deck – Crew accommodations
  10. Captain's deck – Crew accommodations, Sundeck
  11. Bridge, Sundeck


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Asklander, Micke. "M/S Mariella (1985)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 12 January 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c "Mariella (14294)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved 12 January 2009. 
  3. ^ "M/S Mariella cut-away view". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 26 February 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2009. 
  4. ^ "Mariella PDF Brochure" (PDF). Viking Line. Retrieved 12 January 2009. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Mariella (ship, 1985) at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
MS Svea
World's Largest Cruiseferry
Succeeded by
MS Athena