MS Regina Baltica
MS Regina Baltica en route to Stockholm in April 2009.
|Port of registry:|
|Builder:||Wärtsilä Perno shipyard, Turku, Finland|
|Launched:||15 February 1980|
|Acquired:||29 August 1980|
|In service:||30 August 1980|
|Status:||Floating hotel, North sea, Bard 1 wind farm|
|General characteristics (as built)|
|Length:||145.19 m (476 ft 4 in)|
|Beam:||25.51 m (83 ft 8 in)|
|Draught:||5.52 m (18 ft 1 in)|
|Ice class:||1 A|
|Speed:||21.3 knots (39.4 km/h; 24.5 mph)|
MS Regina Baltica is a cruiseferry owned by the Estonian shipping company Tallink. She was built in 1980 as Viking Song by Wärtsilä Perno shipyard, Finland for Rederi Ab Sally, one of the owners of the Viking Line consortium. She has also sailed under the names Braemar (for Fred Olsen Lines) and Anna Karenina (for Baltic Shipping Co.).
Viking Line and Fred. Olsen service
Delivered in August 1980, Viking Song was the last newbuilding delivered to Rederi Ab Sally for use on Viking Line's routes. She served alongside her sister Viking Saga on the route connecting Helsinki, Finland to Stockholm. Although she was the newer of the two ships, when SF Line brought their new Mariella to Helsinki–Stockholm service in 1985, the Viking Song was withdrawn from service and sold to Norwegian Fred. Olsen Lines.
After rebuilding at Blohm + Voss, Hamburg where a second storey was added to her nightclub, Viking Song emerged as Fred. Olsen's new MS Braemar. She was initially set on a route connecting Oslo, Norway with Harwich, UK, although her route varied a lot during the next five years, with Hirtshals, Denmark replacing or appearing alongside Harwich as the main destination. In December 1990 Fred. Olsen sold their ferry operations to the new Color Line, however Braemar was not included in the sale and she was laid up.
Russian Army and Baltic Line
In January 1991 Braemar was chartered to Baltic Shipping Company and renamed Baltica for planned service between St. Petersburg, Russia and Stockholm. This service was never realised however, and for the time being the only change was moving the ship to Hamburg where she was again laid up. Later in the same month the ship was sub-chartered to the Russian army for transporting troops out of former East Germany. The ship, renamed Anna Karenina, was badly vandalised by the troops transported on board, and had to be docked in Hamburg afterwards for repairs.
March 1991 finally saw the beginning of a service out of St. Petersburg, when Anna Karenina started traffic on the St. Petersburg–Nynäshamn–Kiel route for Baltic Line. In 1995 St. Petersburg was dropped from the itinerary. In January 1996 Baltic Line was declared bankrupt and Anna Karenina (soon renamed Anna K.) returned to Fred. Olsen for laying up in Germany.
Anna K. was sold to EstLine (a daughter company of Nordström & Thulin, Sweden and ESCO, Estonia) in 1996 for service between Tallinn, Estonia and Stockholm, Sweden. She was renamed Regina Baltica. In 1997 Nordström & Thulin withdrew from Estline leaving ESCO as the sole owner of the company. ESCO later changed its name to Hansatee Shipping. At the end of 2000 the name Estline was abandoned and the Tallinn–Stockholm service became a part of Tallink. In May 2004 a call at Mariehamn was added to maintain tax-free sales on board.
In spring 2005 the ship was temporarily chartered to NATO for training exercises in Norway. On 28 September 2005 the ship ran aground in Swedish waters near Kapellskär. There were no victims in the accident, which happened on the day of the 11th anniversary of the sinking of the Estonia. In April 2006 Regina Baltica made three trips between Tallinn and Helsinki, due to the ice situation being so bad that all of Tallink's normal ships on the route could not traffic. On May of the same year MS Romantika replaced her on the Tallinn–Mariehamn–Stockholm route, and Regina Baltica was moved to Stockholm–Riga route, where she replaced Fantaasia. In August of the same year the Regina Baltica's homeport was changed from Tallinn to Riga.
The Regina Baltica was withdrawn from service with Tallink in April 2009, when she was replaced by Romantika in the Stockholm–Riga service. Subsequently she was chartered to the Spain-based Acciona Trasmediterránea and entered service their Almería–Nador route on 25 June 2009. On 20 September 2009 she was returned to Tallink and laid up in Riga. In the end of May 2010 Regina Baltica was again chartered to Acciona Trasmediterránea, serving first on their Algeciras–Tangier route and from June on the Almeria—Nador route. This charter will last until 3 September 2010.
On 11 September 2010 Regina Baltica arrived in Vágur, Faroe Islands. She was chartered to Strandfaraskip Landsins for four weeks from 17 September onwards for use on the service linking Tórshavn to Tvøroyri in Suðuroy while the regular ferry on the route – the Smyril – undergoes a docking in Denmark. The first journey was from Vágur in Suðuroy, but the rest of the time Regina Baltica was embarking and disembarking from Krambatangi ferry port near Tvøroyri. The schedule had to be changed, because it takes longer time to embark with Regina Baltica, therefore the ferry can't sail 3 times daily from Tórshavn three times weekly like Smyril did, but two times daily every day.  Smyril came back again on 15 October 2010, and went back on its route on the same day. Regina Baltica sailed for the last time from Tórshavn at 13:00 to Vágur. Smyril left from Krambatangi ferry port at 15:30 according to the planned schedule. Regina Baltica was lying at the port of Vágur for 6 days. The ferry left Vágur on 21 October 2010.
From June to September in 2011 Regina Baltica sailed in the Mediterranean sea, on route Almeria (Spain) - Nador (Morocco).
From February 2012 Regina Baltica served as a floating hotel in Sheringham, England. She arrived Harwich in the beginning of February.
From April 2013 "Regina Baltica" serves as a floating hotel for the Bard Offshore1 windfarm, Germany. April 2014 to 2017 she served as a floating hotel in Lerwick Shetland
In 2017 she was bought by Balearia
- Asklander, Micke. "M/S Viking Song (1980)". Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
- "Wärtsilä built car/passenger ferries Viking Saga & Viking Song". Fakta om Fartyg. Wärtsilä. Archived from the original on 14 June 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
- "13,900 GRT car/passenger ferry Viking Saga & Viking Song". Fakta om Fartyg. Wärtsilä. Archived from the original on 14 June 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
- "Tallink company presentation" (PDF). Tallink. November 2008. Retrieved 18 November 2008.[permanent dead link]
- SSL.fo Archived 20 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, (in Faroese)
- SSL.fo Archived 20 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Ferðætlan hjá M/F Regina Baltica (Time Schedule of M/F Regina Baltica).
- Sudurras1.com[permanent dead link] (in Faroese)
- Skipini.com Archived 14 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Smyril aftur í sigling.
- Skipini.com Archived 14 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Regina Baltica farin avstað (Regina Baltica has left).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Regina Baltica (ship, 1980).|
- (in Swedish) M/S Viking Song (1980) at Fakta om Fartyg
- (in Swedish) Company website for Regina Baltica