MS Rosella

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Rosella arriving in Helsinki in autumn 2007.
Name: Rosella
Route: KapellskärMariehamn
Ordered: 18 January 1979
Builder: Wärtsilä Turku Shipyard, Turku, Finland
Laid down: 27 April 1979
Launched: 14 August 1979
Acquired: 25 April 1980
Maiden voyage: 23 May 1980
Status: In service
General characteristics
Type: Cruiseferry
Tonnage: 16,850 GT
Length: 136.11 m (446 ft 7 in)
Beam: 24.24 m (79 ft 6 in)
Draft: 5.4 m (17 ft 9 in)
Ice class: 1 A
  • 4 × Wärtsilä-Pielstick 12PC2-2V
  • 17,652 kW (combined)
Speed: 21.5 knots (39.8 km/h; 24.7 mph)
  • 1,700 passengers
  • 1,184 passenger beds
  • 350 vehicles

MS Rosella is a cruiseferry, built in 1980 by Wärtsilä Turku shipyard, Finland for SF Line, one of the owners of the Viking Line consortium. She currently serves Viking Line's KapellskärMariehamn route.


New vessels for SF Line[edit]

The market for transporting passengers, cars and cargo trucks across the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden grew steadily during the 1960s and the early 1970s. During these years, two major carriers on these services emerged: Viking Line and Silja Line. By the time of the mid 1970s, the Ålandian based shipping company SF Line operated three ships as a part of Viking Line. Although not more than ten years old, these ships was already beginning to be too small and held too few passenger cabins to meet the growing demand from passengers. In response to this, as well as the newbuilings recently added to the Silja Line fleet, SF Line decided to order two new and bigger ships. These ships would later be known as the MS Turella and the Rosella.


The lowest bid for building the two new vessels came from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. In order to save job opportunities in Finland, the Finnish state subsidised the construction of the new ships with 17 million Finnish markka.[1][2] Thus, the order for the ships eventually went to Wärtsilä and both ships were to be built at their shipyard in Turku, Finland.


SF Line's latest newbuilding was the Aurella, delivered to the company in 1973. The Aurella was of a new breed of ferries crossing the Baltic, she had two decks of public spaces along with two separate car decks. Inspired by the success of the Aurella, the newbuildings' design resembled her closely although more cabins and larger public spaces were added.[citation needed]


SF Line's earlier ships were all named with the suffix -ella with the prefix taken from names of the regions where the ships sailed. Thus the MS Kapella had her name taken from the port of Kapellskär, the MS Marella's from Mariehamn and the MS Aurella's from the Aura River in Turku. In this manner, the first of the newly built ships was named the Turella, the name deriving from the city of Turku.[citation needed] The second ship got her name, Rosella, from the region of Roslagen (the coastal areas north of Stockholm).[3]

Building and Delivery[edit]

The Turella was put into Viking Line traffic between Turku and Stockholm on June 15, 1979. The Rosella was laid down on April 27, 1979 and was launched on August 14, 1979. Nine months later, on April 25, 1980, the Rosella was delivered to SF Line. Due to a seaman's strike in Finland, the Rosella wasn't put into service until May 23 when she started sailing on the Naantali-Kapellskär route.

Service history[edit]

During her entire career, the Rosella has been a part of the fleet of Viking Line. She has served on the longest time and on more routes than any other Viking Line ship.

Turku–Mariehamn–Stockholm (1980–1988)[edit]

Along with Rederi Ab Sally, SF Line had opened the Viking Line route between Turku and Stockholm with the Marella in 1974. When delivered, the Rosella was SF Line's biggest and best suited ship for the route. The Rosella serviced on the route until the delivery of the Amorella on October 14, 1988.[citation needed]

Naantali–Mariehamn–Kapellskär (1988–1993)[edit]

In 1987 SF Line made an agreement with Stena Line to sell the Rosella to them once the Amorella was delivered in March 1988. However, the Amorella's delivery was delayed by seven months, meaning the Rosella could not be delivered to Stena in time for the summer season 1988, and SF Line had to pay them compensations. In the end Stena and SF Line reached an agreement where the Turella, which was in better condition and easier to convert for the traffic Stena planned her for, was sold instead of Rosella.[4] As a result the Rosella took over the Turella's role on the Naantali–Mariehamn–Kapellskär route, replacing her sister for the second time.[2]

Turku–Mariehamn–Stockholm (1994–1997)[edit]

After the collapse of Rederi AB Slite, the other Viking Line partner, in 1993, SF Line was forced to reorganise its operations. After construction of additional cabins in place of the cardeck on deck 4, Rosella returned to the Turku–Mariehamn–Stockholm route in January 1994.[2] During the summer seasons of 1995 and 1996 MS Cinderella replaced Rosella on the Turku route,[5] freeing her to operate car-passenger friendly Naantali route during the high season.[2]

Stockholm–Mariehamn cruises (1997–2003)[edit]

When Viking acquired MS Gabriella in 1997,[6] the Rosella was replaced on the Turku–Stockholm service by MS Isabella.[7] In the new situation the Rosella started making 24 (later 20/22) hour cruises from Stockholm to Mariehamn under the marketing name Dancing Queen during the winter season, but still returned to the Naantali–Mariehamn–Kapellskär route for the summer months. In 1999 the summer route's eastern terminus was changed to Turku, allowing Viking to give up the terminal at Naantali completely.[2]

Helsinki–Tallinn (2003–2008)[edit]

Fearing losses after the termination of tax-free sales between Finland and Estonia after Estonia joined the EU in 2004, Viking Line decided to swap the routes of Rosella and Cinderella in autumn 2003.[2][5] Rosella began a ferry-service between Helsinki and Tallinn with two daily departures from both ports, while the Cinderella (now renamed Viking Cinderella) took over Rosella's Stockholm–Mariehamn cruise itenary.[2] Due to high prices the Rosella's new route was extremely unpopular during the first year and the company strongly considered selling the ship.[citation needed] However, after prices were lowered the ship's popularity increased, to the extent that in 2006 Viking Line decided to order a new fast ferry for the Helsinki-Tallinn route, the MS Viking XPRS.[8] The Viking XPRS replaced Rosella on the route on April 28, 2008.

Kapellskär–Mariehamn (2008 onwards)[edit]

On 30 May 2008, the Rosella replaced the Ålandsfärjan on the KapellskärMariehamn route. She was supposed to be a temporary ship and then replaced by the newbuilding Viking ADCC in 2010.[3][9] However, when the building project was cancelled due to big delays at the shipyard MS Rosella became the permanent ship to sail on the route. In early 2011 MS Rosella underwent a major refurbishment where the public areas were extensively rebuilt and enlarged.

In February 2013, Viking Line announced that Rosella will be re-flagged to Finland.


  1. Engine room
  2. C-class cabins
  3. Cardeck
    1. Cardeck (hydraulic platform that can be lowered to divide the car deck in two giving space for two layers of passenger cars)
  4. B- and A-class cabins, suites
  5. Café Seaside, Sea Shop, children's playroom, "Air seats", smoking room, Pub/Café, Fun Club, Casino
  6. Viking Buffét, B- and A-class cabins, crew accommodations
  7. Crew accommodations, sundeck
  8. Crew accommodations, conference rooms
  9. Bridge[10]


  1. ^ (Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: MS Turella (1979), retrieved 26. 9. 2007
  2. ^ a b c d e f g (Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: MS Rosella (1980), retrieved 26 September 2007
  3. ^ a b "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. 
  4. ^ (Finnish) FCBS Forum: Sliten konkurssin syyt ja seuraukset + muuta 1980-90-l. taitteen Vikingistä, retrieved 26. 9. 2007
  5. ^ a b (Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: MS Cinderella (1989), retrieved 26. 9. 2007
  6. ^ (Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: MS Frans Suell (1992), retrieved 26. 9. 2007
  7. ^ (Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: MS Isabella (1989), retrieved 26. 9. 2007
  8. ^ Viking Line press release: Viking XPRS – a new concept on the Helsinki–Tallinn route, retrieved 26. 9. 2007
  9. ^ Törnroth-Särkinen, Titte (2008-04-09). "Rosella ersätter snart Ålfen". eNyan (in Swedish). Nya Åland. Retrieved 2008-04-09. 
  10. ^ Viking Line fact sheet on MS Rosella, retrieved 26. 9. 2007

External links[edit]

Media related to Rosella (ship, 1980) at Wikimedia Commons