MS Silja Europa
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MS Silja Europa
|Port of registry:|
|Builder:||Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany|
|Launched:||23 January 1993|
|Length:||201.8 m (662 ft 1 in)|
|Beam:||32.5 m (106 ft 8 in)|
|Draught:||6.8 m (22 ft 4 in)|
|Ice class:||1 A Super|
|Propulsion:||Two shafts; controllable pitch propellers|
|Speed:||21.5 knots (39.8 km/h; 24.7 mph)|
MS Silja Europa, owned and operated by Tallink, is one of the largest cruiseferries in the world. It was built at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany for the ferry operator Rederi AB Slite, a part of Viking Line. Main architect was Per Dockson, Sweden.
The ferry was already painted in Viking Line's colors and almost ready to be handed over, when the Swedish krona was devaluated by 10%, which led Slite into economical difficulties. Slite could not pay for the ship so Meyer Werft kept it and soon managed to charter it to Viking Line's rival, Silja Line. It was put on the Helsinki–Stockholm route, replacing MS Silja Serenade which was put to the Turku–Mariehamn–Stockholm route, but Silja Europa and Silja Serenade had to exchange routes in 1995 as Silja Serenade had troubles navigating in the Turku archipelago.
A McDonald's restaurant was located onboard Silja Europa from its maiden trip until 1996 when it was closed down and replaced by Silja Line's own hamburger restaurant.
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Europa was launched on January 23, 1993 and christened the Silja Europa in Hamburg, Germany on March 5, 1993.
- March 6, 1993. Registered to Fährschiff Europa KB, Mariehamn, Finland. Chartered to Silja Line for a period of 10 years.
- March 14, 1993. Replaces the Silja Serenade on the Helsinki–Stockholm route. Makes its maiden voyage.
- September 28, 1994. Is the first vessel to receive the Mayday message from the sinking MS Estonia. The rescue operation, where dozens of ships participate, is first led by the Silja Europa's captain, Esa Mäkelä.
- January 12, 1995. Replaces the Silja Serenade on the Turku–Mariehamn–Stockholm route.
- January 13, 1995. Runs aground close to Furusund, due to misconfigured steering electronics. Continues under its own power to Stockholm, where it is taken out of service and delivered to Naantali for repair.
- January 18, 1995. Back in traffic.
- October 10, 1996. Early in the morning, a passenger reports to the reception that he has seen someone jump overboard. This is reported to the captain, who forwards it to the Swedish coast guard. However, the captain does not stop the ship but continues to Stockholm. Later, the Swedish coast guard finds the person, a female passenger, in the sea. Her body temperature is very low and she dies a couple of days later in the hospital of hypothermia. The ship's captain is later prosecuted for not stopping as he should have, and is found guilty but is not punished.
- August 20, 1997. Collides with a German sailing-boat in a fog, south of Lemland. A German couple and their dog are rescued by one of Silja Europa's lifeboats. The sailing-boat begins to take on water and is later towed to Degerby on Föglö by the Coast Guard.
- August 1, 1998. Silja Europa is close to colliding with the Greek cruise ship Jason in the Stockholm archipelago between the islands of Värmdö and Rindö.
- November 21, 1998. At about 2 AM in the night, when Silja Europa was berthing at the port of Mariehamn, she crashed into the pier due to a strong squall. She received minor damages and had to stay in Mariehamn for a while to have the damage inspected.
- July 1, 1999. Placed on the Turku–Mariehamn/Långnäs–Stockholm route; she had to stop at Åland both on the way to Stockholm and back in order to facilitate tax free sales.
- December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000. A special millennium cruise from Turku to Kapellskär.
- January, 2000. Catalytic converter installed at Aker Finnyards in Rauma. The funnel is also painted blue, and the safety system is renewed.
- May 8, 2000. The Finnish Seamen's Union requests Silja Europa, Silja Serenade and GTS Finnjet not to leave their harbours. This is a protest against Silja Line recruiting a crew with no proper employment contract on their new HSC SuperSeaCat Four speedliner. Silja Europa, however, leaves Turku three hours late. The other ships leave their harbours the next morning. Silja Europa doesn't embark any passengers in Stockholm the next day.
- July 19, 2000. Encounters problems with one of the propellers and is taken out of service for five days. An attempt is made to fix the problem in the port of Turku, but it turns out to be a problem on the exterior of the ship. The passengers that have come to Turku and need to get back to Stockholm have to wait the entire day in Turku harbour. They are finally allowed back on board at 2 AM. Silja Europa had to be taken to the yard in Helsinki as the one in Naantali was occupied.
- January 3, 2001. Silja Line announces that Silja Europa will start sailing to Kapellskär instead of Stockholm in the winter, and to Stockholm only in summertime. The reason is given as changed passenger requirements although the real reason is assumed to relate to high fuel prices.
- January 7, 2001 to January 19, 2001. Stops at Långnäs instead of Mariehamn.
- March 1, 2001 to May 14, 2001. Moved to the Turku–Mariehamn/Långnäs–Kapellskär route.
- March 18, 2001. Encounters problems with the autopilot when arriving in Turku; the engine supervision system gives continuous false alarms and Silja Europa starts sailing in a circle. She is escorted to Turku by three tugs. One cruise has to be canceled while the system is overhauled.
- May 15, 2001 to August 31, 2001. Back on the Turku–Mariehamn/Långnäs–Stockholm route.
- July 4, 2001. Has to wait outside Mariehamn for a couple of hours as the Viking Line ships Amorella and Isabella cannot leave their berths. There was an electrical black-out in Mariehamn and their boarding ramps couldn't be withdrawn earlier without electricity.
- September 1, 2001. Placed on the Turku–Mariehamn/Långnäs–Kapellskär route.
- September 2, 2001. Is somewhat delayed as she has to stop to participate in a search for a person missing from another ship.
- October 2, 2001. Fire is set to a cabin but is extinguished quickly. Instead of Kapellskär, the ship is taken to Stockholm where the Swedish police arrest one man.
- December 23, 2001 to December 25, 2001. A special Christmas cruise from Turku to Stockholm.
- May 5, 2002 to August 31, 2002. Back on the Turku–Mariehamn/Långnäs–Stockholm route.
- August 31, 2002. Interior renewed at Vuosaari in Helsinki.
- September 8, 2002. Back in traffic. Placed on the Turku–Mariehamn/Långnäs–Kapellskär route.
- September 28, 2002. A female passenger falls overboard and swims to a nearby islet, from where she is rescued later.
- December 24, 2002 to December 26, 2002. A special Christmas cruise on the route Turku–Långnäs–Stockholm.
- May 5, 2003. Placed on the Turku–Mariehamn/Långnäs–Stockholm route.
- September 9, 2003. Placed on the Turku–Mariehamn/Långnäs–Kapellskär route.
- December 22, 2003 to December 26, 2003. Temporarily on the Turku–Mariehamn/Långnäs–Stockholm route.
- January 22, 2004 to January 29, 2004. Serving as a hotel ship in Stockholm
- May 3, 2004 to August 29, 2004. Placed on the Turku–Mariehamn/Långnäs–Stockholm route.
- November 23, 2009. On a scheduled trip from Stockholm to Turku, the ship's steering mechanism was reported to have been damaged near the port of Mariehamn. The ferry proceeded to run in small circles between the skerries until early next morning when two tugboats escorted it to Turku.
- November 30, 2009. The ferry arrived in Gdańsk, Poland for repairs at Gdańsk Shiprepair Yard "Remontowa" SA after a rudder failure.
- May 21, 2012 to June 1, 2012: The new logo for Silja Line is painted on the sides.
- January 23, 2013: The ship entered Tallink's Helsinki–Tallinn service 
- July 21, 2014: Tallink announced that Silja Europa would be chartered to Australia for 14 months, with the possibility of extending the charter up to 4 years. The ship is to be used as an accommodation vessel supporting the Gorgon LNG Project at Barrow Island.
- September 2015: ship is for sale in yachtworld 
- January 20, 2016: Tallink announced that they bring the renewed Silja Europa back to Tallinn–Helsinki route.
- March 13, 2016: Silja Europa returned to Tallink's Helsinki–Tallinn service.
- "Silja Europa flyttar till Tallinntrafiken". Svenska YLE. 2012-11-08.
- "Silja Europa hyrs ut till Australien" (in Swedish). YLE. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
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