There was an icy return to Baltic service for the former Pride of Bilbao (1986/37,583gt), which launched St Peter Line’s Stockholm-St Petersburg route as Princess Anastasia (pictured) at the end of March.

Now sporting an all-white livery, the vessel originally linked Stockholm and Helsinki as Viking Line’s Olympia, until 17 years of P&O service between Portsmouth and Bilbao ended in September 2010. Princess Anastasia makes two return trips a week, one direct, and a second calling at Tallinn, Estonia, in each direction.

On 21 April St Peter Line celebrated the first anniversary of its Helsinki-St Petersburg service, which is maintained by Princess Maria (1981/34,093gt), another vessel that started life sailing between Sweden and Finland. She was Silja Line’s Finlandia and, before two decades in DFDS service as Queen of Scandinavia, the latter years on the North Sea first linking North Shields with IJmuiden, spent a final spell running from the Tyne to Stavanger and Bergen.


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