After retiring from active international duty last October due to new SOLAS requirements , the former Kristina Regina has taken up permanent residence on Turku’s river Aura opposite the old Wärtsilä shipyard and next to the square-rigger Suomen Joutsen. New owner Johnny Sid, who failed in an earlier bid to save the GTS Finnjet from Indian breakers, has got her new life off to a successful start.
Built in Oskarshamn, Sweden in 1960 as Bore, the vessel has been a ferry and cruise ship for a variety of owners and travelled far from her native Baltic when Kristina Cruises made her their flagship vessel in 1987. She was re-built to accommodate 245 passengers in one- and two-berth cabins for Finnish passengers, at her home port of Kotka. The company was one of the pioneers of the fly-cruise business and the ship was a familiar sight in the Baltic, Mediterranean and Black Seas, as well as Britain, the Faroes and Iceland.
Now resplendent in the original Bore Line livery following repainting at Naantali Ship Repair Yard, she is to be used as a hostel/hotel, restaurant, conference and museum ship. The city’s tourist bureau, Turku Touring, has signed a long-term deal to rent 38 passenger and 20 crew cabins year-round as a hostel.