Birka Cruises’ Birka Paradise (2002/34,924gt) was unexpectedly renamed Birka Stockholm in January. The ship is one of three regular ships that operated overnight round-trip cruises to Mariehamn in the Aland Islands from Stockholm.
Anedin Line’s Birger Jarl has recently been withdrawn while that company undergoes a reconstruction, and the third vessel is Viking Line’s Viking Cinderella. No indication has been given as to why the name has been changed. Birka Line, part of the Aland Island-based Eckero Group, has been operating short cruises from Stockholm since 1986, initially with Birka Princess (1986/22,412gt), the ship that, as Louis Cruises’ Sea Diamond, sank off Santorini in 2007.
In 1992 Birka also briefly used what is now Fred. Olsen’s Boudicca as Birka Queen, but this was not a success. Although Birka Paradise operates the short service to Mariehamn, she does undertake longer cruises in the Baltic.