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Viking Line’s Mariella heads to the Med

The 1985-built stalwart Mariella, from the overnight Helsinki-Stockholm route, has been sold to Corsican Ferries for €19.6 million on a bareboat HP deal. She was put up for sale last autumn.

Delivery was made in May while operations for the new owner will start ub late-June after livery repainting and refurbishment.

A product of Wärtsilä Marine Turku yard, Mariella measures 176m by 28.5m, with a 6.8m draught. At 37,860gt she was one the world’s biggest ro-pax car ferries between 1985 and 1989 when operated by SF Line, which was then one of three partners in the Viking Line brand.

Able to transport 2,500 passengers all in cabins plus 980 lane metres for up to 430 cars or 60 trucks, she will significantly raise capacity on whichever route CF puts the ship on.

During Covid, the Helsinki-Stockholm route was suspended with all four vessels (Silja Line’s two and VL’s Gabriella) either laid up or doing national or non-disembarkation cruises.

Thus the sale helps VL’s liquidity as her book value was just €5.7 million.

Possible replacements are Viking Cinderella or Amorella that becomes surplus next January when Viking Glory arrives from China.

As CF’s Mega Regina, she will probably replace one of the older and much smaller ferries Sardinia Vera or Sardinia Regina, but joins at least three former Finnish-built Baltic ferries. Her top ice class 1A Super is unlikely to be tested again.

Mariella proved to be reliable with only three incidents – an engine room fire, a power failure and sprinkler accident – while taking part in the 1994 Estonia rescue operation in her logbook.

Photo and report by John Pagni

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