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Finncanopus: A Stopover in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Finncanopus is making a long sea journey from China to Finland. It was time for another stopover. Now the crew also had the opportunity to catch their breath in a city that has been a familiar holiday destination for many Finns for decades.

Finncanopus, Finnlines’ newest passenger-cargo ship, has traveled a long distance from Weihai, China. Now, the vessel made a stop at the port of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria. This was a routine stop, but what made the stop significant was the fact that Finncanopus was visiting a port located in the European Union for the first time.

Finncanopus approaching Gran Canaria on Thursday, January 25, 2024. In the top right corner of the map, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are visible. The coast of Africa is glimpsed in the bottom right. Tenerife appears to the west of Gran Canaria. Image: MarineTraffic

Saharan Sand

Walking on the deck of the Finncanopus, one could sometimes hear the crunch of sand underfoot. In Finland, sidewalks are usually sanded at this time of year, but one wouldn’t expect to need this on a ship’s deck – especially when in warm temperatures. However, the sand was entirely natural, from the Sahara – memories from the journey that had accumulated on the outer decks and windows since Durban. The crew had spent days cleaning these remnants, but the desert sand was persistent.

The route of the Finncanopus from South Africa towards Gran Canaria at times closely followed the African coast. The wind brought substantial amounts of sand onto the deck, which stubbornly remained on board all the way to the port visit in Las Palmas. After a significant cleaning effort, the sands were finally washed off the deck.

Spanish Delicacies

In Las Palmas, the planned crew changes, as well as the replenishment of fuel and provisions, were intended to be handled while at anchor, from the sea. However, plans changed, and the ship docked at the quay on Thursday evening. It was time for the anticipated provisions – this time, of course, with a Spanish twist. The ship was loaded with various Spanish delicacies: Iberico ham, cheeses, ice cream, dulce de leche Alfajor cookies, as well as fresh dairy products and vegetables.

Waiting for local provisions is always an enjoyable and exciting experience. This encapsulates one of the magical aspects of sailing the world’s seas. The food that the crew eats is literally from the last port of departure, made from ingredients of that region. We discussed this topic before, for example, when Finnsirius visited Italy in the summer.

Head Chef Dan Grönvall and a hefty Iberico ham.
De Dulce De Leche, meaning Spanish sweet treats.
Spanish cheeses were also obtained for provisions.

A Visit to the Streets of Las Palmas

For the crew, the stopover meant an opportunity to disembark from the ship for the first time in almost a month at sea. The warm weather of Las Palmas welcomed those who came ashore. Many had been here before on vacation, but this time the perspective and mode of transportation were new.

Bow Towards New Adventures

On Friday, January 26, 2024, Finncanopus left Las Palmas behind. The beautiful morning sunrise and the Spanish flag waving in the background created a memorable departure image. The ship’s bow turned towards Algeria, towards the port of Djen Djen, where Finncanopus is expected to arrive in a few days.