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Naming Parties Like Superstars

In the penultimate post of the blog series telling about the birth of Finnlines’ Superstar vessels, we pull back the curtain on the naming parties and introduce the ships’ godmothers.

The ship’s naming ceremony emphasizes the conclusion of the newbuild project. In this post, we return to the naming ceremony of Finncanopus, held on Valentine’s Day, and compare the festivities to those of its sister ship, Finnsirius. We also introduce the godmothers of the Superstar vessels, Tiina Ahola and Katariina Nurmi.

The naming ceremony of Finnsirius was celebrated in warm autumn weather on September 13, 2023. In the picture from left to right are Finnlines’ CEO Tom Pippingsköld, member of the Board of Naantali Port Christer Backman, godmother of Finnsirius Tiina Ahola, Chairman of the Board of Ahola Group Hans Ahola, Chairman of the Board of Naantali Port Markku Tuuna, Naantali Port’s Harbor Master Yrjö Vainiala, CEO Pasi Haarala, and Finnlines’ Staffan Herlin. Photo: Antti Angeria
The naming ceremony of Finncanopus was celebrated in winter weather, with snowflakes gently decorating the surroundings, on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2024. In the picture from left are Finnlines’ Line Manager Antonio Raimo, Director of Passenger Services Marco Palmu, and CEO Tom Pippingsköld, Finnlines’ board members Tiina Bäckman and Tapani Voionmaa, Finnlines’ Commercial Director Merja Kallio-Mannila, Finncanopus’ new godmother Katariina Nurmi, and Finncanopus’ captains Stefan Karell and Jyrki Repo, as well as Chief Engineer Johnny Sandström. Photo: Henri Juvonen

The Anatomy of Superstar Celebrations

We mentioned the importance of the naming ceremony a year ago, in the second post of our Superstar blog series. Now, we will unpack what the ceremony entailed for both Finnsirius and Finncanopus. Broadly speaking, the elements of the naming ceremony can be summarized as the bottle, speeches, and parties.

The Bottle

Both superstars were christened with champagne at the Port of Naantali. The technique for christening a ship is as follows. A two-meter pole is attached to extend away from the ship. A champagne bottle, wrapped in a bag, is tied to the end of the pole with a sufficiently long rope. The bottle and rope are tensioned into a waiting position far enough away, until it’s time to let gravity do its work. When the bottle is released, it hits the ship’s steel hull, breaking the bottle. Since the bottle is in a bag, the shards do not fly around.

The rituals of ship christening have long traditions. Throughout history, various beverages have been used for christening ships, such as red wine or even whisky. On a large scale, the champagne christening is a recent innovation, having started in the industrial era, only in the 19th century.

Champagne splashes on the side of Finnsirius on September 13, 2023. Photo: Antti Angeria
Pop! The champagne bottle has successfully shattered against the side of Finncanopus on February 14, 2024. Photo: Henri Juvonen


At the naming ceremony of both superstars, the official naming ceremony speech was given by the ship’s godmother, Tiina Ahola for Finnsirius, and Katariina Nurmi for Finncanopus. Naturally, Finnlines CEO Tom Pippingsköld also gave a speech. Other key figures, such as Marco Palmu and the vessels’ captains, had their turn to speak as well. During the naming ceremony of both ships, Kristiina Uppala led a ship tour for journalists.

“I hereby name this ship Finncanopus. May God Bless her and bring fair winds and good fortune to all who sail in her,” was the official naming ceremony speech as Finncanopus’ godmother, Katariina Nurmi, named the ship. Photo: Henri Juvonen
At the naming ceremony of Finncanopus, CEO Tom Pippingsköld gave a speech at Micke’s restaurant. Photo: Henri Juvonen
At the naming ceremony of Finnsirius, on the stage of Barrel Bay bar, Ellen Jokikunnas interviewed Finnlines’ Merja Kallio-Mannila. Photo: Antti Angeria


After the official naming ceremony and christening, both Finnsirius and Finncanopus hosted parties for invited guests, attended by hundreds. There were cocktail bites, champagne, and tastings from the menus of Fisherman’s Bistro and Micke’s restaurant.

The invitee party for Finnsirius was held in Naantali. For Finncanopus, the ship set sail towards Stockholm shortly after the christening, and the larger public reception was held at the dock in front of the Fotografiska museum.

Champagne service and cocktail bites on the bridge of Finncanopus. Photo: Henri Juvonen
The atmosphere of the invitee evening at Barrel Bay following the christening ceremony of Finnsirius. Photo: Antti Angeria
At Finnsirius’ invitee evening, Aili Ikonen & Quintet performed. Photo: Antti Angeria

Superstar Godmothers

Ships often have a designated godmother, and Finnsirius and Finncanopus are no exception in this regard. Both godmothers represent Finnlines’ freight customers.

The godmother of Finnsirius, Tiina Ahola, represents the Finnish logistics company Ahola, which has over 60 years of tradition in freight transport.

“The invitation to be a godmother was a positive surprise. It had never crossed my mind that such an invitation could ever come my way. I see this as a unique opportunity and a great honor for me and the entire Ahola Group,” said Tiina Ahola.

The godmother of Finncanopus is Katariina Nurmi. She represents the transport company DB Schenker, which is a global transportation company originating from Germany.

“The role of godmother is truly unique and an honor, something I could have never expected,” commented Katariina Nurmi on her selection as godmother.

Both godmothers praised the new ships as splendid and impressive. What aspects would the godmothers particularly highlight about their own ships?

“Finncanopus conceals within it such wonderful spaces, but the Stellar lounge is one of my favorites, where one can combine work and pleasure. The ship’s top deck terrace area is also a fantastic place where one can enjoy the magnificent views of the Archipelago Sea. As someone who likes to stay active, I naturally also love the spa and gym,” Nurmi responded.

Tiina Ahola finds it difficult to name just one favorite area.

“Everywhere is so nice, fresh, and spacious. Finnsirius is like a fine hotel with changing sea views. One could enjoy staying on board for a longer time! While the Naantali–Kapellskär route has traditionally been considered a freight line, I now think it’s the best choice for families with children as well.”

Finncanopus’ godmother Katariina Nurmi. Photo: Henri Juvonen
Finnsirius’ godmother Tiina Ahola. Photo: Antti Angeria