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At sea, Shipyard

The Star Sister Sets Out on Her Journey

We meet Finncanopus, handed over to Finnlines a week ago, whose 5200 lane meters of cargo deck are already in full operation.

Finncanopus is the second Superstar class ro-pax giant delivered to Finnlines. In this post, we return to the handover ceremony a week ago, share the atmosphere of departure from the shipyard city of Weihai, and bring the latest news from Yantai, where the vessel is currently being loaded.

Handover Ceremonies, Part 2

Indeed, Finnlines has taken delivery of more than one vessel. Our fleet includes about twenty cargo or cargo-passenger ships, but the handover of Finncanopus was special. The now delivered Finncanopus is thus the newest vessel in our fleet. Additionally, the festivities were tinged with a sense of poignancy, as the handover of Finncanopus concluded our new building program for the time being.

The handover festivities for Finncanopus were conducted partly in the same way as with Finnsirius, but this time with more people attending. There was no longer any sign of restrictions related to the coronavirus, and since there is no immediate next handover in sight, more guests had arrived for that reason as well.

You can read about the festivities for the handover of the first superstar, Finnsirius, in one of our previous posts.

Blue, white, and a few other colors burst forth in a vibrant display on deck seven. The official part of the handover, with its marathon of signings, had concluded, and it was time to raise the Finnish flag. As the flag was hoisted, a splendid burst of colorful fireworks erupted. Waving the Finnish flag was Captain Jyrki Repo, the man tasked with steering Finncanopus to Finland.
After the flag-raising ceremony, the guests enjoyed refreshments.
In the Stellar Lounge, the celebratory crowd was served Finnlines cake…
…and a glass of sparkling wine. The drinks were poured by Finncanopus’ crew optimizer, Samppa Kemppainen.
Hosted by Kristiina Uppala, who is responsible for the service concept of the Superstars, the ship tour also included Finnlines’ CEO Tom Pippingsköld (on the right) and Juha Ahia, who led the new building team. The photo was taken in the Cargo Buffet area.

Final Fireworks in Weihai

The moment of departure arrived on Monday, 18th December 2023, just before noon. The temperature was around minus five degrees Celsius. Snow was falling gently.

Following Chinese tradition, fireworks had been a part of all previous shipbuilding celebratory events – and so it was this time too. Accompanied by the final rockets of Weihai, Finncanopus detached from the dock and set course towards Yantai.

Cast off! Finncanopus has cut its umbilical cord to the shipyard city of Weihai.
Finncanopus (circle in the center) has left Weihai and set course towards Yantai. Photo: MarineTraffic
The Journey of Finncanopus from Weihai to Yantai. Photo: MarineTraffic

Snow-Covered Vehicles Boarding

The port city of Yantai is located on the same coast as Weihai, also in Shandong province. Finncanopus made the journey quite comfortably at a speed of 12–14 knots, reaching the dock about five hours after departure, in the light of the afternoon.

In the port of Yantai, sailors who had previously traveled with Finnsirius witnessed a familiar sight: endless rows of new cars. In contrast to summer memories, the port was now covered with a ten-centimeter layer of snow.

The Superstars are 235-meter long cargo-passenger ships. Their car decks can carry more cars and wheeled cargo than any other car ferry in the Baltic Sea. Therefore, it makes sense to utilize such a magnificent cargo capacity, meaning Finncanopus will depart Yantai fully loaded.

In addition to loading, there’s plenty of work on all departments of the ship. The galley is preparing for the crew’s Christmas. The provisions are mainly local, but the Christmas mustard has been brought from Finland.

In the port of Yantai, new cars can be seen almost as far as the eye can see.
Snowfall is not at all uncommon, even though Yantai is located at approximately the same latitude as Athens.
The freshly driven vehicles to be transported as cargo are still covered in a veil of snow.
Like its sister ship, Finncanopus is a cargo-passenger vessel. However, on its upcoming inaugural work voyage, Finncanopus will serve primarily as a cargo ship. Passengers will be taken aboard only once operations commence in the Baltic Sea.
A wintry atmosphere prevails in the port of Yantai, where Finncanopus is being loaded. The next stage from Yantai is towards Singapore.