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What’s up, Finncanopus?

Under the sunny autumn sky, a blue and white ship gleams. The vessel looks familiar. It’s the Superstar! But wait, this isn’t the TV-famous Finnsirius. Adorning the bow are letters as tall as Stella the dog, spelling out the name of another star, Finncanopus.

Returning to our blog, we now head to the Weihai shipyard in China, where Finnlines’ second superstar, Finncanopus, is rapidly nearing completion. The ship’s auxiliary engines are already producing electricity, a gentle plume of exhaust emanates from the funnel, fluids flow through the pipeline corridors, propellers are spinning, and the main engines are undergoing testing. While a thousand tasks remain, a million things are already in place.

A star in the dry dock

We last met Finncanopus in July when our blog journeyed with Finnsirius towards Finland. The work on Finncanopus in Weihai has progressed well, and the vessel will be ready for sea trials within a couple of weeks.

Finncanopus was launched in December 2022, and since then, it was built alongside the pier. The siblings, Finncanopus and Finnsirius, floated together in the dry dock for seven months, at times literally side by side, until Finnsirius left Weihai for Finland.

Now that we have returned to the shipyard, ten months have passed since Finncanopus was launched. The vessel had just undergone a dry-docking, where its underwater components were inspected and painted. The propellers were cleaned, and Finncanopus was getting ready for an exciting inclining test.

Finncanopus in dry dock. After ten months in seawater, the vessel unquestionably floats.

Up through the car deck

During the dry-docking, access to the inner workings of Finncanopus was through the stern ramp, on deck three. The car decks looked familiar, empty, and impressive. Although Finnsirius is a well-known sight on the roads, walking into Finncanopus once again left an impression. The Superstars are among the largest ro-pax ferries in the Baltic Sea. Finncanopus can carry the same amount of cargo as its sister, approximately 5200 meters. So, these ropax giants really come in pairs!

Finnlines’ new Superstar vessels are of the ro-pax type, meaning they are passenger-cargo ships. What sets them apart from a ‘typical’ Baltic Sea car ferry are the enormous, two-deck-high cargo decks designed to transport various trucks and other heavy vehicles. Finncanopus, too, boasts an impressive 5200 meters of lane meters.

Completed and Incomplete: A Photo Tour Inside Finncanopus

We arrived at the arcade area and embarked on a tour – welcome along! Below, you’ll find a series of pictures where many who have visited Finnsirius can spot familiar places. While walking around Finncanopus, you’ll notice that the walls, floors, and ceilings are in place, and most of the fixed furniture has been installed. In some areas, it looks like customers could step on board tomorrow! However, we’re not quite there yet. For example, full-floor carpets cover protective sheets, and the hanging ropes indicate that some installations are still pending.

Since Finnsirius’ cabins have already been featured, this time, we captured an image of the senior officer’s cabin. We also took a few pictures of the mess.

In the arcade area of Finncanopus, the full-floor carpet is protected. Some loose furniture is still missing. The panoramic windows of the arcade don’t yet reveal the Åland archipelago, but that time will come soon too.
Cabin corridor on Deck Nine. Finncanopus’ cabin layout is the same as on Finnsirius, so if you’ve already found your favorite cabin on Finnsirius, you can book the exact same cabin on Finncanopus! The final tests were underway in the cabins. Mattresses will be installed next week. A few loose pieces of furniture were still missing.
This time, we took a picture of a crew cabin, which, in addition to a bed, a sofa, and shelves, features a workstation with screens. In the picture, it’s a senior officer’s cabin, of which there are four on the ship. The cabin is missing the final touches, such as artwork, bedding, and a television.
In the spa stairwell, a protective glass screen is being installed for the display.
Micke’s restaurant is starting to look familiar. It’s funny to compare the view to what a finished Finnsirius looks like. Even the orange juice machine is in place – it stands in the same spot on Finnsirius. Soon, premium breakfast will be served here as well. Or could someone be making an Eggs Benedict dish already? A glass of sparkling wine would also be delightful…
The serving island in the Stellar Lounge is already looking familiar. The equipment is in place but covered with plastic. In the background, you can see the seats on the lounge’s starboard side.
Finncanopus’ mess is practically ready. The floor plan is exactly the same as on Finnsirius.
The terrace of the mess is almost ready, pending the removal of protective plastic.

The restaurant world built around the elevators

For those who crave a peek behind the scenes of ship life, even a seemingly simple thing like a small, yet significant, goods elevator might pique their interest – something that passengers may not fully appreciate.

The food worlds of the Superstars are centered at the bow. The main kitchens on both vessels have the same number and layout of kitchen equipment. There are very minor differences as well. Observations made during operational activities on Finnsirius have allowed certain aspects to be built into Finncanopus while still at the shipyard. These include things like the placement of various shelves and storage spaces. Storage space within the kitchen has been maximized to ensure that pots and pans are readily accessible.

And then there’s the essential elevator. The food elevator travels from the main kitchen to Decks 11 and 12. With this elevator, prepared trays can be transported to places like the Cargo Buffet or pre-prepared items to Deck 11, or Me & Co Area catering to Deck 12. It could be said that the entire restaurant world of the Superstars revolves around the food elevator. This ‘hidden’ elevator operation is out of sight for passengers, but the importance of the food elevator cannot be overstated, as smooth daily logistics are crucial in this type of environment.

Vertical movement is also required when sourcing raw materials. The storage areas are located right at the bottom, on Decks 1 and 2, where provisions are stored. The main storage area is accessible from the main kitchen through a large service elevator, exclusively for crew use.

Similarly, the Sailor’s Shop’s inventory management requires vertical movement, but from a different part of the ship, midship. Service Elevator Number Two is dedicated to transporting Sailor’s Shop goods, ensuring a smooth flow of duty-free items from the storerooms to the store shelves.

The shape of the food elevator door reveals its purpose. However, the elevator is not designed for hobbits but for transporting food.
Equipment in Finncanopus’ main galley.

On deck, bubble wrap

At the Spa Barista, we made a quick stop on the Under the Stars terrace. Most of the furniture is in place, but everything is still wrapped in bubble wrap because various installations are still ongoing, and this is done to prevent any damage.

The area of Finncanopus’ Under the Stars terrace where the furniture is still wrapped in bubble wrap. Fun fact: the green mound seen on the left in the picture is a massive outdoor memorial. This hill used to be the site of a historical lookout point, from which the sea was watched for impending dangers. Now, the memorial hill is surrounded by the shipyard.
Furniture in bubble wrap and the funnel of Finncanopus.

On the bridge

During our visit, Finncanopus’ bridge appeared tranquil. We met senior electrical inspector Danut Hornean in the midst of inspection work, testing fire alarms.

The overall appearance on the bridge seemed ready. Just remove the coverings, and full speed ahead! Well, not quite, but in a little over a week, it will be time to remove the covers as Finncanopus’ sea trials are about to begin.

Danut Hornea, senior electrical inspector, is conducting fire alarm testing on the bridge.

The Familiar Incline Test

We were just about to hit the publish button for the blog when things started happening at the shipyard. Forklifts began to whisk ten-ton steel giants onto the deck. It could only mean one thing: Finncanopus’ incline test had begun!

The preparations for the incline test seemed like a familiar operation, as a forklift rally also marked the start of Finnsirius’ incline test. The test went smoothly in much the same way for both star sisters.

Finncanopus’ incline test was carried out in the same dry dock where Finnsirius had been inclined in June.
Finnlines’ site manager Tudor Gabriel Tatoiu and quality controller Xie Xie measure and record, among other things, the seawater temperature and density on the test day.
Quality controller Xie Xie measures the wind speed on the incline test day.
Monitoring and recording the inclination during the incline test from outside the ship.
In the picture, the incline weights have been brought by forklift to the starboard side of Deck 7. In the background on the right, you can see the stern terrace outdoor decks 9-12.

It will take a little over a week for the incline test report for Finncanopus to be completed. The next significant milestone for Finncanopus is the sea trials, which will be slightly shorter than those of Finnsirius, as Finnsirius has already conducted some of the general tests for the Superstar class of vessels.

The Award-Winning Sister

Speaking of Finnsirius, how is she doing? Take a look! Finnsirius sails in regular daily traffic on the Naantali–Långnäs–Kapellskär route. Finnsirius has also received good media coverage. We are incredibly proud of the vessel. After all, it was selected as the Ropax Vessel of the Year for 2023!

A sign reminding of the Ropax Vessel of the Year award has been attached to the wall of Finnsirius’ information area.
“Ferry shipping summit Award for the ro-pax of the Year 2023, Finnsirius. This Award for the ro-pax of the year is proudly presented to Finnlines.”