Construction of Finnlines’ Superstar duo making headway

The construction of Finnlines’ two Superstar ro-pax vessels has hit two major milestones in China, the company revealed.

The first vessel, Finnsirius, was launched on 30 August 2022 and the keel laying of the second one, Finncanopus, was celebrated on 1 September 2022. The company ordered the ships back in 2020 from China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai), previously known as AVIC Weihai.

The start of the construction of Finnsirius was announced in June 2021. Now that the vessel has hit the water, construction on the water will continue with final outfitting activities.

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Construction of the second Superstar ro-pax vessel is also proceeding and a keel laying ceremony took place at the China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) to officially mark the start of the construction, i.e. hull erection. The first steel for Finncanopus was cut at China Merchants Jinling Shipyard in Weihai, China on 8 October 2021.

Superstar ro-pax vessel Finncanopus
The construction of the second Superstar ro-pax vessel, Finncanopus, is progressing and the first keel-block of the new vessel was laid into the shipyard’s dry dock. Photo: Finnlines Plc.

Compared with the Star class vessels, the cargo carrying capacity of the Superstar ro-paxes will increase by 20%. Finnlines has designed cargo handling procedures so that they will be highly efficient for the Finland-Sweden route.

The combined freight-passenger vessel will have capacity for about 300 lorries, 200 cars and 1,100 passengers. The 1 A super Ice class vessels are 235 metres long and they utilise various emission reduction technologies.

Emission reduction technology

  • Shore power connection
  • Exhaust gas abatement
  • Waste heat recovery
  • Battery pack
  • Air lubrication
  • Auto-mooring
  • Ballast water treatment system

“Superstar ro-paxes will be larger than the existing Star class and they will be Finnlines’ flagships both in terms of size and technology, scaling up the connection and raising the standard offered to our customers,” says Antonio Raimo, Line Manager Finnlines.

The two freight-passenger vessels are scheduled to start operating from Finland to Sweden and Åland Islands in 2023.

“We are proud to introduce the next generation of ro-pax vessels, which will enter service in 2023. With the latest technologies and sustainable innovations, these large vessels will not only bring economies of scale to our customers, but also a lower environmental footprint. Our drive to continuously improve both operational and financial efficiency ensures that we can continue to invest in our fleet and grow with our customers,” says Tom Pippingsköld, President and CEO of Finnlines.

The next milestone for the Finnlines EUR 500-million Newbuilding Programme will be launching of the Finncanopus in January 2023.  The ro-pax vessels are expected to be delivered in the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2023. The programme also includes three hybrid ro-ro vessels already operating on Finnlines’ routes.