GTS Finnjet - Timeline of Key Events

/ Risto Kempas

GTS FINNJET - TIMELINE OF KEY EVENTS

FHS version 1.2.

1970's

Date (dd.mm.yyyy) Event Description
05.12.1973 Ordered1
02.05.1975 Keel laid at the Wärtsilä Hietalahti shipyard in Helsinki, Finland.
28.03.1976 Swum up in building dock without ceremony.
09.12.1976 Sea trials until 12.12.1976.
01.03.1977 Sailed to Kiel, West-Germany for the painting of the underwater hull, also called at Travemünde, West-Germany for trial berthing.
14.03.1977 Second sea trials
28.04.1977 Delivered to Enso-Gutzeit Oy (c/o Oy Finnlines Ltd.), Helsinki (1576); Christened FINNJET by Mrs. Annikki Mattila, wife of Olavi J. Mattila, chairman of the board of Enso-Gutzeit Oy.
01.05.1977 Due to Finnish seamen's strike, the maiden voyage had to be postponed by two weeks.
12.05.1977 Gas turbine test drives.
13.05.1977 Commenced liner traffic on the route Helsinki-Travemünde
16.05.1977 Collided with the berth in Travemünde, minor damages to the bow door.
06.06.1977 Stowaway passengers discovered in a lifeboat.
16.11.1977 Bow visor damaged in heavy waters, visor is inoperable.
22.08.1978 Gearbox damage forces reduced speed.
09.02.1978 Stuck in ice and freed with tug assistance.

1980's

Date Event Description
05.1980 Docked at HDW, Kiel.
16.06.1980 During docking installation of a hoistable car deck, capacity for 24 more cars added.
08.11.1980 Due to strikes out of traffic until 15.11.1980
24.10.1981 Installation of two diesel-electric engines at Amsterdamsche Droogbok Maatschappij BV until 11.12.1981 in Amsterdam, Holland.
01.02.1982 Remeasured: 25 042 GRT / 10 360 NRT / 1885 dwt.
25.05.1982 to 28.05 arrived at Helsinki for minor refurbishment.
13.08.1982 A refugee from the German Democratic Republic was taken onboard whilst traveling on an inflatable beach mattress, the crew hindered Finnish officials from deporting the refugee back to GDR, subsequently the crews handed the man over to West-German authorities.
1982 During winter season three cruises to Tallinn roads.
01.01.1983 Marketing and operation handed over to Oy Finnjet-Line Ltd., Helsinki (75% Effoa / 25% Enso-Gutzeit)
22.01.1985 Stuck fast in pack ice near Harmaja / Gråhara off Helsinki
25.03.1985 to 31.03 arrived at HDW, Kiel for installment of new radar equipment.
12.01.1986 Arrived at Wärtsilä's Helsinki shipyard to be fitted with 29 Commodore Class cabins on the upper sundeck.
08.02.1986 Returned to service, now 1 544 passengers in cabins.
13.05.1986 Remeasured: 25 908 GRT / 11 202 NRT / 1 885 dwt.
03.06.1986 Sold to Effoa - Suomen Höyrylaiva Oy - Effoa - Finska Ångfartygs Ab, Helsinki, without change of name; technical managers remained Finnlines, operating and manning by Oy Silja Line Ab.
16.12.1986 Touched bottom whilst leaving Helsinki at 1900 h, refloated and reberthed with tug aid, resumed voyage the following day; sustained a damaged propeller portside, repairs at Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft AG, Kiel (HDW).
21.12.1986 Returned to service.
01.01.1987 Marketing taken over by Oy Silja Line Ab when Silja Line purchased Oy Finnjet-Line Ltd.
06.01.1987 Silja flag hoisted in the mast.
12.01.1987 Had to turn back to Travemünde due to freezing sea spray on the superstructure.
20.03.1987 Sold to Oy Efjon-Trading Ab, (c/o Effoa - Suomen Höyrylaiva Oy - Effoa - Finska Ångfartygs Ab) Helsinki.
04.04.1987 until 12.04. repainted in Silja colours during docking at Kiel, 1 602 berths.
29.05.1987 Delivered to Oy Efjon-Trading Ab.
17.02.1988 Owners name changed to Rederi Ab Effjohn - Varustamo Oy Effjohn.
10.04.1988 to 17.04. docking at HDW, Kiel. Interiors refurbished.
16.04.1989 to 23.04. docking at HDW, Kiel. Interiors refurbished.
01.05.1989 Whole management incl. technical matters taken over by Silja Line Ab.
15.12.1989 Sold to Partrederiet för GTS Finnjet (Oy Silja Line Ab, Helsinki (partners in Partrederiet were Effoa Cruise and Ferry Oy Ab with 61% and Johnson Cruise and Ferries AB with 39%).

1990's

Date Event Description
20.05.1990 until 25.05. ducktail installed during docking at HDW Kiel, new length 214,96 m.
11.04.1991 to 30.04. docking at HDW, Kiel.
27.12.1991 Sold to Effdo 1 Oy (Oy Silja Line Ab), Helsinki.
03.04.1992 to 08.04. docking at HDW, Kiel.
09.06.1992 Called at Muuga in Tallinn, Estonia for the first time with passengers, trials for this call in May 1992.
15.01.1993 Homeport Mariehamn, Finland (1378).
23.06.1993 Owners merged into Oy Silja Line Ab.
01.11.1993 New Register No. 50258.
01.01.1994 Remeasured in accordance with IMO 1969 convention: 32 940 GRT / 17 284 NRT / 2 728 dwt.
07.04.1994 Arrived at HDW for overhauls and installation of new gear boxes for simultaneous use of gas turbines and diesel-electric machinery, max speed increased to 33 kn, modernization of the bridge, preparation for ECDIS navigation system.
01.05.1994 Returned to service.
28.09.1994 Participated in rescue operations in the Estonia disaster.
04.10.1994 Bow door taken out of use and welded fast.
04.1995 Third watertight door installed at HDW in Kiel, bow door back to use.
05.07.1995 Owners renamed Silja Line Oy.
02.04.1996 to 04.04. serviced in Helsinki.
11.11.1996 Sold to Sally Ab, Mariehamn (Silja Line Oy, Helsinki).
18.09.1997 to 06.10 docked at Göteborg, Sweden for installment of a more powerful bow thruster, old thruster unit was installed in the stern in a new casing, interiors refurbished.
09.10.1997 Helsinki-Muuga service.
04.06.1998 Helsinki-Travemünde service.
15.09.1998 Helsinki-Muuga service.
01.1999 Started to call at Tallinn instead of Muuga (using passenger terminal D).
05.06.1999 Helsinki-Tallinn-Rostock service.
11.09.1999 Helsinki-Tallinn service.
23.12.1999 Christmas cruise from Helsinki to Riga.

2000's

Date Event Description
03.06.2000 Helsinki-Tallinn-Rostock service.
12.09.2000 Helsinki-Tallinn service.
23.12.2000 Christmas cruise from Helsinki to Riga, Latvia.
27.05.2001 to 02.06.2001 Vessel is equipped with new fast reaction boat, ramps are removed from car deck, propeller blades with the nickname "racing blades" are installed.
02.06.2001 Helsinki-Tallinn-Rostock service.
11.09.2001 Two cruises to Riga.
15.09.2001 Helsinki-Tallinn service.
23.12.2001 Christmas cruise to Riga and Tallinn.
01.06.2002 Helsinki-Tallinn-Rostock service.
07.07.2002 A ship's waitress goes missing after midnight.
09.09.2002 Helsinki-Tallinn service.
23.12.2002 Christmas cruise to Travemünde and Tallinn.
20.05.2003 Helsinki-Tallinn-Rostock service.
29.05.2003 to 31.05 minor refurbishment at Helsinki, new steering gear is installed.
09.09.2003 Helsinki-Tallinn service.
23.12.2003 Christmas cruise to Riga.
25.04.2004 Last sailing Helsinki-Tallinn-Helsinki.
27.04.2004 Arrived at Aker Finnyards Oy, Rauma for extensive refurbishment, bridge wings enclosed, new rudders, aft ramp extended, propeller blades changed, public areas and restaurants on board completely rebuilt.
14.06.2004 Remeasured 32 975GT / 15 098 NT / 2828 dwt. Passenger certificate extended to 1 781 passengers / 1 631 berths.
17.06.2004 First departure on new route Rostock-Tallinn-St. Petersburg, Russia, departure was delayed due to technical problems, therefore St. Petersburg could not be called, vessel made turn-around in Tallinn instead.
17.09.2004 Laid up in Roctock due to unsatisfying booking situation for the winter season.
11.04.2005 Arrived at Aker Finnyards Oy, Rauma, for docking and minor repairs/overhaul (last visit of the vessel to Finland)
28.04.2005 Rostock-Tallinn-St. Petersburg service.
02.05.2005 After arrival in Rostock left empty for Riga, chartered to the Latvian Government as accommodation vessel during the visit of US President George W. Bush 04.-08.05.2005.
09.05.2005 Returned to service.
16.09.2005 Charter deal with Louisiana State University Health Science Center (LSUHSC) for a six-month period as accommodation vessel after buildings of LSUHSC had been devastated by hurricane "Katrina" on 29.08.2005, last round-trip Rostock-Tallinn-St. Petersburg cancelled.
20.09.2005 Departed Rostock for Baton Rouge after minor service work.
24.09.2005 Stopover in Ponta Delgada, Azores, for bunkering.
05.10.2005 Arrived at Port Allen (Port of Baton Rouge), Louisiana.
10.10.2005 First tenants arrive on the vessel.
04.06.2006 Final tenants depart the vessel.
06.06.2006 Left Baton Rouge with destination Freeport, Bahamas.
09.06.2006 Arrived at Freeport, Grand Bahama, laid up for sale, "Silja Line" logos on hull and funnel painted over.
27.06.2006 Ship management transferred from Silja Oy Ab to Sea Containers Ltd.
19.07.2006 Sold to Finnjet Bermuda Ltd. (managers Sea Containers Treasury Ltd., Portsmouth).
20.07.2006 Registered under Bahamas flag, homeport Nassau.
13.02.2007 to 16.02. Vessel is docked at Freeport; one gas turbine is kept stored at their facility.
01.2008 Ownership changed to Club Cruise of Holland.
16.01.2008 Renamed Da Vinci.
25.01.2008 Departed Freeport for Gibraltar.
07.02.2008 Bunkered at Gibraltar.
18.02.2008 Arrived Genoa, Italy.
12.03.2008 Gas turbine assemblies removed by former Finnish crewmen at T.Mariotti yard, Genoa, Italy; gas turbines sold and shipped forward to Texas, United States, for use as spare engines for a land-based power plant operator, vessel designation GTS ceased.
17.04.2008 Vessel was inspected by a Finnish party for an undisclosed potential buyer.
08.05.2008 Single certificate issued for voyage to India.
10.05.2008 Departed Genoa for Port Said, Egypt.
16.05.2008 Arrived at Port Said; 17.05. entered Suez Canal.
19.05.2008 Members of the Espoo city council in Finland proposed to purchase the vessel for the city as a housing vessing.
21.05.2008 Arrived at Jeddah, Saudi-Arabia, renamed Kingdom, registered under Panama flag, homeport Panama.
26.05.2008 Finnish entrepreneur group ProFinnjet Turku notified the public of searching for funds to purchase the ship as a low-cost housing and dormitory vessel for the city of Turku, Finland.2
27.05.2008 Single voyage certificates issued.
30.05.2008 Vessel continued to await payment for bunkering outside of Jeddah, bunkered at Jeddah, departed for Aden, Yemen on 31.05.
04.06.2008 Bunkered at Aden, Yemen.

THE FINAL WEEKS in more detail3

Date Event Description
13.06.2008 Arrived at Alang, India. Vessel is extensively searched for contraband items; radio gear is removed along with several key consoles in accordance to local laws.4
19.06.2008 Beached on one diesel-electric engine, bulbous bow touched ground on plot number 109 of Rishi Ship Breakers, Alang-Sosiya, Gujarat, India.
04.07.2008 The shipbreaker missed a significant high tide opportunity to winch the vessel closer to the beach when pulling chains broke, vessel remained lightly beached.
27.07.2008 Final deadline given for voluntary Finnish-German rescue group JetFinn to arrange for full payment of the ship, or vessel would be winched closer to the beach on the high tide of this day; after successful winching breakage was further delayed when local officials required documentation to prove that the vessel was free of hazardous materials. So far only furnishings and loose items were removed from the vessel.5
06.08.2008 Senate chancellery of the city Hamburg, Germany declined to offer moorage for JetFinn group after their appointed specialists come to a negative conclusion; vessel is cited for being unsuitable for future harbor development plans and is further cited for not having a connection to the city; Hamburg ends up being the only city to officially consider prime location moorage.
21.08.2008 An undisclosed group sent three former Finnish crewmen to inspect the ship.2
26.08.2008 to 27.08 five Europeans visited the vessel and became the last former passengers to spend the night on the vessel.
27.08.2008 JetFinn group announced that a potential Middle Eastern buyer was working on plans to save the vessel for utilization as a hotel ship; rising steel prices elevated the price of the vessel; the potential buyer and owner of the vessel were reportedly unable to agree on the new price.
05.09.2008 After initial plans a Baltic Sea ferry operator decided against the vessel, citing an inspection report, which pointed to the deterioration of the vessel in hot and humid climate without running air conditioning.
08.09.2008 The shipbreaker announced that he will no longer re-float the vessel for potential buyers, but would sell the vessel on the beach.
12.09.2008 The harbour of Helsinki declined moorage for JetFinn group; cutting of the steel of the vessel commenced hours later.6
15.09.2008 JetFinn group announced failure to save the vessel after a last-ditch attempt to persuade a Middle Eastern potential buyer to negotiate with a Baltic Sea ferry operator; this ended the saving trials.7

The following sources were used to compile this list:

  • Marko Stampehl's chronicles, 'Siljan Viisi Vuosikymmentä', ISBN 978-951-98405-7-4
  • Finnjet Historical Society ry, Society Archives
  • FINNJETweb.com, Dates retrieved for first half of the year 2008.
  • Helsingin Sanomat,

and unidentified parties to whom we are thankful.

Issues:

*) When comparing to the vessel's logs, we could even state ten minute delays in schedules. Should we have different editions of this listing? Compact and extensive?

**) Is there really only one noteworthy entry from the year 2007?

1) The Finnlines era is not properly documented yet. We need to go thru our archives and fill out some very obvious gaps. (Naantali...)

2) There will be no other mentions of the ProFinnjet Turku "foundation" while another group has claimed to have paid for the very same inspection in India. The leader of this expedition, Mr Veikko Haapanen (chief engineer on Finnjet for 25 years) has repeatedly stated to our chairman and vice chairman that he was not sent to India by ProFinnjet Turku.

3) "The final weeks in more detail" is a problematic section. Does a failed action warrant a notice? Here a failed action however means the destruction of the vessel. How to differentiate minor efforts from serious efforts? Basically this section is here to service the public with dates that can't be retrieved from elsewhere. Perhaps these will be later moved to a subsection covering the rescue efforts in more detail.

4) What exactly was removed before beaching and what directly after the beaching?

5) To what extent did the missing permits and saving efforts halt the cutting of the steel? Cutting did not start until after nearly three months after the beaching.

6) Did the negative reply of Helsinki initiate the cutting of the steel or was this coincidental timing? MTV3 channel's 1900hours (Helsinki time) news stated that the cutting has commenced, but not when. Could this have started already on the 10th or 11th day?

7) At what precise point does a vessel truly cease to exist? Suggestion: Query Mr Knego about this and if he can provide with a date when the time comes.

This listing is not yet complete and it may contain errors. Please do not publish this list elsewhere with a lower version number than 2.0. We have only started our compilation. Additionally, please help in making the list more complete. Please also cite sources. We intend to have every event with a proper reference point, preferrably have cross-references.

Next Post