Grimaldi's Finnlines increases investments in the passenger sector

Finncanopus made her maiden voyage on 16 February 2024

STOCKHOLM — The freight and passenger shipping company Finnlines has recently made major investments in its services between Sweden and mainland Finland via Åland, by introducing two new Superstar freight-passenger vessels Finnsirius and Finncanopus. 

 Finnsirius, which has been praised for its smart and elegant design and many services, was deployed on Finnlines' route in September 2023. The second Superstar vessel, Finncanopus, was introduced in Stockholm and set off on her maiden voyage from Kapellskär on 16 February 2024.

 The ship made a unique debut in Stockholm and docked at the Stadsgården terminal at the Fotografiska Museum. There around 150 members of Finnlines’ customer loyalty club, Star Club, were welcomed on board and had an opportunity to tour the ship’s bars and restaurants, spa area, cabins and conference facilities. 

 A press conference and a shipboard tour were also arranged for the media. The day was concluded with an opening party before departure for Kapellskär later in the evening to prepare for the maiden voyage Friday morning on 16 February. Finncanopus left then Kapellskär for her first voyage to Långnäs and Naantali.

 Named after the brightest stars on the night sky, Finnlines’ new Superstar class ro-pax vessels Finnsirius and Finncanopus greatly enhance Finnlines’ passenger experience. Each has a capacity to carry 1,100 passengers, which is about twice as many as the former ro-pax vessels on the route. The cargo capacity has also increased, from just over 4000 lane metres to 5200 lane metres.

 Finnlines’ new Superstar vessels offer upgraded services and more travel comfort than the previous generation of ro-pax vessels, ships built for freight vehicle transport which accomodate passengers as well. The ships have many cabin categories, ranging from basic compact cabins, to cabins which can accommodate six, and luxurious suites. Passengers can choose among seven bars and restaurants to dine. There are conference rooms and lounge facilities, a large duty-free shop, a spa with gym and yoga rooms, activities for children and even two outdoor areas for pets. The magnificent archipelago is present through large panoramic windows. It can be said that the Superstar-class Finnsirius and Finncanopus can offer a cruise-level travel experience.

 “Finnsirius has been complimented and warmly welcomed by passengers. Finncanopus now joins her, passengers have access to the same first-class facilities and services on morning and evening departures and we can also offer day trips,” says Marco Palmu, Head of Finnlines Passenger Services.

 The new ro-pax vessels are part of Finnlines’ EUR 500 million Green Newbuilding Programme which has increased capacity and upgraded the existing fleet.

 “Smooth freight traffic in the Baltic Sea serves as the backbone of the region’s economies and national security of supply,” said Finnlines president and CEO Tom Pippingsköld.

 “Finnlines’ innovative concept combines cargo with passenger traffic, and our Newbuilding Programme will significantly enhance our business model. Through optimising the utilisation of our capacity, we aim to increase efficiency and sustainability. This is also supported by investments in energy efficiency and cutting-edge green technologies.”

 The number of passengers, including truck drivers and private passengers, totalled 695,000 in 2023, an increase by 7 percent. Leisure travel went up by over 17 percent on Finnlines’ ships in 2023, a notable increase compared with the previous year. The greatest growth was on the route between mainland Finland, Åland and Sweden, 49 per cent, followed by the route between Finland and Germany, increase 11 per cent.  

 “We expect a continuously strong demand for freight and passenger services, which will be accelerated by the new Superstar ro-pax vessels that serve a wider market segment and meet our customers’ expectations,” added Palmu.

 Finnlines has two daily departures from both ports and the travel time from Kapellskär to Naantali is only 8–9 hours.

 Finnlines, whose president of the board of directors is Emanuele Grimaldi, is a leading shipping operator of freight and passenger services in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the Bay of Biscay. The company is a part of the Neapolitan Grimaldi Group, one of the world’s largest operators of ro-ro vessels and the largest operator of the Motorways of the Sea in Europe for both passengers and freight. This affiliation enables Finnlines to offer liner services to and from several destinations in the Mediterranean, West Africa, Atlantic coast of both North and South America as well as Asia and Australia. (gn)

Emanuele Grimaldi with President Sergio Mattarella