Thursday, 1 March 2012

Silja Symphony

A trip to Stockholm and back on the Silja Symphony of Silja Line - quite possibly the world's greatest cruise ferry of all time. We begin in Central Helsinki with a visit to Stockmann's Academic Bookshop - probably the finest bookshop in the world and housed in a superb building purpose-designed by Alvar Aalto. There, I was delighted to find a range of superior books about ships for sale:

But just look at the price they're charging for 'The Ferry: A Drive-Through History':

The atrium in Stockmann's Academic Bookshop:

Me and some national romantic architectural sculptures:

Art Deco shop facade:

Former Enso-Gutzeit headquarters building, again by Alvar Aalto:

A large crowd waiting to board Silja Symphony in the Olympia Terminal in Helsinki:

The ferry's internal promenade, empty and awaiting the onslaught of saturday night passengers:

Lift lobby:

The cabin:

Crowds embarking:

Empty Maxim Restaurant, subsequently where I had dinner:

Oriental Cafe:

Shopping trolleys at the taxfree supermarket:

Warp-around teak promenade deck with lovely detailing:

Empty Atlantis Palace Lounge:

String quartet on the promenade:

Speciality restaurants on the promenade:

Me with Moomin characters; Silja Symphony is a very 'family friendly' ship:

View from the topmost outside passenger deck:

We set sail for Stockholm:

Passing Tallink's Superstar off Helsinki:

By the time that photo session was over, I had lost all feeling in my hands and feet and so it was time for a brand new cultural experience for me - the sauna. This proved to be exceedingly pleasant and relaxing and effectively succeeded in warming me up again.

The Cocktail Bar, overlooking the bow:

Dinner time in the Maxim Restaurant:

Beef followed by Arctic char - mmmmm!

The Silja Symphony's spa, after closing to the public for the evening:

The new nightclub, at the base of the funnel:

Snow shower on deck:

The Atlantis Palace show lounge in full swing:

Also swinging in the nightclub:

On our waythrough the Swedish archipelago the next morning:

Passing Silja Europa and Isabella:

Breakfast porridge:

Victoria I and silja Festival follow us into Stockholm:

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