Monday, 3 October 2016

On board Finnmaid from Helsinki to Travemünde - Saturday, 1 October

Not an eventful day, which is no bad thing once in a while. On going to empty our on-board loo (part of the deal is that this is my job), I surprised a red squirrel only four or five feet away. It froze for a few seconds and then scampered away. I have seen a few others on and off on this trip.

We left the site for the ferry terminal via Lidl. Fortunately, the terminal is only about three miles from Rastila Camping. We got there nice and early around 1pm. Check-in opened at 1.30. No problems and we were directed to lane 5 and it was another one and a half hours before we were able to board. This was done in batches by convoy. The ferry being very much a cargo ferry, we went quite a windy route of about a quarter mile to where we went on board.

Cars are loaded on forwards and, on unloading, will drive to the end and go down the other side and then off. As there is a bulkhead towards the end, we and other higher vehicles, had to reverse into position. I made rather a hash of it.

Our cabin is absolutely fine with a large rectangular window. The ship is in the process of being facelifted and modernised and so facilities were a little limited and the duty free shop quite small and also limited. Leaving just after 5pm, the weather was fine but breezy. We went out through the archipelago, enjoying the views. It is a 29 hour journey and very calm so far.

Very little to report today - and tomorrow will be even quieter! We left the campsite at 12.30 for Hansa Terminal, the city's eastern ferry terminal, just 10 minutes away, but allowed time for a stop at Lidl on the way to stock up with supplies for the voyage. We had decided not to go for the meal package, preferring to play it by ear. Check-in was easy, but with a lot of sitting in vehicles. It opened at 1.30 and closed at 3, two hours before departure. The Finnmaid is a vehicle and cargo ship, and loading up is probably quite complicated, as is the journey through the docks - vehicles are led through in small convoys.

I hadn't known what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised by the cabin. Once again we have beds rather than bunks, one of which converts into a settee for daytime use, all pretty basic but it is perfectly adequate. The ship is a complete change from yesterday's ultra modern catering for the masses. Relatively small, with just one small bar/cafe and one restaurant which has one sitting for dinner, all utilising one open space, it has an old fashioned air about it. The sun deck is just one large open space with a helicopter landing pad, and overlooks the cargo deck, full of containers. It also afforded magnificent views over the archipelago as we left port just after 5 pm with sunshine and blue skies. One last look back at Scandinavian scenery!

We ate in our cabin - very tasty prawn and smoked salmon open sandwiches from the bar, supplemented by Lidl purchases - and are now intending to settle down for a couple of episodes of Mad Men. What a brainwave to bring the camper's DVD player to the cabin! It will help to pass the time until we disembark in Germany on Monday morning. 

No comments:

Post a Comment