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Viking Grace has carried one million passengers in nine months

Viking Grace, the 57,000 gross ton lng powered cruise ferry Viking Line introduced in January, has carried one million passengers since entering service.

"The one-millionth traveller boarded the ship on 30 September 2013 in a festive atmosphere. Viking Line has been satisfied with the ship’s initial venture and the wide attention it has gathered. The rate of utilization has been quite positive and the vessel has inspired considerable interest – internationally as well," the Finnish cruise ferry company said in a statement.

“The green values respected by Viking Grace as well as its new type of design in particular has brought an impressively large number of new passengers on board. Internationality has also been seen amongst the visitors, and some very prestigious individuals have also been seen on these cruises, such as former Finnish president Mauno Koivisto,” said Johanna Molin, Viking Grace Product Manager,in the statement.

In the first six months of the year, the company's seven cruise ferries carried a total of 3.0 million passengers.


Viking Grace will have its own ecological wines

Viking Line’s new vessel, the M/ S Viking Grace, will feature a high-quality wine list that will also include the vessel’s own wines: a red, a white, a dessert wine and a champagne.

The vessel’s wines are made by producers who work with ecological or biodynamic cultivation. The Chapoutier, Zind-Humbrecht and Larmandier-Bernier wine houses are old, familiar producers while Château Dudon is a new acquaintance.

“The Viking Grace combines handsome design with green values. In keeping with this, we wanted to find classical elegant wines from well-reputed producers,” says Pekka Rajala, who is chairman of Viking Line’s Wine Council. By coincidence, all four choices turned out to be from France.

The vessel’s champagne: Larmandier-Bernier

The Larmandier and Bernier families have been working the vines in the Champagne region since the French Revolution. In 1971 Philippe Larmandier and his wife Elisabeth Bernier founded the current Larmandier-Bernier champagne house, located in the village of Vertus in the southern part of the Côte de Blancs. In 1988 their son Pierre Larmandier took over management of the company. Since 2003 the vineyard has operated according to certified biodynamic principles. The area under cultivation is 15 hectares, located in five villages (Vertus, Cramant, Chouilly, Oger and Avize). Bernier-Larmandier champagne consists of 80 per cent Chardonnay grapes and the rest Pinot Noir. The flavour is sophisticated, gentle and elegant.

The vessel’s white wine: 2009 Herrenweg de Turckheim Riesling

Domaine Zind-Humbrecht was founded in 1959 when Léonard Humbrecht married Geneviève Zind. Their winery is located in Turckheim, Alsace. The Humbrecht family has been growing wines since 1620. Today the domaine is managed by Léonard’s son Olivier Humbrecht, who was the first Frenchman to qualify as a Master of Wine in the U.K. It has 40 hectares of vineyards, located in five villages in the Haut-Rhin. 

Their wines have the qualities that are characteristic of the Alsace region, which are amplified both by painstaking biodynamic cultivation methods and during fermentation. They avoid heavy machinery and advocate manual labour or using beasts of burden. The compost thus generated is used as fertiliser. The vineyard received organic culture (ECOCERT) certification in 1998 and biodynamic producer certification (BIODYVIN) in 2002.

The Herrenweg vineyard is located in Turckheim next to the Fecht river, where the soil is gravel-like, drains easily, is warm and yields an early harvest. The soil in this area may lack minerals because the clay is easily washed away by rainwater. Older grapevines compensate for this, since their deep roots reach down to the nutrients. The biodynamic method of cultivation increases the number of micro-organisms in the soil, releasing minerals. Fermentation of the wine occurs slowly, and some sweetness is preserved. Herrenweg de Turckheim Riesling has a classic floral nose that is specific to these vineyards. Because of the natural warmth of the gravel-like soil, the character of the wine does not risk weakening, and the air also contributes a splash of citrus. Its flavour is very seductive and surprisingly fresh. The elegant finish is a Herrenweg classic.

The vessel’s red wine: Crozes-Hermitage Les Meysonniers BIO

The family-owned Maison M. Chapoutier is one of the best-known wine producers in the Rhône region. Dating back to 1808, it now has 160 hectares of vineyards in the northern Rhône. Chapoutier also owns sizeable properties in Hermitage and has invested in Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, Banyuls and South Australia. The business is run by brothers Michel and Marc Chapoutier.

Crozes-Hermitage BIO is an ecological product, made from hand-picked Syrah grapes. The grapevines, which grow on south-facing slopes, are at least 25 years old. The wine is produced according to old, traditional methods and allowed to mature for 12 months before being bottled. Its colour is a deep purplish red, with blackcurrant and raspberry discernible in the nose. Its rich flavour is very fruity and is spiced with a dash of vanilla. This wine is ideal with various kinds of meat dishes.

The vessel’s dessert wine: 2009 Château Dudon 2009 – women’s wine

The best dessert wines are said to come from the Sauternes area of Bordeaux. Château Dudon is a typical vineyard in this area, dating back to the 17th century. During the French Revolution it expanded to 12 hectares. In 1868 the current proprietor family took over Château Dudon. In recent generations, ownership has been passed from parents to daughters. This is why Château Dudon is called a “women’s wine.” The current owner is Evelyne Allien.

The ecologically cultivated grapes are gathered in September–October, when only the ripest fruits are picked. In this way they have time to develop a favourable “noble rot” with the help of the Botrytis fungus, as well as to shrivel and achieve a high sugar content. During fermentation, the sugar content is reduced to about 110 g/litre. This sweetness, the noble rot, a 20-month fermentation process in oak barrels and old, traditional methods enable the wine to last for decades and gives them the characteristic flavour of Sauternes.

The wine is golden yellow in colour, with a nose of exotic fruits and honey. The wine has a long finish, with a touch of caramelized orange peel, saffron and spices. The 50 cl bottle is an optimal size for cellaring but also for serving a small group of guests.

Viking Line has an ongoing competition for Finnish art students, who have been asked to design a series of four labels for the vessel’s wines.

Isover reduces weight of insulation on Viking Grace by 50%

Viking Grace is a passenger and car ferry being constructed to operate along the Turku – Aland Islands (Finland) – Stockholm (Sweden) route on the Baltic Sea. When launched in 2013, she will be the world’s most environmentally-friendly and most energy efficient passenger ship of her size, with a gross tonnage of 57,000 and a length of 210m (880 cabins, capacity of 2800 passengers). STX Finland, is building the vessel Viking Grace for an estimated cost of €240m.


The ship uses liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel, thus generating significantly less emission in comparison to ships using oil. To further reduce fuel consumption and its footprint on the environment, optimizing the weight of the ship has been a key priority.


ISOVER mineral wool Marine solutions have been extensively used to reach this objective. Approximately 40.000m2 of lightweight ISOVER Glasswool solutions and 90.000m2 of ISOVER ULTIMATE solutions for fire protection structures (A15 to A60), with a total weight of 240t, have been installed, enabling a staggering weight reduction on the insulation of 230t compared to traditional solutions, thus decreasing the insulation weight by 50%.


Among others, ULTIMATE solutions U MFA 66 30mm and U MPN 66 70mm have been installed to provide 1h fire protection to steel bulkhead constructions (A60). The unique lightness of ISOVER Marine solutions has been identified as a clear advantage for the ship-owner Viking Line and the shipyard STX Finland to increase the energy efficiency of this passenger ship. We wish its future passengers and crew: safe, swift and `graceful ́ sailings.

Two deck high Club Vogue to feature 50 sqm LED wall

Club Vogue is the name of the large two-storey nightclub located in the aft of Viking Line’s new vessel Viking Grace. Seating over 1000 guests, the hypermodern club is equipped with technology and interior decoration of the highest international standard. The centre of entertainment on board, Club Vogue has a spectacular 50 m2 LED wall at the back of the stage with state-of-the-art sound and light equipment to create a perfect atmosphere.


The top-class interior decoration with many fascinating details is designed by dSign Vertti Kivi & Co which was elected the interior architects of the year 2011 in Finland. Together with the lighting and music Club Vogue becomes a modern entity of international standard. A variety of the latest lighting and audiovisual equipment makes it possible to change the atmosphere at different times of the day 


The lower floor of Club Vogue is a ”party zone” with a dance floor larger than on our other ferries. An international selection of drinks and cocktails can be enjoyed at the 18 metres long bar. The large LED wall behind the stage is something special in the nightclub. The size, lights and picture quality is unique in the Nordic countries. The wall can be used for taking the atmosphere to a completely new level by showing music videos, various performances etc. The other sound and light systems are also of the latest models.


M/S Viking Grace’s PAF-casino is located in Club Vogue, where the latest gaming opportunities can be found. The croupiers guide and explain the rules to all players. Even beginners are welcome to acquaint themselves with the games. PAF’s latest slot machine called "Play Among Friends" will also distribute the prizes to the winner’s friends. There are over 70 slot machines on board.


In Club Vogue the largest orchestras play dance music, and top artists perform there. As for entertainment, there will be shows, spectacular programmes, interactive performances and stand-up comedians, to mention a few. After the live music stops there will be a disco until the small hours. Other entertainment comprises of house bands, jazz duos, pianists, troubadours, DJs, surprise visits and more. Live music is simultaneously played in four restaurants on board.


Dance theme to Viking Grace conference areas

Viking Line says its new flagship, Viking Grace, will offer conference facilities in an unbeatable setting. The interiors will be tastefully decorated in a clean design, and visible outside will be an unparalleled view of the most beautiful archipelago in the Baltic Sea. The fresh conference department on Deck 9 will seat nearly 500 guests. Equipped with the latest technology, the conference department will be functional, allowing flexible use of the facilities in the best possible way.

Samba, Rumba, Boogie, Jazz, Jive, Mambo, Pasodoble, Foxtrot, Cha cha cha, Rock’n’roll, Flamenco, Tango, Break Dance and Waltz are the names of the conference rooms on board the Viking Grace. These names reflect the company’s slogan “The Baltic Sea’s hottest dance floor!” and are a reminder that business and pleasure can be combined. The conference department will comprise a large auditorium seating 227, which can be divided into three smaller rooms if needed, a large conference room seating 76 and eight smaller rooms with fantastic sea views, built with flexible wall systems to allow forming one or more individual spaces.

Extremely suitable for mini trade fairs and exhibitions. Moreover, there will be two rooms with special equipment. One of them will include a cinema and the newest games from Microsoft, providing a nice way of rounding off a conference, for example. The other, the “brainstorming room”, will be furnished with comfortable armchairs. All the rooms will be equipped with the latest technology.

Standard equipment will include WLAN, loudspeaker systems in the ceiling, LCD displays, integrated whiteboards, as well as microphones and documentation cameras. In addition, the auditorium will be equipped with a projector and screen, wireless microphone, video camera and PC projector. It will be possible to send images and sound to several conference rooms at the same time, as well as showing images and sound from the Vogue nightclub to the conference. A group reserving the whole department will be able to show its own material on a 2.05 x 1.15 metre media wall in the conference lobby.

Organizing a conference, kick-off, private party or exhibition on board a vessel provides many advantages. The whole group will be together, the view and the environment are inspiring, there is a wide variety of restaurants, and entertainment is available. On board Viking Grace, it will be easy to combine business and pleasure.

The superb SPA & Wellness department will offer high- quality treatments for both men and women, as well as bathing in a steam sauna or herbal sauna. There is also a snow cave where you can cool off at a temperature of minus 4 degrees Celsius. The chefs aboard the vessel will be happy to create special menus for different groups. If you wish to know more about this LNG-driven vessel, there will be guided tours on board, as well as special programmed such as whisky and wine tastings and cocktail events. We can promise an unforgettable, out-of-the-ordinary experience on board this new, unique passenger ferry, the company said in a statement.