Passenger Ferries 2014
Åland Post Stamps started a 6-year stamp series featuring Åland passenger ferries in 2009. The series is concluded in 2014, when M/S Birka Princess and M/S Viking Grace become the last two ferries to be presented in this popular series.
Birka Princess was built in 1986 for Birka Line (now Birka Cruises) by Valmet shipyard in Helsinki. Birka Princess was a purpose-built cruise vessel and conducted traffic between Stockholm and Mariehamn. She also made longer cruises around the Baltic Sea during the summer season.
The ship received additional attention thanks to the Swedish television series ’High Seas’, the longest running drama series ever produced in Swedish television history. No less than twenty seasons were produced from 1992 to 2002.
Birka Princess was sold to Malta in 2006, where she was renamed Sea Diamond. The ship soon sailed under Greek flag, conducting cruise traffic in the Greek archipelago. In the spring of 2007, she ran aground on a volcanic reef just off Santorini and went to the bottom of the sea.
Built for Viking Line by the STX-shipyard in Turku, M/S Viking Grace was launched in August 2012. The launching of the new vessel attracted great attention and her first cruise sold out long before ordinary traffic according to timetable was commenced. Since January 2013, she conducts traffic on the route Mariehamn–Turku–Långnäs–Stockholm.
The principal type of fuel for this vessel is liquefied natural gas (LNG), a fact which implies major environmental benefits in comparison to traditional maritime fuel. M/S Viking Grace has attracted enormous international attention as the first large scale passenger ferry to be powered by LNG.
Technical DetailsIssue Date: 07.02.2014
Designer: Håkan Sjöström
Printer: Joh. Enschedé Stamps
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 36 x 26.1 mm