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MS Silja Festival is a cruiseferry owned and operated by the Estoniamarker-based Tallinkmarker, used on their route connecting Rigamarker, Latviamarker to Stockholmmarker, Swedenmarker. She was built in 1986 by Wärtsilä Helsinkimarker, Finlandmarker, for Effoa as MS Wellamo for use on Silja Line traffic. She was rebuilt in 1992 at Lloyds Werft, Bremerhavenmarker, Germanymarker as Silja Festival. In 2008 the ship was transferred from the Silja Line fleet to that of Tallink, but she retained her Silja-prefixed name.



Following the delivery of the highly successful MS Finlandia and MS Silvia Regina for Silja Line's Helsinkimarker—Stockholm service, Johnson Line and Effoa decided to order a pair of ships based on a similar design for the Turku—Stockholm service. The first of the new ships, named MS Svea, was delivered to Johnson Line in May 1985. The ship built for Effoa was given the name MS Wellamo (after the goddess of the sea in Finnish mythology, a traditional name in Effoa fleet) and delivered in January 1986. Following delivery she was placed on the StockholmmarkerMariehamnmarkerTurkumarker route.

The Wellamo suffered her first major mishap in July of the same year when she suffered a blackout and was grounded near Mariahamn. Following the grounding she was repaired at Luonnonmaan Telakka, Naantalimarker, Finland. In 1989 plans were made for converting the ship to a combined car/passenger/train ferry, but these were abandoned. In the summer of 1990 the Wellamo briefly served on the Helsinkimarker—Stockholm route, because the new Silja Serenade was not yet complete, but old MS Finlandia had to be delivered to her new owners DFDS. During the same year Effoa and Johnson Line merged to form EffJohn, who now became the sole owners of Silja Line.

In the early 1990s EffJohn planned a large-scale reconstruction of GTS MS Finnjet. However the company could not gather enough funds to realise this project. Instead the money was used to rebuild the Svea and Wellamo. In 1992, Wellamo was docked and rebuild at Lloyds Werft, Bremerhavenmarker, Germanymarker. Most notable exterior changes were a new skybar in front of the funnel and a new, more blue-dominated livery. Following the reconstruction the Wellamo was renamed MS Silja Festival (her sister having become MS Silja Karneval). Around the same time her homeport was changed from Helsinki to Mariehamn.
Silja Festival unloading in Turku in August 2001.

Silja Festival

Initially the Silja Festival continued on the same route as before, alongside her sister, but following the acquisition of MS Silja Europa and the subsequent fleet re-organisation there was no longer a need for the ship on the Turku route. As a result was placed on the VaasamarkerUmeåmarker route from 20 March to 23 May 1993. When Silja Line began collaboration with Euroway in June 1993, Silja Festival was moved to their MalmömarkerTravemündemarkerLübeckmarker -route, sailing parallel to MS Frans Suell. From there on the service was maketed as Silja Line Euroway. A few months later the route was extended to Copenhagenmarker.

After the Euroway service was terminated in April 1994, Silja Festival was moved back to the Kvarkenmarker to operate from Vaasa to Umeå and Sundsvallmarker. Around this time Silja Line made an agreement to sell Silja Festival or her sistership Silja Karneval to Norwegianmarker ferry operator Color Line. Although Silja Karneval was the ship finally sold to Color, the new owners had presumed they'd be getting Festival and had made promotional posters for their new ship accordingly. As a result the Silja Karneval was confusingly renamed MS Color Festival.

In 2 September 1994, Silja Festival was moved from Vaasa to serve the Helsinki—Tallinnmarker route. For the summer of 1995, (26 June to 14 August) she served Vaasa—Sundsvall again, then returned to Helsinki—Tallinn. After the charter agreement of MS Silja Scandinavia ended in April 1997 On 5 April 1997, Silja Line switched the ship's flag from Finnish to Swedish and put her back on Stockholm—Mariehamn—Turku service, where she remained until 2008.

The Silja Festival was replaced on the Turku—Stockholm service by on 23 July 2008. Subsequently the Silja Festival was moved to the Latvianmarker ship registry, repainted with Tallinkmarker logos, and entered service on Tallink's Stockholm—Rigamarker route on 2 August 2008. Despite being moved under the Tallink brand and marketed as "Festival", the ship's registered name remained as Silja Festival.


  1. Engine room, cinema
  2. Engine room, Tourist II-class cabins, sauna, swimming pool and hot tubs
  3. Car deck
    1. Car platform, can be lowered hydraulically to divide the car deck in two giving space for two layers of passenger cars
  4. Seaside, Tourist I and Tourist I S-class cabins, Lobby shop, Siljaland children's playroom, information desk, boarding, crew accommodations
  5. Silja, Seaside, Tourist I and Tourist I S-class cabins, crew accommodations
  6. Suites, Silja, Seaside, Tourist I and Tourist I S-class cabins, crew accommodations
  7. Dancing Palace night club (level 1), Captain's Grill restaurant, Trattoria restaurant, Café Martim, Sailor's Pub, Buffet Veranda
  8. Dancing Palace night club (level 2), casino, conference rooms, tax-free shop, perfumerie
  9. Panorama bar, crew accommodations, sundeck
  10. Crew accommodations
  11. Bridge


  1. Valkeat Laivat: Valkeat kaunottaret saapuvat, retrieved 19. 9. 2007
  2. MS Svea (1985) at Fakta om Fartyg, retrieved 19. 9. 2007
  3. MS Wellamo (II) at Valkeat Laivat, retrieved 19. 9. 2007
  4. Valkeat Laivat: Loistoristeilijöiden ja tappiovuosien aikakausi, retrieved 19. 9. 2007
  5. FinnjetWeb: Finnjet Chronicle by Salomon Kaukiainen, retrieved 19. 9. 2007
  6. MS Frans Suell at Valkeat Laivat, retrieved 20. 9. 2007
  7. Turun Sanomat 16. 10. 2007: Enn Pant uskoo Galaxyn nostavan matkustajien määrää Turun-reitillä
  8. Silja Festival 2003 deck plans at Valkeat Laivat, retrieved 20. 9. 2007

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