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Pride of Bilbao (ex Olympia), an archetypical cruiseferry. Built for Rederi AB Slite for the Baltic cruise market and now operated by P&O Ferries between Portsmouth in the UK and Bilbao in the Basque Country.

A cruiseferry is a ship that combines the features of a cruise ship with a Ro-Pax ferry. Many passengers travel with the ships for the cruise experience, staying only a few hours at the destination port or not leaving the ship at all, while others use the ships as means of transportation.

Cruiseferry traffic is mainly concentrated in the seas of Northern Europe, especially the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. However, similar ships traffic across the English Channel as well as the Irish Sea, Mediterranean and even on the North Atlantic. Cruiseferries also operate from China and Australia.

Baltic Sea cruiseferries

Some cruiseferries look like cruiseships. MS Silja Europa, the largest cruiseferry in the world 1993-2001.

In the northern Baltic Sea, two major rival companies, Viking Line and Silja Line, have for decades competed on the routes between Turku and Helsinki in Finland and Sweden's capital Stockholm. Since the 1990s Tallink has also risen as a notable company in the area, culminating with acquisition of Silja Line in 2006.

List of largest cruiseferries of their time

The term "cruiseferry" did not come into use until the 1980s, although it has been retroactively applied to earlier ferries that have large cabin capabilities and public spaces in addition to their car- and passenger-carrying capacity. [citation needed]

Year Name Tonnage1 Company Traffic area Flag Notes
1975 MS Belorussiya 16,331 GRT Black Sea Shipping Company Black Sea 22x20px Soviet Union Alongside five identical sisters build 1975-76
1977 GTS Finnjet 24,605 GRT Finnlines Baltic Sea 22x20px Finland Gas turbine-powered, also the fastest, longest and largest
1981 MS Finlandia 25,905 GRT Effoa (for Silja Line traffic) Baltic Sea 22x20px Finland Alongside identical sister M/S Silvia Regina
1982 MS Scandinavia 26,474 GRT Scandinavian World Cruises,
later DFDS Seaways
New YorkBahamas
File:Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark
1985 MS Svea 33,829 GRT Johnson Line (for Silja Line traffic) Baltic Sea  Sweden
1985 MS Mariella 37,799 GRT SF Line (for Viking Line traffic) Baltic Sea 22x20px Finland
1989 MS Athena 40,012 GRT Rederi AB Slite (for Viking Line traffic) Baltic Sea  Sweden
1989 MS Cinderella 46,398 GRT SF Line (for Viking Line traffic) Baltic Sea 22x20px Finland
1990 MS Silja Serenade 58,376 GRT Silja Line Baltic Sea 22x20px Finland
1991 MS Silja Symphony 58,377 GRT Silja Line Baltic Sea  Sweden
1993 MS Silja Europa 59,914 GT Silja Line Baltic Sea 22x20px Finland Ordered by Rederi AB Slite for Viking Line traffic
2001 MS Pride of Rotterdam 59,925 GT P&O Ferries North Sea  Netherlands
2004 MS Color Fantasy 75,027 GT Color Line Kattegat, Skagerrak  Norway
2007 MS Color Magic 75,100 GT Color Line Kattegat, Skagerrak  Norway
1May be specified in gross tonnage (GT) or gross register tons (GRT).

See also

List of cruiseferry operators


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