Shipbuilding project 2007-2011
Major milestones in the construction of new ships
2010 and 2011 will go down in the history of Estonia’s domestic shipping traffic as when three sister ships arrived in the Väinameri.
Saaremaa Laevakompanii’s 2010 calendar recorded a beautiful yearning, now come true. Noble, forward-looking wishes coming from the heart always come true, even if they are as large as the three new ships taken together.
For non-inhabitants of Saaremaa, the Islands of Saaremaa, Hiiumaa and Muhumaa symbolise the ship, for one can only go there by ship. Also, for islanders the ship is a symbol for maintaining links to the rest of the world.
The ship – it is this that makes us inhabitants of Saaremaa. If bridges replaced ships, we would no longer be proper islanders but rather more like half-inhabitants of Saaremaa. As inhabitants of Saaremaa, we wish to live lives as contemporary as elsewhere in Estonia yet remain inhabitants of Saaremaa at the same time. For that reason, ships have to be more state-of-the-art and faster, and our ports bigger.
Old ships have a lot of soul, having carried innumerable people between various harbours in Europe. It is an imperative of the times that we have to trade the cosiness of ships that has become dear to us for the speed of living, cost-efficiency, environmental sustainability and more resilient steel of the present day.
We hereby pledge to instil in new ships, from the moment of their birth, the tenacity, soul and warm hearth of inhabitants of Saaremaa and the tones of their forebears’ native outfits.
New ships, we look forward to welcoming you home!
24 August 2007 – Saaremaa Laevakompanii and financial partners of the company conclude an agreement to build three new ships
February 2008 – mock-up of the new ferry undergoes model tests in a laboratory in Hamburg, Germany
21 May 2008 – keel-laying ceremony for Saaremaa Laevakompanii’s first new ferry, the Muhumaa, at JSC Western Shipyard in Klaipėda, Lithuania
7 January 2009 – new ship for the Väinameri begins to take shape at the shipyard (the Oma Saar newspaper)
5 June 2009 – major reconstruction begins at ferry ports in anticipation of the large ships
31 July 2009 – launch of Saaremaa Laevakompanii’s first new ferry, the Muhumaa, and a keel-laying ceremony for the second new ferry, the Saaremaa, at JSC Western Shipyard in Klaipėda, Lithuania
1 August 2009 – the first new ship for the Väinameri nearly completed (the Oma Saar newspaper)
20 October 2009 – hull of the first new ship arrives in Norway, where the last stage of the work is carried out
30 October 2009 – keel-laying for the ferry Hiiumaa
30 January 2010 – christening/naming of the ferry Muhumaa at Fiskerstrand, Norway, with Marii Keerd as her godmother
8 March 2010 – the ferry Muhumaa received from the shipyard; the voyage home begins
12 March 2010 – the first new ferry, the Muhumaa arrives in Estonia from Norway, landing in the Harbour of Rohuküla
15 March 2010 – the ferry Muhumaa begins plying the Rohuküla-Heltermaa route
28 May 2010 – christening/naming of the ferry Saaremaa at Fiskerstrand, Norway, with Katrin Leedo as her godmother
11 June 2010 – handover and receipt of SLK’s second new ferry, the Saaremaa, at Fiskerstrand, Norway
16 June 2010 – the ferry Saaremaa arrives in the Harbour of Roomassaare
November 2010 – The Naval Architect announces it has picked the prototype for Saaremaa Laevakompanii’s new ships as ranking amongst the top 50 noteworthy ships completed in the world in 2010
March 2011 – GUIDE 11 catalogue, an international shipping yearbook, publishes a story on Saaremaa Laevakompanii and its new ships, http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/48a709e7, PASSWORD: 3bpG11
6 April 2011 – King Harald V of Norway and President Dalia Grybauskaité of Lithuania visit the shipyard at Fiskerstrand, including SLK’s third new ferry, the Hiiumaa
7 April 2011 – christening/naming of the ferry Hiiumaa at Fiskerstrand, Norway, with Katrin Kallisma as her godmother
28 April 2011 – receipt of the ferry Hiiumaa at the Fiskerstrand BLRT AS shipyard in Norway
4 May 2011 – the ferry Hiiumaa arrives in the Harbour of Rohuküla
31 May 2011 – beautiful finale to the shipbuilding project – unique meeting and joint “ballet” of the three sister vessels, the Muhumaa, the Saaremaa and the Hiiumaa in the Väinameri.