Hit the ocean in Viking Line’s M/S Grace, a vessel that takes care of the entire package — the mind, the eye, the palate, the body and that good old panacea called shopping.
Cruise without conscience
M/S Grace is the greenest passenger vessel plying the waters to date. It’s the first passenger ship that uses liquefied natural gas (LNG) for fuel, thereby reducing nitrogen exhausts and particles by 85 percent and greenhouse gases by 15 percent, while the sulphur exhaust level is practically zero. The Baltic Sea is a heavily trafficked stretch of water and, hence, is in a very delicate state. Grace moves quietly and gently through this sensitive archipelago, minimizing wave and noise formation by means of its hydrodynamic hull (reducing resistance) and STX Finland Boatyard’s patented Wave Damping Aftbody technology, a propeller system that creates very little wake.
Pleasing to the eye from all angles, one can only muse at the genius of the designers Vertti Kivi & Co, who broke with usual nautical designs and used the spectacular Finnish archipelago as their source of inspir7ation. The oversized windows with high-insulation, energy-saving glass, allow the light and scenery to pour in while clever interior lighting that changes color regulates the mood. Furniture and carpets blend with the surrounding natural scene they imitate — no garishness, no vulgarity.
Pleasing to the palate
There’s something for everyone at the seven restaurants and bars onboard. Begin a romantic evening with a glass of champagne in the Seamore bar followed by carefully prepared haute cuisine in Oscar à la carte restaurant. Frank’s on the other hand is a modern eatery where you’re issued with a credit card as you walk in that adds up your hamburgers and beer or pasta and red wine. Instead of waiting on paper bills after your meal, all you do is hand in your card and voilà, you get the total. If the family’s famished, there’s Aurora buffet restaurant, a veritable feast serving a smorgasbord with slightly salted salmon, salads, roast beef, you name it! Shake off the calories or sip on a Mojito in the Vogue nightclub where the excellent house band will keep your feet tapping and if this isn’t enough, there’s the Rockmore Bar for a salmiakki kossu (licorice local hooch) where you can even dance on the tables if the mood should hit you!
Soothing the soul
Lavish yourself in the serene spa. Jacuzzis flush with the windows and offer never-ending sea views, organic products rejuvenate the body, and an ice room will give your heart an extra boost of a beat. Expert staff members are on hand to fulfill your every need.
Shop till you drop
The largest floating duty-free shop in the world is at your disposal. Clothes, jewelry, booze, food and cosmetics are of a high quality..
If that’s not enough to get you onboard, what is?
Viking Line’s Grace operates between Turku Harbour, a two-hour train journey from Helsinki and Stockholm with crossings departing every evening at 9 p.m. and returning at 7:50 p.m. Bookings can be made online at here.
Photos courtesy of Petteri Maatta, Heli Air Film and Okko Oinonen