Finnlines, a freight and passenger shipping company, is making major investments in its route between Finland, Åland and Sweden, with the introduction of two new Superstar freight-passenger vessels.

Finnlines announced it has taken delivery of Finnsirius, the first in a series of two Superstar hybrid freight-passenger (ro-pax) vessels built by China Merchants Jinling Shipyard in Weihai, China.

The ship will enter Finnlines’ Finland–Sweden (Naantali–Långnäs–Kapellskär) line and traffic is scheduled to start in September 2023.

The second vessel, Finncanopus, is expected to be delivered by the end of 2023. The two ships are the largest ro-pax vessels in the Finnlines fleet and the cargo capacity will increase by nearly 24% to 5,200 lane metres, while passenger capacity will double from today’s 554 to 1,100.

The new ro-pax vessels are part of Finnlines €500 million worth green newbuilding programme, which comprises both ro-pax and ro-ro vessels.

Three new hybrid ro-ro vessels of Finnlines started operating in summer 2022.

As the company highlights, Finnlines’ green newbuilding programme has been a massive investment which will benefit the Finnish shipping company’s freight customers and private passengers.

“These hybrid ro-pax vessels are not only the largest in the Finnlines fleet so far, but they transport cargo in a more sustainable manner,” says Finnlines.

Smooth freight traffic in the Baltic Sea is the backbone of the region’s economies and national security of supply. For example, around 90% of both Finnish and Swedish exports and imports are carried along shipping routes.

“Finnlines combines cargo with passenger traffic in this Naantali–Långnäs–Kapellskär route, and therefore our investment will strengthen services to our freight customers as well as to our passengers,” noted Tom Pippingsköld, president and CEO of Finnlines.