The Port of Felixstowe today [21st December 2004] bid a fond farewell to Finnlines’ vessel, Baltic Eider, on its last call at the Port. After 14 years of calls at Felixstowe, the 1A Super Ice Class ro/ro vessel has been retired from Finnlines’ service.
Finnlines operates five fixed day services per week connecting Felixstowe with the Finnish ports of Hamina, Helsinki, Kemi, Turku and Oulu. These services are able to accommodate a diverse cargo mix of ro/ro, bulk cargo and containers.
To mark the last call of the Baltic Eider at Felixstowe, a commemorative ceremony was held at the Port. During the ceremony on board the vessel, Andrew Harston, the Port of Felixstowe’s General Manager – Central Operations, presented the Master of the Baltic Eider, Captain Robert Raybould, with a commemorative plaque and crystal glasses.
The Baltic Eider’s first call at the Port of Felixstowe was in January 1990, to take on stores on its maiden voyage from Ulsan in Korea. It was taken on hire after its departure from Felixstowe, loading its first cargo in Helsinki and Hamina, for delivery to Amsterdam and Antwerp.
The Baltic Eider has made some 500 calls at the Port of Felixstowe over the last 14 years. Its most successful year was in 1992, when it held firm to its weekly schedule to complete an impressive 52 calls at the Port.
The vessel has even seen action in the first Gulf War. It was chartered by the Ministry of Defence in the spring of 1991, and completed two runs to the Gulf as an equipment carrier.