The Artania

1 January 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month

in Bremerhaven © Tvabutzku1234

in Bremerhaven © Tvabutzku1234

MV Artania (previously Royal Princess and Artemis) is a cruise ship chartered since 2011 by Phoenix Reisen, a German-based travel agency and cruise ship operator. She was built for Princess Cruises by Wärtsilä at the Helsinki Shipyard, Finland, and was launched on 18 February 1984. At a ceremony in Southampton, England, on 15 November 1984, the ship was named Royal Princess by Diana, Princess of Wales. After entering service on 19 November 1984, she cruised as Royal Princess until April 2005, when she was transferred to the control of P&O Cruises, and was renamed Artemis. In 2011, she moved to Phoenix Reisen’s fleet and was renamed Artania.   read more…


12 August 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General




The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the United States government agency responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.   read more…

Lappeenranta in South Karelia

11 July 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Lappeenranta Harbour - Photo by Petritap

Lappeenranta Harbour – Photo by Petritap

Lappeenranta is a city and municipality that resides on the shore of the lake Saimaa in South-Eastern Finland, about 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the Russian border. It belongs to the region of South Karelia. With approximately 72,000 inhabitants Lappeenranta is the 13th largest city in Finland. The neighboring municipality of Joutseno was consolidated with Lappeenranta on January 1, 2009, and the neighboring municipality of Ylämaa on January 1, 2010.   read more…

The Freedom of the Seas

1 May 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month

Freedom of the Seas on the maiden voyage © Andres Manuel Rodriguez

Freedom of the Seas on the maiden voyage © Andres Manuel Rodriguez

MS Freedom of the Seas is a cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean International. It is the namesake of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom class, and can accommodate 3,634 passengers and 1,300 crew on fifteen passenger decks. Freedom of the Seas was the largest passenger ship ever built from 2006 until construction of the Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis-class ships in late 2009. The Freedom of the Seas was built at the Aker Yards Turku Shipyard, Finland, which built the ships of the Voyager class as well as the other ships of the Freedom class. Upon its completion, it became the largest passenger ship ever built, taking that honor from Cunard‘s Queen Mary 2. Freedom of the Seas arrived in New York Harbor for its official naming ceremony on 12 May 2006 which was broadcast live on NBC’s The Today Show from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey (the ship’s official New York berth), and thereafter traveled to Boston for the weekend of May 19–22. It began operations out of Miami with its first cruise and maiden voyage on June 4, sailing to western Caribbean locations in Mexico, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica as well as Labadee, in Haiti, one of Royal Caribbean’s private resorts. Although the ship is registered in Nassau, The Bahamas, it is home ported in Port Canaveral, Florida, after moving from the Port of Miami.   read more…

Porvoo on Porvoonjoki river

11 April 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Main Square with Porvoo Museum, the former town hall © kallerna/cc-by-sa-4.0

Main Square with Porvoo Museum, the former town hall © kallerna/cc-by-sa-4.0

Porvoo is a city and a municipality situated on the southern coast of Finland approximately 50 kilometres (30 mi) east of Helsinki. Porvoo is one of the six medieval towns in Finland, first mentioned as a city in texts from 14th century. Porvoo was given city rights around 1380, even though according to some sources the city was founded in 1346. The old city of Porvoo was formally disestablished and the new city of Porvoo founded in 1997 when the city of Porvoo and the Rural municipality of Porvoo were consolidated.   read more…

Helsinki is the capital and the largest city of Finland

13 February 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General, European Capital of Culture

Downtown Helsinki © Tpienonen

Downtown Helsinki © Tpienonen

Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is 596,233, making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is located some 400 kilometres (250 mi) east of Stockholm (Sweden), 300 kilometres (190 mi) west of St. Petersburg (Russia) and 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Tallinn (Estonia). Helsinki has close historical connections with these three cities.   read more…

Kuusamo in Finland

18 December 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Kuusamo-Ruka in winter © Alfred Dengan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Kuusamo-Ruka in winter © Alfred Dengan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Kuusamo is a town and municipality in Finland. It is located in the Northern Ostrobothnia region. The municipality has a population of 16,000 and covers an area of 5,808.92 square kilometres (2,242.84 sq mi) of which 830.81 km2 (320.78 sq mi) is water. Kuusamo is a major center for winter sports and receives approximately a million tourists every year. One of the largest ski resorts in Finland, Ruka, is situated in Kuusamo. Ruka is also the host of many international competitions in ski jumping, cross country skiing and Nordic combined. The 2005 World Championships of Freestyle Skiing was held in Kuusamo. Kuusamo Airport is located 6 kilometres (4 mi) north-east from Kuusamo town centre.   read more…

The four-masted steel barque Pommern

21 November 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Tall ships, Museums, Exhibitions, Yacht of the Month

Museum ship Pommern © Mark A. Wilson

Museum ship Pommern © Mark A. Wilson

The Pommern, formerly the Mneme (1903–1908), is a windjammer. She is a four-masted barque that was built in 1903 in Glasgow at the J. Reid & Co shipyard.   read more…

Rovaniemi, second home of Santa Claus at the Arctic Circle

14 December 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Santa's Post Office © Cédric Puisney/cc-by-2.5

Santa’s Post Office © Cédric Puisney/cc-by-2.5

Rovaniemi is a city and municipality of Finland. It is the administrative capital and commercial centre of Finland‘s northernmost province, Lapland. It is situated about 5 kilometres (3 miles) south of the Arctic Circle and is between the hills of Ounasvaara and Korkalovaara, at the confluence of the river Kemijoki and its tributary, the Ounasjoki. The city and the surrounding Rovaniemen maalaiskunta (Rural municipality of Rovaniemi) were consolidated into a single entity on January 1, 2006. The new municipality has an area of 8,016.72 square kilometres (3,095.27 sq mi) and an approximate population of 61,000, which makes it the larges city in Europa by space, with only 7.2 inhabitants per squarekilometer.   read more…

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