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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Passenger ferry series by Aland

Two new stamps in the Aland passenger ferry series will be issued in February.

The stamps designed by artist Hakan Sjostrom feature M/S Alandia and M/S Apollo.

Alandia was built in 1939 as M/S Basto in Moss, Norway. The ship had been in Norwegian service for many years and even been used by the German army for troop transportation in 1944, when she came to the newly established company Rederiaktiebolag Eckero in 1961. During her first year of operation, Alandia ran under the name Alpha and was the first roll-on/roll-off car ferry operating in Aland ferry service. In November 1961, the ship met with trouble when she capsized and was waterlogged upon arriving in Grisslehamn. Thanks to resolute intervention, everybody onboard was saved. Alpha was soon to be nicknamed "Round-trip Aland" after that.

Apollo was delivered in 1970 from Jos. L. Meyer Schiffswerft in Papenburg, West Germany. Both M/S Viking 1 and M/S Marella were delivered to Viking Line the same year. Apollo served for Viking Line from May 1970 until March 1976, when she was sold to a Danish shipping company. Today, Apollo operates in Canada where she provides service for the Woodward Group under her original name Apollo.