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Passenger Ferries featured on new joint stamps by Aland Islands and Russia

Passenger Ferries featured on new joint stamps by Aland Islands and Russia
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Posten Aland issued a "Passenger ferry" stamp in cooperation with the Russian post.

This year's second stamp in the passenger ferry series by Aland Post features M/S Princess Anastasia. The ship operates on the route Stockholm-Tallinn-St Petersburg-Helsinki. Ordered by Swedish shipping company Rederi Ab Slite, M/S Princess Anastasia was built in 1986 by Wartsila shipyard in Turku to be placed in the service of Viking Line. She was named M/S Olympia and was sister ship of Viking Line's M/S Mariella. M/S Olympia operated for Viking Line between Stockholm and Helsinki from 1988 to 1993.

When Rederi Ab Slite went bankrupt in 1993, she was sold to P&O Ferries and, between 1993 and 2010 she served mostly between Portsmouth in England and Bilbao in Spain, now with the name M/S Pride of Bilbao. On 2 April 2011, St Peter Line placed the ship in traffic on the route Stockholm-Tallinn-St Petersburg-Helsinki under her new name M/S Princess Anastasia. From August 2011 until April 2012, Mariehamn (Aland Islands capital) was one of the ports of call on her voyage.

Several passenger ferries run between St. Petersburg and Mariehamn. On their board a great attention is paid to the increased comfort. The ferry ride is not just moving from one place to another, it is an exciting journey and wonderful sea views through the liner's windows. The stamp by Russian post depicts a passenger ferry plying between St. Petersburg and the Aland Islands.

By the way, this is the second joint stamp issue by Aland and Russia: the very popular joint issue of a miniature sheet in 2011 in connection with the 150th anniversary of Mariehamn paved the way for this new joint issue. St Petersburg is also a twin town of Mariehamn. You can find the news posted by StampNews.com dedicated to the first joint issue here: http://www.stampnews.com/stamps/stamps_2011/stamp_1298466857_339488.html

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