Saturday, 26 October 2013

The expedtion ship M/S Quest waiting in Helsingborg for the cruise season 2014 to begin

The blue/white M/S Quest is a familiar winter "resident" in Helsingborg.

The expedition ship M/S Quest is again spending the winter months in Helsingborg waiting for the cruise season 2014 to begin. Next year she will be taking passengers to the Svalbard, Orkney, Shetland and Faroe islands.

The 50 m x 11.1 m M/S Quest was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry on Greenland's west coast.  She was completely refurbished in 2004/2005 and has since then had been used as an expedition ship. Quest  takes 53 passengers in 26 cabins. The number of crew is 17.

Autumn foliage in Helsingborg

Two weeks ago I shot this image of the Helsingborg city hall (on the left) and the city's medieval Kärnan tower surrounded by autumn foliage:

General cargo ship Annegret on its way to Antwerp

Annegret on its way to Antwerp yesterday.

The general cargo vessel Annegret, here shown going northwards in Øresund yesterday, is easy to recognize from its three yellow cranes. The 151 m x 20 m Annegret, which was launched in 2000, has had its fair share of problems, according to this information:

"The vessel had collided with CELTIC WARRIOR in the Saronic Gulf on Agios Gergios Island, Greece on 7 Dec. 1997. CELTIC WARRIOR sank after the collision but the nine crew members, all Polish citizens, were rescued by the ANNEGRET and taken to Piraeus."
World Martime News, 12 Dec. 1997

"ANNEGRET was in collision with COMET off Aarhus in position 56.09 N. 10.15E and sustained serious damage to her starboard and bulbous bow. Repairs are required before she resumes trading."
Marine News (date not given)

"M/V Annegret in collision with Kiel-Holtenau locks gate of the Kiel Canal. Vessel damaged on starboard side.", Jan. 12 2005

Friday, 25 October 2013

Multipurpose cargo ship Rickmers Chennai on its way to Antwerp

The Rickmers Chennai on its way to Antwerp this afternoon. The 166.17 m  x  22.90 m
multipurpose ship has 1 forward crane (lifting capacity 120 tons) and two main cranes (400 tons each).
Max. container  capacity is TEU 1.031.

This is the Rickmers-Linie general cargo ship Rickmers Chennai in Øresund this afternoon. The ship, owned by Reederei Heino Winter, entered service last year as Pacific Winter, but as it is on long-term charter for Rickmers-Linie, it was renamed on July 2 in Hamburg.

Here is some information from the Rickmers-Linie:

One of the multi-purpose ships operating on Rickmers’ service between Europe and the Middle East/India has been christened Rickmers Chennai. The former Pacific Winter was renamed in a ceremony in Hamburg yesterday, by Dr Christine Winter, daughter of owner Heino Winter, acting as sponsor of the vessel.

The 19,100dwt Rickmers Chennai has been on long-term charter from Reederei Heino Winter since April. With her 800 tonne lift capacity, the 2012-built Rickmers Chennai – together with sister ship Rickmers Dubai ex Baltic Winter – has proven to be a highly successful addition to the Rickmers-Linie fleet.

Ulrich Ulrichs, Rickmers-Linie’s Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director says the co-operation between Reederei Heino Winter and his company is proving a great success.

"We now have four vessels on charter from Reederei Heino Winter, all of which perform extremely well. Both the two smaller vessels Rickmers Chittagong and Rickmers Mumbai as well as Rickmers Dubai and her sister Rickmers Chennai, which was named today, enable us to offer increased flexibility on our Middle East/India – Europe Service.”


A bird of prey?

Is this a bird of prey?

Late this afternoon, while walking on the sea shore, I almost accidentally pointed my camera on a bird flying above the water. At the time, I did not pay much attention to the bird, which quickly disappeared in a southerly direction. However, back home I had a closer look.

There were many seagulls around at the beach, but surely this cannot be a gull. To me it rather lookslike a bird of prey. My ornithological skills are very modest, indeed, so if somebody can help me out, I would be most grateful!


It is of course difficult to ascertain which bird it is when you can't see the head, but a friend of mine suggested that it could be a Caspian gull, and thus not a bird of prey. So, probably no bird of prey, after all.

The view from the library in Helsingør

The view from the Helsingør (Elsinore) city library, located in the beachfront Culture Yard building, is like a painting:

The historic coal-fired tugboat S.S. Bjørn in Helsingør

The historic coal-fired tugboat/icebreaker S.S. Bjørn looked great yesterday afternoon in its home port Helsingør:

The well restored steamship Bjørn in front of the Culture Yard in Helsingør.

The Danish fishery control vessel Havørnen in Helsingør

Havørnen (30 m x 7 m), here shown moored in Helsingør yesterday, is one of Denmark's three fishery control vessels. The ship, which was built by the Nordsoevaerftet in Ringkøbing in 1995, was already taken out of active service, but it was reactivated last year when a Spanish shipyard went broke and could not deliver a new control ship.

"I Heard That Lonesome Whistle" (on the Danish side of the Sound)

From my place (in Hittarp, Sweden) I often hear this yellow Danish train whistle on its way to or from Helsingør on the other side of the Sound ...

While in the mood ...

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The new Danish Maritime Museum in Helsingør - a world class attraction

It took a lot of time - and money - to build the new Danish Maritime Museum in Helsingør, which opened its doors to visitors only a couple of weeks ago. So it was with great expectations I entered the new museum this afternoon.

My first visit to the new museum confirmed what I had been hoping for: Helsingør now has another world class attraction in the immediate vicinity of Hamlet's legendary castle Kronborg.

The closeness to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Kronborg (500 meters) of course posed a great challenge to the architects. The winners of the design competition, Danish BIG architects - with Bjarke Ingels and David Zahle as architects in charge - have integrated the Maritime Museum in the historic environment in a splendid way by locating it in the town's former dry dock.

Here is how the architects describe their work:

The Danish Maritime Museum had to find its place in a unique historic and spatial context; between one of Denmark’s most important and famous buildings and a new, ambitious cultural centre. This is the context in which the museum has proven itself with an understanding of the character of the region and especially the Kronborg Castle. Like a subterranean museum in a dry dock.

Leaving the 60 year old dock walls untouched, the galleries are placed below ground and arranged in a continuous loop around the dry dock walls – making the dock the centerpiece of the exhibition – an open, outdoor area where visitors experience the scale of ship building.
A series of three double-level bridges span the dry dock, serving both as an urban connection, as well as providing visitors with short-cuts to different sections of the museum. The harbor bridge closes off the dock while serving as harbor promenade; the museum’s auditorium serves as a bridge connecting the adjacent Culture Yard with the Kronborg Castle; and the sloping zig-zag bridge navigates visitors to the main entrance.

This bridge unites the old and new as the visitors descend into the museum space overlooking the majestic surroundings above and below ground. The long and noble history of the Danish Maritime unfolds in a continuous motion within and around the dock, 7 meters (23 ft.) below the ground. All floors – connecting exhibition spaces with the auditorium, classroom, offices, café and the dock floor within the museum – slope gently creating exciting and sculptural spaces.

The pictures below are primarily related to the architecture of the new museum. I will later return to the exciting exhibits.

The Kronborg castle is only 500 meters away from the underground museum.

The new Culture Yard cultural centre is the neighbour on the other side. The Maritime Museum
is located right behind the blue and white fishing boat in the picture.

You enter and exit the Maritime Museum through this steel bridge.

The entrance is wonderfully integrated in the old dry dock area.

Another view of the entrance/exit bridge.

A very nice feature is that you can follow the building process through a number of
large pictures on display.

The image on the left shows the closeness to the castle.

More construction images on display.

The exhibition spaces are boldly coloured and lighted.

On the right you can see a huge model of the world's largest container ship,
the Majestic Mærsk.

This beautifully designed hall should be perfect for lectures and other arrangements.

Some work is still being done on the upper side of these stairs.

The restaurant/cafeteria is wonderfully "minimalistic", with the old dry dock walls
clearly visible.
Flowers and pastry for the architects!

A Russian prisoner of war in 1905

Whoever took this picture of a Russian prisoner of war in the 1904 - 1905 Russo-Japanese war, was a in my view a good photographer:

A Russian POW and his two Japanese guards in 1905.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The highlight of the Verdi year: ARTE's broadcast of Verdi's Messa da Requiem from Teatro alla Scala

At least for this "reviewer" the Arte broadcast on October 20 of Verdi's Messa da Requiem, recorded last year at the Teatro alla Scala, has been the absolute highlight of the composer's 200th anniversary.
It is difficult to imagine a finer combination than La Scala, Daniel Barenboim, soprano Anja Harteros, mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča, tenor Jonas Kaufmann and bass René Pape for what sometimes - slightly ironically - has been called Verdi's "finest opera".

I cannot but agree with what the critic Richard Morrison wrote in The Times:

"If you were to devise a dream casting for this most theatrical of sacred masterpieces you might well come up with Anja Harteros, Elina Garanca, Jonas Kaufmann and Rene Pape, plus the Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, under their current maestro, Daniel Barenboim... I was blown away by this Requiem... Kaufmann’s first entry was like an erupting volcano. Garanca was as mesmerising, floating creamy legatos while mustering a thrilling chest voice that I never thought she possessed. Harteros, looking like a distressed pre-Raphaelite beauty, turned the final movement into the most sublime death scene never to appear in an opera. And that incredible chorus, with their barrel-voiced basses and wonderfully hammy rolled consonants and gasped aspirates, hurled out the apocalyptic moments as if determined to blast the roof off.”

I am particularly happy about what Mr Morrison said about the La Scala chorus. What a joy it was to watch and hear the power of this mighty instrument! Without a first class chorus even the best of soloists and orchestras cannot make a great performance of the Verdi requiem.

The Teatro alla Scala chorus was a revelation.

Members of the chorus.

Soloists Harteros, Garanča, Kaufmann and Pape.
Tenor Jonas Kaufmann.

Barenboim with soloists.

Harteros and Garanča.

The last truck to the six o'clock ferry

Two other images from the Helsingborg ferry terminal. The truck driver was clearly in a hurry. He was the last one to catch the six o'clock ferry .....

The last truck to the six o'clock ferry.
The lights of the first cars to the next ferry are visible at the entrance gate
in the background.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Helsingborg by night - six pictures

The ferry terminal and its surroundings are the "heart" of Helsingborg, also by night.


I added these images from the ferry terminal, which I shot earlier, when the lights
were not yet on.


Views from my balcony (16): Before the rain

Dark skies above Øresund and the Danish coast yesterday afternoon:

Classic cruise ship Marco Polo on its last visit in Øresund this year

The Marco Polo, my favourite classic cruise ship looks great, also when surrounded by autumn colours. The 176 m x 24 m cruise liner is on its last visit to Copenhagen this year. The next cruise will be a 30 day tour of the West Indies. Not a bad choice for people who want the escape the sometimes less than pleasant autumn weather in Europe ...

Monday, 21 October 2013

Oil/chemical tanker Heinrich in a foggy Øresund

Early this afternoon the oil/chemical tanker Heinrich looked great against the foggy coast of Danish Zealand. The Gibraltar registry 114 m x 18 m ship is going to Stenungssund: