The ship slowly approached the ferry dock at Galtby, stern first. A large crowd of spectators had assembled on the shore. That was on 31 May 1959. Many realised that they were witnessing an important event in the history of shipping. After this, nothing was to be the same as before, in passenger transport across the Åland sea.
The Viking, which belonged to the newly formed Rederiaktiebolaget Vikinglinjen, was the first combined passenger and vehicle ferry in operation between Southern Finland, Åland and Sweden. Only a few days later, she found herself in competition with a converted freighter owned by Rederi AB Slite.
Another Åland ferry line was founded in 1963, Ålandsfärjan Ab. These three newly started companies eventually began to collaborate, which led to the present-day Viking Line Abp. The 50-year history of the red ships includes a fantastic journey from pioneers to market-leading major shipping companies, but also drama and misfortune.
Author: Pär-Henrik Sjöström / Krzysztof Brzoza
Publisher: Breakwater Publishing AB
Publishing year: 2010
No. of pages: 320
The book is also available in Swedish.