Although a little delayed, this update looks at Unity Line.
Two services to Sweden
Unity Line is owned by Polska Żegluga Morska, also known as Polsteam. It is effectively a company belonging to the Polish state. Unity Line was previously jointly owned by Euroafrica Shipping Lines. Euroafrica, Poland’s largest private shipping company, remains a key player in Unity by providing a significant part of the tonnage used on their routes.
The current services are;
|Świnoujście – Ystad||POLONIA, SKANIA, JAN SNIADECKI|
|Świnoujście – Trelleborg||GALILEUSZ, COPERNICUS, WOLIN, GRYF|
The GALILEUSZ, COPERNICUS and JAN SNIADECKI are Euroafrica owned.
The primary passenger ships are POLONIA and SKANIA, however, motorised passenger traffic is accommodated on the other five vessels.
There are plans for the development of the fleet;
- Acquired by Euroafrica in 2022, the EPSILON is expected to join Unity Line in late 2022. The vessel is currently in service with Irish Ferries.
- Two new Ropax ferries are being constructed by the Polish Remontowa yard for Unity Line, the first delivery due in 2024. A further vessel of the series is being built for Polferries with one further option.
POLONIA is a combined passenger/vehicle/train ferry built for Unity Line by Langsten Slip & Båtbyggeri A/S in 1995. The ship offers a cruiseferry type offering for up to 900 passengers.
SKANIA is one of the most significant of current European Ferries, having been constructed as SUPERFAST I. Built in 1995 by Schichau Seebeckswerft, Bremerhaven, Germany, the vessel spent her first nine years on Superfast Ferries’ Patras – Ancona then Patras – Igoumenitsa –Bari routes. Four years with Grimaldi Lines as EUROSTAR ROMA followed, mainly on the Civitavecchia – Barcelona route.
Sold to Polsteam/Unity Line in 2018 she was placed on the Świnoujście – Ystad route. As with the POLONIA, she offers a full passenger service. Her onboard guide can be found here.
Built as a train and freight ferry for Polish Ocean Lines’ Świnoujście – Ystad route, the ship transferred to Unity Line in 1995 when that company commenced operations. The ship can accommodate up to 57 passengers.
The vessel was built in 1992 as the VIA TIRRENO Van der Giessen-de Nord, Krimpen aan den Ijssel. The VIA TIRRENO operated for Tirrenia and related companies until sold to Euroafrica Shipping in 2006. Renamed GALILEUSZ, her passenger capacity was increased from 50 to 125. She was initially used on Świnoujście – Ystad from late 2006. The following year GALILEUSZ transferred to the new Świnoujście – Trelleborg route.
Named PUGLIA, the ship had been built by Fincantieri Palermo in 1995 to the same design as GALILEUSZ. She had a career on Italian domestic freight services with Tirrena and Moby Lines. PUGLIA was purchased by Euroafrica Shipping in late 2007 for use by Unity Lines. Rebuilt, with an increased passenger capacity of 126, she entered service as COPERNICUS in autumn 2018 on the Świnoujście – Trelleborg route.
WOLIN was built in 1986 as the ÖRESUND trainferry for Swedish State Railways Danlink Helsingborg – Copenhagen service. This service ceased with the opening of the Øresund Bridge in 2000. She was subsequently sold to Sea Containers. Rebuilt with a passenger capacity for 240, she was used by Sea Containers on their Seawind Line subsidiary’s Stockholm – Långnäs – Turku route. In 2007 she was sold to Polsteam and used on the Świnoujście – Trelleborg route.
Unusually, GRYF was built in Norway for service in Turkish waters as the CAPTAIN BURHANETTIN ISIM. She is closely related to the PATRIA SEAWAYS, OSLOFJORD and LEIF ERICSON design. The ship operated for Turkish Cargo Lines on Trieste – Istanbul until 2002 when she saw service with LatLines then Ventlines on services to Latvia. CAPTAIN BURHANETTIN ISIM was sold to Polsteam in 2004, entering service with Unity Line in 200 as GRYF. She can carry up to 180 passengers.