Silja Symphony is a cruise ferry owned by the Estonian
shipping company Tallink Group, operated under their Silja
Line brand on a route connecting Helsinki, Finland to
Stockholm, Sweden via Mariehamn. She was built in 1991 at
Masa-Yards Turku New Shipyard, Finland.
While the Silja Symphony
was being built the Wärtsilä Marine shipyard went bankrupt,
and as a result she was delivered several months behind
schedule on 30 May 1991. On 1 June she was put on the route
Helsinki–Stockholm. The new ships, the first ones to have a
centerline promenade inside the ship, were highly popular
but also proved to be somewhat expensive to operate. Unlike
her sister, MS Silja Serenade, the Symphony's funnel was
constructed of aluminium, which made the ship less heavy.
Silja Symphony was also the third ship to arrive at the
scene of the MS Estonia disaster on 28 September 1994.
On 7 February 1996, the ship was grounded in the Stockholm
archipelago. In December of the same year her engines were
upgraded with so-called water-spray technology that greatly
reduced nitrogen oxide emissions. In order to keep tax free
sales on the Helsinki–Stockholm ships when the EU changed
its tax free legislation, a stop at Mariehamn was added to
the route in June 1999. On 6 August 2001, a swarm of fish
got sucked into the ship's cooling water intakes, which
resulted in the engines shutting down due to overheating.
Due to the engine problem the ship arrived in Helsinki some
1½ hours late.
In January 2004 the ship made two special cruises to
Tallinn, Estonia for the Finnish company SOK. Similar
cruises were made again in January 2005. In January–February
2006, just prior to the sale of Silja Line to Tallink, the
Symphony and her sister had their interiors extensively
rebuilt at Luonnonmaan telakka, Naantali. During a storm on
9 January 2007 the Symphony accidentally rammed a boarding
tube in the port of Mariehamn, resulting in approximately
€600,000 worth of damage.
There are some small external differences by which the
Symphony can be told apart from her sister: the outer decks
on the Symphony are painted light blue (they are green on
the Serenade), the eyes of the seal in Symphony's funnel are
blue whereas they are white with a blue outline on the
Serenade, and the light box with the ship's name on it is
white on the Symphony, but blue on the Serenade.