Itella Posti Oy released a miniature sheet of two postage stamp designs on 17 March featuring the iconic Finnish ferry Finnjet. The Finnjet operated between Helsinki and Travemünde, Germany, from 1977 until 2008.
Designed by graphic designer Klaus Welp, the Finnjet miniature sheet concludes the Nordic Norden: Nordic Maritime series comprising a choice of other stamp designs depicting sea rescue ships, the Maritime Centre Vellamo in Kotka, Finland and the legendary Finnish icebreaker Tarmo alongside other subjects.
The Finnjet ferry was the most technically advanced passenger ship of its time. It was the world's largest car and passenger ferry on a number of criteria, including weight, length, capacity, speed and horsepower.
In terms of passenger comfort, too, it was in a league of its own. Instead of deck seating, all passengers had access to their own cabins. They were also served sumptuous buffet meals, with a wide choice of entertainment on offer. During the course of its service, Finnjet carried more than five million passengers.
Graphic designer Klaus Welp has first-hand experience of travel onboard the much-loved ferry. His stamp design draws on his own childhood photograph depicting him alongside his father, mother and brother on the outdoor deck of Finnjet, taken during a trip to Germany. Klaus Welp was just three years old at the time.
"My father is German and we used to cross the Baltic to visit family and friends at least every other year. Many of the journeys took place onboard Finnjet, "the King of the Baltic". For 24 hours, my brother and I were able to roam around this floating miniature universe, exploring the orange-carpeted corridors and windy outdoor decks," Welp says.
Text and photos: Itella Posti Oy