Fifteen Funnels for Fun (vol. III)

The third and concluding chapter of the “Tour de Funnel” in my archive. This time spanning from North of The Arctic Circle over East Asia to the extreme midday-sun in the Med.

Above: I prefer to go on Hurtigruten in the shoulder seasons where the weather can show all its faces within a few days travel. Here NORDLYS’s funnel shot in an early spring arctic high-pressure at Honningsvaag in 2018. This photo: A clear midday-sky, the colour red and a polarizing filter makes a great combination. The subject was the funnel of BRAEMAR, visiting Aarhus in 2007.

About my series “Funnels for Fun”
As shipping over the coming decades must deliver significant CO2-reductions to cut the industry’s negative contribution to the greenhouse gas-powered heating of the planet, new types of fuels and new types of propulsion will be introduced. Not least, electric hybrid systems that largely consume green electricity bunkered from land or produced by fuel cells on board.

Another shot of BRAEMAR’s funnel. This time four years later in Barcelona.

Therefore, the exterior design of ships is changing as well. Especially passenger ships that directly market themselves against the wide population view, why ships funnels, as we know them, can become a design element that faces major changes.

DFDS’s CROWN SEAWAYS photographed at the Molslinjen-terminal in Aarhus three years ago. The cruise-ferry, normally serving DFDS’s high-profile route between the Danish and Norwegian capitals, was chartered to act as a conference hotel and trade fair venue for at couple of days in Aarhus.

Partly because the funnels now no longer have to serve the practical purpose of preventing soot from stain the outside decks and partly because the absence of a funnel or a minimalizing of it can be used as a statement to underline that this ship is a green non-polluting ship – an expression of modernity in the coming decades, where everyone’s focus is on the climate and the state of the Globe.

A bitterly cold late afternoon on PEARL SEAWYS, January 2011.

Two world-renowned historic merchant ships, which both introduced new ways of propulsion in their respective eras; the first major diesel engine-powered merchant ship SELANDIA from 1912 and the world’s first major nuclear-powered merchant ship SAVANNAH from 1963, used the absence of visible funnels as a statement of modernity.

From my trip to Japan in 2012. SUNFLOWER FURANO’s funnel, a bit of the ferry’s superstructure and a parked trailer interacts. This photo is shot with my beloved Zeiss Planar 50 mm.
Another funnel, but the same three elements. This time shot with one of my pocket cameras, a Fujifilm X100, a great back up-camera when you must travel light, as we did in Japan.

Currently, Scandlines’ two diesel electric hybrid-powered ferries BERLIN and COPENHAGEN from 2016 use part of the same strategy with significantly underplayed funnels in the same white colour as the rest of the ship. The same does Molslinjen’s HAMMERSHUS from 2018, which feature a world premiere on Wärtsilä’s new W31 engine range, considered the most energy efficient medium speed motor on the market now.

A very reminiscent farewell-scene back in 2007 when Polferries’s POMERANIA still called at Toldboden in the central Copenhagen. Once there were several daily calls of passenger ships in the central harbour of the Danish capital. Today most old parts of Copenhagen’s harbour are a desert of office buildings and luxury apartments. Yet, Toldboden and Langelinie are still bustling with cruise ships during the summer, but new remote-located cruise ship capacity is in the making.

As a maritime photographer, who has always been inspired by the aesthetics of ships, I have had a special focus on passenger ships funnels as one of the most important design elements. Something that, once it has fulfilled its technical purpose, can acts as a creative dot for the ship’s designer to complete the profile.

A play with lines and composition on another Polferries-funnel.

I have over the years shot many photos of funnels, but almost always as a by-product in a much broader photo session, but where the funnels emerged as a subject of obvious compositions along the way – “Funnels for Fun”; Either independently with its structure and lines – or with its interaction with the surroundings.

Together with Viking Line, Fjord Line was among the first shipping companies to introduce LNG on cruise-ferries. To underline that pioneering status, Fjord Line choose to do the opposite of hiding the obligate vents for the LNG tanks.

Once, passenger ships’ funnels were an expression of power as in the transatlantic liner era. Through in the time I have documented them, they have been less value-laden and more just a design element with a practical purpose. But that can change in the decades to come!

Just as with the BRAEMAR-photo, a polarized midday shot. This time in an extreme high-lux level environment in the Mediterranean. The red funnel belongs to SOVEREIGN with its Viking Crown Lounge in the front.
A rare combination of ferries shows off their funnels in Frederikshavn. PRIDE OF TELEMARK and MAREN MOLS met at the Orskov Repair Yard in March 2008.
Estonian Tallink vary their funnel designs on some of their ships.
Another shot, as the first one, also from Tallinn and with the same two ferries.
And a third Tallink-funnel captured a winter afternoon out in the Stockholm Archipelago.


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