with biggest dignity and greatest respect

left behind

“I have at least a million stories,
here inside my mind
At least a million stories,
that will last for time
Now I know it’s time to leave
but let’s not say goodbye
Just walk away and turn around
let me see that smile
and I’ll Remember You 
I remember you

If by chance I never pass
this way again
Time should take me on to other places,
other friends.
Please, know that I hold you
here close beside my heart
You, me and those memories
we will never part.
because I’ll Remember You
I remember you”

Now in a hands of a woman and those hands belongs to Ann-Charlotte …  she are the in charge of the recycling of Stena Voyager, very smart and pleasant young lady. 

Roughly a month ago was it time for me to be able go on board for the last time together with Per, a journalist from our local newspaper. A warm and sunny day. Ann-Charlotte had driven from Ronneby, 17 mil/106 miles to be a fantastic host for us, show us around and tell the story about what is going to happen from now onward.  – together with the director for the company that is handling the 8 months long process.

The visit should have been the week before, but Stena Recycling had contacted Per and informed him that they didn’t feel it was safe enough for us to go on board. It was with very mixed feeling I made my way down to the harbor – I thought that is was going to be hard to handle .. and extreme emotional for me, but we had some pleasant hours with Voyager.

my last visit

Ann-Charlotte told us that Voyager will be recycled to 100% – everything will be used, sold or recycled. She told us that it doesn’t make sense to send vessels to Asia to be broken into pieces, mostly because of environment reason. When done here in Sweden by one of the companies in the Stena Sphere – they have better control over the whole process. I think it’s fantastic that nothing will be wasted.

There is many kinds of recycling: fuel, technical, electrical, metal, fittings and soft – soft recycling is  what will be burned – and that then will heat up streets and buildings. Fitting recycling is was can be used somewhere else, sold or auctioned to other vessels or for shore side usage.

Everything has been counted for and put on record so they know exactly where everything is going . The organization behind the dismantle is nearly so big as it was to start HIM up in 1996. An inventor is done of everything on board – and what Voyager is put together of – a process that started and done in Belfast.

There wasn’t any electricity on board – so it was very dark in some areas, but we went through the whole craft and – HE looked good, even if equipment, fittings and some furnishings were missing. So I could only take photos where there was daylight enough.

I found my first condiments draws still on the counter in the Riva Lounge – not looking its best. Up on the bridge where we were invited for freshly brewed coffee and mineral water with cookies …. a captains uniforms jackets were hanging over the commando chair, I wonder who it once belonged to???!!!. A very nice touch – even if no captain was sailing HIM over form Belfast to the final destination, there was a captain jacket present.

We walked around in all areas … and I tried to paint the story about how it was … when we was up and running. Everybody seems to remember when the lorry was hanging outside the aft door … for 24 hours. All publishes is good – even the not so good ones.

All isolation on car deck was more or less removed and very orderly stacked on lower car deck – a mountain of papers and files was also well stacked on car deck, what I could see – it most mostly from the nautical side of the operation. The dismantle of the craft very well organized and so tidy.

So wonderful to see .. it looked more like HE was going through a major refit. It really felt good to leave HIM in the hands of Ann-Charlotte and knowing that every inch of this massive, beautiful and powerful craft will be reused in some way and somehow will get a new life and it’s going to be all done with biggest dignity and greatest respect. Maybe will HE become some contemporary furnishings or fitting in a trendy bar somewhere.

After we said goodbye to Ann-Charlotte – was it time for going back into town center I got a ride with Per in the newspapers little colorful car .. and I finished of a great afternoon with this years first soft ice cream. And while walking through the park I stopped and smelled the flowers.

made it to the front page

By the way I made it to the front page of the local newspaper – the headline says – A dear reunion with “the big man”. Also about 10 days ago I read that they were holding an auction on board – selling the entire interior and quite a few speculators was there.  Wonder if anyone bought my condiments draws????!!!!

“Gone, but never forgotten”
Stuart Murray, crew member Stena Voyager

stena voyager

I found this little beautiful tune … on Soundcloud, called “I’ll Remember You” – with such suitable lyrics. Singer and songwriter is Christian Andréason who lives in Los Angeles. He must have some connection with Sweden because … his surname are Swedish. Through Google I found out that he had “a near-death/out-of-body experience.” in June 1995, after a mixture of strong pain killers and dental anesthesia.

59 thoughts on “with biggest dignity and greatest respect

    • Thanks, Colleen – the post has been finished for nearly a month, but I haven’t really felt for posting it – it’s sad that something like that will be broken into pieces, but something else will be made out of “HIM” and it’s made in such respectful way. Funny that we ended up at the same place. *smile

      • I hope you get information on how he is recycled and where he goes. It will be interesting to see how many places he improves by showing up and replacing or beginning other things.

        I’m glad you recycled yourself then! 🙂

      • Every time I’m on the train … I look out for it … it shows so well, so big .. and I fear the day I can’t see it anymore – but it’s 7 months until then. *smile

  1. I read this with pride and sadness for you. A history but yet still useful to others for our future. I love the photo of you Vivi. Now I know who it is I speak to!!!!

    • The photos are terrible, but they are what they are – hate when they but a camera in my face. It wasn’t that sad as I thought it would be, but still … what a waste of a fantastic product.

  2. Oh dear Viveka.. the ship still looks to good to be broken up and recycled… it must be difficult for you to imagine what is to become of her… but it sounds good that the breakup is happening there by you and not in places where cheap labour and pollution is of no concern to the recyclers… this is a lovely post… what a shame she has to go…

    • Bob, it wasn’t that sad and upsetting as I thought it should be – when I was how everything was done, the work so tidy and kept in order. The fuel is far too expensive to run them – but I wish something could have been done out of the “BIG MAN” – art gallery or a casino .. or something, Stena have done a great move do the reycling here in Sweden and take control themselves of the breakdown.

  3. Wonderful photos and the perfect song for your tribute post, Viveka. You must have had such a lump in your throat , as you wandered around this beautiful ship for the last time. Now I also have tears in my eyes. *hugs*

    • Thank you so much … I was very nervous before I came on board over how I would react, but when I was how tidy and clean it was – and how careful they was taking it apart – it felt okay and when they told how it will happen, it felt very comforting – nobody can afford to run this craft with the oil prices that we have today, and everything can be recycled – it felt good and what an organization to take it apart. It was just like it was on its yearly refit. So spotless clean inside and it hasn’t been in traffic for over 2 years. Had some fantastic memories with it and that will always be with us. 8 months is a long process.

  4. Its great that this lovely craft will be completely recycled. Your pictures and words convey the depth of your nostalgia Viveka. And the song enhances the feeling considerably! Beautiful and moving post.

      • Celebrity status … I hope not *laughter
        The photos are not the best … I don’t see myself looking like that – but I must do. *laughter.

    • Madhu, thank you !! Yes, I love the music .. found it by mistake – just love the lyrics.
      Yes, that it will be the last post … I will do about “HIM” – I think. *smile

    • Thanks, Uru … it was a great visit and I felt okay about the whole thing when I have seen what they was going to do. It was looking so good inside – and it hasn’t been in traffic for over 2 years.

  5. You have a great knack of matching music with your words and images – and this one was perfect … and I imagined the wide range of emotions you encountered … anticipation to joy to sadness with countless others along the way.

    • Frank, I was very nervous when I went aboard, but see what they was up too .. made me feel good about the whole thing and with every inch recycled … and used for something else – it means … there will be something new built for it.
      Thanks for your kind words – the music I found by accident and I thought the lyrics was so suitable.

    • Maralee, it wasn’t … I felt very good when I left – because I knew that it’s in very good and gentle hands. But I wish it could been used for something else. Such big and fantastic craft, so spacious.

    • Thank you … it’s a fantastic time of my life .. and so full of memories – but with fuel so expensive nobody want to buy “HIM” … I wish I could afford to turn it into an art gallery or casino.

  6. Viveka, this was a beautiful posts, as all of yours are. This one had special meaning to you, and therefore to us. I need to read more about you to know what all you did with this special ship. I am so glad you shared your pictures, too, and that you are now famous! You are famous in our eyes for your wonderful posts and matching music. Take care, my friend. I’m glad you are not too sad, and that the job or recycling has been done with respect. 🙂 Marsha 🙂

  7. Så bitterljuvt att läsa, så vackert arrangerat som vanligt – och musiken? Alla berömmer den, men jag hör inget i min PC…kanske har den gått sönder – får kontrollera detta. Jag njuter ändå.

    Det måste vara en skön känsla att allt blir taget till vara och dessutom på ett intelligent sätt. Det skulle vara roligt att läsa hela tidningsartikeln också.

    Vi tittar väl lite på väder innan vi bestämmer dag. Har du något särskilt önskemål – kanske är det dumt med en helg? 16-17 (tisdag, onsdag) någongång? Jag ser mycket fram emot denna outing!

    • Ibland får man öppna posten mer än en gång …. det är en fantastisk sång – så pröva igen, det händer ibland att WP och Soundclouds inte är samspelta. Måndag skulle passa mig bra – så får jag mera tid över för mamma’s grejor. Hur blir måndag för dig???? Har ingen aning vad jag har gjort med tidningen, la den i scannern – sen har jag ingen aning var jag lagt den.
      Har letat i datarummet .. får kolla bakom skrivbordet kanske. Har varit över in Louisiana idag – aldrig varit där tidigare, vilken underbar plats. Vi hade tur med vädret också. Skall till Simrishamn imorgon. Det är mycket jobbigt eftersom min halvbror inte hör av sig och jag kan inte göra någonting utan hans fullmakt. Kommer ingenstans. Hatar det.

      Ringer under veckan. Ser fram emot CPH också.

  8. It must be very, very special to have been able to go onboard again, to have a last look. I love your idea of turning it into an art gallery or something, but, well, it takes to win the lottery first, I guess. I once had as dream to work on boats, until that time I got terriby seasick on a travel from Gothenburg to London, I was so sick I just wanted to die. After that I realised it would be nothing for me, but I still enjoy it when I travel on one, we sometimes go with Stenaline Kiel-Gothenburg. Love your photos, a very nice visual farewell. And what I loved the most was to see the photo of you, so nice to see your face! Take good care!

    • Thank you so much …. Gothenburg-Kiel ferries I worked for many years, before the Stena started to send me out in the world.
      To be seasick is terrible – been it myself twice … never drink juice before going out at sea.
      The vessels between Gothenburg and London, they were more under water then on … even on sunny calm days.
      I have so many things I want to do if I win on the lottery – so I have to win mega money. Turn Voyager to a casion .. make a hostel out Landskrona old railway station … and buy that penthouse in Aqua, Chicago – but dreams cost nothing.
      Gunnila, I hate the photos of me in the paper .. not at all as I see myself, but they are the truth … hated the one he took on the gangway with the camera straight in my face. Where did that beautiful girl go … *smile

  9. Hi Viveka, I have heard lots about you from my colleagues on Stena Superfast VIII. I’ve been working for Stena Line since 2011 and spent a few months on HSS Stena Voyager.

    I have a collection of photos you might be interested in at http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottmackey in the Stena Voyager set.

    Also you might like to read http://www.seabreezes.co.im/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1207:concorde-of-the-seas&catid=34:ships&Itemid=56

    Best wishes,

    • Scott, sorry for not coming back to you earlier .. you comment had landed in the spam section.
      You have taken some fantastic photos … absolutely fantastic photos … I think I have “borrowed” one of yours for an earlier post I done about Voyager. You are very talent. You and your camera is a great team. One of my favorite is the one in the evening taken by the funnel.
      I wonder what stories you have been told about me – I think most of them are true .. and not that bad. I really love the people I worked with – even if they went through a tough and rough course at times with me.
      Thank you so much for the link … about Voyager, what a fantastic product and I’m glad that you had a chance to work on Voyager too.
      Superfast, some area I love – some I hate … Once again thanks for commenting and for sharing.

      • Hi Viveka, sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to you. All that I’ve heard about you is good and many people speak highly of you. I glad I too had a chance to work on voyager albeit very briefly. Things are very different now on Superfast VIII. I wonder how the recycling is getting on now.

      • Hi there, Scott … nice to hear from you. Voyager is still insight when I arrive into Landskrona by train. Haven’t been down since my visit aboard. I suppose it’s a long process – lot to recycle. Nice to hear that people remembers me in a nice way. I really enjoyed my time over in UK and on Ireland, I don’t miss the job at all. I was working far too much – but there isn’t a day that I don’t miss the people I was working with. Fantastic bunch. So if you meet them, tell them that, even if they all know it. Superfast, I don’t know – I never clicked with the inside. Some areas are great, but it’s very plastic in my book. Naked!!!
        Love the shop .. and the SPA – StenaPlus too. But they sail.

    • Yes, it felt to good to leave him in … capable hands – will miss the sight of him when is are totally gone – see him when I on the train … to or from Landskrona, but it will take a while yet.

  10. This is a hopeful and moving tribute. The fact that it will all be recycled is a good thing – it sounds like the process is in capable hands. What you do have to hold on to: memories, and it sounds like there are many of them.

    • Jen, love you new profile photo – looking so good both of you.
      Yes, with the Voyager there is many mad and fantastic memories. Nobody can afford to keep it running because of the fuel cost.
      Thanks for your kind words. It was I great goodbye I got. In very capable hands and female too.

    • Anyes, thank you so much … nice of you to visit me – so busy with everything around mom’s death … sorting all her stuff. In the evening I fall to sleep infront of the TV. Not much time for internet at all. This weekend I will spend with myself and just take it easy – then it’s full go again. Have a wonderful weekend, hope you have the same fantastic weather as I have.

    • and you have a generous heart too – thanks for cheering me on .. and for visiting me. I know you had a FAB holiday … and you are so worth it.
      That song I came across … and I had to write down the lyrics as I listen to it … time after time. Just love the lyrics, beautiful song.

  11. What a special trip and to be able to go around seeing the boat emptied out of people but not it’s fixtures and fittings – very special. and wonderful photos (as ever!) and lovely to put a face to the photographer 🙂 A superb subject too!

    • Claire, I don’t see myself like that all when I look in the mirror, but that must be me *laughing. Yes, it was fantastic to see how well kept and clean Voyager was … haven’t been in traffic for over 2 years. Looked great during the process too.

  12. A fitting tribute and the perfect song, Viveka. I’m glad you got to say your goodbyes in such a personal way. 🙂 I was just talking with my husband yesterday about the big guy…explaining about the cost of fuel making it impractical to run.

    • Karen, I have replayed to you … something iffy is going on. Yes, it was nice to see how respectful they are treating the “big guy” – and it was very comforting that everything was made is such a gentle way. I will miss when I can’t see him from the train .. but still some months to go.

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