In June 2009, Àland Post started a new series of stamps on the theme of passenger ferries, which operate or have operated to and from Àland since the start of passenger ferry service in 1959. The two stamps depict the first ferry and the newest one. One of the ships featured in this post is the SS Viking; the other was still under construction and was thus called Newbuilding 2009. On 1 June 1959, the first proper passenger ferry, the SS Viking, sailed on its maiden voyage from Galtby in the Finnish archipelago of Turku, via Mariehamn to Gràddò in Roslagen. The shipping company Rederi Ab Vikinglinjen, founded by the Alanders Gunnar Eklund and Henning Rundberg, owned the ship. The Viking was built as the SS Dinard in 1924 for Southern Railways Company.
Viking Line is a Finnish shipping company that operates a fleet of ferries and cruise ferries between Finland, the Åland Islands, Sweden and Estonia. Viking Line shares are quoted on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. Viking Line is operated from the Åland Islands. Viking Line's history can be traced back to 1959, when a group of sea- and businessmen from the Åland Islands province in Finland formed Rederi Ab Vikinglinjen, purchased a steam-powered car-ferry SS Dinard from the UK, renamed her SS Viking and began service on the route Korpo (Finland) — Mariehamn (Åland) — Gräddö (Sweden). In the same year the Gotland-based Rederi AB Slite began a service between Simpnäs (Sweden) and Mariehamn. My dear friend Merja sent me these maxi cards.