Are you interested in finding out more about the unique history surrounding the archipelago ships in Stockholm? This year the Stromma blog will feature several of our classic archipelago ships – you’ll learn about their history but also what the ships are used for today. Here you can read more about M/S Östanå I, one of the oldest ships in the fleet.
M/S Östanå I was built in 1906 and is one of Stromma’s oldest ships. It was initially used as a cargo ship for the farms between Stockholm, the island of Ljusterö and one of the largest estates in the archipelago, the Östanå Castle.
Captain Fahlström and Gerda Svensson
Captain Fahlström commendeered the ship right from it’s maiden voyage in 1906 until his retirement in 1940, so you’ll have to presume he like the ship very much. Another faithful employee was restaurateur Gerda Svensson. She stepped onboard in 1927 and stayed for 18 years. She arrived with silverware, crockery, linen and pots and pans. However, the delicate porcelain only lasted a few weeks before she had to invest in hardier dishes that could withstand the conditions at sea.
Famous passangers - Jussi Björling
M/S Östanå I had many returning passengers, as well as many temporary passengers during the summer. One of the most famous passengers was renowned opera singer Jussi Björling that used to travel with M/S Östanå I to his house on the island of Siarö. Rumour has it that when he performed at the Royal Opera in Stockholm he used to take the opportunity to go down to the ship for a bite to eat and refreshments.
Food onboard – classic and well made
Initially the food was served as a buffet, but that stopped in connection with the first World War. The buffet never returned, but instead guest were served up to twelve starters before the main course. Popular main courses included variations of salmon and chicken, as well as meat dishes such as Chateaubriand, Wienerschnitzel and Biff Rydberg.
The bleak effect of bus traffic and leisure boats in the 1950’s
The 1950’s was a dark time for the archipelago ships. There was an increase in bus traffic and bridges were built meaning cars and buses could travel further in the archipelago. The ferry traffic expanded, and you could now being your own car to some of the larger islands. Many people with summer residences in the archipelago also bought their own boats. This led to a drastic down tourn for the archipelago ships and many were sold or even scrapped.
New times for M/S Östanå I
After years of neglect, M/S Östanå I was managed to be salvaged. The one part that could not be saved was the steam engine, and it had to be replaced by a diesel engine. On June 27th in 1985 the refurbished ship had its second inauguration and Stromma added another classic archipelago ship to its fleet. It has since then been refurbished further, all with great care to preserve the unique details.
Today you can enjoy a cruise onboard M/S Östanå I in several ways – treat yourself to a delicious brunch in the beautiful dining room, buy a coffee in the cafeteria and listen to the guides fascinating facts and stories as you cruise through the archipelago or travel to the archipelago town of Vaxholm from Stockholm or back. Step aboard and revel in the unique atmosphere in the carefully restored salons. Read more about the Archipelago tour with guide or the Brunch Cruise.
M/S Östanå I is available to hire and is the perfect premise to host a party or a wedding. The restaurateurs Andreas Clemmedsson and Frida Bozzi will treat you to a unique atmosphere and fantastic food that always gets the highest marks from our guests. Contact us to make a reservation or get more information.