Despite her regrettable demise, one cannot hide from the fact that the Apollon was in rather ropey condition in her final few years. However, if one overlooked the exploding toilets and scratched under the surface the former Senlac was, in fact, probably the best ‘preserved’, in terms of fixtures, fittings and artworks, remaining ex-Sealink ship operating in Southern Europe.
Starting with the best bits - the ship retained to the end in her forward stairwell the two and-a-half deck high fibreglass mural by the Czech sculptor Franta Belsky.
The cafeteria with carved-out booth seating.
The ship's restaurant, new chairs apart, was largely unchanged from built - the bas relief panel on the aft bulkhead featured stylised scenes of the Battle of Hastings from the Bayeux Tapestry whilst, beneath it, the waiter station is also original.
One of those original restaurant chairs had migrated to this former officers cabin, forward, latterly in passenger use as a suite.
In contrast, this chair, alas, was now at the end of its useful life.
The ship's bell, inscribed 'SENLAC 1973', disappeared after her Hellenic Seaways service ended in 2005. Seen on board the Apollon is the now empty mounting.
Did I mention the ship had plumbing problems?
My old chum Bruce was quicker than I to capture this sewage overflow pipe fulfilling its titular duties. Picture courtesy Bruce Peter.
Courtesy Bruce Peter.
I don't know what they were feeding the Apollon in the end but she could, like many of her Albanian consorts, certainly belt out thick, fairly pungent smoke.
Lastly, we cannot let the chance slip by to have a morbid look at the Senlac’s end in Aliaga, Turkey. The photographs by and copyright of Selim San require no real comment but note that the ship, originally next to the all-black F Diamond (ex-Tor Hollandia) is actually being broken up at a different location having been re-sold between breakers. In the process she has managed to have her port side bridge wing completely ripped off – it can be seen hanging over the forecastle.
... and after.
This latter, most unfortunate, image did however ring a vague bell – compare and contrast the above with this slice through sister ship Horsa from an early Sealink poster…
Click for larger image.