Apollon: the good, the bad and the ugly

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.

THE GOOD

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.

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.

Rabies warning.

Rabies warning.

The cafeteria with carved-out booth seating.

The cafeteria with carved-out booth seating.

The ship's restaurant, new chairs apart, was larely 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.

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 chairs from the restaurant latterly migrated to this former officers cabin, forward, on sale for passenger use as a suite.

One of those original restaurant chairs had migrated to this former officers cabin, forward, latterly in passenger use as a suite.

THE BAD

In contrast, this chair, alas, was now at the end of its useful life.

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 in her final years is the now empty mounting.

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?

Did I mention the ship had plumbing problems?

My old chum Bruce was quicker than I to capture the ship's sewage overflow pipe fulfilling its titular duties. Picture courtesy Bruce Peter.

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.

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.

THE UGLY
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.

Belsky before...

Belsky before...

... and after.

... 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.

Click for larger image.

3 Comments

  • By Ann, November 19, 2010 @ 2:57 pm

    Aaah, Matt, the memories, the memories…

    Ann

  • By Steve, May 15, 2011 @ 10:38 am

    Sad goodbye to an old friend.

  • By Sulman, September 7, 2016 @ 7:02 pm

    Although it’s six years ago, it’s interesting to see the fate of her. I spent a lot of weekends in the marina opposite Senlac 1985-86, and traveled on her to Dieppe once. The soot from her and Chartres regularly stained the teak deck on my dad’s boat, and the distinct chatter the bow-thrusters made when the ship turned 180 degrees in the channel at Newhaven were unmistakeable.

    A lot of history in those exposed bulkheads.

    At least she spent her last days in the sun.

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