Posts tagged: jadrolinija

Jadrolinija’s Ivan Zajc

Repost of a voyage report originally posted here in 2009 but subsequently lost.

In 2010 the Ivan Zajc was sold for service in Equatorial Guinea for service to the island of Malabo. She reportedly still survives (an AIS signal was last emitted in July 2015) but there is no definitive confirmation of her present location and condition.

The Ivan Zajc and the Vis at Vela Luka.

The Ivan Zajc and the Vis at Vela Luka.

A voyage report from July 2005 (Pictures from 2005 and 2007)

Having motored up the coast from Korcula on the little Liburnija, easily Jadrolinija’s most lovely ship, an overnight sailing from Split to Ancona on the Ivan Zajc awaited. Built for the Linee Marittime dell’Adriatico in 1970 as the Tiziano the Ivan Zajc has the distinction of having passed through three separate operators while all the time operating primarily from Italy to Split, in Croatia (formerly Yugoslavia). Originally operating from Pescara, she passed to Adriatica in 1980, with operations from both Ancona and Pescara as well as use elsewhere on the network on occasion.

A view from astern, showing the ship's distinctive silhouette.

A view from astern, showing the ship's distinctive silhouette.

Finally, in 1993 she was acquired by Jadrolinija, acquiring her present name and being deployed largely on the Ancona run, although certain domestic sailings have also been maintained (in recent years often a daytime return to Vela Luka on Korcula island in between overnights to Italy). In 2007 Jadrolinija introduced some Pescara-Split sailings, restoring the ship to her original route.
The starboard side outside deck upon arrival at Vela Luca in 2007. In the background is the Vis (ex-Sydfyn).

The starboard side outside deck upon arrival at Vela Luca in 2007. In the background is the Vis (ex-Sydfyn).


The ship’s interiors are certainly distinctively Italianate, and largely unchanged under Jadrolinija. She feels deceptively small and cramped and is perhaps best as an overnight ship, although at least on sunny day sailings passengers can spill out onto the open decks. The public rooms consist of a curious windowless bar area forward complete with Purser’s desk and, adjacent on the starboard side, a restaurant area. Other than that, this ship is a rabbit warren of narrow cabin alleyways, with a couple of reclining seat lounges off to port. Charming in its own way but, on a busy crossing and particularly upon boarding and arrival, full of bottlenecks with crowds of people trying to push past each other. Scattered around the ship are a series of large, framed Italian art prints.

The Tin Ujevic on her berth at Split, with the Ivan Zajc departing.

The Tin Ujevic on her berth at Split, with the Ivan Zajc departing.

The stern door.

The stern door.


The car deck

The car deck

The windowless bar, forward, looking aft on the starboard side.

The windowless bar, forward, looking aft on the starboard side.

Another view of the bar. The purser's office and a small shop are also located here.

Another view of the bar. The purser's office and a small shop are also located here.

The self service restaurant, aft of the bar on the starboard side. Right aft, an area is partitioned off for waiter-service.

The self service restaurant, aft of the bar on the starboard side. Right aft, an area is partitioned off for waiter-service.

Self-service servery area.

Self-service servery area.


The waiter service section

The waiter service section

The centreline corridor leading aft from the bar with the self-service to the right and recliner lounge to the left.

The centreline corridor leading aft from the bar with the self-service to the right and recliner lounge to the left.

Recliner lounge

Recliner lounge

The upper lobby, complete with four large Italian art prints.

The upper lobby, complete with four large Italian art prints.

Shoehorned onto the forecastle is a small swimming pool, empty on our night crossing and it was just aft of this, on the port-side promenade that we set up camp for the night on one of the lifejacket containers. Nabbing a decent place to sleep on the outside decks had been our first priority upon boarding: exploring the ship could wait for later although, as can be seen, there really isn’t much to explore. The Ivan Zajc pulled out of Split on time and after a long day we bedded down for the night and I soon nodded off to sleep.

The swimming pool

The swimming pool

Builder's plate

Builder's plate

I was awoken abruptly in the middle of the night to find a female face leering above screeching in an Australian accent. “You’ve stolen my shoes! My shoes! Where are my shoes?! I’m going to have to walk around Europe with no shoes!”. My first reaction was to zip my sleeping bag up over my head perhaps, in my half-comatose state, thinking that this was merely an unfortunate hallucinogenic reaction to the slightly tough and overcooked steak I’d had for lunch on the Liburnija. But, alas, no: this was all too real.
“I didn’t get this paid for you know. Not on Daddy’s credit card. DADDY’S CREDIT CARD! DADDY’S *****Y CREDIT CARD. You got it paid for by DADDY’S ****ING CREDIT CARD.”

This was altogether too bizarre a situation to comprehend in the middle of the night but in retrospect I should perhaps have advised her that if, by some good fortune, Daddy had left me in control of his credit card, I probably would have found better ways of spending money than travelling deck class on the Ivan Zajc, trying to sleep whilst lying on a hard plastic lifejacket container. Alas the opportunity was lost as our Aussie friend was soon led away by a concerned travelling companion and I resumed my slumber, slightly nonplussed.

We awoke the next day as the ship neared Ancona; the rival Split 1700 had sailed in convoy with us overnight and had arrived just before. With the early morning arrival we headed off to rouse ourselves with some coffee, cake and freshly-squeezed orange juice in a little café in the town, which has become something of a regular haunt after early morning Ancona arrivals. Suitably resuscitated we headed off towards the main railway station where a Eurostar Intercity train would speed us down the coast to Bari.

Looking forward on the Ivan Zajc.

Looking forward on the Ivan Zajc.

Right aft, the ship was built with a stern bridge. Today it is abandoned.

Right aft, the ship was built with a stern bridge. Today it is abandoned.

The Ivan Zajc at Split

The Ivan Zajc at Split

Things seen – October 2011

  • The Villandry is captured on Youtube in the 1960s in these timeless home movie reels – she is seen at Newhaven here and here and at Dieppe here. The ship also makes an appearance in this video which captures some excellent scenes of Britons at leisure in the 1960s but the star of the show is undoubtedly the Falaise, arriving at Newhaven stern-first.
  • Later in her life, the former Villandry is studied in this video at Kefalonia in 1990 and here arriving at Delos.
  • The Villandry and Valencay, as built, joined the Dieppe-Newhaven car ferry pioneer, the Falaise, and that ship’s first season is captured at the start of this Pathe newsreel, which continues past the ferry operation with a consideration of Dieppe and the surrounding area.
  • The former Heysham steamer Duke of Lancaster remains something of an enigma but the dukeoflancaster.net website now has dozens of past and present pictures which help to answer a few of the questions as to what she is like aboard.
  • The Arran steamer the Marchioness of Graham had a notable career, staying close to home through the Second World War and surviving locally until the late 1950s. Later rebuilt in Greek service, this video documents her launch back in 1936.
  • The Munster of 1968.

    The Munster of 1968.

  • Alongside modern coverage of Stena’s Irish Sea ships, this remarkable retrospective featured on RTE’s Nationwide programme includes footage of and on board B+I Line’s 1960’s Munster. “Form filling and tiresome customs delays have largely disappeared. A visitor only needs a current driving licence, an international motor insurance card and a pass covering the temporary exportation and re-importation of his car…”
  • A couple of years ago the former Hovertravel AP1-88 Double-O-Seven found herself in trouble in her new home of Sierra Leone. On a related theme, James’ Hovercraft website has had an overhaul and is worth a look.
  • The hoverport at Boulogne is captured in its heyday in this video from 1982.
  • Trouble for the Tor Anglia in 1976.
  • The famous Danish motorship Jens Bang, which went on to have a lengthy Greek career as the Naias, lives on in this outstanding model by Per Rimmen which came up for auction a couple of years ago. Meanwhile some classic DFDS views of a vintage similar to the Jens Bang can be found here.
  • This significance of this remarkable video, including close-up views of the open bow visor and ramp arrangements of the Wasa King (ex-Viking Sally, later Estonia) arriving at UmeÃ¥ is self-evident.
  • Was Gothenburg the coolest place on Earth in 1973? One would think so from this video – and if, like the folk seen from 10:15 onwards, you could sail in and out on the Stena Jutlandica, Stena Olympica, Prinsessan Christina and Tor Anglia or jet around on those Finnair or KLM DC-9s who can argue?
  • The Stena Danica of 1965 at Gothenburg.

    The Stena Nordica of 1965 at Gothenburg.

  • The first Stena Nordica burnt out in Venezuelan service in 1980 but the wreck remains off the island of Cubagua where it is popular with divers. The original Stena bow markings are still visible in this shot.

    What, meanwhile, has become of the ‘Nordica”s sister, the first Stena Danica? The ship saw lengthy service after 1969 as the Lucy Maud Montgomery in Canada before disposal in 1999. The most recent images I can find of her are as the Lady Caribe I, laid up in Key West in the early 2000s. In late 2007 Shippax reported her sold to “Dominican buyers” but there the trail goes cold.

  • Jadrolinija capers in Drvenik Mali. The ship is the PeljeÅ¡canka, locally-built in 1971 and based on the design of the earlier trio of ships bought by the company from Greece.
  • It is not always plain sailing in Croatia as this rough weather film taken aboard the Ero (ex-Aero) in the late 1960s demontrates. This ship was laid up several years ago and reported sold for scrap in late 2009; however as of May 2011 she still lay amongst the Jadrolinija reserve fleet in Cres.
  • The Lovrjenac seen during her terminal lay up at Mali Losinj in August 2008. The bridge of her similarly retired fleetmate, the Novalja, can be seen to the left.

    The Lovrjenac seen during her terminal lay up at Mali Losinj in August 2008. The bridge of her similarly retired fleetmate, the Novalja, can be seen to the left.

  • The latest edition of Ferry & Cruise Review includes a picture of the Lovrjenac (ex-Norris Castle) being scrapped at Aliaga, to which she was towed, along with the Novalja (ex-Kalmarsund V) in late May. The Lovrjenac’s Red Funnel and Jadrolinija fleetmate the Nehaj (ex-Cowes Castle) also found her career at an end this year – like the Božava she was scrapped near Venice.

  • With her interlude as a floating bar in Mali Losinj apparently not a success the veteran Marina (ex-Kronprinsessan Ingrid (1936)) has been relocated to Rijeka which will hopefully be better able to support her activities.
  • Although it is hard to establish whether the Middle Eastern operator Namma Lines are still operating, a few months ago the company did post some Youtube guides to two of their ships: the Mawaddah (ex-King Minos) and the Masarrah (ex-St Columba).
  • The sister to the Mawaddah, the former N Kazantzakis/Shiretoku Maru is today the Kowloon-based cruise ship Metropolis.
  • The Lissos.

    The Lissos.

  • ANEK’s Lissos was sent for scrap earlier in the year and her arrival in Alang was captured for the record. The Lissos was an interesting and slightly-awkward looking ship but one I will miss. Certainly the officers of the cargo vessel featured in this near-miss video will not quickly forget her.
  • The final demise of the GA Ferries fleet was extensively recorded locally – here is an interesting video taken on board the Daliana just before her departure for the scrapyard whilst the final, slow, death march of the Romilda out of Piraeus can be seen here. Similar videos can also be found showing the final departures of the Daliana, the Marina and the Samothraki.
  • This 1994 video of Chandris’s The Azur (ex-Eagle) transiting the Corinth Canal shows what an exciting part of any voyage on any ship this is for passengers.
  • Crazy drivers in Piraeus are nothing new it seems – various classic passenger ships make cameo appearances in this clip from the movie The Burglars of 1971.
  • © hhvferry.com

    © hhvferry.com

  • The author of the the guidebook Greek Island Hopping, Frewin Poffley, sometimes appears to be lacking in any real understanding of the ferry business but has managed to carve out a niche selling his book to travellers to the Greek islands. Good luck to him – but repeated requests that he address the unauthorised use of the Aqua Maria image featured here (taken by me on the quayside at Drapetsona on 23 November 2010 and included in this post last year) have met with no response. Poor show old chap.
  • If you are going to plagiarise images from across the internet, then at least there should be the upside of creating a useful resource; this plundered collection of photographs of the Greek Naxos show the ship throughout her Greek career.
  • Another locally-built Greek ship, a few years younger than the Naxos, was the Santorini which subsequently passed to Indian owners, remaining there until apparently being withdrawn earlier this year. The ship is pictured here alongside the former Suilven (now Bharat Seema) in India whilst there are some interal pictures here and an outstanding voyage report here.
  • The Kefalonia.

    The Kefalonia.

  • Since the original company was absorbed into Attica several years ago it has been a rare sight to see more than one Strintzis ferry in port at a time. On the occasion that the current pair of ships of the revived Strintzis Ferries switched routes in July, however, it was possible to view the Eptanisos and the Kefalonia side by side.
  • The state of the Greek economy means rumours fly around regarding the futures of several of the ferries owned by operators in that country. Whilst Endeavor Lines earlier in the year strongly denied those concerning their operations, their Ionian Queen has recently appeared as a ‘premium listing’ on the website of a well-known ship broker. For six years this ships and her sister, the Ionian King, have been the best ships in Southern Adriatic service and the sale of the ‘King’ back to Japanese owners by Agoudimos Lines earlier this year was tempered somewhat by the survival of the ‘Queen’. The departure of both ships would be a sad loss to the ferry operations out of Brindisi and Bari.
  • Endeavor’s other operational ship is the Elli T which one has to think stands a chance of heading to the breakers rather than further service were she to be sold. Leaping back to her original life as the Japanese Okudogo 3, this series of images show what an eccentric but fascinating ferry she was (and to large degree still is) aboard.
  • A ship which sailed from Japan to Greece in 2010 was the 1991-built New Hiyama, purchased by ANENDYK for local Cretan service. The ship, renamed Sfakia I, berthed in the port of Souda (Chania), ostensibly for rebuild, but has remained there ever since – to the intrigue of locals. An interesting video providing a tour of the accommodation has appeared on Youtube.
  • Last but not least:
    Hengist (as Agios Georgios)
    Horsa (as Penelope A)
    Vortigern (as Milos Express)
  • Things seen – May 2011

    The Queen of Prince Rupert

    The Queen of Prince Rupert

  • The Queen of Prince Rupert will become one of the few BC Ferries to see further service outside Canada following her sale to Fijian interests for inter-island use. As noted in the Fiji Sun, the ship has been renamed Lomaiviti Princess and there are some pictures of the ship, still in Canada, on the West Coast Ferries forum.

    A variety of more historical images of the Queen of Prince Rupert can be found here.

  • Perhaps due to her name, the scrapping of the Greek-owned Grecia (ex-Espresso Livorno/Espresso Grecia) in Aliaga attracted more attention than most, with youtube videos of her before the final departure and, most interestingly, of her final charge for the beach. The ship grounds herself alongside the remains of the ex-Jadrolinija Vanga, chunks of which can be seen being manhandled on shore.

    Navi e Amatori has a later image of the Grecia with demolition work in full swing.

  • Rather unnoticed, the most elderly of the 2010 Southern European scrap victims was the Peloritano, which although heavily rebuilt was originally the domestic German ferry the Fehmarn of 1927. Her final days are captured in this image at Aliaga, with fellow Italian domestic veteran the Capri (ex-Kvamsøy) in the background.
  • An easier way of disposing of unwanted ships was demonstrated by the treatment of the ro-ro Jolly Rubino; having run aground several years ago, she was stripped then sunk via a controlled demolition to form an artificial reef.
  • The occasional bumps and scrapes are a fact of life, especially for ships in relatively tight or difficult harbours. The Elyros had a small scrape with her berth at Souda but the Isola di Procida’s break for freedom in Napoli ended by slamming into the side of one of her CAREMAR fleetmates.

    Going back a few years, the Boa Vista (ex-Speedlink Vanguard/Normandie Shipper) provided the first of Kystlink’s various mishaps when she ran aground off Hirtshals, captured in a series of images here.

  • Moving onto more calamitous demises, and, whilst not a ferry, this remarkable footage from aboard the Achille Lauro before her fiery end is worth viewing.
  • The Moby Prince at Bastia

    The Moby Prince at Bastia

  • Ferry fires can be devastating. Perhaps most famous is the Moby Prince, and whilst the footage here on board the ship after the fire is interesting, the amateur video taken aboard by one of the doomed passengers, included in the opening sequence of this Italian documentary, is truly haunting. That video’s survival supports the theory that the ferocity of the fire was less the cause of death than the toxins which the fire gave off.
  • Pictures aboard the raised Herald of Free Enterprise are similarly poignant.
  • A more modern fire victim was the LISCO Gloria whose charred remains were captured up close for the Danish media.
  • I have tried to keep an eye on the latest happenings with the half-sunken ARMAS ferry Assalama, still stranded off the port of Tarfaya, Morocco. A relatively recent image is here whilst there are more images from the day of the disaster here.
  • The Sea Serenade at Corfu, August 1999

    The Sea Serenade at Corfu, August 1999

  • Whatever happened to the Sea Serenade of Poseidon Lines? Whilst, as the Arielle, her sister achieved the slightly dismal distinction of being Hellenic Mediterranean Lines’ last ever ship before sailing for scrap in 2006, the elder of the former Japanese pair rather disappeared off the radar since finishing service nearly a decade ago. She ended up renamed the Marinos D and laid up at a shipyard in Izola, Slovenia. The recent news that the floating dock there has been sold to Turkish interests has also led to speculation that the ship herself will finally also be making a move – presumably for scrap.
  • Another crop of videos from Greece:
    An atmospheric trip aboard the locally-built Lemnos of Nomikos Lines;
    A bit of the old school: a race between NEL’s Theofilos and GA Ferries’ Dimitroula;
    The Alcaeos (ex. Marella) of NEL Lines;
    Remarkable footage during a fire aboard the Knossos (ex-Svea);
    Morning arrivals in Piraeus from the Golden age – including the Knossos, Sappho and Ialyssos;
    The introduction of Fragline’s Georgios (1971)
  • What is the most popular ferry in Greece? Who knows, but the distinctly unscientific method of measuring bookings made through Viva Travel indicates it is, curiously, the Blue Horizon. Google Translate version here.
  • In Croatia, the white fleet of Jadrolinija, past and present, continues to provide splendid internet fodder, from the company’s former cruise ship the Dalmacija featuring in the video for this mid-90s Techno classic by Marusha to the strangely mesmerising 2010 time lapse video of the Marko Polo loading at Rijeka.

    There are also some interesting still images out there – such as some more classic images of veterans at Rijeka here, here and here and a superb recent shot of the little Rogac ferry Lastovo obliterated by spray.

    The image above of the Vis (ex-Sydfyn) at Ubli last Summer is almost identical to this one of her former fleetmate, the Slavija I (later Europa I).

    Lastly, there has been local access to the long laid-up Ero (the heavily modified remains of the 1931-built former Danish domestic ferry Aerø). Although reported sold for scrap in some quarters, she remains for now amongst the Jadrolinija reserve fleet in Cres. Below are some links to a series of recent images of and on board the old ship (click on the thumbnails to go to the original urls):

    img20110329115515 3764_TN

    img20110329115653 3765_TN

    img20110329115822 3766_TN

    img20110329115950 3767_TN

    img20110329120001 3768_TN
    img20110329120224 3769_TN

    Heading back several decades, the same ship can be seen, amongst a variety of others, in these vintage Danish films from the early 1960s which pleasingly capture a completely lost age:

    Film 1
    Film 2

  • One of the most recent ships to head to Croatia is the former Pomerania, now Blue Line’s Dalmatia; seen above at Ancona in May, her final Copenhagen-ÅšwinoujÅ›cie sailing was captured in a brutally honest slideshow for the Danish daily newspaper Politiken.
  • A couple of Tirrenia items:
    A classic and slightly peculiar TV advert;
    Lastly, a piece of Blair-Witchesque cinematic genius as the sense of terror mounts in this video of a gentleman roaming the almost-deserted decks of the now-withdrawn Domiziana , before finally locking himself into his cabin, presumably to slit his wrists.
  • The Domiziana at Olbia, September 2010

    The Domiziana at Olbia, September 2010

    Farewell Mette Mols, Balkanija, Istra

    A few weeks ago, Jadrolinija’s Istra was sold for scrapping in Turkey. As the Mette Mols, Mols Linien’s very first ship, she was the lead vessel of what became a very successful class of four completed by the Aalborg shipyard between 1966 and 1969. Passing to Jadrolinija in 1981, initially as the Balkanija, the Istra is the first of the quartet to pass for scrap.

    Her demise is not entirely unexpected: for most of the past decade there have been rumours that every season may be her last. Her engines were in notoriously poor shape – one wonders if the engine room explosion which forced her passengers to flee in the lifeboats back in 1970 had any long-term impact. The Croatians made her work however and, although long since relegated from the coastal express or international services, she was still a local favourite as she chugged slowly along from Split to Stari Grad, Hvar Town, Vela Luka or Ubli.

    On board she was a time warp: although she had been modified in places over the years, particularly with the addition of a Duty Free shop and a small number of cabins in part of the aft cafeteria, she was in many places still that pioneering little Danish domestic ferry right to the end and was maintained in pretty good general condition, all things considered. In her final seasons, even the former first class restaurant on the upper passenger deck was tidied up, the Italian rosewood panelling polished, white tablecloths laid and the tiny galley pressed into action to produce some unexpectedly good lunches.

    The Istra's main lobby.

    The Istra's main lobby.

    But one knew it couldn’t last – with the local shipyards churning out new double-ended ferries at an alarming rate, supplemented by some second-hand Greek acquisitions of dubious quality, Jadrolinija’s fleet expansion was outpacing even the growth of the Croatian tourist industry and the older ships have, after decades of reliable and memorable service, finally started to make way. The Ivan Zajc was dispensed with for last year and even the glorious little Liburnija, the pride of the fleet, now faces an uncertain future.

    After 29 years, one civil war, several post-war refugee sailings and the odd mishap, the Istra, one of the “legends” of Croatian coastal shipping, left her lay up berth in Å ibenik on 6 May bound for Aliaga.

    Picture of the week: Istra (ex-Mette Mols)

    Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
    Old Time is still a-flying;
    And this same flower that smiles today
    Tomorrow will be dying.
    Previous image

    Previous image

    Things Seen – September 2009

    The Istra (ex-Mette Mols) at Split, August 2009.

    The Istra (ex-Mette Mols) at Split.

  • Firstly, apologies to regular readers for the month or so of no updates – hopefully the break will have been worth it, with plenty of new material gathered during a 3 week trip to Southern Europe where plenty of ferries were seen, sailed on, photographed, and, in the case of at least three, farewells made as they are understood to be in the final weeks of service.
  • The Istra (ex-Mette Mols, 1966) has since been put up for public sale by Jadrolinija, although the expectation is that she will follow former fleetmate the Ivan Zajc to Turkish owners. As Slobodna Dalmacija ruefully notes, there will be some criticism of the sale, as the ship “had its admirers, especially among Lastovo and Korčula [residents], who praised its comfort” compared to the more modern vessels. The ship has also been widely used to cover longer lines, such as for example the during the recent mechanical failure of the Petar Hektorović. She was however proving too small at times, and when I sailed on her in late August she was forced to leave cars behind in Stari Grad. Doubtless this is frustrating when the next sailing back to Split isn’t for another four hours!

    Also for sale are the Vanga (ex-Basto III) and the little Borik, latterly second ship to the Kijevo at Biograd. There remain several other Jadrolinija ships laid up in various ports around the country and Hans de Graaf continues to do a public service with his photographs of several of the many and varied ships of the White Fleet, a few more having been uploaded in recent weeks here.

    Meanwhile Fleet File Rotterdam has a fairly thorough section on Jadrolinija, correct up to a couple of years ago.

  • The Borik (1978) in Biograd.

    The Borik (1978) in Biograd.

  • Fergün Shipping of Turkey operate a fleet of mostly-forgotten ex-North European ships on routes between Northern Cyprus and the Turkish mainland. Quite what current operations are like is open to question, the company’s website being more than a little out of date: at least two of the ships featured have been sold, one most definitely for scrapping having been seen on the beach in Aliaga in 2007.

    The fleet as listed however was a fascinating collection and pictures of and on board all are shown on the site. With links to the images, the four fast ferries were:
    Fergün Express (ex-Storesund of Norwegian Haugesund A/S, 1974)
    Fergün Express III (built as the Venture 84 in 1982, from 1983 to 1998 she was Emeraude’s Trident/Trident III)
    Emeraude Express (built for Emeraude in 1986 she survives without change of name).
    Prince of Girne (ex-Gimle Bay, 1981, primarily used in Yugoslavia/Croatia as the Poreč I until sale to Fergün in 1994.)

    The Girne

    The Girne


    The conventional ferries are more interesting still:
    Canbulat Pasha. Purpose built, 1997.
    Girne. The ex-Saltholm (1967) of Svenska Rederi Ab Öresund’s Limhamn – Dragör route until 1979, then the Gozo Channel company’s Mgarr until sale to Fergün in 1996. Scrapped 2007.
    Fatih. An astonishing survivor, originally being the Mersey pilot vessel Arnet Robinson (1958), passing to Fergün in 1988 where she was converted to a small car ferry. Compare this picture of her in her original guise with this image after conversion. Another picture of her as Fatih reveals the tall funnel remains unobstructed.
    Güniz. Built as the Kraakerø in Norway in 1964 she had an itinerant early career before settling down as Rederi AB Gotland’s Polhelm between 1964 and 1972. Later one of Tourship’s first vessels, the Corsica Ferry until sale in 1976 to Jadrolinija as the Lastovo I. She remained, with a couple of name changes, with Jadrolinija until 1996 and has sailed in Turkish waters ever since, latterly for Fergün although she was sold in early 2009 to operate between Turkey and Russia.
  • Some interesting images of Turkish/Russian ferries can be seen on the four pages of this link to a Russian shipping forum including the aforementioned Güniz and Ivan Zajc (now the Besyildiz), but also the Lider Avrasya (once Sealink’s Ulidia), Lider Clipper (ex-Agios Spiridon), still bearing her HML name the Apollonia II (ex-Travemünde, 1964), the Trabzon (ex-Panagia Tinou, sold by NEL Lines earlier this year) and the Erke (formerly Agapitos Express/Saronikos Ferries’ Express Danae), amongst others.
  • The Zeus Palace has been an interesting stopgap on Minoan Lines’ Patras-Igoumenitsa-Venice route this Summer, following the sale of the Pasiphae Palace. The return of the former Prometheus has been rather underwhelming for many passengers – although she looks nice enough in these pictures by Dominik Wagner, in reality she has been just a little too small for the route.
    Dominik also has recent images on board Agoudimos’ Ionian Sky. She is essentially unchanged since her Strintzis rebuild as the Ionian Victory in 1998.
    The Ionian Sky at Corfu

    The Ionian Sky at Corfu

  • We have lingered over the demise of the Kapetan Alexandros several times on this blog, and the guys over at Nautilia clearly felt the same way about the end of this veteran, getting on board the ship in Keratsini just before she sailed for scrap to take some final photographs, including a series in her quite antiquated bridge.
  • Apropos of nothing, I was taken with this dramatic image of the Princess Kathleen of Canadian Pacific sinking in 1952. The ship, built in Glasgow in 1924, originally made Vancouver-Victoria-Seattle coastal sailings but was latterly employed on cruises up to Alaska, meeting her fate after running aground near Juneau. Many more pictures of this dramatic event, in which no lives were lost, can be found at Alaska’s Digital Archive.
  • The Queen Elizabeth 2 may not technically have been a ferry, but she was certainly, as built, a beautiful example of the very best of 1960s British design. This was sadly diluted in later years to a slightly naff kind kitsch look. However, as Bruce Peter notes in the authoritative Britain’s Greatest Liner the ship had direct design influences over many cruise ships and ferries in the subsequent decade or more. Bruce also references the famous 1969 article in Shipping World and Shipbuilder which compared and contrasted the QE2 with the equally new and forward-looking Vortigern, produced by Swan Hunters in the same year.

    For anyone wondering just what influence it was the epoch-making Vortigern had on the QE2, some superb images of the latter ship, as built, can be found here.

  • The Caesarea and Duke of Argyll were two of the last surviving ex-Sealink steam ships, and both had final days in Hong Kong, the ‘Argyll’ burning out there under the name Zenith in 1995. There are some fascinating images on flickr of both ships in those days, including the burnt and broken Zenith.
  • Mention was made of the Älvsborg Bridge last month and, with perfect timing, over on LandgÃ¥ngen there materialised a thread with pictures of various ferries sailing beneath, including the Prinsessan Birgitta in her one season operating for Stena in 1982 before starting her career as the St Nicholas for Sealink.
  • Although special Lego kits have been sold by many ferry companies for years, how many of us regretted their incompatibility due to inconsistency of scale with the minifigs of Legoland? Just me huh? Oh well, this model of the 1974 Prinsessan Birgitta would certainly have been an improvement:
    Picture 1
    Picture 2

    (link from Landgången)

  • Tallink certainly aren’t my, or many other people’s, favourite ferry company at times, some superb ships such as the Star notwithstanding. The crassness of the company’s management is a primary reason for distaste, the famous incident on the Silja Symphony being the confirmation of previous suspicions about the company.

    The quote from one of the Tallink directors, “our level of drunkenness was normal for a cruise of this kind” was memorable, but the signature indiscretion of that fateful cruise was the attempt to “grill” some fish from the SmörgÃ¥sbord in the toasters, conventionally used for bread. On my most recent trip on the ‘Symphony’ I made sure to have my picture taken next to one of the toasters; however, I wish I had known that there were even better permanent reminders of the event. Now: how does one get onto Tallink’s Christmas card list?

  • Things seen – August 2009

    The Split Prvi at Supetar in July 2005.

    The Split Prvi at Supetar in July 2005.

  • Remember the Split Prvi? She was the eleventh Superflex ship, the Supeflex Kilo, and after a typically intermittant North European career was finally brought to Southern Europe by SEM in a brave but troubled and ultimately futile attempt to provide a rival cut-price service between Split and Supetar to that of the state operator Jadrolinija. She was sold to Kazakhstani owners for conversion into a floating workshop in 2008 and renamed the Ersai 4, joining the Ersai 3 (ex-Vikingland).

    An image of the ship undergoing rebuild earlier this year in Italy can be seen here. Any further details of either of the Ersai ships’ current whereabouts or progress on the work are welcome!

  • An interesting series of pictures of the Jadrolinija fleet from the past couple of years by Hans de Graaf can be seen here, 2009 pictures confirming that the former Red Funnel pair Nehaj (ex-Cowes Castle) and Lovrjenac (ex-Norris Casle) remain laid up at Cres and Mali Losinj respectively. There are also recent images of the Marko Polo at the new Rijeka ferry terminal. On the subject of the latter, with admirable optimism (if that is the right word), an artist’s impression shows both the new terminal and berths together with an HSS alongside at the old ferry berth. What a story that would be.

  • The two unstretched ‘Super Vikings’ are having contrasting Summers in Greece. Caught up in the troubles of her owners SAOS, the Samothraki (ex-Viking Voyager/Pride of Cherbourg) is laid up in Alexandroupolis – image here.

    Meanwhile the Vitsentzos Kornaros (ex-Viking Viscount/Pride of Winchester) has returned Rethymno on Crete to mainstream ferry service. On a weekly schedule which takes passengers to some delightful smaller towns and islands, the ship calls at the Cretan port on Saturdays and Sundays, restoring a direct link to Piraeus. One of the islands she calls at is Antikythira (year round population 45) and a striking image of the ship there can be found here. The restoration of conventional Piraeus-Rethymno operation by LANE Lines was the cause of much debate – a local press report stated that, if the link continues, “the company is considering seriously the possibility of perhaps changing to another modern ship, aged about 10 years, speed over 20 knots, modern hotel amenities and sailing between Rethymno and Piraeus three times a week.”

  • Lastly Christopher over at the rather wonderful Sjöfartsbloggen has posted a voyage report on the Stena Nautica (ex-Niels Klim), A fantastic trip with the “LegobÃ¥ten” to GrenÃ¥ which includes some shots on board the ship alongside similar ones on her (slightly) less mutilated sister, the Color Viking (ex-Stena Invicta/Peder Paars). (Google translate version here).

    Reference is made to the ship’s mast being ‘snipped’ to ensure clearance beneath the Älvsborg Bridge when she visited Gothenburg for urgent repairs following her near-sinking in 2004, which calls to mind the legend that Stena bought the sister ships only to discover they could not fit under the bridge which is upriver of the terminals at their home port. This is one company which is not averse to ship surgery however, so it seems unlikely that this is the real reason neither have ever seen operation out of Gothenburg, but it remains a great story of Stena’s fallibility and certainly precluded the ships from operating there as cover for the permanent vessels.

  • The Dubrovnik (ex-Connacht, Duchesse Anne)

    Since the sale of the Ivan Zajc earlier in the year, the Dubrovnik (ex-Duchesse Anne, Connacht) of Croatia’s state ferry company Jadrolinija is now rostered to sail on Split-Ancona sailings alone this Summer. Repeating her pattern of the past couple of years, the ship makes four round trips a week, all overnight save for a daylight crossing from Ancona on Sundays. In addition, on overnight sailings ex-Italy the ship carries on after arrival in Split to do a domestic round trip to Stari Grad on the island of Hvar; with customs formalities completed in Split, this can be booked as a through sailing from Ancona, or as a normal domestic sailing.

    With the retrenchment of the coastal Rijeka-Split-Stari Grad-Korcula-Dubrovnik-(Bari) services in recent years, the current roster is comparatively straightforward – in 2003 for example, a breathless Summer timetable saw the ship each week make one of the complete 26 hour hauls from Rijeka through to Bari, then back again, followed by Rijeka-Split-Stari Grad-Korcula, Korcula-Stari Grad, Stari Grad-Split-Ancona and back, and finally Stari Grad-Split-Rijeka to begin it all again. Today, life is rather more simple and the ship has plenty of time in between sailings – particularly Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays when she sits in Ancona from her early morning arrival until a 2100 departure.

    The Connacht as built

    The Connacht as built


    Delivered by Cork’s Verolme Shipyard as the Connacht to B&I Line in 1979, the ship initially served Cork, briefly from Swansea and then on the new Pembroke Dock service. She was was transferred to the Dublin-Liverpool service in September 1980, where she was joined by sister Leinster in July 1981. Loss-making B&I sought improved utlisation of the new ships and a daily Dublin-Holyhead round trip in between the overnight sailings from and to Liverpool was subsequently added. These began, after no little controversy over the use of the Sealink port, in Spring 1982 and the Connacht eventually closed the Liverpool link altogether in January 1988, leaving Dublin services in the hands of the Leinster alone, being transferred back to Pembroke (the Irish port now being Rosslare). B&I’s financial position forced the sale of the Connacht at the end of that year, with Brittany Ferries acquiring her for St Malo-Portsmouth sailings. After less than a decade with the French company, during which she saw service for a period back to her Cork birthplace on sailings from both St Malo and Roscoff, she was disposed of to Jadrolinija at the end of the 1996 season.
    As the Duchesse Anne, at Saint Malo.

    As the Duchesse Anne, at Saint Malo.

    I joined the ship for one of her domestic sailings from Stari Grad to Split in July 2007; this leg in particular, forming the return to Split after the theoretically through sailing from Ancona, is just another departure on this important route on which up to seven return sailings a day are offered in the Summer – generally in recent years the ex-Japanese Valun has been a mainstay. Stari Grad itself is a delightful place – overlooked by many of the guidebooks in favour of flashy Hvar Town on the other side of the island, it was originally a Roman settlement from the era of the Emperor Diocletian but was rebuilt with narrow lanes and defensive walls following the Roman collapse. The ferry port itself is around a twenty minute walk along a shoreside pathway from the old town.

    On board, it is clear that little has changed aboard the Dubrovnik since her Duchesse Anne days – yet the most important influence on the ship’s layout remains the refit given to the ship by B&I Line in Spring 1986. At just seven years old, it might have seemed somewhat early for the Connacht (and her even newer sister) to receive radical internal rearrangement, but circumstances had changed – conceived primarily as an overnight ship, the addition of Dublin-Holyhead sailings saw a change of emphasis with the main cabin deck (Upper Deck) being stripped out and an extensive new duty free shop, cinema and reclining seat lounges (‘Super Rest Lounges’ in B&I nomenclature) were added. Upstairs on what was originally the Service Deck, the restaurant and cocktail lounge forward were swept away to become a new self service restaurant, and the original self service amidships on the port side became the new restaurant. The £2m refit the ship was given before introduction by Brittany Ferries essentially retained this layout with certain areas receiving more attention than others – especially the self-service – whilst the newly-added Duty Free shop, aft on the Upper Deck (now the Information Deck), which had originally been a reclining seat lounge was replaced by additional cabins.

    The Dubrovnik at Stari Grad port, seen from the pathway leading from the old town.

    The Dubrovnik at Stari Grad port, seen from the pathway leading from the old town.

    Waiting to board...

    Waiting to board...

    Boarding for foot passengers is over the vehicle deck.

    Boarding for foot passengers is over the vehicle deck.

    The lower of the two main passenger decks, latterly the Pont Information on the Duchesse Anne - this is the view looking aft along the centreline towards the information desk.

    The lower of the two main passenger decks, latterly the Pont Information on the Duchesse Anne - this is the view looking aft along the centreline towards the information desk.

    Adjacent to the arcade seen above is the shop.

    Adjacent to the arcade seen above is the shop.

    Moving forward, seen here are the staircases leading down to the car decks and lower cabin decks.

    Moving forward, seen here are the staircases leading down to the car decks and lower cabin decks.

    Right forward are a series of reclining seat lounges. Originally this area contained cabins with four berths and a washbasin; on day sailings the upper berths could be folded away and the lower berths converted into broad setees for six passengers.

    Right forward are a series of reclining seat lounges. Originally this area contained cabins with four berths and a washbasin; on day sailings the upper berths could be folded away and the lower berths converted into broad setees for six passengers.

    The area was originally converted to reclining seats by B&I Line in the 1986 refit, and has been retained as such ever since.

    The area was originally converted to reclining seats by B&I Line in the 1986 refit, and has been retained as such ever since.

    Moving up to the main saloon deck, right aft is the bar, 'L'Astrolabe' in the Duchess Anne days. This bulk of this area is actually not significantly changed since the later Irish Sea days, including details such as the furniture and the dance floor (below).

    Moving up to the main saloon deck, right aft is the bar, 'L'Astrolabe' in the Duchess Anne days. This bulk of this area is actually not significantly changed since the later Irish Sea days, including details such as the furniture and the dance floor (below).


    On the starboard side of the space, Brittany Ferries added 'Le Glacier', selling ice creams, ably assisted by a decorative parrot.

    On the starboard side of the space, Brittany Ferries added 'Le Glacier', selling ice creams, ably assisted by a decorative parrot.

    Moving forward along the starboard-side arcade, seen here is the entrance to Libertas Restaurant (formerly 'Le Nouveau Monde' on the Duchess Anne, but originally the location of the self service cafeteria).

    Moving forward along the starboard-side arcade, seen here is the entrance to Libertas Restaurant (formerly 'Le Nouveau Monde' on the Duchess Anne, but originally the location of the self service cafeteria).

    The restaurant - looking forward.

    The restaurant - looking forward.

    Continuing along the arcade - originally on the Connacht this was lined with fixed airline-style seating.

    Continuing along the arcade - originally on the Connacht this was lined with fixed airline-style seating.

    Amidships is the former Viennoiserie 'La Licorne' (The Unicorn), still in use as a snack bar today.

    Amidships is the former Viennoiserie 'La Licorne' (The Unicorn), still in use as a snack bar today.

    The carved unicorn head above the servery - similar in style to the carving above the bar counter on the former Duc de Normandie in her aft bar.

    The carved unicorn head above the servery - similar in style to the carving above the bar counter on the former Duc de Normandie in her aft bar.

    Right forward is the self service restaurant - this is the view looking across to port.

    Right forward is the self service restaurant - this is the view looking across to port.

    Looking aft to starboard - with the small children's play area visible on the left.

    Looking aft to starboard - with the small children's play area visible on the left.

    The servery area is to port.

    The servery area is to port.

    The uppermost passenger deck retains the original layout with crew accommodation forward and to starboard, with 16 passenger outside cabins to port (above) and a reclining seat 'observation' lounge aft, surrounded by a full promenade deck. As built, those 16 cabins were the only ones with en-suite facilities.

    The uppermost passenger deck retains the original layout with crew accommodation forward and to starboard, with 16 passenger outside cabins to port (above) and a reclining seat 'observation' lounge aft, surrounded by a full promenade deck. As built, those 16 cabins were the only ones with en-suite facilities.

    A Duchesse Anne-era deckplan. These have subsequently been replaced by Jadrolinija plans.

    A Duchesse Anne-era deckplan. These have subsequently been replaced by Jadrolinija plans.

    On two decks beneath the vehicle deck, the ship retains her original cabins without facilities.

    On two decks beneath the vehicle deck, the ship retains her original cabins without facilities.

    The promenade deck, looking forward.

    The promenade deck, looking forward.

    The Deck Bar, astern.

    The Deck Bar, astern.

    Upper deck.

    Upper deck.

    Leaving Stari Grad.

    Leaving Stari Grad.

    Passing the Petar Hektorovic (ex-Langeland III) off Split.

    Passing the Petar Hektorovic (ex-Langeland III) off Split.

    Just outside Split harbour entrance, the crew of the Georgian freighter Valentino go for a swim.

    Just outside Split harbour entrance, the crew of the Georgian freighter Valentino go for a swim.

    The Blue Line fleet, the Split 1700 and the Ancona, unusually together in Split. Time is running out for this contrasting but classic pair, both built in 1966.

    The Blue Line fleet, the Split 1700 and the Ancona, unusually together in Split. Time is running out for this contrasting but classic pair, both built in 1966.

    The 2004-built Supetar manouvering in Split harbour before a sailing to her namesake island. She has since been displaced by further new tonnage and in 2008 could be found operating on the busy Prizna-Žigljen (Pag) route north of Zadar.

    The 2004-built Supetar manouvering in Split harbour before a sailing to her namesake island. She has since been displaced by further new tonnage and in 2008 could be found operating on the busy Prizna-Žigljen (Pag) route north of Zadar.

    Disembarkation in Split.

    Disembarkation in Split.

    The Dubrovnik and Ancona seen from the Valun on our return sailing to Split later that afternoon. Also in harbour were the Split 1700 and the Istra (ex-Mette Mols) - a fascinating selection of classic ferries, each of interest in their own right.

    The Dubrovnik and Ancona seen from the Valun on our return sailing to Split later that afternoon. Also in harbour were the Split 1700 and the Istra (ex-Mette Mols) - a fascinating selection of classic ferries, each of interest in their own right.

    Jadrolinija’s coastal and international fleet, shorn of the Ivan Zajc, is now only three-strong – in the peak season the Marko Polo maintains what is now only a twice-weekly Rijeka-Dubrovnik-Bari service whilst the delightful little Liburnija ensures the Bari-Dubrovnik link is serviced six times in total, her four return sailings on the route being extended up to Korcula three times weekly (and to Split on Saturdays). Despite being in generally excellent condition, the company has in recent years been thinking aloud about the need for newer tonnage than the current vessels, of which the Dubrovnik is the youngest. That still seems some way off however and it seems likely that the former Connacht will remain with the Croatian state operator for several years to come.

    On the funnel, the Jadrolinija logo has been simply welded over the old Brittany Ferries one.

    On the funnel, the Jadrolinija logo has been simply welded over the old Brittany Ferries one.

    The old 'Duchess Anne' name is just about visible.

    The old 'Duchess Anne' name is just about visible.

    The Dubrovnik at Ancona in 2008.

    The Dubrovnik at Ancona in 2008.

    Picture of the week 30 March 2009 – Hrvat and Petar Hektorović

    Catching the ferry: the Hrvat and the Petar Hektorović at Split. Click for larger image.

    Catching the ferry: the Hrvat and the Petar Hektorović at Split. Click for larger image.


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