Posts tagged: sappho

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

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    img20110329115822 3766_TN

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    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

    Things Seen – April 2010

  • During the 1960s DFDS commissioned three remarkable little ro-ro ships specifically to handle the bacon trade from Denmark into the English port of Grimsby. The Somerset, Stafford and Surrey carried bacon and butter in refrigerated containers over to the UK before taking the “empties” back home again – (the crews complained of the strong smell of rancid bacon in the unwashed containers on the runs back to Esbjerg!). Designed to fit through the narrow lock at Grimsby port, the ships served into the 1980s (the last and largest, the Surrey, remained with DFDS until 1992).

    Thereafter, the ships have had interestingly varied careers, all three surviving into the new century before the ex-Surrey was scrapped in 2005. This vessel had in between times been converted to a passenger ferry by A K Ventouris, under whom, as the Anna V, she was mysteriously sunk by a bomb in Patras harbour. Repaired, she saw sparing further service as the Jupiter, being laid up for a prolonged period in Brindisi and then Elefsis before sailing for scrap as the Pit.

    The Jupiter (ex-Surrey) laid up in Brindisi in July 2003 with the Tirana (ex-Linda Scarlett) astern.

    The Jupiter (ex-Surrey) laid up in Brindisi in July 2003 with the Tirana (ex-Linda Scarlett) astern.

    The Surrey’s earlier sister ships have both met slightly happier fates, although the future now looks uncertain in each case. The Somerset of 1966 became a livestock carrier but this picture from July last year shows her in a very poor condition. Her AIS is still on however and she is currently listed as sailing through Greek waters. On Ships Nostalgia (registration required) there is an astonishing picture of the ship, as the Afroditi, aground near Waterford in the 1980s with huge piles of hay on her after decks.

    The Atlantis laid up, July 2005.

    The Atlantis laid up, July 2005.

    The Stafford (1967) was quite horrifically converted first into a Greek passenger/car ferry (named the Voyager and then the Monaco) and then into a cruise ship for operation out of Miami. She is seen here in her Voyager guise in the mid-1980s and, following her return to Greek waters, as the cruise ship Atlantis at Santorini in the early 2000s. Subsequently sold to American owners, the ship has been laid up for some time in Elefsis, latterly Elefsis Bay.

    Despite this, she shares top billing on her owners’ enthusiastic website with the Casino Royale, originally HML’s famed second purpose-built car ferry the Castalia. A press release from January 2010 notes that the company is “currently evaluating port locations in East Asia and the United States for the establishment of its initial operations… Each vessel is anticipated to have a capacity of approximately 1,200 passengers and will offer the Company’s patrons a full entertainment experience. Upon completion of the intended renovations, the shipboard entertainment venues on the m/v Casino Royale will include a 100 seat full service gourmet restaurant, a 300 seat buffet restaurant, a casino, a sports bar, a VIP lounge, and a covered outdoor entertainment deck, while the m/v Island Breeze will offer a 100 seat full service gourmet restaurant, a 300 seat buffet restaurant, a casino, a sports bar, a high energy nightclub, a VIP lounge, and a 400 seat showroom. ”

  • 80 passengers lost their lives when the Express Samina sank in September 2000. The wreck still attracts interest however, as these images show.
  • The Caledonian Steam Packet’s little motor ship the Maid of Argylle (1953) ultimately became the Greek City of Corfu and it was under this name that she caught fire and sank whilst alongside her namesake island in 1997. The wreck lay there for many years and was documented in these pictures from 2002.
  • The Penelope A

    The Penelope A

  • Here is a nice video documenting a crossing on board the Penelope A (ex-Horsa) in the Summer of 2008.

    Sticking with the website’s title ships, here is an unusual image of the Vortigern, near the end of her UK career, at Dieppe.

    Lastly the Hengist and perhaps her most famous moment, the grounding off the Warren in 1987, was captured on video. Meanwhile, the ship’s current operators, Ventouris Sea Lines, at last have a proper website, complete with a good selection of on board images of the most carefully maintained veteran ferry sailing in Greek waters.

  • Piraeus remains the world’s greatest ferry port, but perhaps a little of that greatness has rubbed off in recent years as the Greek fleet has slimmed down and speeded up – whilst the place itself has been slightly sanitised. This month’s selection of Greek youtube links present glimpses of the port in days past:

    First up, Piraeus (and surrounding areas) in 1968.

    Some extracts from a 1970s film which highlights some of the quayside structures, including the long gone passenger walkways.

    In Piraeus port 1995, a cast of dozens of classic ships line up for the camera – this was before the demise of Ventouris Sea Lines later that year and the Apollo Express 2 is seen in operation, whilst the Milos Express (Vortigern) is seen just out of refit.

    And lastly the brief but strangely mesmerising Classic ferries of Greece

    At the end of the latter film comes footage of the Sappho (ex-Spero) and scenes aboard this ship feature heavily in these extracts from a 1970s film. It is readily apparent that her interiors were almost completely unchanged, right down to the large map of the North Sea adjacent to the information desk. Some more on board video can be found here (from about 3:25 in & turn the sound DOWN!).

  • The Ryde, October 2006

    The Ryde, October 2006

  • The demise of the paddle steamer Ryde has been long and agonising. There has however been one entrepreneurial idea for a novel form of preservation of at least part of the ship…
  • The end for the Manxman seems just as certain so, if you have half an hour to spare, sit back and enjoy this superb radio documentary, A Day Excursion to Douglas recorded aboard the ship late in her operational career:
    Part One
    Part Two
    Part Three
  • The Moby Vincent (ex-St Brendan/Stena Normandica) has recently received a big ‘duck tail’ extension aft.
  • The Italian train ferry Cariddi was virtually a metaphor for the story of Italy’s railways in the Twentieth Century: constructed in 1932 she entered service between Messina and Villa San Giovanni as the most advanced ship of her type in the world. Diesel-electrical propulsion was employed and the ship reflected the huge amounts of money being poured into the railways and national communications under Mussolini’s fascist regime.

    The ship sank twice – the first time was during the Second World War when she was scuttled in Paradiso Bay, just north of Messina, the day before Sicily fell to the Allies in August 1943. She remained submerged for six and a half years before being raised, rebuilt and restored to service in 1953. Finally retired after a 59-year career, she was sold to the local authority in Messina and intended to become a maritime museum. Neglected and abandoned, she sank for a second and final time in 2006.

    This link, from the Internet Archive, documents the ship’s career and dates to before her 2006 sinking but prophetically notes that “neglect, incompetence, disinterest and abandonment are pulling the Cariddi down again.”

    A more complete history of this route, one of the outstanding ferry experiences in Europe, can be found here.

  • A similar fate, but with rather more tragic consequences, befell the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand’s Wahine which was lost within Wellington Harbour in April 1968. There is little one could like to know about this powerful-looking green-hulled ship and her demise that isn’t covered on Murray Robinson’s outstanding website.

    The website notes that the Wahine’s foremast has recently been placed in position as a monument on the rocks near to where survivors came ashore on the morning of the disaster.

  • The Kalliste - in classic grey livery.

    The Kalliste - in classic grey livery.

  • Le Kalliste – tout blanc!
    Quelle horreur!
  • Mystery still surrounds the future of the Ugo Foscolo (ex-Mikhail Sholokhov) which has been laid up in Zakynthos for over half a decade. The local port authorities seem determined to remove her and one unlikely venture is this proposed conversion to a cruise ship involving Alexandros Panagopoulos, from the family behind Superfast and Royal Cruise Lines.
  • ANEK’s Elyros has been a very popular addition to the Piraeus-Chania route since her entry into service in late 2008. KEH’s earlier rebuild proposal however called for an even more radical silhouette, including a Royal Caribbean-esque ‘Viking Crown’ lounge forward of the funnel.
  • The Stena hotel in Frederikshavn, before its 'tropical adventure'.

    The Stena hotel in Frederikshavn, before its 'tropical adventure'.

  • The previously fairly run of the mill Stena Line hotel in Frederikshavn is now The Reef Resort! As ever, Figura have been entrusted with the interior design work.
  • A fascinating glimpse of the early days of cross-channel car ferrying can be seen in this remarkable series of slides posted to flickr, including a couple on board Townsend’s Forde just before the outbreak of war as well as others aboard the Maid of Kent and Twickenham Ferry. The link goes direct to those images tagged ‘ferry’, but the entire collection is worth a look.
  • This is only marginally related to shipping but: The Sud Express is gone! OK, the name lives on, but the classic 1950s Wagons-Lits ‘UH’ class sleeping cars have been dispensed with and, with them, goes the final vestige of the last of the most famous trains of the Wagons-Lits, so many of which used to commence their journeys at Boulogne, Calais or Oostende in connection with generations of packet steamers.

    The Sud Express was established in 1887 and ran through to Lisbon from Paris and Calais (later it was just Paris to Lisbon and later still Paris to Hendaye/Irun, change trains, and then Hendaye to Lisbon). Alas, it’s not just a case of “another one bites the dust” – this truly was the last of the great loco-hauled Grand European Expresses. The Sud outlasted the remnants of the (real) Orient Express by a couple of years. The Nord Express, the Train Bleu, the Peninsular Express, the Oberland Express etc all fell by the wayside long ago. The relevance of these long-distance luxury train connections to the ferry industry died out decades ago with the onset of mass air travel, but the train/ship/train link was before then vital for anyone who wanted to travel significant distances in Europe.

    And just how useful would the Paris/Oostende-Oslo cars of the Nord Express (via the Nyborg-Korsør and Helsingør-Helsingborg train ferries) be today for ash-bound Continental shipowners wishing to get to the Shippax conference starting on the Color Magic on Tuesday…?

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