Posts tagged: sealink

Twilight of the Hengist

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Panagia Tinou (most recently Agios Georgios, originally the Hengist of 1972).

Half sunk in Piraeus harbour, July 2016.

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Farewell Cornouailles, Havelet, Sveti Stefan

The Sveti Stefan of Montenegro Lines, originally Brittany Ferries’ Cornouailles of 1977, this afternoon arrived off Aliaga in Turkey prior to being scrapped.

The ship had been ordered by Brittany Ferries from the Trondheim Mekaniske Værksted following the company’s earlier charter of the Prince de Bretagne (ex-Falster, later Vega), which had been delivered by the Norwegian shipyard two years earlier. The Prince de Bretagne had lacked sufficient passenger space and was considered prone to rolling in even moderate seas but the French evidently saw enough in the basic design to order a similar vessel for themselves. Although the Cornouailles was built with significantly more accommodation, she did inherit some of the poor seakeeping characteristics of her half-sister and, most notably, nearly sank in an incident off Cork in 1992 when, in one of her final periods of service back with Brittany Ferries, she encountered a “freak wave” and barely made it into port.

The design of the Cornouailles was derived from that of the Prince de Bretagne (ex-Falster). She is seen as the Vega at Corfu in 1999.

The design of the Cornouailles was derived from that of the Prince de Bretagne (ex-Falster). That ship is seen as the Vega at Corfu in 1999; she was scrapped at Aliaga in 2004.

The Cornouailles replaced the smaller Penn-Ar-Bed as the mainstay of the Roscoff-Plymouth route but passenger traffic continued to grow and, in 1984, she was chartered out to SNCF for two years, being replaced in BF service by the Benodet (1984) and Tregastel (1985). Painted in full SNCF livery, the ship replaced the smaller Valencay and served as one of two French ships on the Dieppe-Newhaven operation, alongside the Chartres and the British Senlac.

Returing to her owners in January 1986 she initiated freight-only service on the new Ouistreham-Portsmouth route before being deployed that summer on a new passenger option on the Cherbourg-Poole Truckline operation that Brittany Ferries had acquired the previous year. This proved successful and for 1989 the ship was replaced by the Tregastel and transferred to BF’s other affiliate, British Channel Island Ferries, and renamed the Havelet. There she would begin over a decade of service to the islands, running as second ship to the Rozel (ex-St Edmund) between 1989 and 1992 and the Beauport (ex-Prince of Fundy, Reine Mathilde) from 1992 to 1993. When BCIF was taken over by rivals Condor/Commodore in 1994 she operated in support of the car-carrying catamarans until the arrival of the new Commodore Clipper in late 1999, after which she was laid up.

The Havelet eventually found a buyer in the form of Montenegro Lines, who had inherited the Bar-Bari route of Prekookeanska Plovidba which had maintained a car ferry service since the 1960s. The original ship, the first Sveti Stefan (ex-Djursland) operated on the route for three decades and, for a brief period in the 1980s, was joined by the Njegos – a ship which subsequently followed the Cornouailles in service at Roscoff and Poole as the Tregastel.

In 2003 Montenegro Lines acquired a second passenger ship in the shape of the Sveti Stefan II, originally the third Prinz Hamlet and latterly Polferries’ Nieborow. A shorter derivation of the KEH design that had produced the Gustav Vasa (later Norrona) and Nils Dacke (Quiberon), the ship was deployed primarily on the longer crossing from Bar to Ancona. The two ships operated together for a decade until, in early 2013, the newly-published summer timetables indicated that only a one-ship service would be offered to Bari with the Ancona route closed. The Sveti Stefan II was retained and the smaller Sveti Stefan was sold for scrap. Having maintained the core service through the winter, the ship made her final scheduled sailing from Bari to Bar on 16 April. Arriving the next morning, she was promptly destored and sailed straight for Aliaga just two days later.

I first travelled on the ship as part of a three-day visit to Montenegro in the summer of 2003. The Adriatic ferry scene has changed much in those ten years and most of the old ships we encountered on that trip have succumbed to the breakers. We had disembarked in the morning in Brindisi from the venerable Poseidonia of Hellenic Mediterranean Lines, the most famous of all Greek operators themselves no longer with us. That ship was originally the Belfast Steamship Co’s Ulster Queen of 1967 and we arrived in a Brindisi which, that summer, was served by an array of aged tonnage which once served the British Isles such as the Kapetan Alexandros (ex-Doric Ferry), Media V (ex-Viking I), Egnatia III (ex-Saint Killian II) and Penelope A (ex-European Gateway).

After taking the train up to Bari we walked around the breakwater to inspect the Orestes (ex-Cerdic Ferry) which was enduring the long lay up which preceded her final demise. Not long removed from the port was the abandoned Sirio (ex-Cambridge Ferry) whilst in regular service were the Dubrovnik (ex-Duchess Anne), Marko Polo (ex-Zeeland), Azzurra (ex-Olau West), Siren (ex-Dana Gloria) and Polaris (ex-Dana Futura). The ship which had been replaced by the Cornouailles during her two year SNCF charter, the Valencay (by then the Pollux) was in her final season running from Bari to Albania whilst Marlines operated the sole rival operation to Montenegro using their Duchess M, once the Cornouailles’ Brittany Ferries fleetmate the Breizh-Izel.

The Duchess M (ex-Breizh-Izel) at Bari in 2007 in a picture taken from the pontoon berth used by the Sveti Stefan.

On that first crossing the budget did not stretch beyond a place on deck and, after a brief inspection of the accommodation inside, we set up camp for the night on her port side promenade deck. As we sailed to Bar, the ship encountered what appeared to be tremendous seas, and she rocked and rolled alarmingly through the night. We woke the next morning, with our sleeping bags covered in sea salt, to another beautiful and perfectly calm day and with the Duchess M following us into port. Already alongside was Montenegro Lines’ little freighter the Alba, which in an earlier life had served the UK as the Neckartal on charter to Sealink and, latterly worked for Schiaffino Line.

During our 2003 visit to Montenegro we stayed up the coast at Budva, and were able to stop briefly en-route at the small island town of Sveti Stefan after which the ships are named – well, we were able to stop outside it, for the island itself is a private and exclusive hotel, perhaps not the best situation for one of Montenegro’s most famous tourist sights.

Sveti Stefan itself, 30km along the coast from Bar.

Sveti Stefan itself, 30km along the coast from Bar.

Seven years later I had the opportunity to sail on the Sveti Stefan and Sveti Stefan II once more, the former from Bar to Bari on the night of the 2010 football World Cup Final, which delayed departure from port as the crew preferred to wait and watch the conclusion before setting sail. The pictures below are from that sailing and the ship remained in satisfactory condition given her age and limited size – and certainly a world away from the fairly squalid state of her fleetmate.

The Sveti Stefan and Sveti Stefan II together at Bar.

The Sveti Stefan and Sveti Stefan II together at Bar.

A close look at the ship's funnel reveals the painted-over original Brittany Ferries' markings.

A close look at the ship's funnel reveals the painted-over original Brittany Ferries markings.

Bar's modern ferry terminal, whose excellent restaurant provides a much superior dining experience than that generally enjoyed aboard the ships of Montenegro Lines.

Bar's modern ferry terminal, whose excellent restaurant provides a rather superior dining experience to that generally enjoyed aboard the ships of Montenegro Lines.

An afternoon scene on the pier in Bar.

An afternoon scene on the pier in Bar.

Approaching the ship to board our evening sailing to Bari.

Approaching the ship to board our evening sailing to Bari.

The ship's compact main vehicle deck with the ramp leading to the upper deck visible.

The ship's compact main vehicle deck with the ramp leading to the upper deck visible.

The upper car deck...

The upper car deck...

...complete with old-style turntable at the forward end to assist with manoeuvring vehicles.

...complete with old-style turntable at the forward end to assist with manoeuvring vehicles.

For this crossing we had booked a four-berth cabin; as with many of the cabins aboard, this had a basin but no en-suite bathroom.

For this crossing we had booked a four-berth room; as with most of the cabins aboard, this had a basin but no en-suite bathroom.

Across the corridor were public showers.

Across the corridor were public showers, still with original signage.

Cabin signage.

Cabin signage.

A Havelet-era safety plan with the present name surreptitiously added by sticker.

A Havelet-era safety plan with the present name surreptitiously added by sticker.

Passengers crowd into the lounge area to watch football.

Passengers crowd into the lounge area to watch football.

Heading out on deck, the Sveti Stefan II was laying over until her next sailing to Ancona.

Heading out on deck, the Sveti Stefan II was laying over until her next sailing to Ancona a couple of days later.

Early the following morning, the ship was back on time and motoring towards Bari.

Early the following morning, the ship was back on time and motoring towards Bari.

Turning into port.

Turning into port.

The port-side promenade where, back in 2003, we had spent the night out on deck, sleeping on the lifebelt lockers as the ship rolled and pitched her way across the Adriatic.

The port-side promenade where, back in 2003, we had spent the night out on deck, sleeping on the lifebelt lockers as the ship rolled and pitched her way across the Adriatic.

Heading back inside, this is the lobby area on Deck 3; the room to the right was serving as an additional shop but was marked on the Condor-era deckplan as a cinema. Other than this, the ship was largely unchanged from her days serving the Channel Islands.

Heading back inside, this is the lobby area on Deck 3; the room to the right was serving as an additional shop but was marked on the Condor-era deckplan as a cinema. Other than this, the ship was largely unchanged from her days serving the Channel Islands.

The rather gloomy kids play area.

The rather gloomy kids play area.

Up on Deck 4, aft was this large seating lounge.

Up on Deck 4, aft was this large seating lounge.

Moving forward, this starboard-side arcade connected the main public spaces - the entrance to the Clipper Restaurant is on the left.

Moving forward, this starboard-side arcade connected the main public spaces - the entrance to the Clipper Restaurant is on the left.

The Clipper Restaurant.

The Clipper Restaurant.

Looking aft in the large space forward on Deck 4, which in addition to the pictured central area was divided into several smaller sections with the Wheelhouse Coffee Bar (to port), Compass Bar (to starboard) and a comfortable seating area forward.

Looking aft in the large space forward on Deck 4, which in addition to the pictured central area was divided into several smaller sections with the Wheelhouse Coffee shop (to port), Compass Bar (to starboard) and a comfortable seating area forward.

Coffee shop serving area.

Coffee shop serving area.

Coffee Shop.

Coffee shop.

Forward seating area.

Forward seating area.

The Compass Bar on the starboard side.

The Compass Bar on the starboard side.

This further reclining seat lounge was located forward on Deck 5.

This further reclining seat lounge was located forward on Deck 5.

Our ship reflected in Bari's passenger terminal.

Our ship reflected in Bari's passenger terminal.

The Cornouailles was a workmanlike, unglamorous ship, almost always overshadowed by her fleetmates. She was rarely given first ranking – whether it be the Armorique, the Senlac and Chartres, the Rozel, the Beauport, the Condor fast cats or, latterly, the larger Sveti Stefan II, she was always a useful second ship, able to economically cover the routes with lower loads and with less expectations. Only when she headed up the Truckline passenger service and her initial period with Montenegro Lines (2000 to 2003) was she the lead ship. Yet this was still a useful function – she was able to set up new operations and, latterly, maintained Montenegro Lines’ services year round when the use of the larger vessel could not be justified. In her final guise, she also played an important part in the recovery of Montenegro’s tourist industry which had been shattered by the Balkan wars.

Time catches up with all ships in the end, however, and in a continuingly difficult economic climate Montenegro Lines’ downsizing meant the Sveti Stefan had to make way. There was a hope that, as with some other ferries, she might get a reprieve, that some entrepreneurial operator might see some worth in her as she sailed past Piraeus for Aliaga. But it was not to be. She sailed on, under her own power and only a couple of days after carrying her final passengers – a workhorse to the end.

Blast from the past: Sealink’s Hengist & Horsa

29 April 2012 marks 40 years to the day since the launch of Sealink’s Hengist and Horsa, the purpose-built ferries delivered in the summer of 1972 by the naval shipyard in Brest. The sister ships saw service, primarily from their Folkestone home, until the final closure of the Folkestone-Boulogne route at the end of 1991. Thereafter, both forged remarkably successful new careers in the Aegean, where they remain in year-round operation as the Agios Georgios (Ventouris Sea Lines) and Penelope A (Agoudimos Lines).

A third, slightly modified, later sister, the Senlac, was scrapped in 2010.

In this entry we take a look back at the ships’ British careers through Sealink promotional material produced over their near two decades of service.

The building dock in Brest showing the lower hull of the Hengist.

The building dock in Brest showing the lower hull of the Hengist.

One of the SEMT-Pielstick main engines is craned into place.

One of the SEMT-Pielstick main engines is craned into place.

The Horsa and Hengist near to the launch date.

The Horsa (left) and Hengist.

The cover of the shipyard's brochure commemorating the Hengist, Horsa and Senlac.

The cover of the shipyard's brochure commemorating the Hengist, Horsa and Senlac.

Cover of a menu for lunch and dinner as served on the Hengist's three-day trials. Main courses included 'Cabillaud à la portugaise' and 'Jambon braisé à la Florentine'.

Cover of a menu for lunch and dinner as served on the Hengist's three-day trials. Main courses included 'Cabillaud à la Portugaise' and 'Jambon braisé à la Florentine'.

The equivalent for the Horsa: 'Poulet à l'Américaine' and 'Côte de porc sautée' were the highlights.

The equivalent for the Horsa: 'Poulet à l'Américaine' and 'Côte de porc sautée' were the highlights.

The brand-new Hengist.

The brand-new Hengist.

Contemporary coverage of the Hengist's press voyage.

Contemporary coverage of the Hengist's press voyage.

The Horsa arriving at Boulogne.

The Horsa arriving at Boulogne.

An aerial view of the car ferry terminal at Folkestone, with one of the sisters on the berth. This image dates from after the construction of the first section of the Hotel Burstin (the tall white building on the far right) in 1974/75 but before the demolition of the frontage of its predecessor, the old Royal Pavilion hotel, in whose grounds the rather brutal 'Burstin' had been built.

An aerial view of the car ferry terminal at Folkestone, with one of the sisters on the berth. This image dates from after the construction of the first section of the Hotel Burstin (the tall white building on the far right) in 1974/75 but before the demolition of the frontage of its predecessor, the old Royal Pavilion hotel, in whose grounds the rather brutal 'Burstin' had been built.

The introduction of the Hengist and Horsa also saw the start of freight runs from Folkestone to Oostende.

The introduction of the Hengist and Horsa also saw the start of freight runs from Folkestone to Oostende.

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The standard Sealink restaurant menu for continental traffic in 1972 - as served in the A Deck restaurant when the Hengist and Horsa entered service.

The standard Sealink restaurant menu for continental traffic in 1972 - as served in the A Deck restaurant when the Hengist and Horsa entered service.

A photoreport of a trip to Boulogne on the Horsa in the 1975 Sealink brochure.

A photoreport of a trip on the Horsa in the 1975 Sealink brochure.

The ships starred in a spot the difference competition run by Sealink in regional newspapers in 1979 - nearly 30,000 people entered.

The ships starred in a spot the difference competition run by Sealink in regional newspapers in 1979 - nearly 30,000 people entered.

By 1986, the Folkestone-Calais and Folkestone-Oostende sailings had ceased and Folkestone was left with sailings only to Boulogne. The Hengist and Horsa were paired with the Vortigern until that ship's sale in early 1988.

By 1986, the Folkestone-Calais and Folkestone-Oostende links had ceased and Folkestone was left with sailings only to Boulogne. The Hengist and Horsa, now in white Sealink British Ferries livery, were paired with the Vortigern until that ship's sale in early 1988.

One final high profile appearance in marketing material was this image of the Horsa on the cover of early editions of the 1986 Sealink brochure.

One final high profile appearance in marketing material was this image of the Horsa on the cover of early editions of the 1986 Sealink brochure.

1991 Folkestone-Boulogne ferry guide - the route closed at the end of the year.

1991 Folkestone-Boulogne ferry guide - the route closed at the end of the year.

Blast from the past: St George

On May 18 1966 Stanley Raymond, Chairman of the British Railways Board, held a press conference at Harwich Parkeston Quay where he announced a massive investment plan including a complete redevelopment of the port and a new car ferry operation on the traditional route to the Hook of Holland – to be serviced by two new vehicle ferries. In addition a pair of cellular container ships were to be built to operate to Zeebrugge from a new container terminal adjacent to the ferry port. Mr Raymond explained that Parkeston Quay, with its rail-roro-container interchange, would become a showpiece which we expect people will come from all over the world to see.

The two container ships became the Seafreightliner I and Seafreightliner II and had careers at Harwich stretching into the 1980s although they never appeared to have the success that had been hoped for. Of the two ships for the Harwich-Hook car ferry operation one was ordered by the BRB’s traditional Dutch operating partner, the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland (SMZ), with the other to the BRB’s own account. Whilst the two ships had a common basic specification, as delivered they were notably divergent in appearance. The Dutch Koningin Juliana had her design details finalised by Danish naval architects Knud E Hansen (KEH) who produced an attractive if very slightly conservative-looking car ferry – early renderings were a little more racy, more in line with KEH’s normal output, but it appears SMZ rather resisted this approach. The British vessel meanwhile, built at Swan Hunters on the Tyne, took the name St George and would become a valuable reference ship both for her naval architects, Tony Rogan and Don Ripley of the BRB, and also interior designers Ward & Austin.

It is the St George we will focus on in this posting, but the historical context and wider Harwich scene deserve a mention in passing. Prior to 1968 the Harwich-Hook of Holland route operated on a pattern established just after the War where the Dutch ships maintained day crossings in either direction with overnight sailings provided by steamers of the Eastern Region of British Railways. The most recent ships of each company – the futuristic-looking Koningin Wilhelmina and the elegant but more traditional Avalon – had been introduced as recently as 1960 and 1963; nonetheless the decision was made to completely overhaul the operation and the two new, drive-through, car ferries were to essentially replace all four existing vessels.

Whilst the traditional passenger ferries such as the Amsterdam were able to carry cars, the crane loading procedures were slow and complicated.

Whilst the traditional passenger ferries such as the Amsterdam (below) were able to carry cars, the crane loading procedures were slow and complicated.

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Changeover: A page from the 1968 BR Car Ferry guide. Note the references to the short-lived Harwich-Oostende car ferry operation as well as to DFDSs Harwich-Esbjerg service, both of which utilised the two new portal linkspans at Parkeston Quay. DFDS would have been a logical and non-competing associate to the Sealink consortium but this cross-promotion petered out in the early 1970s.

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An early model of the St George, before the new funnel design was finalised following wind tunnel testing.

A later artists impression with the final design elements all in place.

And an aerial view of the finished product in her original livery, before the later application of the Sealink title to the hull.

An advert for Van der Horst, a supplier who worked on the ships Ruston main engines. The machinery came in for much adverse comment over the years but Rogan and Ripley, whilst admitting problems, noted that the four-engine layout ensured the ship never lost a sailing. Vibration was however a recurrent and unresolved issue throughout the ships BR career.

The front cover of an inaugural brochure for the St George - erroneously however the ship depicted appears to be the Winston Churchill of DFDS, seen on her normal berth, the western of the two portal linkspans.

An approximation of this image would have been more appropriate: the St George on the eastern berth with the container terminal visible in the background.

An early proposal for the Harwich redevelopment with the two linkspans and the Winston Churchill in the foreground and a circular office block in the background. The final scheme was completed in 1971 to a rather different design - including covered walkways direct to the ships. Prior to this foot passengers had to brave the elements as below.

Another view of the St George on the berth at Harwich.

Another view of the St George on the berth at Harwich. Visible on the edge of the ship's raised bow visor is the five pointed star of the Great Eastern Railway, a marking which had been a feature of British Harwich ships for a century - the St Edmund of 1974 discontinued this tradition.

The St George entered commercial service on 17 July 1968 - delays to the arrival of her Dutch counterpart meant that initially she operated only night sailings but ultimately both ships would operate day and night, the St George maintaining the morning crossing from Harwich and the overnight return. Although there have been massive changes in company structure, size of ship and nature of operation in the past 42 years it is notable that this simple pattern of operation is retained to this day on Stenas latest two massive superferries.

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Returning to the inaugural brochure - the new motorway was opening up new possibilities for motorists.

First Class facilities were to the stern and Second Class forward.

First Class facilities were to the stern and Second Class forward.

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Moving on board and here is a view of the ships car deck during loading. The centre section, between the twin engine casings, was able to accommodate freight vehicles and coaches whereas the wings were car-height only with cabins on the deck above.

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The centre section was also fitted with mezzanine decks of a unique type whereby each panel was able to be used as a ramp rather than, more conventionally, just the end panels.

A De Luxe cabin depicted in the introductory brochure - these were located amidships on A Deck, the lower of the main passenger decks. Beneath the vehicle deck (C Deck) were crew and some Second Class cabins whilst along the sides at mezzanine level (B Deck) were First Class cabins (aft) and Second Class (forward) with some interchangeable rooms in between. Some of the four-berth outside Second Class cabins at this level were convertible to six-person day cabins.

One of the cabins De Luxe on the newly delivered ship.

One of the cabins De Luxe on the newly delivered ship.

Inboard of the cabins De Luxe was the First Class entrance.

Inboard of the cabins De Luxe on B Deck was the First Class entrance (above and below).

Moving forward, the Second Class entrance lounge was distinctly less opulent.

Moving forward, the Second Class entrance lounge was distinctly less opulent. In the background is one of the two Second Class reclining seat lounges (also below); their first class equivalent was right aft on this deck.

Right forward was the Second Class Smokeroom

Right forward was the Second Class Smokeroom; the bay seating is a typical Ward and Austin finish of the period but inboard the furniture and lino flooring gives something of a Working Mens Club impression.

Moving upstairs to Boat Deck, forward was the Second Class Lounge which included this oval section forward.

Moving upstairs to Boat Deck, forward was the Second Class Lounge which included this oval section. Similar in concept and style to the 1969-built Vortigerns forward cafeteria this became the ships most recognisable interior and is seen, above, as conceived and, below, as realised. The armchairs were supplied by Hille and bench seating sourced locally from Robson of Newcastle.

Just aft of the Second Class lounge was the Second Class cafeteria.

Just aft of the Second Class lounge was the Second Class cafeteria.

Separated from Second Class by the galley, towards the stern of Boat Deck was the First Class restaurant and tea lounge (the centre sections of which are seen above and below). The brochure notes rather suggestively, 'the luxury hotel setting of the Restaurant and Tea Bar is very stimulating - and not only to the appetite!', which perhaps explains the adoring gaze of the female passenger, far right.

The outer wings of the restaurant had a slightly more formal air and were fitted with light wood panelling.

The outer wings of the restaurant had a slightly more formal air. 'As a romantic touch that adds to the sense of occasion, British Rail have revived the custom of offering the ladies a flower of their choice on entering the restaurant'.

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The galley was 'equipped with every modern device to enable it to perform culinary miracles with micro-wave ovens, infra-red grills and three stage refrigerators'. 'Harwich-Hook really cares about meals and takes time and trouble to prepare them to the most appetising - even succulent - standards. There's a wide variety of dishes on offer and you can enjoy restaurant service with trained, efficient and courteous stewards ready to obey your every wish'. Here, a menu from 1969 shows the items - which, yes, may even be succulent - that were available on the British ships.

Right aft was the First Class Smokeroom .

Right aft was the First Class Smokeroom above and below.

A corner of the First Class smokeroom.

A corner of the First Class smokeroom. This bar was 'the place for anything from a glass of milk or an aperitif to a liqueur' with 'Steward-service to give you that luxury hotel feeling'.

An afternoon arrival at the Hook of Holland.

An afternoon arrival at the Hook of Holland.

The St George was sold out of Sealink service in 1984 becoming the Patra Express of Ventouris Ferries for whom she operated Adriatic itineraries. Re-engined in 1988, she left Greece in March 1990 under the name Scandinavian Sky II for Immingham where a prolonged refit kitted her out for use as a casino ship in the USA. Under the successive names Scandinavian Dawn, Discovery Dawn, Island Dawn and Texas Treasure she saw out her days before finally the St George went for scrapping in 2008. Her Dutch half-sister, the Koningin Juliana, was displaced by the new Prinses Beatrix in 1978 and after several years in a supporting role eventually passed to NAVARMA (Moby Lines) in 1985. Operating from Livorno to Bastia as the Moby Prince she collided with a tanker off the Italian port in 1991, the disastrous subsequent fire killing all but one of the 142 people on board.

The St George as Scandinavian Dawn.

The St George as Scandinavian Dawn.

Things seen – November 2010

The Anthi Marina, Milena and Dimitroula laid up in Piraeus outer harbour.

The Anthi Marina, Milena and Dimitroula laid up in Piraeus outer harbour.

  • The laid up GA Ferries fleet in Piraeus has been put up for auction by the port authority. The following starting bids have been specified:

    DIMITROULA €1,277,000
    ANTHI MARINA €2,128,000
    ROMILDA €979,000
    MILENA €957,000
    MARINA €1,309,000
    RODANTHI €1,383,000
    DALIANA €957,500

    One wonders which shipboard delights make the Daliana €500 more valuable than her sister the Milena. Truthfully, I doubt many will miss most of these ships all of which were fairly grim clunkers at the very bottom of the market by the time GA Ferries finally gave up the ghost. The Dimitroula, whilst not an exception to that comment, was perhaps the most interesting, retaining many of her pocket Italian liner stylings through her Greek career. The fast craft Jetferry I, tucked up in the inner harbour adjacent to the berths of the smaller Blue Star ships, has already been repossessed by her secured creditors so is excluded from the list.

    There are some slightly haunting videos of the ships in the outer harbour, creaking and groaning at their berths here and here.

    The same set of videos also features a close up consideration of the Mediterranean Sky, once of Karageorgis Lines and before that Ellerman’s City of York but now a sunken, rusting hulk in a corner of Elefsis Bay.

    Meanwhile, near to the end of her operational days, life on board a Christmassy Romilda was captured by a nautilia user with the highly commendable name of ‘vortigern’.

  • The final departure of the Athens from Igoumenitsa en route for scrapping was captured for posterity – the vessel had served Ventouris Ferries for approaching a quarter of a century and had survived through all of the troubles of the family’s shipping operations – being right on the spot of disaster on occasion as pictures of her, freshly painted, alongside the sunken Grecia Express (ex-Norwind) prove.
  • Another former British ferry whose operational career in Greece was cut short at an early stage was the Theseus (ex-Dundalk, St Cybi). She did see service for a while however, as evidenced by this highly entertaining video of her berthing in rough weather at Kythira in 1993. Comedy highlights include the lost tyre bouncing around behind a disembarking vehicle and, somewhat cruelly, the lady who manages to drench herself as she attempts to embark by running up to and over the vehicle ramp.
  • ‘Mr Snail’ has a fine collection on flickr of images of and on board many of the lesser lights of the currently operational Greek domestic fleet, large and small.
  • The recent collision of the Superferry II (ex-Prince Laurent) with the pier in Tinos rang a bell and a quick search revealed a similar incident in Andros a couple of years ago – with rather more dramatic consequences for those on board.
  • The many and varied incidents which have affected BC Ferries’ fleet are documented in this remarkable youtube video which formed part of local TV coverage of the sinking of the Queen of the North.

    Meanwhile, this series of videos shows Tsawwassen terminal and the Queen of New Westminster being pounded by wet & wild weather in 2007.

  • Whilst Corsica Ferries seem somehow less accident-prone than rivals Moby, this image of the stern of the Mega Express shows that they still have their share of mishaps.
  • Continuing the theme of accidents and incidents, the former Ursula of Scandinavian Ferry Lines, latterly the Cozumel II, was washed ashore at Chinchorro Bank in Mexico during Hurricane Wilma in 2005. In May of this year she was finally released from her predicament as evidenced by this local television report.
  • Staying in Mexico, it is nearly three years since the Victory of Grandi Navi Veloci was sold to Baja Ferries where she operates as the Chihuahua Star alongside the California Star (ex-Stena Forwarder). She appears to have settled down quite well in operation, but, as can be seen from this voyage report, remains very much a GNV ship onboard.
  • Sessan Linjen was one of the more prestigious and upscale early car ferry operators and the company’s absorption by local rivals Stena Line in 1982 remains in many ways regrettable The vast majority of Sessan’s fleet were purpose-built and some interesting images are found here and here whilst a snatched recording of cars boarding the Prinsessan Desiree in Gothenburg in the early 1970s can be seen here. Today, Sessan’s Gothenburg terminal is the only remaining local link with the company, it now being home to Stena’s Kiel operation.
  • Mention of Stena and their early, rapid, growth prompts a quick link to one of my all time favourite ferry photographs, from the Dover Ferry Photos website, showing the little Stena Danica of 1965 in Dover alongside the Free Enterprise III and the Roi Baudouin. Stubby and small, she still manages to somehow outshine her equally modern rivals.
  • That Stena Danica image was taken during her brief charter to Townsend over the Winter of 1967/68 and just a couple of months later Pathé news ventured aboard the brand-new Dragon on her promotional visit to London to film this footage of one of the more attractive British-registered car ferries. The recording also resolves a minor query I had as to just what the Dragon featured in her main lobby, where her sister Leopard had a leopard clambering up the liftshaft (below). To the surprise of nobody it was a dragon (below x2), but still it is nice to see just what it looked like. As can also be seen both ships had Bayeux Tapestry extracts around the lobby’s upper circle.
    A leopard on the Leopard...

    A leopard on the Leopard...


    ...and a dragon on the Dragon.

    ...and a dragon on the Dragon.

  • The branch lines serving former railway ports still capture the imaginations of many and video tributes to those at Folkestone and Weymouth have found their way onto youtube. The Weymouth version includes some entertaining footage of cars being moved out of the way of the train as it passes along the quayside. Over at Folkestone, spread over three parts are some excellent clips of trains transiting the harbour line:
    Part One
    Part Two
    Part Three
  • The departure of the SNAV Sicilia (ex-Norland) for scrap is a reminder that this ship was once very famous indeed in her homeport of Kingston-upon-Hull. The Norland pub in Hessle remains a well-known local hostelry, whilst the name of Norland ARLFC continues to bring a wry smile to ferry enthusiast observers of the Hull & District League (this may indeed be a very limited number of people). Meanwhile a house on Norland Avenue doesn’t sound too bad a proposition, although that may depend on one’s view of the merits of living in Hull.

    The East Yorkshire version of the BBC’s Look North carried a decent segment on her demise (no longer available on iplayer but a related news item is here); the Hull Daily Mail predictably missed the story altogether.

  • It comes as a rude shock that some people don’t take ferry enthusiasm as seriously as this blog ceaselessly strives to. An entertaining critique of Brian Haresnape’s book Sealink, a revered tome in the eyes of this writer, can be found on the four pages of this link to an irreverent car forum – page 2 onwards are frankly not for the faint hearted.
  • Staying with Sealink and the ITN website has some interesting coverage of newsworthy events from the 1980s:
    ‘Save Our Senlac’
    On board the strikebound Earl Harold
    Refloating the Hengist
  • Lastly, the arrival of the Istra for scrapping in Aliaga didn’t go undocumented and below are some links to a series of images of and on board the old ship as she was prepared for cutting up (click on the thumbnails to go to the original urls):
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    (h/t Brodovi i pomorstvo)

  • Please send any contributions for ‘Things Seen’ to admin@hhvferry.com.

    Farewell Senlac, Apollo Express, Express Apollon, Apollon

    With minimal warning, the Apollon of European Seaways sailed for scrapping at Aliaga in Turkey on Thursday morning. Her final scheduled sailings on the Bari-Durres run were in mid-September, after which she retired to Salamis near Piraeus for a final lay up prior to departing one last time.

    Originally the Senlac of 1973 the ship was the last of a trio for cross-channel services to be built by the naval dockyard in Brest. As outlined in The Senlac Story (which will be updated for the final chapter shortly) whereas her sister ships Hengist and Horsa were destined for Dover and Folkestone service, the Senlac was always intended for Newhaven-Dieppe and inherited the convoluted ownership structure of ships on that route. She was, however, resolutely British in terms of operation and manning – at least until January 1985 when the British Sealink sold up and she was transferred to the French flag.

    The cover of the shipyard's brochure commemorating the Hengist, Horsa and Senlac.

    A sale to Greece in late 1987 opened up the second chapter in her career – she became an incredibly successful and popular ship in domestic traffic with, successively, Ventouris Sea Lines, Agapitos Express Ferries and Hellas Ferries/Hellenic Seaways. For many years she was one of the primary ships on the key route from Piraeus through to Santorini and, after a couple of years away from this role, returned to the service for one last, brief, Summer in 2005. Her final owner was the Arkoumanis family, behind the long-standing fringe Adriatic operator European Seaways. At first she was used on sporadic services between Italy and Greece before, in 2009, being deployed to Durres in Albania out of the Italian port of Bari, latterly alongside the ex-Japanese Ionis. Occasional sailings to Greece continued but the Albanian routes more often than not form the final part of a ship’s career – and so it was with the Apollon.

    The ship was latterly in somewhat poor mechanical health and this seems to have forced her owners’ hand – certainly it does not seem to have been a long-planned decision to let the ship go at this point in time. The 2010 timetable on the European Seaways website still shows her reappearing in December to offer additional sailings over the Christmas period. On the newly released 2010/11 schedule, these are now pencilled in for the Arkoumanis family’s other ship, the Bridge (ex-Bass Trader).

    The Senlac’s demise can perhaps ultimately be traced back to her sale from Greek domestic service back in 2006 – and in some respects she paid the price for the continuing success of her sister ships. When the former Hengist and Horsa were sold in early 2004 to rival domestic operators, Hellas Ferries were soon kicking themselves as they were used in competition against their own ongoing services. This class of ship is almost perfect for Greek island hopping service and Hellas Ferries were determined, when the time came, to dispose of the former Senlac to an operator who would not use her in a competing trade. Unfortunately the Apollon was never entirely suitable as an overnight ship on the Adriatic and her mechanical fragility sealed her fate. Those intermittent mechanical gremlins didn’t, however, prevent the Apollon sailing to Aliaga under her own power, topping 17 knots at times as she sped to meet her doom.

    Presented below are a few reminders of what was, despite the sudden end, the long and memorable career of a very popular ship.

    The Senlac swinging at Newhaven.

    The Senlac swinging at Newhaven.

    Always a head-turner...

    Always a head-turner...

    Leaving Newhaven.

    Leaving Newhaven.

    The Senlac’s career spanned a period of massive transformation in the transport networks between the United Kingdom and France. The Newhaven-Dieppe brochure (above) from the year of the ship’s introduction offers passengers a 2202 departure from London Victoria which, via two boat trains and the 2345 Dieppe ferry, will get them into Paris Saint-Lazare in time for an early breakfast at 0625. Cross-channel weather permitting of course. For over a century the Newhaven route remained a key link in transport connections between London and Paris yet today it all seems part of another world.

    The Senlac never received Sealink British Ferries livery but this leaflet (above), covering almost the final weeks of her career as a British ship, features the SBF name. By this stage the ship was offering ‘Casino Cruises’ (below) – not available on the French vessels.

    The ability of the careers of car ferries to span periods of vast social and technological change whilst themselves seeming to remain remarkably UNchanged can be demonstrated through comparative vehicle deck images. Above is the Senlac in 1973, below the Apollon in 2007.

    Although for her early years paired with the French 'V' ships, by 1984 the Senlac's Newhaven-Dieppe partners were the Chartres and chartered Cornouailles.

    Although for her early years paired with the French 'V' ships, by 1984 the Senlac's Newhaven-Dieppe partners were the Chartres and chartered Cornouailles.

    The Chartres followed the Senlac to Greece in 1993 and, three years later, the pair were reunited in the fleet of Agapitos Express after the demise of the Senlac's initial Greek owners Ventouris Sea Lines. Together they formed a formidable partnership on the Piraeus-Paros-Santorini chain - as advertised here in the 1999 Agapitos Express brochure.

    The Chartres followed the Senlac to Greece in 1993 and, three years later, the pair were reunited in the fleet of Agapitos Express after the demise of the Senlac's initial Greek owners Ventouris Sea Lines. Together they formed a formidable partnership on the Piraeus-Paros-Santorini chain - as advertised here in the 1999 Agapitos Express brochure.

    Latterly, the Senlac was also to be reunited with the Cornouailles which, as the Sveti Stefan, was often found on an adjacent berth at Bari in between her sailings to Bar in Montenegro.

    Latterly, the Senlac was also to be reunited with the Cornouailles which, as the Sveti Stefan, was often found on an adjacent berth at Bari in between her sailings to Bar in Montenegro.

    At Piraeus in August 1999, beneath the bows of Minoan Lines' King Minos.

    At Piraeus in August 1999, beneath the bows of Minoan Lines' King Minos.

    In late 1999 Agapitos Express was absorbed into Hellas Ferries and by the Summer of 2003 the Express Apollon could be found attempting to fill the shoes of the long-serving but recently sold Express Milos (ex-Vortigern) on the Piraeus-Serifos-Sifnos-Kimolos-Milos run; she is seen here at Sifnos. Ultimately the Vortigern's true long-term replacement would be the Senlac's sister the Agios Georgios (ex-Hengist).

    In late 1999 Agapitos Express was absorbed into Hellas Ferries and by the Summer of 2003 the Express Apollon could be found attempting to fill the shoes of the long-serving but recently sold Express Milos (ex-Vortigern) on the Piraeus-Serifos-Sifnos-Kimolos-Milos run; she is seen here at Sifnos. Ultimately the Vortigern's true long-term replacement would be the Senlac's sister the Agios Georgios (ex-Hengist).

    The Golden Summer of 2004 saw all three sister ships sailing for rival operators out of the secondary Athenian port of Rafina; the Express Apollon is seen here approaching the port of Gavrio on Andros.

    The Golden Summer of 2004 saw all three sister ships sailing for rival operators out of the secondary Athenian port of Rafina; the Express Apollon is seen here approaching the port of Gavrio on Andros.

    The Penelope A (ex-Horsa) chasing the Express Apollon into port, 2004. Image courtesy Tasos Papanastasiou.

    Link: Hengist, Horsa, Senlac: The Rafina Summer of 2004

    The Express Apollon is seen here at Santorini in 2005, her final Summer of Greek domestic operation and back on her original Greek route. This was shortly after she received the new blue hull Hellenic Seaways livery.

    At Piraeus, July 2005.

    At Piraeus, July 2005.

    The cover of the 2010 European Seaways brochure - the ship's final season.

    The cover of the 2010 European Seaways brochure - the ship's final season.

    A final view - it is July 2010 and the ship is in Bari alongside a fellow former Newhaven-Dieppe ship, the Bari (ex-St Anselm/Stena Cambria). Designed by the same naval architects for the same operators and delivered just seven years apart, the evolution in design is striking.

    A final view - it is July 2010 and the Apollon is in Bari alongside a fellow former Newhaven-Dieppe ship, the Bari (ex-St Anselm/Stena Cambria). Designed by the same naval architects for the same operators and delivered just seven years apart, the evolution in design is striking.

    The St Anselm and her sisters were not however blessed with the trademark Sealink 'Rogan' funnel, seen here on the Apollon in 2007.

    The St Anselm and her sisters were not however blessed with the trademark Sealink 'Rogan' funnel, seen here on the Apollon in 2007.

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    The many faces of the Senlac.

    The ship's bell - which disappeared after her final spell of Hellenic Seaways service in 2005.

    The ship's bell - which disappeared after her final spell of Hellenic Seaways service in 2005.

    Blast from the past: Antrim Princess

    The Stranraer-Larne route was always at the forefront of the story of car ferries around the British Isles, with the very first drive on/drive off ship to serve open waters from these islands being introduced there as far back as 1939 in the shape of the first Princess Victoria. That vessel was a war casualty, but was soon replaced by a virtual repeat, the second-named Princess Victoria of 1947. The sad loss of this ship with 133 lives in the January 1953 storms did not deter the route’s ultimate owners, by this stage British Railways (through the Caledonian Steam Packet), from investing further significant amounts in new tonnage in due course. It is quite remarkable that, despite the booming traffic from Southern England to the continent, over the twenty-three years including and after the introduction of the Caledonian Princess in 1961 until privatisation in 1984, no BR/Sealink ports received more purpose-built British ships than Stranraer and Larne with, in succession, the Antrim Princess (1967), Ailsa Princess (1971) and Galloway Princess (1980).

    The Antrim Princess joined the Caledonian Princess and chartered Stena Nordica at Stranraer - in the end the new ship replaced the former vessel, with the 'Nordica' remaining on charter for a further three and a half years. The two existing vessels are shown here in a 1966 brochure.

    The Antrim Princess joined the Caledonian Princess and chartered Stena Nordica at Stranraer - in the end the new ship replaced the former vessel, with the 'Nordica' remaining on charter for a further three and a half years. The two existing vessels are shown here in a 1966 brochure.

    All the listed ships were notable in their own ways, but the Antrim Princess, built by Hawthorn, Leslie on the Tyne, stands out as a landmark for British Rail ferry design. Although the Princesses Victoria had been motor ships, based on the preferences of the original designers and owners (the LMS), since nationalisation in 1948 British Railways had consistently chosen steam turbine propulsion. The ‘Antrim’ broke the mould in this respect, and was also the first drive-through BR vessel, complete with lifting bow visor, although in this she followed the lead of the futuristic Stena Nordica which had served on charter to the CSP since 1966. The car deck was full-height for lorries throughout and featured mezzanine decks on either beam – an interesting and possibly unique solution for a ship with a centre casing, presumably requiring motorists wishing to access the accommodation to walk along the mezzanines, down the ramps, across the main vehicle deck and up through the stairwells on the centreline. As with the Caledonian Princess the ship had cattle pens located aft on Lower Deck (beneath, but accessed from, the vehicle deck).


    Although the ship was clearly designed with car and road freight traffic at the forefront, she retained a two-class layout on board, reflecting in part the railway aspect of her operations and the connecting trains that met sailings at either port. She has been noted as being slightly less opulent than the Caledonian Princess, clearly a move towards the robust but still elegant designs produced by Ward & Austin through the 1970s. The passenger saloons were spread across the Shelter Deck, with Second Class towards the stern – right aft a Tea Room, aft lounge and amidships a cafeteria (port) and bar (starboard). The First Class spaces comprised an oval-shaped lounge forward, with a restaurant (port) and bar tucked in just astern. Berths for 66 were available, mostly beneath the car deck on either side of the engine room (First Class forward and Second Class aft), and, in line with existing practice, passengers booking these on late night or early morning crossings were permitted to stay on board overnight either before or after the crossing.

    Some of the decor presaged that of later Sealink ships, particularly the Vortigern whose dramatic Britannia Bar was in many ways a tidied-up repeat of the Antrim Princess’ Second Class Bar with rather more expensive furnishings. The oval-shaped First Class lounge meanwhile had an echo in the shape of the Vortigern’s minimalist forward cafeteria.

    The Second Class Bar, as completed.

    The Second Class Bar, as completed.

    The functional Second Class cafeteria.

    The functional Second Class cafeteria.

    First Class restaurant.

    First Class restaurant.

    The vehicle deck, with the retractable mezzanine deck seen stowed to the side.

    The vehicle deck, with the retractable mezzanine deck seen stowed to the side.

    The Antrim Princess served at Stranraer until 1985 when she was displaced by the St David and transferred, on charter, to the Isle of Man Steam Packet, later being renamed Tynwald. Then, in 1990, the ship was sold to Linee Lauro for Italian service as the Lauro Express. Later serving on services to North Africa, the confusing break up of Lauro’s ferry operations saw the ship pass to the related Medmar in 2003. Subsequently renamed Giuseppe D’Abundo, the ship passed for scrap in 2007.

    An early visualisation of the St George.

    An early visualisation of the St George.

    As a postscript, whilst discussing the Antrim Princess in their book Designing Ships for Sealink, naval architects Don Ripley and Tony Rogan noted that, “the onset of modern diesel machinery brought about a necessary change in funnel design and after much internal discussion… a new shape was evolved and proved in wind tunnel tests which were carried out at Swan Hunter’s for the [new Harwich-Hook of Holland car ferry] St George but used to devise the geometry also of the Antrim Princess’ funnel.” This connection with the St George is an interesting point, as the latter ship throughout her planning stage was shown with a combined funnel/mast, similar to the Antrim Princess but without the upper part of the exhaust stack which gave it the distinctive ‘fireman’s helmet’ look. The mast section was ultimately dispensed with entirely on the ‘George’, and all subsequent ships with this signature look followed the Harwich ship’s refined version in one way or another, save for the ‘Antrim’s half sister, the Ailsa Princess. Interestingly, as the Lauro Express, the ex-‘Antrim’ featured modified original safety plans with a funnel design not dissimilar to that originally proposed for the St George suggesting that the final design as used was a late adjustment.

    Lauro Express plan - with BR funnel.

    Lauro Express plan - with BR funnel.

    Blast from the past: SNCF’s Compiègne

    Launching day: 7 March 1958.

    The day of the launch: 7 March 1958.


    Most of the ships coming under the category on this blog of ‘the pioneer car ferries’ date back to the 1960s. Although this is 30+ years after the appearance of the first proper international car ferries, in the form of ships like the Kronprinsessan Ingrid (1936) or the first Peter Wessel (1937), it is perhaps fair to say that it was in this decade that the car ferry truly flowered. It became not only visually recognisable to its modern form, albeit much smaller, but its usage also broadened massively; the sheer volume of car ferries constructed around the world in this decade are testament to changing times – to the car ownership boom and to the ability to take and desire to have international motoring holidays.

    From a British perspective, we have seen this in previous entries relating to the Norwind/Norwave, Viking I & II, Munster and Free Enterprise. The latter ship was an interesting example of an independent operator getting the formula right and it has often been noted that the ‘railway’ ships against which she competed were old fashioned. This is true only to a degree – the British railway ships, until the later years of the decade, certainly fit this description. The ships of SNCF, the French railways, were slightly different. Certainly, a vessel like the beautiful Côte d’Azur of 1951 was very much a classic passenger steamer, but the fleet also included the distinctively modern, Danish-built, train ferry Saint-Germain and, dating back to three years before the Free Enterprise, the car ferry Compiègne.

    The Compiègne was a radically different ship to anything else sailing around the British Isles upon her introduction. It is almost difficult to believe she entered service the year before British Railway’s much more traditional-looking Maid of Kent of 1959, although actually the ships bear some comparison – broadly similar in dimensions, capacities, service speed and intended operations they were remarkably different solutions to a similar design brief. The Maid of Kent was in many ways an enlarged, beautified version of the Lord Warden of 1952, whilst the Compiègne instead owed more in appearance to the Saint Germain of the same year. The French ship looked – and in many respects was – a much more advanced vessel than the Maid of Kent, whose steam turbine propulsion in particular dated her and whose more classic lines were perhaps a concession to criticism of the slightly ungainly aspects of the Lord Warden.

    The Rouen-built Compiègne introduced a number of firsts to Cross Channel traffic, many of them technical advances which would be replicated in ships throughout the following decade. Controllable pitch propellers circumvented the traditional means of ship control via the engine room telegraph and meant the vessel could be manoeuvred directly from the bridge whilst she also had a pair of bow thrusters which bringing the ship alongside and moving off the berth. The vessel was also all welded in construction, rather than riveted.

    One area where the ship was not significantly different to the Maid of Kent was in the arrangement of the vehicle deck, being a stern-only loader with a central casing, fixed mezzanines forward and space in the after part of the garage for the carriage of a limited number of high sided vehicles.

    The new Compiègne alongside at Calais Gare Maritime with the Invicta astern.

    The new Compiègne alongside at Calais Gare Maritime with the Invicta astern.

    When the ship entered service in June 1958, she was deployed on the Calais-Dover route. In those days, British Railways operated their car ferries on the Dover-Boulogne crossing and the French ship was therefore placed into direct competition on the Calais run with Townsend Car Ferries whose converted frigate Halladale was nearing the end of her operational life and would be replaced with the Free Enterprise in 1962.

    After 1970, the Compiègne was seen more frequently at Boulogne and she remained in service on the Channel for well over twenty years overall. Sold to Strintzis in 1981, she operated on a number of Adriatic and then Aegean services before becoming a pilgrim ship in the Red Sea. Abandoned for many years in Alexandria, she amazingly survives to this day in poor condition as the Al Ameerah.

    Inaugural brochure

    Inaugural brochure

    The initial timetable was not particularly intensive, being one round trip a day, rising to two at weekends and on Fridays in the Summer. Most of the year however she would sit in Calais for 19 hours each day.

    The initial timetable was not particularly intensive, being one round trip a day, rising to two at weekends and on Fridays in the Summer. Most of the year however she would sit in Calais for 19 hours each day.

    A British Railways brochure featuring the Compiègne's modern passenger saloons which seem to present a severe contrast to the illustrated motor vehicles . The ship's vehicle deck can also be seen with its fixed ramps and space for cars only on two levels at the forward end.

    A British Railways brochure featuring the Compiègne's modern passenger saloons which seem to present a severe contrast to the illustrated motor vehicles . The ship's vehicle deck can also be seen with its fixed ramps and space for cars only on two levels at the forward end.


    More interior views, including the restaurant, aft, are shown alongside this cutaway view. The vehicle deck and unloading scenes are from the British ships Maid of Kent and Lord Warden respectively.

    More interior views, including the restaurant, aft, are shown alongside this cutaway view. The vehicle deck and unloading scenes are from the British ships Maid of Kent and Lord Warden respectively.


    Things Seen – November 2009

    The Lincoln Castle

    The Lincoln Castle

  • The paddle steamer Lincoln Castle is up for sale for £20,000. The last of the trio of ships built for the New Holland-Hull ferry service of the LNER, this ship, along with her two earlier routemates, the Tattershall and Wingfield Castles, eventually passed to Sealink in whose unlikely hands the service closed in 1981 upon completion of the Humber Bridge. The Lincoln Castle had been withdrawn in 1978 however and has served as a bar and restaurant ever since, for the past twenty years in Grimsby.
  • The call of the Oasis of the Seas at Southampton in early November, en route to Fort Lauderdale on her delivery voyage, brought the chance to compare sizes with the local Isle of Wight ferry fleet, such as the St Clare, seen here in the Daily Mail. An even more astounding comparison however was this picture of the ship with Brittany Ferries’ Mont St Michel – one of the largest cross-channel car ferries, but completely dwarfed by the ‘OOTS’.
  • Several months ago we looked at B&I Line’s first purpose-built car ferry, the Munster of 1968. irishships.com has an interesting series of photographs from on board, both general views and crew scenes.
  • The Maersk ‘D’ class have a series of artworks on board by different modernist Danish artists – Jan van Lokhorst on the Maersk Dunkerque, Anne Vilsbøll (Maersk Delft) and Per Arnoldi (most recently famous in the UK for his work on Michael Winner’s National Police Memorial in London) on the Maersk Dover.
    Van Lokhurst’s website has a series of images of his work on the first ship including pictures of the creative and manufacturing process whilst Vilsbøll can be seen here working on some of her paintings for the ‘Delft’.
  • Sessan & Stena at Frederikshavn

    Sessan & Stena at Frederikshavn

  • Over on LandgÃ¥ngen they have been discussing in minute detail the changes to the berthing arrangements at Frederikshaven between the Stena and Sessan terminals. Meanwhile on the Nautilia messageboard there are 143 pages discussing the Agios Georgios (ex-Hengist) and 57 pages on ‘Historic Photos of Piraeus port’.

    In many ways it is a shame that there is no equivalent all-encompassing British forum for the analysis of not only the endlessly trivial minutiae but also the broader fascinating history of the British short-sea passenger shipping scene. It would perhaps be impossible to rival nautilia’s seemingly comprehensive catalogue of Greek ferries, where every ship, historic or modern, has its own thread, but it would be nice to try.

  • The Prince of Wales was the last-built of the SRN-4 hovercraft, being delivered as late as 1977, five years after the previous example, the Sir Christopher. Withdrawn after just 14 years service, she was destroyed in 1993, whilst laid up in reserve, by an electrical fire. Together with other period images, here are some photographs of the craft being broken up after this event on the hoverpad at Dover. The SeaCat berth at the Hoverport was under construction at the same time.
  • Not quite as successful as the SRN-4s were the French SEDAM Naviplanes. The tortuous delivery voyage of the Ingénieur Jean Bertin, the only example of the type to actually enter service, is chronicled here.
  • The Diana II

    The Diana II

  • The much heralded conversion of former overnight ferries into ‘Accommodation/Repair Vessels’ (ARVs) has hit trouble. Work on the ARV 2 (formerly the Normandy, St Nicholas, Prinsessan Birgitta) has been halted before even starting. Shippax reports that the ARV1, which was delayed during rebuilding, was the other contender for the 18 month accommodation contract near Perth won by Hurtigruten’s Finnmarken. The former Meloodia/Diana II therefore remains laid up in Singapore. Some coverage of the ship during her extensive refurbishment can be seen here and more details of what has been done can be gleaned from the ship’s new General Arrangement plan.
  • Now travelling between Bari and Albania, the ice breaking capacity of the Rigel sees little use. That was not the case during her previous life as the Baltic Kristina of Riga Sea Lines, as this photostory demonstrates.
  • Having mentioned the early Trasmed. car ferries last month, it would be remiss not to point readers in the direction of trasmeships.es which has a host of interesting photographs from various ship through the history of the Spanish company. With the volume of ships covered it is a little hard to pick out favourites, but the Ciudad de Tarifa, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Ciudad de Valencia (now Mary the Queen), and the Ciudad de Sevilla are particularly interesting, the latter page including startling images of the ship’s determined attempt to sink herself off Palma in October 1982.
  • The Ciudad de Valencia at Ibiza in August 2003.

    The Ciudad de Valencia at Ibiza in August 2003.


  • The abandoned wreck of the poor old Assalama (formerly Trasmed’s Ciudad de la Laguna and originally the Bore Line (Silja) Botnia of 1967) remains at Tarfaya, over one and a half years since she sank just after leaving port.

    Some interesting footage from that day in April 2008 can be seen here and here.

  • The very first ship of freight operator Truckline Ferries was the Poole Antelope which, 11 years before the company was purchased by Brittany Ferries, entered service in 1973 between Poole and Cherbourg, followed shortly after by her sister the Dauphin de Cherbourg. This pair are slightly glossed over in histories of Truckline, being too small, too slow and sold within a couple of years. Whilst the second ship has rather passed into obscurity (she became an oilfield research vessel in China named Bin Hai 504 (sometimes seen as Rin Hai 504)), the Poole Antelope was ultimately converted into a passenger ship and at present is offering regular ferry services for Ukrferry between Odessa in the Ukraine and Istanbul in Turkey under the name Caledonia. Ukrferry also offer cruises on the ship and the website for this side of the operation has plenty of photographs together with a deckplan.
  • Ukrferry also operate the former Scandlines vessel Greifswald and, since her return from charter to ISCOMAR for Ibiza sailings as the Begoña del Mar, the Yuzhnaya Palmyra (ex-Silesia). The latter has her own website here and maintains the Odessa-Istanbul service in Summer.
  • The Express Santorini (ex-Chartres) is back in Greece, presently operating for ANEK on a subsidy-munching Piraeus-Patmos-Leipsoi-Leros-Kalymnos-Kos-Symi-Rhodes routing. This after another Summer on Charter to Atlanticoline in the Azores. According to this report, she continued to make a favourable impression and is in excellent condition “due to good maintenance, since it is owned by Hellenic Seaways”. That last point is, to be fair, not as unlikely as it sounds; HSW are not GA Ferries.

    Nonetheless, it seems the ship did have a little trouble with that side ramp installed for use on the charter. Back home, and with the demise of GA Ferries and SAOS, there must be some demand for smaller, cheap-to-run ships for use on the subsidised routes beyond just refit cover so the ‘Santorini’ may yet have a future in Greece. If so, it would be nice to see that side door removed altogether.


  • The Porfyrousa (ex-Canbulat Pasa) at Drapetsona in July 2008. On the left of the photograph is NEL's Panagia Tinou and in the background the same company's former Aeolos Kenteris, by then the Red Sea I.

    The Porfyrousa (ex-Canbulat Pasa) at Drapetsona in July 2008. On the left of the photograph is NEL's Panagia Tinou and in the background the same company's former Aeolos Kenteris, by then the Red Sea I.

  • In September’s Things Seen I mentioned the fleet of Fergün Shipping of Turkey. The company’s website is not the most up to date, but I, sort of, implied that the Canbulat Pasa as the newest member of the conventional fleet was probably still in service. Richard Seville rushes to correct, reminding me that we in fact encountered the ship whilst visiting the Aegean Heaven mid-refit at Drapetsona in July 2008. She was in the process of being renamed Porfyrousa and has since taken up service on the local routes out of Kythera.

    There are some interesting thoughts, upon which it would be wisest not to comment, on the happenings which preceded the introduction of the ship in Greece here.

  • Mention of Drapetsona prompts me to draw attention to the redevelopment plan for the area. You’d have to think this has a fair chance of never happening, but what a revolution it would be. I can see the Beach Club, the Family Entertainment Zone and the Retail Zone/Marina. But where is the long quayside where ferries of all kinds go to lay up – many forever? Is that what Sunset Park is maybe?
  • What would Drapetsona be without the laid-up Alkyon?

    What would Drapetsona be without the laid-up Alkyon?

  • The wreck of the Express Samina is the rather haunting location for this video on youtube.
  • Little knowing the unfortunate fate of their new ship, this video from Greece shows happy dignitaries on board the Arion (ex-Nili, Jamaica Queen etc) as she was entering service for NEL in 1975. The ship was subsequently bombed in Haifa in 1982. (h/t nautilia.gr)
  • The act of boarding the modern ferry has perhaps through familiarity lost some of the excitement of days gone by but this video from 1995 of Minoan Lines’ Fedra at Venice shows that even lorry drivers can make something interesting from an otherwise mundane day to day experience.
  • Ghosts from the past can live forever on the internet, and that is the case with Hellenic Mediterranean Lines whose website is still offering sailings from Brindisi to Corfu, Igoumenitsa, Paxi, Zakynthos, Cefallonia and Patras on the Egnatia III and the Poseidonia, just as if it was still 2003.
  • Another operator living in the past is Skenderbeg Lines, where it is forever 2004. Their Europa I remains laid up in Brindisi, as she has been since 2007. Her heroic past was remembered on 30 October however, 18 years to the day since the ship, then Jadrolinija’s Slavija I, led the ‘Libertas Convoy’ to Dubrovnik in an attempt to help stop the destruction of the latter city during the Croatian War of Independence. With numerous tourist and fishing boats following and with on board, amongst others, Stipe Mesić, today the President of Croatia, the ship sailed down the coast to besieged Dubrovnik.

    The Slavija I made several, increasingly harrowing, return trips, and the Diary of Dr Slobodan Lang gives a detailed account of the period, including a final sailing:

    The ship was intended for 600 passengers, but there was a crowd of 3,500 people on board. We approached the ship coming through the Gruž harbour which was littered with sunken, capsized or burnt down ships. Smoke was rising out of the burning installations for days. We were being watched by those on the top of the hill, not being able to do anything but think they would start to shoot at any moment.

    On board that ship, I was contemplating about the ships crowded with Jews on their way out of Germany in the late thirties, as well as the abandonment of Saigon. We were at the very bottom of the ship’s garage. It was simply not possible for the cars and trucks to embark because the ship was crammed with men, children, women, elderly and sick people. The sick were lying on the metal floor, with their I.V. drips hanging up in the air. Tears and silence were hand in hand. Faces were totally changed with crying, haggard because of the silence. People were lying on the stairs in positions I had never seen before, fifteen persons per cabin. One could step between human bodies only too carefully. As we sailed out, huge waves were tossing the ship up and down, so many people vomitted, were nauseous, felt psychical discomfort. Doctors were sought on all sides, painful crying expressed a thousand year old Croatian suffering, agony of yet unborn children to 90 year old people.

  • The Europa I (ex-Slavija I) laid up in Brindisi, August 2009.

    The Europa I (ex-Slavija I) laid up in Brindisi, August 2009.

  • The Dieppe-Newhaven steamer Lisieux was one of the more beautiful post-war passenger ships. Her career with the SNCF was relatively brief however and she followed her former Dieppe partner the Arromanches into the fleet of Nomikos Lines in 1966 as the Apollon (the Arromanches became the Leto). Both ships can be seen in excerpts from the Greek film ‘La Parisienne’ of 1969; the Apollon is seen at Mykonos. (h/t nautilia.gr)
  • Following on from the British Pathé website mentioned in October, this month it is time to investigate a French equivalent, ina.fr. Having just mentioned the Arromanches, it does not seem inappropriate to begin with coverage of her launching in March 1946.

    Other videos of note are:

    The ruins of Boulogne, Calais and Marseille, January 1945

    The maiden voyage of the Côte d’Azur, 1951

    Departure of the Ville de Tunis from Algiers, 1956

    Coverage of the introduction of SNCM’s Napoléon in 1978

    Coverage of the building of the Scandinavia in 1982

    The evacuation of PLO troops from Tripoli using the Vergina (ex-Dan, Bilu), December 1983

    Further footage of the Tripoli evacuation, this time with footage of the Ionian Glory (ex-Compiegne) and, briefly at the end, the Odysseas Elytis (ex-Svea Regina)

    A mini cruise on the Corse, 1984

    Coverage of the introduction of SNCM’s Danielle Casanova in 1989

    The return of the damaged Baroness M (ex-Lion) to port after her encounter with Syrian gunboats, February 1990

    A few historic adverts:
    Sealink Ferries SNCF, 1983
    Sealink Ferries SNCF, 1984
    Townsend Thoresen, 1984
    Sealink SNAT, 1992
    P&O European Ferries, 1993
    Sealink SNAT, 1993
    Corsica Ferries, 1997

    And, lastly, some epic coverage of the maiden voyage of the France.

  • The Skagen of 1958, built for KDS’ Kristiansand-Hirtshals route, was a fine early example of what now seem quite small passenger and vehicle ferries designed by Knud E Hansen. The ship passed later to Fred. Olsen before she was sold in the 1970s for use as a ‘mother ship’ for mini submersibles used in oil exploration. Latterly renamed the Pan Trader, she survives in Norway to this day, and these pictures on Flickr demonstrate that much of her original interior is still intact (compare with these ‘as built’ images on Fakta om Fartyg).
  • Please send any contributions for ‘Things Seen’ to admin@hhvferry.com.

    The ‘new’ Stena Navigator

    . . .

    The Seafrance Manet in Belfast before being renamed.

    The Seafrance Manet in Belfast before being renamed.


    The Seafrance Manet at Calais, September 2002.

    The Seafrance Manet at Calais, September 2002.


    All 2009 & Stena Navigator images courtesy & © Scott Mackey

    Less than twelve months ago the newly refurbished Stena Caledonia re-entered service on Stena Line’s Stranraer-Belfast service, operating in tandem with the HSS Stena Voyager. This appeared to be part of a move to re-establish the conventional ferry operation at the expense of the costly HSS, but the acquisition of the 1984-built Seafrance Manet in July to become the route’s second conventional ship was still slightly surprising. Since the sale of the Stena Galloway in 2002, the ‘Caledonia’ had soldiered on alone in support of the ‘Voyager’ which dominated passenger traffic. Whilst freight could and is carried to a degree on the fast craft, before her refit this seemed to be the main role of the former St David. That said, P&O up the coast at Cairnryan and Larne however had achieved a near two-to-one dominance in this market which would have been unthinkable twenty years ago.

    The Seafrance Manet was duly repainted in full Stena colours in Dunkerque, sailed to Belfast and formally renamed Stena Navigator; a comprehensive internal refit followed. This is not however the ship’s first time operating for Stena – completed for SNCF-Sealink’s Dover Straits operations in 1984 as the Champs Élysées she was transferred to the Dieppe-Newhaven route in 1990 and, when SNCF’s successors SNAT finally ran out of patience and closed the operation in 1992, the ship passed under charter to Sealink Stena Line under whose guidance the Dieppe link saw a brief resurgence. As the Stena Parisien, latterly in full Stena Line livery, the ship stayed at Dieppe until the end of 1996 when she was returned to her owners, by now Seafrance. She received a complete refit, acquired the name Seafrance Manet and saw a further eleven years service, latterly in a freight only mode, before finally retiring from Seafrance’s active fleet in April 2008. Thereafter she was laid up at Calais and then Dunkerque.

    The Côte d'Azur (left) and the Champs Élysées in Dover harbour in the mid-1980s.

    The Côte d'Azur (left) and the Champs Élysées in Dover harbour in the mid-1980s.



    Stena’s interest in the ship is doubtless due to her size – the tight requirements of Stranraer limit the vessels which can berth there and, with the port’s future uncertain, ‘Stranraer-max’ newbuilds are out of the question. It does not therefore seem likely that this will be a truly long-term purchase, but the ship is still slightly more modern and more capacious from both a passenger and a freight perspective than the Stena Caledonia so she may yet outlast her Belfast-built partner.

    Scott Mackey was on board the ‘Navigator’ during her maiden crossing from Belfast to Stranraer on 12 November and has sent a selection of on board photographs. Paired with equivalent images from the ship during her Seafrance Manet days, it is clear that the refurbishment has been comprehensive – although the change is perhaps not as overwhelming as was the case on the Stena Caledonia, it is still perhaps the largest interior upgrade the ship has had in her 25 year career, erasing almost all trace of the three previous thorough refits by SNCF (1990), Stena (1992) and Seafrance (1996).

    The interior designers for the Stena Navigator refurbishment were, once again, Figura and the project was managed by MJM Marine.

    The Stena Navigator in full Stena livery, late October 2009.

    The Stena Navigator in full Stena livery, late October 2009.

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    Click above for Champs Élysées (1986) and Seafrance Manet (2002) deckplans and below for a Stena Navigator plan.

    The main vehicle deck on the Seafrance Manet (Seafrance image)

    The main vehicle deck on the Seafrance Manet (Seafrance image)


    Looking forward on the upper vehicle deck (Seafrance Manet, December 2005)

    Looking forward on the upper vehicle deck (Seafrance Manet, December 2005)


    The same area on the Stena Navigator. In this image the ramp connecting the two vehicle decks is visible - this was installed prior to the ship's transfer to the Dieppe service in 1990.

    The same area on the Stena Navigator. In this image the ramp connecting the two vehicle decks is visible - this was installed prior to the ship's transfer to the Dieppe service in 1990.


    Looking aft on the upper vehicle deck.

    Looking aft on the upper vehicle deck.

    As with her half sister (the former Côte d'Azur, now Seafrance Renoir), the Champs-Élysées had side lounges on either side at mezzanine level on the upper vehicle deck. This was filled with reclining seats for use on the Dieppe service but was closed off under Seafrance. The starboard lounge is seen here (through a locked door!) on the 'Manet' in May 2000.

    As with her half sister (the former Côte d'Azur, now Seafrance Renoir), the Champs-Élysées had side lounges on either side at mezzanine level on the upper vehicle deck. This was filled with reclining seats for use on the Dieppe service but was closed off under Seafrance. The starboard lounge is seen here (through a locked door!) on the 'Manet' in May 2000.


    On the 'Navigator' this area, pictured, is now a truckers' lounge. A similar space on the port side, aft, has become the truckers' restaurant.

    On the 'Navigator' this area, pictured, is now a truckers' lounge. A similar space on the port side, aft, has become the truckers' restaurant.


    Moving upstairs, on Deck 7 aft is the new 'Met Restaurant' in the location of what was previously the self service on the Seafrance Manet. Although latterly and originally a self service, when the ship was with Stena the first time around, this area was the Monet Restaurant, with the self service on Deck 8.

    Moving upstairs, on Deck 7 aft is the new 'Met Restaurant'. Although latterly and originally a self service, when the ship was with Stena the first time around, this area was the Monet Restaurant, with the self service on Deck 8.


    Looking across to starboard in the aft section of the self service ('Le Relais') - Seafrance Manet, December 2005.

    Looking across to starboard in the aft section of the self service ('Le Relais') - Seafrance Manet, December 2005.


    The same area today.

    The same area today.


    Looking aft on the starboard side (January 2003).

    Looking aft on the starboard side (January 2003).


    Looking aft on the starboard side (November 2009).

    Looking aft on the starboard side (November 2009).


    Moving forward, this view is of the aft lobby, looking across to port, on the 'Manet', August 2004.

    Moving forward this view is of the aft lobby, looking across to port, on the 'Manet' in August 2004.


    The same area today, this time seen from the port side with the entrance to the new childrens' play area visible.

    The same area today, this time seen from the port side with the entrance to the new children's play area visible.


    Running up the centre line of the ship on Deck 7 for the ship's entire English Channel career was the shopping centre (seen from astern in December 2004).

    Running up the centre line of the ship on Deck 7 for the ship's entire English Channel career was the shopping centre (seen from astern in December 2004).


    This has now been split into four, with a new childrens' play area (aft), a smaller shop (forward) and two cinemas in between. This is a view of the former, taken from the same angle as the shop picture above.

    This has now been split into four, with a new children's play area (aft), a smaller shop (forward) and two cinemas in between. This is a view of the former, taken from the same angle as the shop picture above.


    One of the two new cinemas.

    One of the two new cinemas.


    The remaining shop area on the 'Navigator'.

    The remaining shop area on the 'Navigator'.


    On either side of the shop, amidships, were a pair of almost classic-style seating lounges. The starboard-side of the pair is seen here in April 2004.

    On either side of the shop, amidships, were a pair of almost classic-style seating lounges. The starboard-side of the pair is seen here in April 2004.


    The same area today.

    The same area today.


    The forward lobby, looking across to port, with reception desk (nearest) and bureau de change (background).

    The forward lobby on the Seafrance Manet, looking across to port, with reception desk (nearest), bureau de change (far side) and entrance to the shop in between.


    The same area in November 2009, with a new 'Guest Services' counter. An internet station has replaced the bureau de change.

    The same area in November 2009, with a new 'Guest Services' counter. An internet station has replaced the bureau de change.


    Forward on the ship, as built, was the Bar Étoile. It's function as the primary bar on board was consistent through subsequent guises as Bar Saint-Michel (Sealink/Stena) and 'Le Pub' (Seafrance - photographed August 2004).

    Forward on the ship, as built, was the Bar Étoile. It's function as the primary bar on board was consistent through subsequent guises as Bar Saint-Michel (Sealink/Stena) and 'Le Pub' (Seafrance - photographed August 2004).


    Another view of 'Le Pub', December 2005.

    Another view of 'Le Pub', December 2005.


    On the Stena Navigator this area has become the Barista Coffee House.

    On the Stena Navigator this area has become the Barista Coffee House.


    The forward part of 'Le Pub'.

    The forward part of 'Le Pub'.


    Looking aft towards the bar counter, March 2001.

    Looking aft towards the bar counter, March 2001.


    A similar view on the Stena Navigator.

    A similar view on the Stena Navigator.


    The forward stairwell, seen from Deck 8 in December 2002. This originally featured one of the pair of Parisien scenes by the artist Hervé Loilier but latterly was adorned by this copy of Manet's painting, 'Argenteuil'.

    The forward stairwell, seen from Deck 8 in December 2002. This originally featured one of a pair of Parisien scenes by the artist Hervé Loilier commissioned for the ship by SNCF but latterly was adorned by this copy of Manet's painting, 'Argenteuil'.


    On the Stena Navigator this has been replaced by a sign promoting the Sports Bar (forward on Deck 8).

    On the Stena Navigator this has been replaced by a sign promoting the Sports Bar (forward on Deck 8).


    The Deck 8 forward lobby at the head of the stairwell, seen in April 2004. To the right (aft) the video games area retained the former Stena 'Video Warp' branding throughout the Seafrance era.

    The Deck 8 forward lobby at the head of the stairwell, seen in April 2004. To the right (aft) the video games area retained the former Stena 'Video Warp' branding throughout the Seafrance era.


    The video games space is now 'Teen Town'.

    The video games space is now 'Teen Town'.


    To port off the forward lobby under Seafrance was 'Playzone Le Cirque'. With a new play area downstairs, this has been closed off on the Navigator.

    To port off the forward lobby under Seafrance was 'Playzone Le Cirque'. With a new play area downstairs, this has been closed off on the Navigator.


    As built the forward saloon on Deck 8 was a 'Buffet Express' but this soon became a wine bar with an interesting choice of decor (as pictured in the late 1980s - note the oddly out of place fixed seating from its original incarnation).

    As built the forward saloon on Deck 8 was a 'Buffet Express' but this soon became a wine bar with a slightly clichéd choice of decor (as pictured in the late 1980s - note the oddly out of place fixed seating from the area's original incarnation).


    In the Dieppe days this space became the self service Cafe Champs-Elysées. With Seafrance (as pictured in April 2004), it was La Brasserie Bar with a waiter-service restaurant area at the forward end.

    In the Dieppe days this space became the self service Cafe Champs-Elysées. With Seafrance (as pictured in April 2004), it was La Brasserie Bar with a waiter-service restaurant area at the forward end.


    Stena have completely refurbished this area and it is now a Sports Bar.

    Stena have completely refurbished this area and it is now a Sports Bar.


    The forward restaurant part of La Brasserie, December 2004.

    The forward restaurant part of La Brasserie, December 2004.


    The bar counter in the Sports Bar on the Stena Navigator.

    The bar counter in the Sports Bar on the Stena Navigator.


    The ship's builders' plate survived in one of the lobby areas into the Seafrance era - it is seen here in May 2000.

    The ship's builders' plate survived in one of the lobby areas into the Seafrance era - it is seen here in May 2000.


    The aft stairwell on the Champs Élysées featured the second of the Hervé Loilier paintings, a street scene of the ship's namesake Parisien avenue. Unlike the matching painting in the forward stairwell, this survived throughout the ship's English Channel service.

    The aft stairwell on the Champs Élysées featured the second of the Hervé Loilier paintings, a street scene of the ship's namesake Parisien avenue. Unlike the matching painting in the forward stairwell, this survived throughout the ship's English Channel service.


    The replacement on the Stena Navigator, outside what is now Stena Plus, is quite a contrast to its predecessor!

    The replacement on the Stena Navigator, outside what is now Stena Plus, is quite a contrast to its predecessor!


    The Deck 8 aft lounge was originally the dark and subdued Bar Concorde. Under Sealink Stena this became the Bar Pigalle and with Seafrance the Parisien Cafe (as pictured, January 2003).

    The Deck 8 aft lounge was originally the dark and subdued Bar Concorde. Under Sealink Stena this became the Bar Pigalle and with Seafrance the Parisien Cafe (as pictured, January 2003).


    The same area is now Stena Plus.

    The same area is now Stena Plus.


    Looking across to port in La Parisien.

    Looking across to port in La Parisien.


    An overall view of the new Stena Plus lounge.

    An overall view of the new Stena Plus lounge.


    Le Parisien, August 2004.

    Le Parisien, August 2004.


    A corner of Stena Plus, November 2009.

    A corner of Stena Plus, November 2009.

    Deck 8 aft, December 2005.

    Deck 8 aft, December 2005.






    Thanks again to Scott Mackey for the Stena Navigator pictures, and to Richard Seville for some background details on the Stena Parisien’s Dieppe-era layout.

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