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MV Vronskiy (Ex- Duc de Normandie)


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Hengist and Horsa are both in, seemingly terminal, lay-up unfortunately. But from there are six or seven major Sealink ships from the 70s still going and other ex-UK ships like Viking Viscount, nf Tiger and The Viking .

 

BF ships of the decade haven't done too badly - we still have Benodet, Coutances and Purbeck, Duchesse Anne, Gotland, Pont l'Abbe and Tregastel. More obscurely, Poole Antelope was in service a couple of years back but her trail seems to have gone cold. The real ex-UK veterans though are Earl Godwin and Viking III from the '60s - how much longer they can go on for who knows!

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Vronskiy in the new Trasme livery -  

Some images of the Vronskiy in dry dock in Seville last month -  

Thanks for posting Tony but thats's sad news, even though the old girl is now 38 years old. I first travelled on her on the 15th June 1986 on the return leg of honeymoon number 1. Out through Plymouth

That's still not "many" when you consider how many there were from that era. I'm struggling to get to 6 or 7 other ex-Sealink ships from the 70s in my mind - I can think of Chartres, Saint Eloi, Prince Laurent. Are St Columba and Stena Normandica/St Brendan still going? St Edmund I've mentioned previously...I suppose that potentially gets to 6, any others? Don't think Earl Siward counts, certainly if the criterion is "going strong". Are Villandry and Valencay still around?

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Yes, it's a stretch maybe, sadly:

 

Major '60s and '70s Sealink ships still in service - Chartres, Earl Godwin (built 60s), Saint Eloi, Prince Laurent, Stena Normandica, St Columba, Prinses Beatrix.

 

Of the secondary ships - Anderida, Catherine, Lagan Bridge and Lune Bridge, Preseli, Zeeland. And Meeching.

 

Laid up - Cuthred, Galloway Princess (just in the '70s), Hengist, Horsa.

 

For completeness, Fantasia was also originally built in 1979.

 

St Edmund was sadly scrapped a few years back - she founded Ferrimaroc but moved on before the operation was acquired by Trasmed - who then brought the ex-Prinses Beatrix in on charter, initially under the Ferrimaroc name.

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Yes Earl Godwin, Moby Baby is still around, just. Laid up in Genoa now... There's a couple of the era up for sale on Yachtworld which look familiar too...

 

Hhv do you have any clue as to the whereabouts of Purbeck & Coutances? ConFerry replaced them with more modern fast craft in 2013.

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I'm new to this forum. Have travelled a number of times on BF to UK from my home here near Perpignan over the last few months, mainly to avoid Calais, and have recently learnt about this Site. This is an interesting thread as I remember the Duc de Normandie very well as the Prinses Beatrix when I used to live in East Anglia to travel to Holland in the late 70's /early 80's . As others have said, she was different class when introduced to the HvH route. The old boy who used to present the weather on Anglia TV obviously had a friend who worked on board, as he'd always quote wind and weather from the Beatrix on his early evening forecast.Then the British Sealink introduced the much larger st Nicholas, and upped the ante even further. For a while to boost capacity SMZ used a ship called Zeeland, and I went on that a few times. Of course they were replaced by the Koningin Beatrix, which was another step up in class . Obviously I do not have the in depth knowledge of some of you guys, but when did D d N finish with BF, and what became of the Zeeland/Koningin Beatrix ?

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I'm new to this forum. Have travelled a number of times on BF to UK from my home here near Perpignan over the last few months, mainly to avoid Calais, and have recently learnt about this Site. This is an interesting thread as I remember the Duc de Normandie very well as the Prinses Beatrix when I used to live in East Anglia to travel to Holland in the late 70's /early 80's . As others have said, she was different class when introduced to the HvH route. The old boy who used to present the weather on Anglia TV obviously had a friend who worked on board, as he'd always quote wind and weather from the Beatrix on his early evening forecast.Then the British Sealink introduced the much larger st Nicholas, and upped the ante even further. For a while to boost capacity SMZ used a ship called Zeeland, and I went on that a few times. Of course they were replaced by the Koningin Beatrix, which was another step up in class . Obviously I do not have the in depth knowledge of some of you guys, but when did D d N finish with BF, and what became of the Zeeland/Koningin Beatrix ?

 

 

Hello Rousillon and welcome to BFE.

 

DdN was sold to TransEuropa in 2005... Koningin Beatrix, I believe, Became Stena Baltica after they purchased SMZ in '89. She Now sails for SNAV as the Adriatico. Peter Wessel, aka Zeeland, aka Stena Nordica is now the Marco Polo and still plying her trade for Jadrolinija Lines in Croatia.

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The pairing of Zeeland with Prinses Beatrix was really strange. They both ran on exactly the same schedules, with Zeeland providing additional capacity on every PB sailing. So pot luck which boat you would have got onto if you booked that sailing!

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Thanks for that Gareth and Jonno. It's funny how your past follows you about. ! Last autumn I took the Grimaldi ferry from Barcelona to Civitavecchia, and there in BCN port ,was the Adriatico you speak of. I think it runs the service to Majorca, and when I looked at it from the deck of the Cruise Roma it looked familiar. Now I see why...it was the old Koningin Beatrix. Then on the same trip we drove over to Italy's Adriatic coast and the fine old port of Ancona. There, in the port , dwarfed by the massive ships that do the runs to Greece, was Jadrolinia's Marco Polo . I thought THAT looked familiar too, and, indeed as you say , it was the ex-Zeeland. On another trip, years ago , to the Canary Is, I came across a ferry that evidently used to be the old Townsend Thoresen Viking Viscount that I used to travel on from Felixstowe to Zeebrugge ! On the subject of ferries from East Anglia to the Low countries, when I first moved there , there was a service (Norfolk Line I believe) from Gt Yarmouth to Scheveningen. Never went on it, but whatever happened to it ?

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The Super Viking you saw at the Canaries would have been Xiking Voyager when she was with Fred Olsen. Norfolk Line Gt Yarmouth - Schieveningen moved the UK base to Felixstowe then later moved the Dutch base to Vlardingen then sold out to DFDS, so that service is what is now the DFDS route between Felixstowe and Vlardingen.

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Having been out of the lop for some time now, presumably this DFDS Felixstowe to Vlaardingen run is freight only ? I do not think there are any passenger ferries ex Felixstowe these days, are there ? Another one I used to use was Olau line from Sheerness to Vlissingen. That was very luxurious, and I know when it packed up, the ships went to P+O for the Portsmouth- Le Havre run, since taken over by none other than BF !

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I suspect this is a somewhat opportunistic broker trying to find a potential buyer with a seller who would consider a decent bid. The ship is still scheduled to operate on the Almeria-Oran/Ghazaouet routes for the rest of the year.

 

FWIW, the on-board pictures are definitely not taken on board her although I'm struggling to place what ship they are from.

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HHV mentioned the Sealink old train ferry St Eloi who was also IOMSP's King Orry & Moby Love? 

She's been bought by Portucalance and been christened Chrysa to replace Express Santorini who was also originally in Sealink livery as Chartres for SNCF...

Hengist was scrapped in Aliaga on 21st March.

To add to this enjoyable trip down memory lane, Wasa Express she who once propelled us from Ramsgate as Sally Star is carrying record numbers across the Gulf of Bothnia. Back in the day I thought she'd have been a great addition for BF.

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Yes it is great to see her looking so good and still working. Yes I have lots of happy memories of trips on her too. I noticed when I was in Ouistreham tourist office the other day -which has also had a refurb - they had some lovely postcards which were of  a painting of her in the  port  by Jean Marc Mouchel,

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