Saturday, March 25, 2017
×

Warning

EU e-Privacy Directive

This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

You have declined cookies. This decision can be reversed.

Gardenia and EurovoyagerA misty inauspicious day on the Channel, but little Ramsgate pulled some surprises as usual. While my purpose was to witness the Transeuropa Ostend service, I first had to grasp the meaning of the presence of a mediaeval ‘carrack’ and a Norwegian fjord ferry. Intellectually a tall order.

The cloud of oil smoke drifting across the outer harbour indicated Transeuropa’s Ramsgate-Ostend mainstay Gardenia 8,023,’78 was warming up for the mid-day sailing. The muck she was throwing out indicated some servicing was required though once warmed up it subsided somewhat. Gardenia’s capacity looks small for today’s needs with old Stork-Werkspoor engines that will use as much fuel as ships with a much larger capacity. She seemed fairly lightly loaded, principally with unaccompanied trailers and a few trucks and cars I had seen being driven aboard.

Her colour scheme suits her well. She is one of the hard worked quartet of small ex Townsend and later P&O sisters from their one time favourite builders, Schichau at Bremerhaven. She was European Enterprise until 2003. Of the other three European Trader has been broken up, European Clearway having passed through Transeuropa’s hands as their Begonia is in the Baltic for Scandinavian Lines of Tallinn as the Via Mare and European Gateway has been lengthened and is still working in Greece as the Penelope A. At thirty-five years old they can’t have many years left.

OstendSpiritPrecisely at noon, Gardenia set out onto a calm, overcast and hazy Channel. Then I spotted a vessel coming out of the haze off her port bow. This was a much larger ship and could only be her running mate the Ostend Spirit on the opposite leg. As they passed in the Ramsgate fairway the big ship gave a multiple signal on her siren. In return Gardenia gave a single greeting, or rather, farewell, because this was to be Ostend Spirit’s final docking at Ramsgate. LD Line’s contribution to a twelve month co-operation with Transeuropa had ended and later she would sail for Gdansk for work to adjust her for her next route. She was scheduled to reappear once more as LD Line’s Normandy Spirit to work Portsmouth-Le Havre from the end of April. Again, I thought that in Transeuropa colours the former Dover-Ostend Prins Filip, 28,883,’91, being never a particularly elegant ship, looked as good as I’d ever seen her, LD’s own scheme being drab in comparison. There obviously has not been the market for the big ex Belgian carrier at Ramsgate.

So what future for Ramsgate-Ostend? The route does seem to suffer in the competitive market place that is the Channel by being relatively little known and Ramsgate is way out on a limb, geographically, but here things may be going their way, as ongoing road investment should be making Ramsgate more accessible to a wider South East England market.

Of Transeuropa’s elderly fleet that other former Dover-Ostend Belgian veteran, Eurovoyager 6,707,’78 the ex Prins Albert, has been on charter in the Med, latterly to spanish based FRS largely between Algeciras and Tangier for freight. There is some speculation she may return to Ramsgate, perhaps briefly. She is the last of another series of hard working sisters which Transeuropa has specialised in acquiring. She once ran alongside fellow ex Dover-Ostend Belgians Primrose and Wisteria, the former Princesse Marie Christine and Prinses Maria Esmeralda. The latter spent her last years on charter in the Med and Red Sea but was broken up in ‘08. Primrose, ex Princesse Marie Christine 6,276,’75 went to Turkish breakers early this year after pioneering a new 1 hour route to Elba from the mainland for a young Italian company, Blu Navy, though she looked cumbersome for this island shuttle and she has been replaced by a more suitable chartered Greek double ender, Achaios, ‘07 one of those one-offs that is the Greek builders’ speciality at Perama.

More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - May 2011 Issue
Click here to subscribe

Subscribe Graphic

Latest Issue - Look Inside!

New Stena Ropax

Most Popular

  • 1
  • 2

Latest Products

Maritime Log

  • Arctic Trio Ship 1m Tons of Crude +

    Shturman Albanov (Sofcomflot) The three 42,000dwt Arctic shuttle tankers of the Shturman Albanov series had transported one million tons of crude oil from Read More
  • World’s Leading Line Sails Into The Red +

    Maersk Line The world’s largest container shipping company, the Maersk Line, of Denmark, has postponed the delivery of its nine 14,000 teu Read More
  • Cranes Carried Across the Top of the World +

    HHL Valparaiso The Hansa Heavy Lift ship HHL Valparaiso, 17,634gt, was the first vessel to sail open hatch through the Northern Sea Read More
  • Fatal Explosion as Container Ship Nears Berth +

    Manhattan Bridge One member of the crew died and another was injured in an explosion in the boiler room of the container Read More
  • ABP’S Spirit of Success +

    Spirit Yachts Associated British Ports has invested £300,000 in refurbishing the headquarters of Spirit Yachts at Ipswich Haven Marina. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

North America

  • Submarine Warfare’s Grand Anniversary +

    CSS HL Hunley One hundred and fifty three years ago during the US Civil War, on 17 February 1864 off Charleston, South Carolina, Read More
  • USCG Polar Star Breaks Record Channel to McMurdo Station +

    USCGC Polar Star USCGC Polar Star (WAGB-10) completed cutting a resupply channel through more than 60 miles of ice in the Ross Sea Read More
  • USCG "John McCormick" Delivered +

    USCGC John McCormick Bollinger Shipyards delivered the 21st Fast Response Cutter (“FRC”) USCGC John McCormick to the US Coast Guard. Read More
  • On the Rocks in Nova Scotia +

    ARCA 1 On 8 January, Panamania-flagged bunkering tanker ARCA 1 ran aground off Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia after engine failure on passage Read More
  • “Getting Conflicting Reports...” El Faro’s Master +

    El Faro Still not identifying the cause of her sinking, the US National Transportation Safety Board released a 510-page transcript, accompanied by Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Asia-Pacific

  • Chief Minister Halts Gadani Breaking Until Safety Improves +

    Gadani Beach The breaking up of tankers and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers at Pakistan’s Gadani shipbreaking yards was banned in February Read More
  • First US LNG Cargo Arrives at Japanese Terminal +

    Oak Spirit The first cargo of LNG produced in the United States arrived at the Joetsu LNG Terminal of the Chubu Electric Read More
  • New Control Centre for Asia Region +

    CMA CGM control room The French container shipping line CMA CGM opened a Navigation and Port Operations Centre in the Singapore corporate headquarters of Read More
  • Full-Size Titanic Replica at Chinese Theme Park +

    Titanic Construction is underway in China of a full-size replica of the ill-fated White Star Line passenger ship Titanic, 46,329grt, which Read More
  • Investment Pays Off as First 8,500 TEU Ship Arrives +

    Maersk Lloyd Don Carlos The first of the Maersk Line’s 8,500 teu capacity container ships made the maiden call for a ship of this Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Naval Focus

  • Naval Update - April 2017 +

    USS Antietam American News On Tuesday 31 January, the Ticonderoga class cruiser USS Antietam ran aground off the coast of Yokosuka in Read More
  • New Astute Class Submarine +

    HMS Audacious Royal Navy News On 16 December, in a rather chilly Devonshire Dock Hall at BAE Systems shipyard at Barrow in Read More
  • Trump Starts Biggest Build-up in Decades +

    USS Wichita American News Incoming President, Donald Trump has stated publicly that he wants to expand the current fleet of the US Read More
  • First Steel Cut on New Dreadnaught Class +

    USS Gerald R Ford American News There are more problems for the US Navy’s flagship aircraft carrier programme. Read More
  • Naval Update - Dec 2016 +

    Successor Royal Navy News The programme to replace the four boats of the Vanguard class ballistic missile submarines officially started on Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ferry World

  • Ferries to Lyness +

    Hamnavoe Northlink’s Hamnavoe entered Scrabster Harbour from Stromness, Orkney, just as day was breaking, the sky over the Pentland Firth being Read More
  • Electric Conversion +

    Aurora af Helsingborg A big step forward on one route this year is to be the adaptation of two large double-ender ships on Read More
  • Starlite Tragedy +

    Starlite Atlantic I write this at the Christmas and New Year holiday period when the pressure is on the ferries to keep Read More
  • Last Few Lo-Lo Services +

    RMS St Helena The sight of the distinctly cheesed-off looking cow being swung from Naomh Eanna’s derrick says it all – why things can Read More
  • Arran Rumblings +

    Naomh Eanna Trouble has rumbled on between the Irish Government, Galway County Council and Aran operators Island Ferries, who object to levying Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • George Smeed +

    George Smeed After leaving school, I was determined to sail on barges trading under sail before that world was lost forever. Read More
  • Springtime Prep for Charters +

    Phoenix In spring time, all the charter vessels start to prepare for their busy cruising season. Read More
  • Sea-Cargo's Transfighter +

    Transfighter News from the major operator between West Coast Norway, the UK and Rotterdam, ‘Sea-Cargo’ who this January have introduced a Read More
  • Silver River +

    Silver River It was the week before Christmas and I took the opportunity to view one of very few operations of its Read More
  • North Wales Vessels +

    VIlma In North Wales, on the Menai Strait, Port Penrhyn was built to export slate, but the last trade here seems Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

From the Lookout

  • Red Jet 3 Survey and Refit +

    Red Jet 3 Good news for Wight Shipyard Ltd and the local island economy as it was announced in early February by Red Read More
  • P&O Sends Fleet to Poland for Major Refits +

    Pride of York P&O Ferries announced in mid January 2017 that it will send a total of four ships from its North Sea Read More
  • Old Shipmates: The Years and Careers Since +

    This Noble Ship and Others One of the delights of being editor of Sea Breezes is the connections it gives me with readers around the Read More
  • Captain R.I.J. Young, MBE +

    Captain Rodney Ian John Young MBE It was with great sadness that I learned of the sudden death, whilst on leave, of Captain Rodney Young of Read More
  • Has Ecoshield Burst the Cavitation Bubble? +

    Ecoshield The decision to apply Subsea Industries’ award-winning Ecoshield hard coating to rudders and thrusters is paying dividends, with a number Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • Captain Adam Williams, the New Man at the Helm +

    Adam Williams Following on from the sad loss of Rodney Young, the Master of their vessel St Helena, the company have subsequently Read More
  • Damen Shipyards Sell Fast & Furious +

    Fast & Furious The 55 metre yacht support ship Fast & Furious from the Damen Shipyards was one of the stars at both Read More
  • Wood You Believe It? +

    Aquarius There was a time when those who went to sea were said to be made of steel. Read More
  • Bond Beauty for Sale +

    Regina Very few movie going, yacht lovers will need to be reminded of the scene in the 007 film Skyfall when Read More
  • The Bridge Race +

    The Bridge Queen Mary 2, the world’s fastest ocean liner, will compete against the world’s fastest multihull yachts next June in a Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ships, Ports and Places

Emerald Princess

Ship Spotting in Southampton on SS Shieldhall

I have always been intrigued by the fact that Southampton is one of the biggest ports in the UK, yet Read More
Turret Age

The Doxford “Turrets”

It is generally accepted that the 1890’s saw the design of the merchant ‘windjammer’ reach the very peak of its Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Companies, Events and Other Features

MS Pacheco

Happy Seagoing Days - MacAndrew Line

After gaining my Masters Certificate in July 1962, I started to look for another job on General cargo ships, but Read More
Pearl Harbour Attack

Pearl Harbour Attack

December 2016 will be a poignant time on the stunningly beautiful islands that make up the US State of Hawaii. Read More
  • 1
  • 2