© Ray GoodfellowBlast From The Recent Photographic Past

In this age of digital photography it’s amazing how many photos you can accumulate over the years. Gone are the days of only having 36 exposures and having to save up the money to get them processed. Nowadays everybody is a photographer, even the basic of mobile phones has a camera and with the constant advancements in technology some of the camera phones offer better quality images than the cameras some of these photos were taken with!

Whilst carrying out the website rebuild I started going through the archives and realised that I had amassed about 25,000 individual images, back in the old days that would of cost in the region of £5,500 to process and print (that’s going on the prices I remember at least).

It does warrant the question how many people still actually print photographs and put them in an album? I do print photographs occasionally to update my portfolio but most of mine remain in the digital format. I do have to admit that I recently purchased a digital photo frame to display a few hundred of these photographs but choosing from 25,000 is proving rather difficult.

Anyway, I have gone through my archives and I have selected a few photos for this article. Going through the archives certainly makes me realise how fluid the ferry market truly is. We see ships day in and day out and I document them through photography and it’s not until you go back that you realise how often things change, be it companies coming and going or ships which seem to have had more paint jobs and names than I have had hot dinners!

Please note that some of these photographs are not of an outstanding quality and that’s due to the quality of the cameras they were taken on, some of the shots came from a 4 megapixel camera but I still feel they offer a reminder of recent days gone by.


Cote D’Albatre

The Cote D’Albatre briefly saw service from Dover to Boulogne and Dieppe in 2008 when operating for LD Lines. She was eventually replaced on the Boulogne run by the fast craft Norman Arrow. Nowadays she can be found on the route that she was built for, Newhaven-Dieppe.

© Ray Goodfellow

Here the Cote D’Albatre is seen here passing through the Eastern entrance of the port inbound from Boulogne

© Ray Goodfellow

Unusually, the Cote D’Albatre berthed bows in the Port of Dover

© Ray Goodfellow

Berthed bow in at Number 1 berth (ED1) following her arrival from Boulogne


Norman Arrow

The second of LD Lines frequent route and tonnage changes was the launching of the Norman Arrow on the Dover-Boulogne route in the Summer of 2009. She only lasted on the route for 5 months before being withdrawn and replaced with the Norman Spirit.

The company cited operational difficulties due to her stern only loading arrangement as the reason for her withdrawal. She was laid up for the Winter of 2009 before making an appearance on the Portsmouth to Le Havre route in the Summer of 2010 and 2011. She can now be found operating for Mols Linien in Denmark.

© Ray Goodfellow

Seen coming astern to Cruise Terminal 2 (CT2) before her entry into service between Dover and Boulogne. I think this photograph gives a good idea of her size in comparison to the small motor boat. When she was launched she was the world’s largest diesel powered catamaran.

© Ray Goodfellow

 The Norman Arrow gets underway for Boulogne on a blustery day


Pride of Aquitaine / Norman Spirit / Ostend Spirit / Calais Seaways

Next up on LD Lines merry-go-round was the Norman Spirit. Originally built as the Prins Filip in 1991 for Dover-Ostend service she eventually passed to P&O Ferries as the Pride of Aquitaine in 2003 before being withdrawn and sold to LD Lines as the Norman Spirit for service from Portsmouth to Le Havre. She entered service from Portsmouth on the 3rd October 2005.

She was transferred to Dover to replace the Norman Arrow on the Boulogne run before being transferred to a joint venture with Trans Europa Ferries (TEF) on the Ramsgate to Ostend service. She was replaced at Dover by the Norman Bridge and Norman Trader. She did see further spells at Dover covering the Norman Bridge. The joint venture with TEF came to an end in March 2011 and she was returned to LD Lines.

Following another spell on the Portsmouth to Le Havre route she was chartered to DFDS Seaways to offer additional capacity on the Dover-Dunkerque service following the collapse of Seafrance in November 2011. LD Lines and DFDS Seaways launched a failed bid for the assets of Seafrance at the end of 2011. Following a second failed bid to acquire the assets of Seafrance in early 2012 LD Lines and DFDS announced that they would launch their own Dover to Calais service using the Norman Spirit.

She entered service to Calais in February 2012. In the Summer of 2012 DFDS Seaways and LD Lines announced that they would merge their operations and in future would trade as DFDS Seaways. In March 2013 the Norman Spirit received an extensive refit in Poland and was renamed the Calais Seaways

This vessel holds the accolade of having operated from all the continental channel ports on the Dover Straits having served Zeebrugge, Ostend, Dunkerque, Calais and Boulogne.

© Ray Goodfellow

The Pride of Aquitaine seen arriving at the Port of Dover in 2004

© Ray Goodfellow

Norman Spirit seen arriving in Dover in December 2009

© Ray Goodfellow

Another year, another name and yet another livery. Here the Ostend Spirit is seen arriving in Ramsgate from Ostend in March 2010

© Ray Goodfellow

Despite having been transferred to Ramsgate the Ostend Spirit made several appearances back in Dover covering for the problematic Norman Bridge. She is seen here departing the Western Entrance in April 2010

© Ray Goodfellow

 Another new route and livery sees the Norman Spirit departing Calais for Dover in March 2012

© Ray Goodfellow

Seen as Calais Seaways departing Dover in July 2013


Brave Merchant / Norman Bridge

The Norman Bridge has seen service in Dover with two operators on two separate occasions. As the Brave Merchant she covered the refit of her sister vessel the Dawn Merchant when she was on Norfolk Line service to Dunkerque in July 2003.

Her second time at the port of Dover was serving with LD Lines in 2010 operating to Boulogne in place of the Norman Spirit. During her second stint at Dover she suffered a number of technical problems which necessitated the Norman Spirit from Ramsgate having to cover her schedule.

The LD Lines operation to Boulogne closed on the 5th September 2010 with the company citing lack of traffic due to increased competition from the other channel operators. The Norman Bridge was transferred to LD Lines new route from St Nazaire to Gijon in September 2010.

In 2011 she was replaced by a larger vessel and proceeded to Falmouth for lay up. In December 2011 she was sold to be converted to an accommodation and repair vessel for the offshore gas and oil industry and was eventually renamed Aquarius Brazil in 2013. She can now be found operating off the coast of Brazil for Petrobas.

© Ray GoodfellowThe Norman Bridge seen having arrived from Boulogne in Summer 2010


Dawn Merchant / Norman Trader

Just like two of her sister vessels the Dawn Merchant has had two stints at Dover. She entered service with Norfolk Line between Dover and Dunkerque in October 2002 and served on the route for 3 years before being replaced by the new build, Maersk Dunkerque.

After a brief return to the Irish Sea for her owners she was to see further service in the Mediterranean for Balearia as the Pau Casals operating between Barcelona and Palma de Majorca between 2006 and 2008. In the Winter of 2008 she was renamed Ave Luebeck in anticipation of a new charter in the Baltic Sea. This charter fell through and she was renamed T-Rex for a further Mediterranean charter.

On the 30th May 2010 she entered service for LD Lines between Dover and Boulogne as the Norman Trader. The Dover-Boulogne route closed on the 5th September 2010 and the Norman Trader was laid up in the British port of Tilbury. She briefly re-entered service to cover the Portsmouth-Le Havre route for LD Lines followed by the Holyhead-Dublin route for Stena Line and the  Liverpool-Dublin route for P&O Ferries.

She proceeded to lay up on the River Fal in Cornwall in July 2011 and stayed here for nearly 2 years. In May 2013 it was announced that she had been sold to Stena RoRo and would be towed to Poland for a comprehensive overhaul. She re-entered service with Stena Line between Karlskrona (Sweden) and Gdynia (Poland) in July 2013 renamed the Stena Alegra.

© Ray Goodfellow

The Norman Trader arriving at the Port of Dover in late August 2010. Two weeks after this photo was taken the Dover-Boulogne service was closed by LD Lines


Midnight Merchant / European Endeavour

The Midnight Merchant entered service for the then fledgling Norfolk Line operation between Dover and Dunkerque in October 2000. She stayed on the route until July 2006, being replaced in the Norfolk Line fleet by the Maersk Dover.  Upon completion of her service at Dover she was sold to Acciona Trasmediterranea and renamed El Greco for service in the Mediterranean operating from Barcelona to Palma de Mallorca and Valencia.

In June 2007 it was announced that the El Greco had been sold to P&O Ferries and following a refit in Barcelona would be renamed the European Endeavour. She duly entered service on the Dover-Calais route in January 2008, initially covering for the European Seaway which was off service with technical problems. In 2009 the ship covered the refits at Liverpool and Tilbury before returning to Dover.

Most of the year 2010 was spent either on charter or laid up in Tilbury. In May 2011 she was transferred full time to the Liverpool-Dublin route for P&O Ferries and can still be found serving this line today.

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The Midnight Merchant seen entering the Western Entrance of the port in 2004

© Ray Goodfellow

The Midnight Merchant seen loading on berth 9 in the Summer of 2005

© Ray Goodfellow

The European Endeavour seen alongside the Eastern Arm in February 2008

© Ray Goodfellow

Here she is seen arriving through the Eastern entrance of the port inbound from Calais


Seafrance Moliere / Dieppe Seaways

Originally built in Germany for the Greek operator Superfast Ferries in 2002 as the Superfast X she first saw service in UK waters operating between Rosyth and Zeebrugge. She was removed from this route in January 2007 when she was sold to Veolia Transport for service with SNCM in the Mediterranean being renamed the Jean Nicoli.

Owing to difficulties entering service on the route she was purchased for she carried out a number of charters with Cotunav and ANEK Lines before being laid up in October 2007. In December 2007 she was sold to SeaFrance and renamed the SeaFrance MoliereFollowing a sit in by her ex SNCM crew she finally arrived in Dunkerque in March 2008 for a €15 million refit to turn her from an overnight vessel to a day vessel.

Originally set to enter service on the 3rd July 2009 it was until the 6th August 2009 that the Moliere arrived in Calais and later on in Dover for berthing trials. She finally entered service in a freight only role on the 19th August 2009 before entering full passenger service in October 2009.

Following the collapse of Seafrance in November 2011 she was initially laid up in Calais before proceeding to Dunkerque in February 2012 for further layup. As she was not a part of the assets of Seafrance she wasn’t involved in the sale of assets to Eurotunnel.

In July 2012 she was sold and renamed Moliere and re registered in Valetta, Malta. On July 20th 2012 she arrived in Tilbury docks for further lay up. In October 2012 it was announced that she had been chartered to DFDS Seaways and would enter service on the Dover to Dunkerque route replacing the Delft Seaways, which in turn would replace the Deal Seaways on the Dover to Calais route.

Following a refit in Dunkerque the now renamed Dieppe Seaways entered service on the Dover-Calais service in November 2012. The anticipated swap with the Delft Seaways on the Dunkerque route did not occur and the Dieppe Seaways remains in service between Dover and Calais for DFDS Seaways.

© Ray Goodfellow

Maiden arrival in Dover for berthing trials on the 6th August 2009

© Ray Goodfellow

Maiden arrival in Dover for berthing trials on the 6th August 2009

© Ray Goodfellow

Seafrance Moliere entering the Eastern entrance at Dover a week before Seafrance ceased operations in November 2011

© Ray Goodfellow

Dieppe Seaways swings for berth 3 at Dover Eastern Docks in July 2013


Oleander

Originally built as the Pride of Free Enterprise for Townsend Thoresen in 1980 for the Dover-Calais route she saw subsequent service with P&O European Ferries as the Pride of Bruges and P&O Stena Line as the POSL Picardy.

Withdrawn from service and offered for sale she was laid up in Dunkerque in February 2000. In April 2001 she was sold to Trans Europa Ferries and renamed the Oleander. Following a protracted refit she finally entered service between Ramsgate and Ostend for her owners on the 8th July 2002.

In July 2010 she was fitted with an internal ramp and proceeded to the Mediterranean on charter to Commarit. In September 2011 she was laid up in Almeria. Refitted in Gibraltar in May 2012 she took service on charter to Acciona Trasmediterranea operating the Almeria-Nador route. Following lay up in Almeria over the Winter of 2012/13 she re-entered service again in April 2013 with Acciona Trasmediterranea operating the Almeria-Nador route.

Following the collapse of Trans Europa Ferries in April 2013 she was reportedly sold to Russian interests. In May 2013 she was renamed the Scherbatsky and remains on charter to Acciona Trasmediterranea operating the Almeria-Nador route.

© Ray Goodfellow

Seen arriving at the Port of Ramsgate in April 2007

© Ray Goodfellow

Seen arriving at the Port of Ramsgate in April 2007


Gardenia

Originally constructed in Germany for Townsend Thoresen in 1977 as the European Enterprise, she entered service on the Dover-Zeebrugge route in April 1978. Following the takeover of Townsend Thoresen by the P&O group in 1987 she was renamed the European Endeavour.

She saw service at Dover with P&O European Ferries until 1995 when she was transferred to the Irish Sea operating from Cairnryan-Larne. She concluded service with P&O in July 2002 and was sold to Trans Europa Ferries who renamed her the Gardenia.

After a lengthy refit in both Dunkerque and Ostend she entered service between Ramsgate and Ostend on the 15th January 2003. She remained in service on the Ramsgate-Ostend route until April 2013 when Trans Europa Ferries collapsed owing millions of euros to a number of parties. She remains laid up in the Port of Ostend awaiting her fate.

© Ray Goodfellow

The Gardenia is seen here arriving in Ramsgate in 2008

© Ray Goodfellow

The Gardenia is seen here departing Ramsgate with a full load of trailers in April 2008


Maersk /DFDS `D’ Class – Dunkerque, Delft and Dover

Following the massive growth in traffic seen on the Norfolk Line Dover-Dunkerque service the parent company of Norfolk Line, AP Moller-Maersk, placed an order with Samsung Heavy Industries in Seoul, South Korea for two Ro-pax vessels to replace the Northern MerchantDawn Merchant and Midnight Merchant in 2003, an option to build a third vessel was exercised in early 2004.

The first vessel, the Maersk Dunkerque was delivered to Norfolk Line in September 2005 and following her delivery voyage from South Korea she arrived in Dover on the 22nd October 2005. She entered service in November 2005 replacing the Dawn Merchant.

The second vessel, the Maersk Delft arrived at the Port of Dover on the 20th February 2006 and entered service on the 27th February 2006 replacing the Northern Merchant. The third and final vessel in the series, the Maersk Dover, arrived at the Port of Dover on the 17th July 2006 and entered service on the 28th July 2006 replacing the Midnight Merchant.

In July 2010 AP-Moller Maersk sold Norfolk Line to DFDS A/S for €346 million. Re-branding commenced almost immediately with the Maersk Star’s being removed and the funnels were repainted in the new DFDS corporate colour of navy blue with the white maltese cross of DFDS Seaways.

All three vessels were renamed, the Maersk Dunkerque became the Dunkerque Seaways, the Maersk Delft became the Delft Seaways and the Maersk Dover became the Dover Seaways. In early 2011 all three vessels received the new DFDS Seaways livery of dark blue hull, dark blue funnel and unlike their DFDS fleet mates they received DFDS Seaways in blue on there white superstructures. It was said this was done so the trading name could be seen above the piers in Dover when the ships were docked.

All three vessels remain in service on the Dover to Dunkerque route for DFDS Seaways.

© Ray Goodfellow

The Maersk Dunkerque arriving at Dover from her builders on the 22nd October 2005

© Ray Goodfellow

The Maersk Dunkerque arriving at Dover from her builders on the 22nd October 2005

© Ray Goodfellow

The Maersk Delft makes light work of a channel gale inbound to the Port of Dover

© Ray Goodfellow

The second of the D Class, the Maersk Delft is seen here in the Port of Dover having arrived from Dunkerque

© Ray Goodfellow

The Maersk Dover undergoing berthing trials at the Port of Dover following her arrival from Samsung Heavy Industires in South Korea on the 17th July 2006

© Ray Goodfellow

The Maersk Dover seen departing the Western Entrance at Dover for Dunkerque

© Ray Goodfellow

Maersk Dover departing the Port of Dover following the application of the norfolkline.com livery in 2008 

© Ray Goodfellow

The now renamed Dover Seaways seen here with Norfolkline hull livery and DFDS Seaways funnel livery in 2010.

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Here the Delft Seaways can be seen in the full DFDS Seaways livery at the Port of Dover


SpeedOne

Launched in July 1997 as the INCAT 045 for the international charter market. In April 1999 she was chartered to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and was renamed the HMAS Jervis Bay. She was returned to INCAT in May 2001 before being chartered to Traghetti Isole Sarde (TRIS) and renamed the Winner for service between Genoa and Palau.

In November 2002 with her charter to TRIS terminated she was laid up in Portland, Dorset. In January 2004 she was chartered to the new Dover-Boulogne operator Speed Ferries and was renamed SpeedOne. Following berthing trials at Dover’s Eastern Docks and Boulogne she entered service from Dover on the 19th May 2004.

In March 2007 Speed Ferries transferred their operations in Dover from the Eastern Docks to the Hoverport. On the evening of November the 6th 2008 SpeedOne was prevented from sailing from Boulogne to Dover after being arrested for nonpayment of harbour dues.

On November 13th it was announced that Speed Ferries had gone into administration and all assets of the company would be sold to recoup some of the money owed to creditors. This included £238,000 to the Dover Harbour Board, £1.3 million to the Boulogne Chamber of Commerce, £10 million to the Royal Bank of Scotland and £1.5 million to INCAT. She departed Boulogne on the 19th November 2008 and was laid up in Tilbury under arrest of the Admiralty Marshal.

In May 2009 it was announced that the SpeedOne had been sold and she was renamed Sea Leopard, she remained laid up in Tilbury. In March 2010 she was sold to Condor Ferries and was renamed the Condor Rapide. She duly entered service between Guernsey, Jersey and St Malo on the 13th May 2010 and still maintains this service today.

© Ray Goodfellow

SpeedOne seen loading at berth 1 at the Eastern Docks before Speed Ferries transferred their operations to the Hoverport at the Western Docks

© Ray Goodfellow

SpeedOne departing on her second commercial crossing from the Hoverport on the 30th March 2007

© Ray Goodfellow

SpeedOne seen getting underway from the Hoverport

© Ray Goodfellow

SpeedOne seen getting underway from the Hoverport


SeaFrance Cezanne

Originally built in Sweden as a deep sea RoRo freighter in 1979 this vessel first saw service in Dover in 1989 as the Channel Seaway operating between Dover and Calais for Sealink. In October 1989 she was sent for rebuilding and conversion to a multipurpose vessel at the Lloyd Werft Shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany.

In May 1990 she returned to Calais as the Fiesta and she entered service for SNAT (The French arm of Sealink) on the 9th July 1990. In July 1995 it was announced that the trading agreement between Stena Sealink and SNAT would cease on the 31st December 1995. From the 1st January 1996 SNAT would trade as SeaFrance.

Following an extensive refit the Fiesta was renamed the Seafrance Cezanne in January 1996. She continued in service between Dover and Calais until February 2009 when she was withdrawn and laid up in the port of Dunkerque.

In July 2011 it was reported that she had been sold for further service in the Middle East. Renamed the Western Light she departed Dunkerque on October 7th 2011 with her destination stated as Dubai. This was however not correct and she was beached at Alang, India on the 16th November 2011 where demolition commenced immediately.

© Ray Goodfellow

The Seafrance Cezanne seen departing from the Port of Dover for Calais

© Ray Goodfellow

 The Seafrance Cezanne seen departing from the Port of Dover for Calais

© Ray Goodfellow

 Now renamed the Western Light, the Cezanne is seen here in Dunkerque being prepared for final journey to India for demolition in 


Seafrance Renoir

Originally built in France for SNCF in 1981 as the Cote D’Azur. The Cote D’Azur initially entered service between Dover and Calais on the 7th October 1981. In July 1995 it was announced that the trading agreement between Stena Sealink and SNAT would cease on the 31st December 1995. From the 1st January 1996 SNAT would trade as SeaFrance.

Following an extensive refit in Le Havre in January 1996, which included the rebuilding of her stern superstructure to offer additional capacity, she was renamed the Seafrance Renoir. In December 2007 it was announced that the Seafrance Renoir would be replaced in the local fleet by the recently purchased SeaFrance Moliere. However the Renoir continued in service between Dover and Calais until September 2009, mainly operating as a freight only vessel in place of the SeaFrance Manet.

In September 2009 she was sent to Dunkerque for lay up. In July 2011 it was reported that she had been sold for further service in the Middle East. Renamed the Eastern Light she departed Dunkerque on September 21st 2011 with her destination stated as Dubai, this however was not correct and she was beached at Alang, in October 2011 where demolition commenced immediately.

© Ray Goodfellow

The Seafrance Renoir seen arriving in the Port of Dover in 2007.

© Ray Goodfellow

Now renamed the Eastern Light she is seen here laid up in Dunkerque in July 2011


Seafrance Manet

Built in 1984 as the Champs Elysee for SNCF she entered service between Dover and Calais for Sealink on the 4th October 1984. Between January and September 1985 she operated between Dover and Boulogne. In July 1990 she was transferred to the Newhaven to Dieppe route.

In April 1992 the Newhaven Dieppe route was sold to Sealink Stena Line and the Champs Elysee was chartered and renamed the Stena Parisien. In January 1997 the vessel was returned to Seafrance and was renamed the Seafrance Manet. She was introduced on the Dover-Calais service on the 20th January 1997.

In December 2007 it was announced that the SeaFrance Manet would be replaced in the local fleet by the recently purchased SeaFrance Moliere. The Manet completed service between Dover and Calais on the 29th April 2008.

After a period of time laid up in Calais and then Dunkerque it was announced that the Seafrance Manet had been sold to Stena Line for service from Stranraer to Belfast. For this new role she was renamed the Stena Navigator.

Following a refit in Dunkerque she arrived in Belfast on September 25th 2009 and entered service on the 12th November 2009. Following the closure of the Stranraer to Belfast route in November 2011 the Stena Navigator was laid up in Belfast pending sale.

In February 2012 it was announced that she had been sold to Balearia for service in the Mediterranean. For her new role she was renamed Daniya and entered service in April 2012.

© Ray Goodfellow

SeaFrance Manet seen arriving at the Port of Dover in March 2006

© Ray Goodfellow

 SeaFrance Manet seen departing the Port of Dover


All Photographs on this page are the © Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos) 2013, All rights reserved.

I would like to remind you that the photos on this page may not be used without prior permission. If you require high resolution non watermarked copies of any my photos for your own private collection or for publication please free to get in contact to discuss your requirements.


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