Past and Present


In September of 2006 Nigel Thornton joined the website and started compiling his hugely popular ‘Past and Present‘ features. These features profile the timeline of an individual vessel through photography and historical information.

Originally focused on the history of the local ferry fleets which have served the Port of Dover over the years it has now been expanded to include all vessel types which have a lose connection with the port town of Dover.

To help website visitors take their minds of the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020 Nigel started to take requests for Past and Present features which have resulted in a large number of updates to the website.

Past and Present Archive

© Tony Garner

TS Caledonian Princess – Past and Present

TS Prince, ex Tuxedo Princess, Caledonian Princess – Steel twin screw steam turbine vessel, built and engined by Wm Denny & Bros, Ltd., Dumbarton, in 1961(Yard No. 1501) for Caledonian Steam Packet Co (Irish Services) Ltd., as a passenger and car ferry.

Nigel Thornton Collection

MV Princesse Astrid – Past and Present

MV Express Erme, ex Express Hermes, Bari Express, Georgios B, Princesse Astrid (II) – Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by N.V. Boelwerf S.A., Temse, (Yard No 1440) for the Belgian Marine Administration’s Ostend service in 1969. Engined by Sulzer Bros, Winterthur.

Nigel Thornton Collection

MV Galloway Princess – Past and Present

MV Le Rif, ex Stena Galloway, Galloway Princess – Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by  Harland & Wolff, Belfast (Yard No. 1713), for Sealink U.K. in 1980 as a passenger and roll-on roll-off car and commercial vehicle ferry. Engined by Crossley-Pielstick.

© A G Jones

MV St Christopher – Past and Present

MV European Star, IBN Batouta, ex Stena Antrim, St Christopher – Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by Harland & Wolff, Belfast (Yard No. 1716) for Sealink U.K. in 1980 as a passenger and roll-on roll-off car and commercial vehicle ferry

Nigel Thornton Collection

MV Senlac – Past and Present

MV Apollon, ex  Express Apollon, Apollo Express, Senlac – Steel twin screw motor vessel built at the Arsenal de Brest , (Yard No. CF 3), for the British Railways Board in 1972.

Nigel Thornton Collection

MV Prince Laurent – Past and Present

MV Superferry II, ex Prince Laurent – Steel twin screw motor vessel built by N.V. Boelwerf S. A., Temse, (Yard No. 1477) in 1974 for the Regie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT) Ostend service as a passenger and roll-on roll-off car ferry

© Brian Fisher

MV Princesse-Marie Christine – Past and Present

MV Elegant I, ex Primrose, Princesse-Marie Christine – Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by Cockerill Yards, Hoboken (Yard No. 878) in 1975 for Regie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT) Ostend service as a passenger and roll-on roll-off car and commercial vehicle ferry. Engined by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, St. Nazaire