MV Duc de Normandie – Past and Present

MV Vronskiy

ex Wisteria, Duc De Normandie, Prinses Beatrix

Terry Conybeare Collection

Terry Conybeare Collection

Steel twin screw motor vessel, built and engined by Verolme Scheepswerf Heusden B.V, Heusden, Holland in 1978 (Yard No 959) for the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland (SMZ), Hoek Van Holland, Holland

Technical Data

  • Length on deck: 131.00m (overall)/119.50m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth of hull: 22.56m (extreme)
  • Breadth mid (car deck): 22.00m
  • Depth: 13.00m to main deck/7.60m to car deck
  • Draught: 5.00m loaded/5.15m max scantling
  • Tonnage: 9,356 gross/4,862 net/1,850 deadweight
  • Engines: Four 8-cylinder Stork-Werkspoor diesels
  • Power: 16,182 kW
  • Fuel oil, diesel oil capacity (including spare tanks for extra-trim possibilities): 821 tons
  • Speed: 21.3 knots
  • Capacity: 1,500 passengers (night) 1,000 (day)/170 vehicles or 44 trailers + 12 vehicles (main car deck)/160 vehicles (platform decks)
  • Call Sign: FNDE, C4AY2 (2005)
  • IMO Number: 7637149
  • Registry: Hoek van Holland, Caen, Limassol

Current Location

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January 14th 1978: Launched and christened by H.R.H. Prinses Beatrix.

May 1978: Sea trials in Norway.

June 24th 1978: Delivered to Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland (SMZ), Hoek Van Holland, Holland.

Andreas Wörteler Collection

Andreas Wörteler Collection

June 29th 1978: Maiden voyage between Hoek Van Holland – Harwich.

1980: Took part in the Queen’s Coronation celebrations in 1980, following the crowning of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

October 1st 1985: Sold to Société d’Économie Mixte d’Armement Naval du Calvados (Brittany Ferries), Morlaix, France, reportedly for £12 million.

© Ken Larwood  © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

October 1st 1985 – May 1986: Immediately bareboat chartered to SMZ, Hoek Van Holland. Commenced service between Hoek Van Holland – Harwich.

Andreas Wörteler Collection

Andreas Wörteler Collection

© Simonwp  © Simonwp

© Simonwp (Harwich, 08/09/1985)(Right)

May 1st 1986: Renamed DUC DE NORMANDIE and  refitted in Rotterdam.

© Ken Larwood  © Carsten Dettmar

© Ken Larwood (left) and © Carsten Dettmer (right)

June 5th 1986: Commenced service between Caen – Portsmouth.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Portsmouth, 11/05/1989)


© Bernd Crause (Portsmouth, 20/05/1994) (All)

July 10th 2002: Commenced service between Roscoff – Plymouth.

September 30th 2004: Final day in service.

October 1st 2004: Laid up in Caen and put up for sale.

November 12th 2004: Left Caen via Portsmouth for Gdansk, Poland, and further lay up.

November 15th 2004: Arrived in Gdansk.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

March 2005: Sold to Trans Europa Ferries. Renamed WISTERIA.

2005: Expected to operated services in the Mediterranean.

March 14th 2005: (16.20 hrs) Arrived in Ostend.

© Dieter Potts  © Dieter Potts

© Dieter Potts

© Dieter Potts  © Dieter Potts

© Dieter Potts (Ostend, 20/03/2005)

March 22nd 2005: Left the port of Ostend today at around 19.45hrs local time. According to the Almeria port web site (, the WISTERIA was due to arrive from Oostende on 26th March 2005.

March 30th 2005: Operated daily from Almeria to Nador.

© Frank Lose  © Mike Barker

© Frank Lose (left) and © Mike Barker (Alemeria, 13/04/2005)(right)

October 25th 2005: Arrived back at Ostend.

November 7th 2005: First arrival in Ramsgate.

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton (Ramsgate, 07/11/2005) (All)

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

January 28th 2006: Laid up in Ostend and repainted in anticipation (?) of summer service with Ferrimaroc.

February 3rd 2006: To Zeebrugge for underwater survey. Anticipated return the same day.

© Dieter Potts

© Dieter Potts (Ostend, 05/02/2006)

February 5th 2006: Departed Ostend for the Mediterranean.

February 9th 2006: Arrived Almeria.

February 2006: Commenced service between Almeria – Nador.

March 9th 2006: Chartered to Acciona Trasmediterranea for sailings from Barcelona to Palma, Ibiza and Mahon.

April 17th 2006: After a spell running from Barcelona to the Balearic Islands, went back on the Almeria-Nador route.

© Carlos Poveda

© Carlos Poveda

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Almeria 28/07/2006)

July 31st 2007 (Tues): Out of commission, after it hit a disused loading bay as it was coming in to dock in Almería on Tuesday morning. Europa Press reports that the accident caused a breach in the hull and damage to 20 of the cars on board the ferry. None of the 188 passengers or crew members were injured however.

© Mike Barker

© Mike Barker

© Carlos Poveda  © Frank Lose

© Carlos Poveda (left) and © Frank Lose (right)

© Juanfra Monzón  © Juanfra Monzón

© Juanfra Monzón  © Juanfra Monzón

© Juanfra Monzón (Almeria, 13/10/2012)

November 8th 2012: Left Almeria for Algeciras

November 8th 2012: Entered service for Acciona Trasmediterranea on the 22:00 sailing between Algeciras to Tangier Med run.

April  2013: Remains on charter to Acciona Trasmediterranea operating the Algeciras-Tánger Med run

April 9th 2013: Ship manager Kajster Doo Precna pot 20, Portoroz, Slovenia. Registered owner Nizhniy Shipping Ltd, care of Kajster Doo , Precna pot 20, Portoroz, Slovenia.

May 2013: Noted as having been renamed VRONSKIY.

© Mike Barker

© Mike Barker

2013: Operated between Almeria and Oran.

October 2013: Resumed service between Algeciras and Tanger Med.

© Mike Barker

© Mike Barker (Almeria, 15/09/2016)

© Juanfra Monzón

© Juanfra Monzón (Almeria 13/05/2018)

© Juanfra Monzón   © Juanfra Monzón

© Juanfra Monzón   © Juanfra Monzón

© Juanfra Monzón (Almeria 09/06/2018)

© Mike Barker

© Mike Barker (Almeria, 14/08/2018)

February 2019: Refit at at Guadalquivir Shipyards in Spain.

October 19th 2019: Laid up in Almeria.

© Carsten Dettmer

© Carsten Dettmer (Laid up, Almeria, 26/12/2019)

February 2020: Chartered by FRS Iberia for services Motril – Melella.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Micke Asklander‎, Mike Barker, Terry Conybeare, Bernd Crause, Carsten Dettmer, Ton Grootenboer, Frank Heine, Ken Larwood, Frank Lose, Juanfra Monzón, Dieter Potts, Carlos Poveda, Simonwp and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)


  1. November 8th 2012: Left Almeria for Algeciras

    November 8th 2012: Entered service for ACCIONA TRASMEDITERRANEA on the 22:00 sailing between Algeciras to Tangier MED run

    April 22th 2013: Remains on charter to ACCIONA TRASMEDITERRANEA operating the Algeciras-TangierMED run

    1. Hi Smael,

      Thank you for the updates to the Past and Presents you have posted over the last few days, greatly appreciated. I will get round to adding them to the individual files over the next couple of days when I have some free time.

      Best Wishes

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