MV Star Fighter
ex Ardenia, Gardenia, European Endeavour (I), European Enterprise
© AG Jones
Steel twin screw motor vessel, intended primarily as a commercial vehicle ferry, built and engineered by Schichau Unterweser A.G., Bremen (Yard No. 2275) in 1977 for the Monarch Steamship Company, like Townsend’s, a subsidiary of the European Ferries Group
- Length: 118.15m (388 ft) (overall)/107.56m (352.9 ft) (between perpendiculars)
- Breadth of Hull: 20.27m (66.5 ft) (extreme)/19.90m (65.3 ft) (moulded)
- Draught: 5.80m (19.0 ft) (maximum)
- Tonnage: 3,767 gross (pre “69”), 8,097 (“69”)/ 1,029 net, 2,429 (“69”)/ 2,281 deadweight, 3,767 (pre “69”), 2276t (“69”)
- Engines: Two 5,700 bhp 9-cylinder Stork-Werkspoor TM 410C four-stroke single-acting diesels
- Power: 8592 kW
- Speed: 18.5 knots
- Capacity: 107 Passengers & 46 x 15m vehicles.
- Number of crew: 36
- Call Sign: GXXJ (1977), ZCBN6 (1997), P3JY9 (2002)
- MMSI Number: 210981000
- IMO Number: 7711139 Official Number: 362878
- Registry: Dover (1977), Hamilton (1997), Limassol (2002)
- Sister Ships: European Clearway, European Gateway , European Trader
December 22nd 1977: Launched, fourth of the “European” class of vessels, but not a direct sister to the earlier trio. Other than appearance, fitted with fin stabilizers.
April 27th 1978: Delivered to Townsend Car Ferries Ltd., Dover (Monarch Steamship Co. Ltd., London), England.
April 28th 1978: Maiden voyage.
© John Jones
April 29th 1978: Commenced service between Dover – Zeebrugge.
1984: A new TT logo, in white, was introduced on the funnels.
© Gary Davies, Maritime Photographic (left) and © Fotoflite (right)
© David Ingham
1987: Following the “HERALD” disaster, from spring onwards, pale blue funnels with P & O flag logo became the norm.
© Brian Fisher (left) and © Ken Larwood (right)
© Pieter Inpyn
1987: Work carried out included a split stern door so that she is able to use other ramps at Dover.
October 1987: Change to P&O European Ferries navy blue hull and funnel.
© Brian Fisher (left) © Ken Larwood (right)
December 17th 1987: Renamed EUROPEAN ENDEAVOUR. She still served the Dover routes..
December 31st 1987: Registered to P&O European Ferries Ltd., Dover, England.
© A G Jones
February 1988: Laid up owing to National Union of Seamen’s strike
June 1988: Resumed service Dover – Zeebrugge.
🆕© Simonwp (Dover 01/07/1990)
March 15th 1991: Sold to Abbey National Leasing, England. Bareboat chartered to P&O European Ferries Ltd.
🆕© Simonwp (Portsmouth 01/07/1911)
Calais 12/04/1992. © Andreas Wörteler
Calais 12/04/1992. © Andreas Wörteler
December 1992: Transferred to cover refits of the Felixstowe – Europoort vessels
1993 (winter): Spells at Felixstowe and Larne.
1994: Became the company relief ship, covering overhauls throughout the fleet.
March 17th 1994: Supplement Dover – Zeebrugge/Calais
© Brian Pawley
April 24th 1995 – May 1995: Operated between Europort – Felixstowe.
May 1995: Operated between Dover – Calais.
© Ferry Fantastic (left) Nigel Thornton Collection (right)
September 25th 1995: Transferred to the Larne/Cairnryan service increasing the capacity from 2 to 3 vessels.
© Trevor Kidd
1996: The headroom on the upper vehicle deck was increased to 5 meters, allowing double deck trailers to be accommodated.
June 8th 1997 – June 26th 1997: Commenced service with Pandoro between Dublin – Fleetwood – Cherbourg.
1997: Port of registry was changed from Dover, UK to Hamilton, Bermuda and shortly afterwards she had a Spanish crew. Also Ardrossan and Fleetwood services from Larne, as well as the Rosslare to Cherbourg….
1998: Alterations to upper decks accommodation at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead.
1998: Commenced service with P&O Irish Ferries between Cairnryan – Larne.
July 17th 2002: Final day in service between Cairnryan – Larne.
© Trevor Kidd
July 20th 2002: Departed Larne.
July 2002: Dry-docked at Dunkerque
July 2002: Sold to TransEuropa Ferries.
July 22nd 2002: Taken over by her new owners and renamed GARDENIA.
2002: Port of registry changed to Limassol, Cyprus.
© Andreas Wörteler
© Pieter Inpyn
2002: Major refit/refurbishment and livery change at Ostend.
December 2002: To dry-dock at ARNO Dunkerque.
December 26th 2002: Survey at Dunkerque.
December 28th 2002: To Ostend.
January 15th 2003: Maiden voyage and commenced service between Ostend – Ramsgate.
© Nigel Thornton
April 6th 2005: Antwerp for refit.
April 16th 2005: Expected return from refit.
2006: Registered owner recorded as Odyssey Maritime Co. Ltd (TransEuropa Ferries).
August 2006: Currently still in service Ostend – Ramsgate.
17/04/2006 © Ray Goodfellow
March 3rd 2007: To ARNO, Dunkerque for refit.
Dunkerque 03/03/07 © Robert Fournier
June 20th 2007: Rumours circulated that she had been sold to Baltic Scandinavian Lines, these later appeared to be false.
16th May 2008: Owing to engine damage the Gardenia is laid up in Ostend awaiting repairs.
17th July 2008: Following repairs to her damaged engine the Gardenia re-enters service between Ostend and Ramsgate for Trans Europa Ferries.
Ramsgate, July 23rd 2008 © Nigel Thornton
January 22nd 2009: To ARNO Dunkerque for refit.
January 30th 2009: Returned to service.
© Simonwp (left) and © Nigel Thornton (right)
January 31st 2013: To Antwerp for extensive dry-docking and refit.
February 25th 2013: Arrived back in Ostend (no exterior cosmetic work seen)
February 28th 2013: Resumed service.
© Carsten Dettmer
April 17th 2013: Ceased sailings and laid up in Ostend.
© Carl Tunnicliffe
November 24th 2013: Noted on Bureau Veritas as now being owned by ‘Oilchart International’
November 27th 2013: Noted as having been renamed ARDENIA. (Source: ENSOR)
December 12th 2013: Sailed to Zeebrugge (rumoured to be for underwater survey).
December 12th 2013: Arrived Zeebrugge.
December 13th 2013: Departed Zeebrugge.
December 13th 2013: Arrived back in Ostend.
© Robert Pirotte.
© Andreas Wörteler (Ostend 23/02/2014)
April 23rd 2014: Anticipated departure from Ostend, bound for Piraeus.
May 5th 2014: Arrived in Piraeus.
© Petros Psarras
© Frans Truyens (Piraeus 17/06/2014)
Spanopoulos shipyard, Salamis 26/07/14 © Petros Psarras (left) and © Matt Murtland (right)
September 27th 2014: Believed to have been renamed STAR FIGHTER and had her bow door welded up. Also had stern and internal ramps fitted.
© George Togias
November 18th 2014: Arrived in Limassol.
December 30th 2014: Departed Limassol.
January 2nd 2015: Arrived in Bijela, Montenegro.
Adriatic Shipyard, Bijela-Boka Bay, Porto Montenegro © Drago Krivokapic (all)
May 20th 2015: Arrived in Denia (Spain)
© Manuel Hernández Lafuente
December 13th 2016: Reported to have been beached for at Alang for demolition on the 6th December 2016.
© Ron DK
December 28th 2016: Cutting begins!!!
© Ron DK
All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions found. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic), Carsten Dettmer, Ron DK, Brian Fisher, Robert Fournier, George Holland , David Ingham, A G Jones, John “Jonesy” Jones, Pieter Inpyn, Trevor Kidd, Drago Krivokapic, Manuel Hernández Lafuente, Ken Larwood, Mark Leiper, Brian Pawley, Robert Pirotte, Petros Psarras, Simonwp, George Togias, Frans Truyens and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature. Special thanks go to Carl Tunnicliffe.