Mv European Gateway, Past and Present

06/09/2016: Gallery updated - NT

Mv Lopi

Ex Penelope, Penelope A, Rostock Link, Travemunde Link, Flavia, European Gateway

© Fotoflite

© Fotoflite

Steel twin screw motor vessel, intended primarily as a commercial vehicle ferry, built and engined by Schichau Unterweser A.G., Bremen (Yard No. 2256) in 1975 for the Monarch Steamship Company, like Townsend’s, a subsidiary of the European Ferries Group. 

Technical Data

  • Length on Deck: 118.32m (388 ft) (overall) 133.46m/ 107.60m (between perpendiculars)(1975)/ 133.46m
  • Breadth of Hull: 20.30m (66.5 ft) (extreme), 19.9m (65.3 ft) (moulded)
  • Depth: 11.65m (38.2 ft) (moulded)
  • Draught: 5.817m (19 ft)(maximum)
  • Tonnage: 3,335 gross (1975), 4,263 after lengthening, 11,335 (1994)/ 1,070 net (1975), 1,291 after lengthening/3,927 deadweight (1975), 3,949 after lengthening (1994)
  • Engines: Two 5,700 bhp 9-cylinder Stork-Werkspoor TM 410C four-stroke single-acting diesels
  • Power: 8504 kW/8385kW
  • Speed: 18.5 knots
  • Capacity: 132 passengers, 76 x 15m commercial trailers/1,100 (after lengthening) 400 cars after rebuild 76 x 12m commercial trailers
  • Call Sign: GUQS (European Gateway), H2RW (Flavia), C6DX3 (Travemunde Link),SWGI (Penelope), 5BLZ3 (2011- )
  • IMO Number: 7400261
  • Registry: London, Limassol, Nassau, Piraeus, Cyprus
  • Sister Vessels: European ClearwayEuropean Enterprise, European Trader


December 20th 1974: Launched as the first ”European” class with the name EUROPEAN EXPRESS

June 4th 1975: Delivered to Townsend Car Ferries Ltd., Dover, England.

June 9th 1975: Commenced service between Felixstowe – Europort.

Jurgen Stein Collection

Jurgen Stein Collection

March 17th 1980 – June 1980: Service between Cairnryan – Larne.

June 1980 – September 1980: Service between Felixstowe – Europoort

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Europoort 08/09/1980)

September 1980 – November 1980: Lengthened by 15.7m at Werft Amsterdamsche Droogdok Mij., Amsterdam., Holland.

© Fotoflite

© Fotoflite

November 1980: Re-introduced between Cairnryan – Larne.

© Aubrey Dale

© Aubrey Dale

February 14th 1981 – March 1981: Relief vessel for Felixstowe – Europort.

November 1981 – December 1981: Felixstowe – Europoort

© Cees de Bijl

 © Cees de Bijl

May 1982: Short period Felixstowe – Europoort

December 19th 1982: Collision 2.5 miles off Harwich, between SPEEDLINK VANGUARD and EUROPEAN GATEWAY. The impact made a 20 ft gash in the GATEWAY and within 10 seconds her engines and generators were knocked out. In a heavy swell and with three minutes she took on a 45º list and within half an hour rolled onto her starboard side. Of 70 persons aboard 6 were lost.

Ken Larwood Collection  Ken Larwood Collection

Ken Larwood Collection

Ken Larwood Collection

© Ted Ingham

© Ted Ingham

February 26th 1983: Vessel raised by Wijsmuller BV and towed to Felixstowe.

March 30th 1983: Laid in Amsterdam, Holland

© Ton Grootenboer  © Ton Grootenboer

© Ton Grootenboer (Leaving IJmuiden, Amsterdam)

May 3rd 1983: Sold to Clorinda Navigation Co, Limassol, Cyprus as hulk and towed to Alliance Navigation S.A. yard Perama, Greece for total rebuild.

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection (© Steffen Weirauch)

August 1984: Renamed FLAVIA. Introduced by Anco Ferries between Ancona – Igoumenitsa – Patras.

© Jurgen Stein

© Jurgen Stein

1987: Owners went bankrupt and the vessel was laid up.

June 1988: Sold to GT-Link, Nassau, Bahamas (Company Sea Link Ab, Nacka). Renamed TRAVEMÜNDE LINK I.

July 2nd 1988: Arrived Cuxhaven

July 27th 1988: To Nakskov Skipsværft for rebuilding and conversion to new role.

Andreas Wörteler Collection

Andreas Wörteler Collection

1988: Further rebuilding at Öresundsvarvet, Landskrona and renamed TRAVEMÜNDE LINK.

November 28th 1988: Introduced between Gedser – Travemünde.

Roy Thornton Collection  © Tony Garner

Roy Thornton Collection (left) © Tony Garner (right)

Ludger Wörteler

© Ludger Wörteler

December 23rd 1990: Made her last trip between Gedser – Travemünde.

January 5th 1991: Laid up in Nakskov.

1992: Sold to R-L Shipping Ltd, Douglas, Isle Of Man. (R-L shipping = Rostock Link).

1992: Commenced service with Europa Linien A/S.

February 6th 1992: Renamed ROSTOCK LINK. Introduced between Gedser – Rostock.

February 8th 1993 – February 11th 1993: Operated freight only between Gedser – Travemünde.

February 12th 1993: Full service between Gedser – Rostock.

February 16th 1992: With 874 passengers aboard grounded on a sandbank near to Gedser

February 17th 1992: With the aid of tugs re-floated and taken to Kværner Warnow-Werft, Rostock for repairs.

© Dirk Jankowsky

© Dirk Jankowsky

March 2nd 1992: Final day in service between Gedser – Rostock.

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

March 2nd 1996: Back in service

June 1st 1996: Säljs Europa Linjen taken over by DSB Rederi A/S.

June 1st 1996: Chartered to DSB Rederi A/S.

January 1st 1997: Owners name changed names from DSB Rederi A/S to Scandlines.

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

February 5th 1997: Reportedly ran aground on a sandbank. Undamaged and re-floated 5 hours later. Completed her journey.

March 26th 1998: Final day in service, thereafter laid up in Nakskov.

May 1998: Commenced services for Scandlines Baltic A/S (Amber Line) as a freight ferry between Århus – Liepaja.

1999: Rebuilt at Bladt Industries, Aalborg.

June 1999: Chartered to Mols Linien A/S Ebeltoft.

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

June 14th 1999: Commenced service between Århus – Kalundborg under the trading name of “KALUNDBORG LINK”.

December 30th 1999: Final day operating between Århus – Kalundborg.

2000: Sold to Agoudimos Lines, Piraeus, Greece. (Registered under Trading SA, Nassau, Bahamas) .

January 2nd 2000: Laid up in Nakskov.

January 12th 2000: Transferred to the new company whilst in Nakskov. Renamed PENELOPE A

© Dirk Jankowsky

© Dirk Jankowsky (Kiel 15/01/2000)

January 15th 2000: Left Nakskov for Piraeus.

January 27th 2000: Arrived in Piraeus.

March 1st 2000: Commenced service for Agoudimos Lines between Igoumenitsa – Brindisi.

June 2004 – September 2004: Bari-Durres

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler (both)

© Carsten Dettmer

© Carsten Dettmer

September 2004: Brindisi – Igoumenitsa.

December 17th 2004 – January 16th 2005: Bari-Durres.

July 2005: Renamed PENELOPE. (transferred to the Greek flag)

July 2005 – September 15th 2005: Services between the Greek Islands.

2008: Used between Igoumenitsa, Corfu and Brindisi.

December 11th 2008 – January 9th 2009: Service between Brindisi and Durres.

January 2009: Laid up in Peram

2010: Registered Owner; Penelope Maritime, Piraeus. Registered Manager; Nissia Aigaioune, Piraeus.

July 16th 2010 – September 2010: Services between Igoumenitsa, Corfu and Brindisi together with Brindisi and Zante.

2010: Laid up in Perama

December 24th 2010: Charter to NEL Lines, sailing between Igoumenitsa – Samos.

December 26th 2010: One trip: Samos, Chios, Mythilene, Limnos, Thessaloniki.

April 30th 2011: Laid up in Perama.

Aleksi Lindström

© Aleksi Lindström

October 2011:  Home port: Limassol.

October 2011: Charter to Al-Marfa for service Lybia-Tunisia

October 27th 2011: Service Tunis – Tripoli for Marfamar.

November  29th 2011: Back to Piraeus

December 6th 2011: Laid up in Ampelakia.

December 14th 2011: Known to be moored in Salamina. Registered Owner; Penelope Shipping co Ltd, Limassol. Operator; Flanmare Lines, Piraeus

© George Koutsoukis

© George Koutsoukis (15/07/12 Ambelaki)

July 2013: Sold for scrap and renamed LOPI. To be towed to Aliaga by the tug HECTOR.

© Petros Psarras

© Petros Psarras

We would like to thank: Carsten Dettmer, Ton Grootenboer, Ted Ingham, Dirk Jankowsky, George Koutsoukis, Ken Larwood, Aleksi Lindström, Petros Psarras, Simonwp, Jurgen Stein, Andreas Wörteler and Ludger Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature. All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors and omissions.

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

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