© Ken LarwoodMV Northern Merchant – Past and Present

MV Zurbaran

ex Northern Merchant

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 2000, by Astilleros Espanoles S.A. (AESA) Seville, Spain, (Yard No. 289) for Cenargo (owners of Norsemerchant Ferries plc) as a passenger roll-on roll-off commercial freight ferry. 

Technical Data

  • Length: 179.93 m (overall)
  • Breadth of Hull: 25m (moulded)
  • Draught: 6,50 m
  • Tonnage: 22,152 gross, 6,645 net, 7,477 deadweight
  • Engines: Four 9-cylinder Wartsila diesels
  • Power: 23760 kW
  • Speed: 23 knots
  • Capacity: 214 passengers, 144 (13.5 m ) commercial trailers
  • Call Sign: MZXK7, ECLK (2006)
  • MMSI Number: 232007620
  • IMO Number: 9181091
  • Registry: Spain
  • Sister Vessels: Brave Merchant, Dawn Merchant, Midnight Merchant, Murillo

History

May 15th 1999: Launched.

February 26th 2000: Delivered to Merchant Ferries, Dover, England (Cenargo International Ltd, Nassau, Bahamas.)

March 14th 2000: Left Seville for Dover.

March 18th 2000: Arrived at Dover (In Merchant Ferry livery).

March 20th 2000: Commenced her charter to NorfolkLine, being immediately introduced on the Dover-Dunkerque route.

March 22nd 2000: Collided with the quay-side at Dover suffering minor damage.

March 2000 – April 2000: Chartered to DFDS Tor Line and introduced between Harwich – Esbjerg.

April 10th 2000: Re-introduced into service between Dover – Dunkerque.

© Stéphane Poulain

© Stéphane Poulain

July 2000: Undertook berthing trials at the port of Ramsgate.

© Mark Leiper © Mark Leiper

© Mark Leiper

January 6th 2002: Collided with HSC DIAMANT in fog off Dover. One person was injured and there was only minor damage to both ferries.

April 2002: Rebuilt at Arno, Dunkerque.

© Stéphane Poulain © Stéphane Poulain

© Stéphane Poulain

© Fotoflite  © Fotoflite

© Fotoflite

October 4th 2002 – October 18th 2002: Rebuilt at Lloyd Werft, Bremerhaven.

February 29th 2004: In dry dock at the Damen Shipyard at Schiedam.

© Nigel Thornton © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

July 1st 2004: Norfolkline’s three Channel Ferries will be run by a newly-formed shipping group in a multi-million pound deal. Indo-China Ship Management (UK) has won the contract to operate and crew the ships.

“Please note that due to urgent maintenance there will be a restricted sailing schedule between Sunday 4th July and Tuesday 13th July 2004.” The route cause of the problem was a faulty gearbox.

© Nigel Thornton © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

© Andreas Wörteler © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler (both)

February 25th 2006: Due to by dry-docked next week for re-conversion following her finishing service on the Dover – Dunkerque route.

© Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

March 4th 2006: Stood down from service at midnight GMT and sailed to Dunkerque West. (MIDNIGHT MERCHANT will take up her schedule and MAERSK DUNKERQUE will take up the MIDNIGHT MERCHANT’S schedule.)

© Robert Fournier

© Robert Fournier

March 7th 2006: In dry dock at Dunkerque with propeller shaft problems.

March 26th 2006: Acciona Trasmediterranea is to charter the NORTHERN MERCHANT and MIDNIGHT MERCHANT for the Barcelona – Palma route.

© Ed Connell © Ed Connell

© Ed Connell © Ed Connell

© Ed Connell (Ships in the Port of Dover)

© Robert Fournier

© Robert Fournier

April 25th 2006: Left Dunkerque bound for Spain.

May 1st 2006: Commenced service between Barcelona – Palma de Mallorca.

© Carlos Moreno Trobat

© Carlos Moreno Trobat

July 1st 2006: According to sources was renamed MURILLO DOS during the last week and handed over to a Spanish crew. Murillo Dos (Murillo Two) is actually a temporary name which Acciona Trasmediterranea ascribed to her during the transition phase prior to completion of her purchase from the Lombard Bank. As of this weekend she still bore the name NORTHERN MERCHANT on her hull. The intention is to name her ZURBARAN. MURILLO and ZURBARAN were seventeenth century Spanish artists.

© Carlos Moreno Trobat © Carlos Moreno Trobat

© Carlos Moreno Trobat

3rd July 2006: Officially renamed Zurbaran and placed under the Spanish flag registered in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

© Carlos Moreno Trobat

© Carlos Moreno Trobat

August 4th 2006: Suffered engine failure before entering Palma. Problem took 4 hors to resolve before she entered Palma.

August 5th 2006: Again suffered engine problems before sailing from Valencia.

2014: Remains in service with Acciona Trasmediterranea.

 © Josep Pretel


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: Micke Asklander (Faktaomfartyg), Mark Leiper, Ed Connell (Ships in the Port of Dover), Robert Fournier, Ken Larwood, Mark Leiper,Josep Pretel, Carlos Moreno Trobat, Stéphane Poulain and Andreas Wörteler for there assistance in compiling this feature.

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


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