MV Prince Philippe (II) – Past and Present

MV Stromma Rex

ex Prince Philippe II

© A G Jones

© A G Jones

Steel twin screw motor vessel, built and engined by Cockerill’s of Hoboken (Yard No 727) in 1948 for the Belgian Marine Administration’s Ostend service.

Technical Data

  • Length on deck: 113.54m (372.5 ft)(overall)/109.85m (360.4 ft) (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth of hull: 14.97m (49.1 ft)(extreme)
  • Depth: 7.43m (24.4 ft) (moulded)
  • Draught: 3.81m (12.5 ft)(maximum)
  • Tonnage: 3,701 gross/1,788/464 deadweight
  • Engines: Two 12-cylinder Cockerill/Sulzer single acting two-stroke diesels each
  • Power: 8,500 hp/17000 bhp
  • Speed: 22 knots service, 24 knots (max), 25.5 knots (trial)
  • Capacity: 1600 passengers
  • Call Sign: ORAJ (@ 1949)
  • ID Number: 528472
  • Registry: Ostend
  • Sister ships: Koning Albert


October 11th 1947: Launched.

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection (All)

March 1948: Delivered to Government Of Belgium (Regie Voor Maritiem Transport), Oostende, Belgium.

Roy Thornton Collection  

Roy Thornton Collection (left) © Urbain Ureel (right)

March 1948: Commenced service between Ostend – Dover.

February 24th 1951: During a gale collided with Dover Harbour Board tug LADY BRASSEY, the Belgian ship being flung against the tug while the latter was berthed against the Prince of Wales Pier.

May 30th 1966: Fire in the seaman’s quarters whilst berthed in Ostend. After three hours considerable damage was caused before the fire was extinguished.

Roy Thornton Collection  Courtesy of Chris Howell

Roy Thornton Collection (Left) Courtesy of Chris Howell (Right)

© A G Jones  © A G Jones

© A G Jones (both)

October 1972: Laid up for sale.

© A G Jones  © A G Jones

© A G Jones (both)

February 1973: Sold to Rederi Ab Svenska Kusten, Stockholm.

March 1st 1973: Surplus to requirements and transferred to the Baltic under the management of Strömma Rex Belgium N.V, Antwerp. Renamed STRÖMMA REX. The ship was not approved for entry into the Swedish Ships register and therefore remained registered in Belgium. She then departed for conversion in Oskarshamn.

© Göran Andersson

© Göran Andersson (courtesy of

April 4th 1973: While bunkering in Skagen, a fire broke out in her engine room. Towed to Oskarshamn.

June 20th 1973: Entered service between Norrköping – Mariehamn.

September 2nd 1973: Gutted by fire following an engine-room explosion. Considered not worthwhile repairing.

September 5th 1973: Laid up in Mariehamn to be sold for scrap.

October 30th 1973: Sold to Persöner Ab Ystad for scrapping, but under tow to Ystad she broke free from her tug. Upon arrival in the port of Ystad she broke free from her moorings. When she came to rest it was decided to try and scrap her in situ. The scrap-yard workers labelled her as “unlucky” and it was decided to attempt to tow her to a final resting place.

November 15th 1973: Towed to Ystad Yard of Carl Person and scrapping began.

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, Chris Howell, A G Jones and Urbain Ureel for their assistance in producing this feature.

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

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