ex Eurovoyager, Prins Albert (III)
© John Jones
Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by Cockerill Yards, Hoboken, (Yard No. 887) in 1978 for Regie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT) Ostend service as a passenger and roll-on roll-off car and commercial vehicle ferry. Engined by S.A. Cockerill-Ougree-Providence, Seraing
- Length on Deck: 118.42m (388.5 ft) (overall)(1978), 118.42m (1986)/363.4 ft (between perpendiculars)
- Breadth of Hull: 19.9m(67.8 ft) (moulded)(1978), 23,32m (1986)
- Depth: 21ft (moulded)
- Draught: 4.52m(14.8 ft) (maximum)(1978), 5.05m (1986)
- Tonnage: 6,019 gross (1978), 6,707 (1986)/3,683 net (1978), 4,340(1986)/1,325 deadweight (1978), 1,922 (1986)
- Engines: Two 18-cylinder Pielstick-Cockerill four-stroke single acting diesels
- Power: 17,460 kW
- Speed: 22 knots
- Capacity: 1,120 passengers (1978) 1,475 (1986), 300 cars (1978),or 37 lorries and 46 cars, 420 cars (1986), or 55 lorries and 46 cars
- Call Sign: ORAQ (1977 – 1998), P3ZK7 (1998 – ), 5VBL8 (2012 – )
- IMO Number: 7613882
- Registry: Ostend/Belgium, Limassol/Cyprus, Togo
- Sister Ships: Prinses Maria Esmeralda, Princesse Marie Christine
September 14th 1977: Launched.
Postcard (left) and © Fotoflite, Nigel Thornton Collection (right)
March 1978: Delivered to Regie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT).
© Nigel Thornton
March 13th 1978: Made her “Maiden” voyage to Dover from Ostend, though she was actually brought into service a week earlier on March 7th in order to replace the PRINCE LAURENT, damaged at Dover the month before and still out of action.
July 1980: Suffered engine failure.
September 1st 1981: Again suffered engine failure requiring repairs.
October 2nd 1981: Repairs completed and resumed commercial services.
© Ken Larwood (1982)
July 1984: Sealink UK Ltd had been de-nationalised and purchased by the Bermuda-based Sea Containers the new owners immediately began a general reappraisal of all their services. (including its intention of taking on 50% of all the traffic on the Dover-Ostend route.
1985 ?: Morning departure from Dover, in thick fog, reportedly collided with the Southern Breakwater. Damaged her bow visor.
Courtesy of Kim Bridgland
© Ken Larwood (left) and © Mike Sartin (right)
© Brian Fisher
© Urbain Ureel (Left) 🆕 © Phil Smith (Right)
October 25th 1985: Belgians entered into negotiations with Townsend Thoresen and an agreement was concluded.
1985 (Towards the end of): “Grounded, as a result of which her damaged bow was filled with concrete as a temporary measure, in anticipation of her rebuilding”.
1985: The news of a stretching programme, or “jumboisation” as it is often known, was announced, but it only originally planned to deal with the PRINSES MARIA-ESMERALDA and the PRINCESSE MARIE-CHRISTINE, leaving the PRINS ALBERT untouched. By cutting the ships horizontally and inserting an extra lorry deck, their capacity was raised from 46 to 55 pieces of freight. The “PME” had her work completed at the end of May 1985 while the “PMC” re-entered service in January 1986. All work was carried out at Boelwerf Vlaanderen (Boel Yard Flanders) (the former Cockerill Yards at Hoboken). After the failure of a deal to purchase the STENA NAUTICA, involving part exchanging PRINS PHILIPPE and the REINE ASTRID, RMT decided to stretch the PRINS ALBERT and in January 1986 she entered the yard .
With the kind cooperation of John F Hendy
May 17th 1986: Completed and left the yard.
May 18th 1986: Took up service between Ostend – Dover.
October 1987: The agreement with Townsend Thoresen (The European Ferries Group) was duly passed on to P&O European Ferries and was due to end in December 1990: The Ostend ships all received the Townsend Thoresen orange colours and carried their trading name.
© Brian Fisher (July 1987 – July 1986)(both)
© Mike Sartin (left) and © Brian Fisher (right)
1987/88 (refit): A completely new livery, reflecting that carried by the P&O European Ferries fleet, was adopted. For the first time in the history of the Dover-Ostend service, the buff (later changed to a lighter shade of yellow) funnels were painted- out in favour of a shade of blue.
© Nigel Thornton (left) and © Andreas Wörteler (right)
© Nigel Thornton (both)
© Ken Larwood
© Simonwp (Dover 01/07/1990)
1991: The creation of a totally new marketing profile and the adoption of the name with which the line has officially been known since the early days, sees the fleet in its fourth livery in seven years. The first to receive it was the PRINS ALBERT during her overhaul at Ostend in November and December 1990.
1991: Commenced service for Dover -Oostende Lines.
© Andreas Wörteler (left) and © Fotoflite, Nigel Thornton Collection (right)
© Ken Larwood (left) and © Fotoflite (right)
© Simonwp (Ostend, 01/10/1993)
1993 (end): It was announced that the Belgian company did not intend to renew its marketing agreement with P&O European Ferries, but instead concluded a deal with Sally Line. With effect from the following January RMT became known simply as Oostende Lines , transferring all its Ostend services, including Jetfoil operations from Dover to Sally Line’s base at the Port of Ramsgate.
© Ken Larwood
© Andreas Wörteler (both)
© Ken Larwood (both)
February 28th 1997: Withdrawn from service and laid up.
April 29th 1997: Sailed to Dunkirk, France for lay-up pending sale.
© Brian Fisher
© David Ingham (both) (Dunkirk, May 1997)
© Andreas Wörteler (Dunkirk, June 1998)
May 1998: Sold to Hawthorn Shipping Co. Ltd., Limassol, Cyprus (Denval Marine Consultants), renamed EUROVOYAGER and chartered to Sally Line.
Courtesy of Frans Truyens
June 12th 1998 – November 20th 1998: Entered service with Sally Freight between Ostend and Ramsgate.
© Ton Grootenboer © Fotoflite, Nigel Thornton Collection (right)
© Ken Larwood (both)
© Fotoflite, Nigel Thornton Collection
November 21st 1998: The Sally Freight service ended and she immediately began operating for TransEuropa Shipping Lines on the same route.
1999: Seasonal livery of white hull/superstructure with Denval motif on the funnel.
© Ton Grootenboer (left) © Urbain Ureel (right)
2000: TransEuropa Ferries was applied to the hulls of the EUROVOYAGER and PRIMROSE
© Pieter Inpyn
October 15th 2003: Continued in service Ramsgate – Ostend.
August 2004: During “upgrade” to passenger service, word “.com” added to hull logo.
© Andreas Wörteler
© Carsten Dettmer
September 19th 2004: Following the commencement of passenger services from Ramsgate, re-certified for passenger operation although it is understood she will normally be used as a stand-by vessel in that role.
© Nigel Thornton (all)
2007: Continued in service Ostend – Ramsgate.
July 2007: To dry-dock at ARNO Dunkerque.
© Robert Fournier
July 7th 2007: Left Dunkerque and resumed service Ostend – Ramsgate.
October 29th 2007: To ARNO, Dunkerque.
October 31st 2007: Resumed service Ostend – Ramsgate.
© Nigel Thornton (all)
November 3rd 2008: “A man suffered serious injuries after getting trapped in a watertight door on board a ferry travelling to Kent. The accident happened today at the Port of Ostend in Belgium – but coastguards say the man was not discovered until the TransEuropa ferry was five miles from its destination of Ramsgate. The man, believed to be a Czech ferry worker aged in his fifties, was taken by air ambulance to a London hospital. He was suffering from serious injuries to his chest and neck. Thanet coastguard spokesman Pete Overton said the man was unconscious when paramedics arrived. The crossing between Ostend and Ramsgate usually takes around four hours”.
August 7th 2009: To ARNO, Dunkerque.
August 14th 2009: Left ARNO and sailed direct to Ramsgate.
August 15th 2009: Resumed service.
December 5th 2010: Reportedly taken out of service due to crankshaft problems
February 8th 2010: Sea trials.
March 9th 2010: Reported further sea trials.
April 7th 2010: Further trials.
April 21st 2010: Resumed Ostend – Ramsgate
June 17th 2010: To ARNO, Dunkerque.
June 22nd 2010: Anticipated return to Ostend before “rumoured“ charter to Commarit for Almeria – Al Hoceima service.
June 23rd 2010: Departed Dunkerque destination showing Al Hoceima: 2010-06-27 10:00.
June 2010 – September 2nd 2010: Operated between Almeria – Al Hoceima.
© Juanfra Monzón (Almeria, 03/08/2010)
September 2010: Laid up in Almeria.
January 13th 2011: Left Almeria for Gibraltar.
January 2011: Chartered to FRS. Operated between Algeciras – Tanger.
© Ivan Meshkov (Algeciras, 18/03/2011)
December 12th 2011: Laid up in Messina.
April 2012: Reportedly sold to Turkish breakers and sailed from Messina.
April 26th 2012: Reportedly renamed VOYAGER and re-flagged. Departed Heraclio bound for Aliaga via Nemrut.
April 30th 2012: Beached at Aliaga for breaking.
© Selim San
© Petros Psarras (12/07/2012)
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: Kim Bridgland, Carsten Dettmer, Ton Grootenboer, Brian Fisher, Robert Fournier, Ted Ingham, John F Hendy, John Jones, Ken Larwood, Ivan Meshkov, Juanfra Monzón, Petros Psarras, Simonwp, Selim San, Mike Sartin, Frans Truyens, Urbain Ureel and Andreas Wörteler.
Special thanks goes to the World Ship Society (East Kent Branch).