MV CTMA Vacancier
ex City of Cork, Ville de Sete, Egnatia II, Saint Patrick II, Aurella
Andreas Wörteler Collection
Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by J.J. Sietas KG Schiffswerft GmbH & Co. Ltd,. in Hamburg in 1973 for S F Line of Finland (Yard No 702). Originally named AURELLA, a passenger, roll-on roll-off car and commercial vehicle ferry
- Length: 125.63 m (overall), 108.84m (between perpendiculars)
- Breadth of Hull: 21.40 m (moulded), 21.65m (extreme)
- Draught: 5.27 m (maximum)
- Tonnage: 7,210 gross after rebuild 7,984 (1982), 3,234 net after rebuild 4,319 (1982), 1,893 deadweight after rebuild 1,325 (1982)
- Engines: Two 16-cylinder Stork-Werkspoor 16TM410 Diesels
- Power: 15,445 kW
- Speed: 21.5 knots
- Capacity: 1,500 passengers, 420 cars and 35 lorries (1973), 1,612 passengers (after re-classification), 300 cars (2003)
- Call Sign: EIBL (as SAINT PATRICK II 1982 – ), CFN3031 (C.T.M.A.)
- IMO Number: 7310260
- Registry: Mariehamn, Finland (1973 – 1982), Dublin (1982 – 2000), Malta (2000),Portugal, (2000), Valletta (2001 – 2002),Cap Aux Meules, Quebec (2002 -)
May 27th 1972: Ordered a cost of 33 million DEM.
March 17th 1973: Launched
June 23rd 1973: Sea trials.
June 30th 1973: Delivered to Oy SF-Line Ab, Mariehamn, Finland and officially named AURELLA.
July 3rd 1973: Commenced service with Viking Lines between Nådendal – Mariehamn – Kapellskär. She was the first “Jumbo ferry” in operation in the Ålands Sea.
September 21st 1973: Suffered engine failure and ran aground near Björkön in the Åländ Islands.
October 10th 1973: Arrived at Finnboda Yard, Nacka for repairs.
September 1981: Laid up in Mariehamn.
January 20th 1982: Sold to Irish Continental Group Ltd Dublin, Ireland for about $16 million.
January 1982: Renamed SAINT PATRICK II. Rebuilt by Amsterdamsche Droogdok, Amsterdam, Holland extra cabins.
© Aubrey Dale
June 2nd 1982: Commenced service between Rosslare – Le Havre.
November 21st 1982 – April 1st 1983: Chartered to North Sea Ferries. Operated between Rotterdam – Hull.
© Simonwp (01/02/1983 @ Hull) © Patrick Hill (02/02/1983, North Sea Ferries charter)
April 21st 1983 – June 22nd 1983: Chartered to Belfast Car Ferries, operated between Belfast – Liverpool.
1984, 1988 & 1989: Chartered to B&I Line. Operated between Pembroke – Rosslare.
Courtesy of Andreas Wörteler (© Steffen Weihrauch, Hamburg 1985)
1985 (winter): Chartered to DFDS Seaways, operated between Hamburg – Harwich.
© Ken Larwood (1985 DFDS charter)
1985: Chartered to Stena Line, operated between Moss – Frederikshavn – Göteborg.
© Bob Scott (14/05/1986 @ Gothenburg)
1986: Back from charter.
1987: Operated between Liverpool – Belfast.
1988: Owners company changed name to Irish Continental Group, PLC, Dublin
© Brian Fisher (September 1989 @ Portsmouth)
September 15th 1989 – 30th September 1989: Chartered to Sealink UK Ltd, operating between Portsmouth and Cherbourg.
October 1989 – March 1990: Between Dover and Calais.
© Nigel Thornton (both)
© Ted Ingham (left) © Ken Larwood (right)
© Justin Merrigan
1990: All Sealink vessels were laid-up during a seaman’s strike.
Dover, February 8th 1990 © A G Jones
September 22nd 1990 – March 1991: Continued at Dover, this time under charter to P&O European Ferries and operating between Dover and Zeebrugge
Dover, March 1991 © Mike Jackson
© Aubrey Dale (ex Le Havre inbound Cork 11/07/1992)
1992, 1993, 1994 & 1995: In the winters she was chartered to Estonian Shipping Company, Tallinn, Estonia. Operated Tallink services between Helsinki – Tallinn. Transferred to the Estonian ships register.
Cherbourg July 1992 © Andreas Wörteler
© Ulrich Streich (left) © Frank Heine (Helsinki 10/05/1994) (right)
1993, 1994 & 1995: In the summers, back to the Irish register and operating between Ireland and France.
Nigel Thornton Collection
March 4th 1994: Went to the aid of the grounded SALLY ALBATROSS, and evacuated 1,101 passengers and 158 crew.
Roy Thornton Collection
1995 (early): Operated between Dublin and Holyhead, replacing the previous ISLE OF INNISFREE which had been returned to Stena Line at the end of her charter in early 1995.
© Aubrey Dale
1997: Laid up in Le Havre for sale.
July 1997: Reinstated for two crossings between Cork/Rosslare – Roscoff/Cherbourg/Le Havre.
July 1997: Laid up in Le Havre, France.
1998: Chartered to Hellenic Mediterranean Line of Greece (with purchase at end of five year charter period) and re-named the EGNATIA II.
© Ton Grootenboer
June 24th 1998: Operated between Brindisi and Patras.
May 2000: Chartered to Balear Express, Spain and renamed VILLE DE SETE. She then operated between Sete and Palma
© Andreas Wörteler
September 29th 2000: Laid-up in Piraeus.
March 2001: Chartered to Swansea Cork Ferries and renamed CITY OF CORK.
March 15th 2001: Commenced between Swansea – Cork.
© Marko Stampehl
2001: Transferred to Maltese flag, home port Valletta.
December 2001: Withdrawn from service at the end of the season, then went to lay up in Greece.
March 6th 2002: Sold to CTMA of Canada to be renamed C.T.M.A. VACANCIER for service between Montreal and the Iles de la Madeleine.
30th April 2002: Left Piraeus bound for Canada.
© Marc Piché
May 8th 2002: Arrived at Cap-aux-Meules where she was renamed C.T.M.A. VACANCIER. She then operated between Montreal and Cap-aux-Meules.
2002 (Autumn): Underwent refit at Cap-aux-Meules.
2003: Major refit, including engine overhaul and rebuild, at Les Mechins Dry Dock, Quebec.
April 28th 2003: In dry dock for the installation of new aluminium bridge-wings as well as a general inspection, mechanical repairs, sandblasting and painting. The bridge-wings, which were constructed by Verreault Navigation prior to the arrival of the vessel.
© Marc Piché
2007: Still in service with CTMA as the C.T.M.A. VACANCIER.
Courtesy of Groupe C.T.M.A.
🆕© Marc Piché (Montreal, 25/09/2014)
July 3rd & 10th 2019: Cancelled her weekly stop at Gaspé (Quebec), owing to speed restriction of 10 knots on the St Lawrence River imposed to protect the endangered whale population.
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: Aubrey Dale, Brian Fisher, Ton Grootenboer, Frank Heine, Patrick Hill, A G Jones, Ted Ingham, Mike Jackson, Ken Larwood, Justin Merrigan, Marc Piché, Bob Scott, Simonwp, Marko Stampehl, Ulrich Streich and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.
Special thanks go to Capitaine Mario Landry (Directeur des Opérations Maritimes, C.T.M.A.)