© M FournetMV Seafrance Cezanne – Past and Present

MV Western Light

ex Seafrance Cezanne, Fiesta, Channel Seaway, Fantasia, Trapezitza, Soca, Ariadni

© Derek Sands

© Derek Sands

Steel twin screw motor vessel, originally built in 1979 by Kockums Varv (shipyard) AB, Malmo, Sweden (Yard No. 568), as ARIADNI for Rederi AB Nordo, Sweden, as a passenger/roll-on roll-off and commercial vehicle ferry

Technical Data

  • Length: 163.51 m (overall)(1979)(1989), 150.73 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth of Hull: 23.03 m (moulded)(1979), 27.63m (1989)
  • Draught: 6.5 m (moulded)(1979), 6.58m (1989)
  • Tonnage: 8,920 gross (1979), 25,122 (1989)/380 net (1979), 11,331 (1989)/10,500 deadweight (1979), 3,837 (1989)
  • Engines: Two 7-cylinder Sulzer 7RLA56 diesels
  • Power: 18,760 hk/13020kW
  • Speed: 21/19 knots
  • Capacity: 175 divers/passengers (1979), 1,800 passengers, 650 cars/ 80 trailers (1989)
  • Call Sign: LZKJ, FNBK (1990), V3QC4 (2011)
  • MMSI Number: 312126000
  • IMO Number: 7806099
  • Registry: Burgas/Bulgaria, Nassau/Bahamas, Calais/France, Belize
  • Sister Vessel: Wawel


February 23rd 1978: Order contract signed

October 13th 1979: Christened ARIADNE and launched.

January 1980: Delivered to Rederi Ab Nordö, Malmö.

February 1980: Renamed SOCA.

February 1980: Introduced by UMEF between Koper, Yugoslavia – Tartous, Syria.

1981: Sold to So Mejdunaroden Automobile Transport, Bourgas, Bulgaria. (S.O.M.A.T). Renamed TRAPEZITZA.

1981: Commenced service for MedLink in the Mediterranean Sea.

1984: Commenced service between Livorno – Iran – Iraq.

1986: Chartered to Callitsis Reederei (Greece).

1987: Commenced service between Trieste – Igoumenitsa – Patras.

© Frank Foerst

© Frank Foerst (15/07/1988, Patras, Greece)

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

bar013  bar006

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

bar011  bar012

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

1988: Surveyed (prior to sale) in Igoumenitsa.

September 1988: Chartered to DFDS A/S, Copenhagen. Commenced service between Copenhagen – Helsingborg – Harwich – Immingham.

Courtesy of simonwp

Courtesy of simonwp (Immingham, 12/09/1988, On OT Africa Line charter)

October 1988: Sold to Sealink (UK) Ltd, London, England, put under the Bahamian flag. Renamed FANTASIA.

February 23rd 1989: Left Velletta.

March 2nd 1989: Arrived Bremerhaven for overhaul/refit/rebuild/livery change.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Bremerhaven, March 1989)

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Bremerhaven, April 1989)

May 7th 1989: Renamed CHANNEL SEAWAY. Commenced service between Dover – Calais. As well as freight she carried overflow traffic when space was available.

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

© Ted Ingham  © Brian Fisher

© Ted Ingham (left) and © Brian Fisher (right)

© Ken Larwood  © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood (both)

October 17th 1989: Arrived at Lloyd Werft GmbH, Bremerhaven, Germany. Rebuilt as a passenger ferry. The existing superstructure was modified and extended to the stern. To make room for new passenger areas, the upper vehicle deck was cut free and lowered, taking advantage of redundant headroom for double-stacked containers. The vehicle decks were converted from stern-loading to drive-through, and large sponsors were added on both sides

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Frank Heine Collection

Frank Heine Collection (Bremerhaven, November 1989)

February 1990: French misgivings about the name FANTASIA saw her become the FIESTA before entering service, whilst FIESTA (I) became FANTASIA.

New” Courtesy of Jim Ashby

© M Fournet  © M Fournet

© M Fournet

© M Fournet (all)

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection (Bremerhaven prior to completion)

May 8th 1990: Re-delivered after rebuild.

May 13th 1990: Arrived in Calais.

May 29th 1990: Put into service and registered owner Societé Proprietaires des Navires, Paris, France, 49% of which was owned by Stena Line AB. Crew went on strike blocking berth 5 at Calais.

© Fotoflite, Roy Thornton Collection  © Fotoflite, Roy Thornton Collection

© Fotoflite – Roy Thornton Collection

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

July 9th 1990: Commenced service between Dover – Calais as a freight ferry.

© Ken Larwood  © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood (both)

July 11th 1990: Commenced service (with restricted 1,000 passenger certificate) between Dover – Calais as a car and passenger ferry.

July 14th 1990: Passenger certificate increased to 1,460, later being increased to the full 1,800 (all being restrictions due to necessary crew training to be carried out using the RFD life saving equipment).

© Pieter Inpyn  © Pieter Inpyn

© Pieter Inpyn

January 1996: Returned to builders yard for first major refit.

© Brian Fisher  © Nigel Thornton

© Brian Fisher (left) and © Nigel Thornton (right)

July 12th 1995: Agreement between Stena Sealink Line and French partners SNAT (Société Nouvelle d’Armement Transmanche) would terminate from December 31st 1995. From that time onwards SNAT would trade as SeaFrance and Stena Sealink Line would trade as Stena Line.

January 1996: Renamed SEAFRANCE CÉZANNE operating between Calais – Dover

© Ken Larwood  

© Ken Larwood (left)

© Robert Fournier  © Nigel Thornton

© Robert Fournier (left) and © Nigel Thornton (right)

Seafrance Cezanne Interior (1999)

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

1999: Stena Line sold their share in the company to SNAT.

June 3rd 2005: To Arno Dunkerque for refit

July 12th 2005: Expected to return to service.

August 2005: Returned to service in “freight only” capacity.

2006: Still in service.

October 2nd 2006: Out of service for maintenance work. The 2006/2007 overhaul schedule up to the end of February 2007:

© Ray Goodfellow  © M Fournet

© Ray Goodfellow (left) and © M Fournet (right)

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow

2008: Remains in service with Seafrance on the Calais-Dover service.

© Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

February 13th 2009: Withdrawn from service for layup.

© Jean-Guy Hagelstein

Dover 12/2/09 © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

February 14th 2009: Moved to Dunkerque for layup.

© Robert Fournier  © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

Dunkerque 15/2/09 © Robert Fournier (left) and © Jean-Guy Hagelstein (right)

February 17th 2009: It was announced that Seafrance were to lay off 650 staff (about a third of their workforce) after disastrous financial losses during 2008. The Seafrance Cezanne and the Seafrance Nord Pas de Calais were to be displaced from the fleet leaving only 3 ships on the Dover-Calais service. The agreement was eventually changed with only the Seafrance Cezanne being displaced.

May 2010: Listed as laid up and out of class by Bureau Veritas, vessel remained for sale in the port of Dunkerque.

September 2010: Remains laid up in Dunkerque awaiting her fate.

© Robert Fournier

Dunkerque 25/09/10 © Robert Fournier

December 2010: Observed still laid up in Dunkerque.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

Dunkerque 14/12/10 © Ray Goodfellow

July 2011: Reported to have been sold. The vessel was renamed “WESTERN LIGHT” and re-flagged to Belize. She remained in the Port of Dunkerque, France.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

ex Seafrance Cezanne, Dunkerque 26/07/11 © Ray Goodfellow

July 7th 2011: Registered Owner, KIMIYA SHIPPING INC, Care of Condor Maritime Dienstleistung GmbH & Co KG, Neuer Wall 80, 20354 Hamburg, Germany. Ship Manager, CONDOR MARITIME DIENSTLEISTUNG, Neuer Wall 80, 20354 Hamburg, Germany.

September 16th 2011: Entered dry dock at ARNO Dunkerque.

September 18th 2011: Departed dry dock and returned to her original berth in the port of Dunkerque.

September 27th 2011: Noted to be taking on bunkers at the port of Dunkerque.

October 7th 2011: Departed Dunkerque for Malta.

October 15th 2011: AIS destination changed to Dubai.

November 4th 2011: Last seen on AIS in the Gulf of Aden showing a destination of Dubai with an arrival date of 10/11/11.

November 8th 2011: Reported to be heading for Alang, India.

November 16th 2011: Her final voyage completed she was beached at Alang, India for demolition.

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: Jim Ashby, Micke Asklander (Faktaomfartyg), Brian Fisher, Frank Foerst, Robert Fournier, M Fournet, Jean-Guy Hagelstein, Frank Heine, Ted Ingham, Pieter Inpyn, Joe (Ferry Fantastic), Ken Larwood, Derek Sands, simonwp and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.

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

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