MV Stena Superfast X
ex Dieppe Seaways, Moliere, Seafrance Moliere, Jean Nicoli, Superfast X
© Jakub Bogucki
Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 2002 by Howaltswerke Deutsche Werft AG, Kiel, (Yard No. 360) for Superfast Ferries, Piraeus, Greece
- Length: 203.90m (overall)
- Breadth of Hull: 25.43m (extreme)
- Draught: 6.4m
- Tonnage: 30,285 gross, 10,769 net, 6,920 deadweight
- Engines: Four 16-cylinder Wärtsilä-Sulzer NSD ZA V40S diesels
- Power: 46,000kW
- Speed: 28.6 knots (max) 22 knots (service)
- Capacity: 1200 passengers, 480 cars/110 trucks
- Call Sign: FNKG (Jean Nicoli/Seafrance Moliere), 9HA3102 (Moliere), FNKG (Dieppe Seaways), 2IBK4 (Stena Superfast X)
- MMSI Number: 235108315
- IMO Number: 9211511
- Registry: Piraeus, Greece (2002 – 2007), Ajaccio/France (2007 – 2008 ),Calais (2008 – 2012), Valletta (2012), France (October 2012), Cardiff (February 2015)
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June 29th 1999: Keel laid.
November 18th 2000: Launched.
February 26th 2002: Delivered to Superfast Ferries, Piraeus, Greece. Christened on the same day by Patricia Lederer.
February 27th 2002: Commenced service between Rostock – Hankö.
April 19th 2002: Laid up at HDW, Kiel.
May 17th 2002: Commenced service between Rosyth – Zeebrugge.
© Andreas Wörteler
January 5th 2004: Arrived at Fosen Mekaniske Verksteder, Fosen, Norway for rebuilding.
February 2004: Returned to service.
August 8th 2006: Sold to Veolia Transportation, France for delivery in January 2007.
© Andreas Wörteler (left) and © Cedric Hacke (right)
January 27th 2007: Final day operating between Rosyth – Zeebrugge.
January 2007: Refit in Antwerp.
February 12th 2007: Taken over by Veolia Transportation/ SNCM, Ajaccio, France and renamed JEAN NICOLI.
March 1st 2007: Left Antwerp for the Mediterranean via Le Havre.
© W.J.Hoendervanger ( www.wjmaritiem.nl )
March 2007: Carrying cars, she left Le Havre bound for Marseille.
March 2007: Made one trip between Marseille – Le Havre – Marseille with cars.
April 2007: Chartered to Cotunav, Tunisia. Operated between Italy – France – Tunisia.
April 29th 2007: Arrived at La Seyne and went to lay-up.
July 3rd 2007: Left Toulon for lay-up in Marseille.
© Chris Hunsicker
August 2007: Chartered to Anek Lines.
September 3rd 2007: Departed Marseille for Patras.
September 5th 2007: Arrived in Patras.
September 8th 2007 – October 2nd 2007: Operated between the ports of Patras – Corfu – Igoumenitsa.
© Lucas Latreche
December 27th 2007: Sold to Seafrance SA, Paris, France for an undisclosed amount.
The yet to be re-named vessel will be placed on the Dover-Calais service for the 2008 summer season following. She will replace both the SEAFRANCE RENOIR and the SEAFRANCE MANET and will offer a total capacity of more than the combined capacity of the two outgoing vessels.
The Seafrance Moliere berthed in Marseille © Pascal
March 28th 2008: Renamed SEAFRANCE MOLIERE in anticipation of her transfer to the Seafrance Calais to Dover operation. The vessel continues to fly the French flag, registered in her new home port of Calais.
April 8th 2008: The Seafrance Moliere arrives at the ARNO shipyard in Dunkerque for her 15 million euro refit. The work consists of port fit work for both Dover and Calais, the installation of an additional bow thrust unit, the removal of all cabins on decks 6 and 7 and the replacement of all the public spaces. The vessel was due to enter service on the 3rd July 2008 replacing the SEAFRANCE RENOIR.
© Robert Fournier
June 26th 2008: It was announced by Seafrance that owing to delays during her refit, the Moliere will enter service three weeks late on the 22nd July 2008.
© Robert Fournier
July 25th 2008: “The prospects for the Molière are: Leaving Dunkerque the 29th July in the evening, Arrival in Calais the 30th July, 30/07 to 05/08 berths test, emergency drills, crew formation, 06/08 First service in freight only with the 11h45 Cal/Dov. 12/08 First service in car ferry mode. This is to be confirmed, depending of the finishing of the passenger space works.”
10:00 6th August 2008: Arrived in Calais for berthing trials before departing for further trials in Dover at 14:00.
© Marc Fournet
6th August 2008: Arrived in the port of Dover at 15:20 and proceeded to berth 9 for trials.
© Ray Goodfellow
© Nigel Thornton
8th August 2008: It was reported that during her trials a number of technical problems were discovered. The Moliere is now envisaged to enter freight service on the 19th August.
October 2008: Entered full passenger service between Dover and Calais.
10th November 2008: “During the night of the 10th the Moliere parted all her stern moorings at number 8 berth in Calais during the high winds, swung round on her port headlines narrowly missing the Burgundy which was laid up for a few hours on 9 berth, she was able to get her starboard anchor down and the duty tug arrived to assist. It could have been bad for P&O, as the Endeavour was on the cargo berth and in the line of fire! Moliere got off with just some more cosmetic damage to her port side bow.”
February 21st 2009: To Brest, France for a technical overhaul.
March 18th March: Re-entered service between Calais and Dover.
© The Ferryman
3rd April 2009: Owing to technical problems the `Moliere’ misses a number of crossings.
9th April 2009: Re-enters service between Calais and Dover.
11th May 2009: Owing to further technical issues departs Calais for a dry docking in Vlissingen, Holland.
May 25th 2009: Resumed service.
September 7th 2009: Left Calais for mini refit in Rotterdam.
© Cornelis Koppenburg ( www.photomaassluis.com )
September 7th 2009: Arrived Rotterdam.
September 13th 2009: Left Rotterdam.
September 14th 2009: Returned to Calais (03.24 hrs) and resumed service (ex 12.30 hrs).
January 23rd 2010: Departed Calais for refit in Gdansk, Poland. Due to return on or around the 17th February 2010.
January 23rd 2010: Left Calais for refit in Gdansk. Expected to last 15 days.
February 10th 2010: Refit completed and departed Gdansk for Calais.
February 28th 2010: In high winds, made contact with her berth in Calais. Two trips cancelled.
March 1st 2010: After damage assessment, proceeded to ARNO, Dunkerque for interior and exterior repair. Expected to be out of service for 4 days.
March 6th 2010: Arrived back in Calais and resumed service.
Dover 19/09/10 © Ray Goodfellow
September 21st 2010: Proceeded to the ARNO shipyard in Dunkerque for a routine technical visit.
Dunkerque 25/09/10 © Robert Fournier
September 28th 2010: Returns to Calais to take up service.
September 29th 2010: Re-entered service between Calais and Dover.
February 21st 2011: Refit at ARNO Dunkerque.
March 9th 2011: Re-entered service between Calais and Dover.
June 23rd 2011: Off service at ARNO Dunkerque with gearbox and thruster problems. Due to re-enter service on the 30th June 2011.
June 30th 2011: Re-entered service between Calais and Dover.
October 21st 2011: Seafrance announced: “Following a call for industrial action by one of our trade unions, we regret to inform you of the possibility that our services may be disrupted on Tuesday 25th October”
October 24th 2011: The European Union announced that they had blocked the recapitalization of Seafrance by the parent company SNCF as it contravened their rules in relation to state subsidies.
October 25th 2011: All services suspended due to industrial action.
October 26th 2011: Services Resumed.
November 14th 2011: Seafrance suspended channel operations pending a court hearing in Paris.
“We are approaching November 16th, the date when the decision of the Court of commerce will dictate the future of the Company, the Board of SeaFrance has decided, in liaison with the French National Authorities, to suspend the ship operations on the 15th of November at 04 00 hours. The suspension of service will last for 48 hours pending the decision of the court.We have taken this decision, with full knowledge of the consequences, to safeguard the security of the passengers, crews, vehicles and ships. We are conscious of the inconvenience this situation is causing and we apologise for this. We will keep you informed of any changes in the present situation”
November 16th 2011: It is reported that Seafrance is to be liquidated. All vessels remain laid up in the Port of Calais to “Safeguard the security of the vessels”.
Laid up in Calais during January 2012 © Ray Goodfellow
February 22nd 2012 (11:45 CET): Departed Calais for Dunkerque and lay up.
Dunkerque © Craig Nelson
July 2012: Renamed MOLIERE and re-registered in Valletta, Malta.
© Jean-Guy Hagelstein
July 4th 2012: Went to ARNO Dunkerque.
© Jean-Guy Hagelstein
July 6th 2012: Departed ARNO’s and returned to her original berth in Dunkerque.
July 17th 2012 (18:45 CET): Departed Dunkerque for Portland, United Kingdom for what was believed to be an underwater survey.
July 19th 2012: Departed Portland for Tilbury, United Kingdom.
July 20th 2012: Arrived at Tilbury and entered the dock system.
October 24th 2012: It was announced that the Moliere had been chartered to DFDS Seaways for service between Dover and Dunkerque. The vessel is due to be renamed DIEPPE SEAWAYS and will fly the French flag. She will replace the DELFT SEAWAYS which will transfer to the Dover-Calais service in place of the DEAL SEAWAYS which is to be returned to her owners Brittany Ferries.
October 26th 2012: Departed Tilbury bound for Dunkerque.
October 27th 2012: Arrived in Dunkerque.
© Jean-Guy Hagelstein
November 3rd 2012: Departed dry dock.
© Julien Carpentier (MyFerryShip) (left) and © Jean-Guy Hagelstein (right)
November 6th 2012: Left Dunkerque for Calais and replaced DEAL SEAWAYS on Dover – Calais.
© Andreas Wörteler
© Nigel Thornton (left) and © Jean-Guy Hagelstein (right)
© Ed Connell
© Carsten Dettmer (both)
February 9th 2014: Came off service and sailed for refit in Gdansk (eta 11/02/2014).
© Gena Anfimov (all)
February 28th 2014: Completed refit and departed Gdansk for Calais (eta 02/03/2014).
March 2nd 2014: Arrived in Calais.
March 3rd 2014: Resumed service.
Dover 03/03/14 © Ray Goodfellow
© Mike Jackson (all)
Calais 04/03/14 © Julien Carpentier
May 2014: Reported to have been sold to Stena RoRo. Registered owner now Stena Line North Sea Limited.
May 1st 2014: A fire was reported to have started in the vessels boiler room. Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) attended the scene. ” The Port of Dover advises customers that a small fire is currently being dealt with on the DFDS ferry Dieppe Seaways. Kent Fire & Rescue is in attendance and the ferry’s on-board systems have been containing the fire”.
On 1 May 2014, the DFDS A/S ferry Dieppe Seaways was approaching the Eastern Ferry Terminal at the Port of Dover when an uncontrolled fire broke out in the furnace of the port thermal oil heater.
The investigation has identified that a crack in the thermal oil heater coil allowed thermal oil to enter the furnace, resulting in an uncontrolled furnace fire. It is concluded that the coil failed as a result of stress caused by the weld securing the refractory insulation support plate.
- Importance of positive control of firefighting efforts with ship’s master retaining overall responsibility for the safety of the ship and crew.
- The overarching requirement for the command team to continually review actions taken by both ship’s crew and shore firefighters ensuring that their actions are complementary and do not compromise each other’s safety.
- Maintenance records must be comprehensive highlighting equipment failures/deficiencies to allow inspections and surveys to focus on high risk areas.
Recommendations have been made to the thermal oil heater manufacturer, Prozess-Wärmeträgertechnik GmbH (2015/148), to investigate alternative methods of securing the refractory insulation plate; the ship’s classification society, Det Norske Veritas Germanischer Lloyd (2015/149), to provide additional guidance to its surveyors with regard to examining thermal oil heaters; Kent Fire and Rescue Service (2015/150) in respect of shipboard training and procedures; and both Det Norske Veritas Germanischer Lloyd and DFDS A/S (2015/151), to review the suitability of dry powder as a fixed fire-extinguishing medium for use in thermal oil heater furnaces.
May 5th 2014: Returned to service.
© Carsten Dettmer
June 28th-1st July 2014: “DFDS Seaways regret to advise due to essential maintenance of the DIEPPE SEAWAYS the following Dover-Calais services have been cancelled between Saturday 28th June to Tuesday 01st July 2014″.
© Ray Goodfellow (all)
November 29th 2014(18.22 hrs): Final arrival in Dover.
Last day in service seen departing the Port of Calais 30/11/14 © Julien Carpentier
November 29th 2014 (20.25 hrs): Final arrival in Calais before being retired from service at the end of her charter.
November 29th 2014: Arrived in Dunkerque.
December 7th 2014: Departure for Gdynia/Gdansk.
December 8th 2014: Announcement made that the Dieppe Seaways will enter service with Stena Line on the Holyhead to Dublin route in 2015. The vessel will be renamed ‘Stena Superfast X’.
STENA LINE INCREASES CAPACITY ON ITS DUBLIN-HOLYHEAD SERVICE
Stena Line has today announced that it will be adding extra tonnage to expand its Dublin to Holyhead service in early 2015. Following months of speculation the company has confirmed that it will be replacing the Stena Nordica with a larger ropax vessel, Stena Superfast X.
Stena Superfast X is a sister ship of the award winning Stena Superfast VII and VIII ships which the company currently operates on the Irish Sea. It has capacity for up to 1,200 passengers and provides almost 2 km of lane space to accommodate a mix of car and freight traffic.
Ian Davies, Stena Line’s Route Manager (Irish Sea South) said: “Providing additional capacity and facilities to expand our Dublin- Holyhead route is an important strategic development for Stena Line on the Irish Sea at this time. Our freight and travel customers will now be able to benefit from an enhanced service on this key trade and tourism gateway at a time when commercial and leisure traffic between Ireland and Britain are showing really encouraging signs of future growth.
Ian added: “By introducing a much larger ship onto the route, we are demonstrating our confidence and commitment to a trade and tourism gateway which will play a key part in helping to drive forward the economies on both sides of the Irish Sea. In the last 5 years alone Stena Line has invested over £250m across its Irish Sea operations and we are confident that the improving economic climate in Ireland and Britain will show that this significant resource commitment has been extremely well timed. As the major tourism gateway into Ireland it is important that Dublin benefits from the best possible transport links. We are looking forward to our enhanced passenger service into Dublin in 2015 playing its part in helping to drive up visitor numbers next year and in the years ahead.”
Superfast X is currently being modified and fully refitted before taking up her position on the Dublin-Holyhead service in early 2015. The vessel will have a range of facilities including dedicated passenger and freight driver lounges, Barista Coffee House, Met Bar and Grill, a retail shopping outlet and other areas for passengers to relax and enjoy their crossing including Stena Line’s award winning signature premium lounge, Stena Plus.
December 10th 2014: Anticipated ETA Gdynia.
February 2015: Renamed Stena Superfast X and transferred to the UK flag, registered in Cardiff.
February 22nd 2015: Departed Gdynia for Holyhead.
© Jakub Bogucki
February 26th 2015: Arrived at Holyhead for berthing trials.
© Mike Griffiths
8th March 2015: First arrival in Dublin for berthing trials.
Dublin 08/03/15 © Gordon Hislip
9th March 2015: Entered service between Holyhead and Dublin replacing the Stena Nordica.
© Ben Bartlett (MidShip Photos)
11th March 2015: Officially launched in Dublin by by Stena Line Chairman Dan Sten Olsson and Irish broadcast personality Kathryn Thomas.
February – March 2017: Refit @ H & W, Belfast.
March 5th 2017: Resumed service sporting new livery.
© Mike Griffiths
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: Ben Bartlett (MidShip Photos), Benji’, Julien Carpentier (MyFerryShip), Co de Vos, Carsten Dettmer, The Ferryman, Robert Fournier, Marc Fournet, Mike Griffiths, Chris Hunsicker, Cedric Hacke, Jean-Guy Hagelstein, W.J.Hoendervanger (www.wjmaritiem.nl), Pieter Inpyn, Michael Jackson, Cornelis Koppenburg (www.photomaassluis.com), Lucas Latreche, Craig Nelson, Pascal (Pascal’s Shipspotting Album), Sebastiaan Toufekoulas and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.
Special thanks to Gena Anfimov and Jakub Bogucki.