© Ken LarwoodMV Cambria (V) – Past and Present

MV Al Taif

Ex Altaif, Cambria (V)

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1949 by Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast (Yard No 1368) as Passenger/General Cargo/Ferry.

Technical Data

  • Length: 121.006 m (overall) 114.64 m (between perpendiculars)
    Breadth: 17.15 m
    Depth: 8.412 – 8.329 m
    Draught: 4.52 m
    Tonnage:  5284 gross/2849 net/802 – 815 deadweight
    Engines: 2 SA 8-cylinder B&W (Harland & Wolff) diesels
    Power: 7982 kW/9600 – 10700 HP
    Speed: 18 knots (service) 20 knots (loaded trials)
    Capacity: 2,361/1,900 passengers
    Crew: 82
    Call Sign: GBKT, HZBR
    IMO Number: 5059020
    Official Number: 183021
    Port of Registry: London/UK, Jeddah/Saudi Arabia
    Sister-Ship: Hibernia

History

September 21st 1948: Launched.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection (Cambria, left)

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Courtesy of Justin Merrigan  Courtesy of John Hendy

Courtesy of Justin Merrigan (Trials) (Left) Courtesy of John Hendy (Trials)(Right)

May 17th 1949: Delivered to British Transport Commission, London, England.

© William MacDonald  Nigel Thornton Collection

© William MacDonald (Left) Nigel Thornton Collection (Right)

May 1949: Commenced service between Holyhead – Dun Laoghaire.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

1951: Fitted with Denny Brown stabilisers.

1964/1965: Modernised. Included renewal of her passenger accommodation and also the removal of passenger cabins on “C“ deck which were replaced with a new second class lounge. On “D” deck a new second class “smoke room” and “cafeteria” were introduced and on “B” deck the former “smoke rooms” of both classes became a “tea room”. Both her and her sister returned to Holyhead in the new BR livery of red funnels and blue hulls.

Justin Merrigan Collection  Justin Merrigan Collection

Justin Merrigan Collection

1965?: In fog, collided with the pier in Dun Laoghaire. She was repaired in Liverpool?

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

December 1967: Heysham – Belfast.

November 1969: It was announced that British Rail’s Shipping and International Services Division (S.I.S.D.) had adopted the new brand name Sealink and as a consequence all vessels would, in the future, be painted in the new house colours.

May 1971: Fire damaged the Britannia Tubular Bridge across the Menai Strait and she was transferred to Heysham – Dun Laoghaire.

January 30th 1972: Commenced service between Holyhead – Dun Laoghaire.

1973: Sealink trading name painted on hulls

Courtesy of John Hendy

Courtesy of John Hendy

September 7th 1975: Withdrawn from service.

October 28th 1975: Left Holyhead.

October 31st 1975: Laid up at Barrow.

© William MacDonald

© William MacDonald

January 1976: Sold to Orri Navigation Lines, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for £350,000 and renamed ALTAIF.

Justin Merrigan Collection

Justin Merrigan Collection

January 17th 1976: Arrived in the Mersey for bunkers.

January 17th 1976: Left Tranmere (Mersey) for Jeddah.

1978: Registered to Saudi International Shipping Co., Piraeus, Greece.

1980: Registered to Orri Navigation Lines, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and renamed AL TAIF.

January 15th 1981: Sank while at anchor in Suez Roads.


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: Jim Ashby, John Hendy, Ken Larwood, William MacDonald, Justin Merrigan and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

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


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