MV Prins Philippe (III), Past and Present.

08/11/2016: Corrections to page - NT

MV Express Limnos

ex Express Athina, Panagia Tinou 2, Moby Love, Prins Philippe.

© Fotoflite

© Fotoflite

Steel twin screw motor vessel built by N.V. Boelwerf S. A., Temse, (Yard No. 1476) in 1973 for the Regie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT) service as a passenger and roll-on roll-off car ferry. Engined by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, St. Nazaire. 

Technical Data

  • Length on deck: 118.01m (387.2 ft)(overall)/111.61m (366.2 ft) (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth of hull: 19.82m (65 ft)(extreme)
  • Depth: 11.56m (37.9 ft) (moulded)
  • Draught: 4.3m (13.9 ft) (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 5,071 gross, 5,643/2,429 net/963
  • Engines: Two 18-cylinder Atlatique/Pielstick four-stroke 18PC2V-400 SA diesels
  • Power: 13,240kW
  • Speed: 21 knots
  • Capacity: 1,240 passengers, 230 cars (1973) or 124 cars and 13 Ro-Ro units/2,000 passengers, 212 cars (1986)
  • Call Sign: ORAG (1973 – 1986), IBGP (1986 – 1993)
  • Registry: Oostende (1974 – 1986), Napoli (1986 – 1993), Piraeus
  • IMO Number: 7305514
  • Sister Ships: Prince Laurent

History

February 17th 1973: Launched.

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby

July 1973: Delivered to Regie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT) representing a tremendous advance on the previous ferries, the vessel’s fixed mezzanine decks along her side alleys limited the number of lorries she could carry and she was nor nearly as successful as her sister which was built with folding mezzanine decks which could take either two layers of cars or, when removed, on of lorries.

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby

July 15th 1973: Commenced service between Ostend – Dover. “She was the first vessel to appear with the RMT monogram on her funnel and with ‘Sealink’ in huge letters along her hull”. These letters were subsequently lowered and reduced in size.

Nigel Thornton Collection   Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection (both)

© Fotoflite  Nigel Thornton Collection

© Fotoflite (left) Nigel Thornton Collection (right)

© Ken Larwood   © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood (both)

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection (both)

June 30th 1976: A fire broke out on board the ship as she was about to leave Ostend. It was quickly extinguished and she continued in service.

© Tony Garner    © A G Jones

©  Tony Garner (left)  © A G Jones (right)

May 6th 1985 – October 1st 1985: Chartered to Sealink UK Ltd. Operated between Weymouth – Cherbourg.

Courtesy of Brian Fisher  © Ken Larwood

Courtesy of Brian Fisher (left) © Ken Larwood (right)

© Derek Longly

© Derek Longly

June 26th 1985: As a result of a bomb hoax aimed at the EARL GODWIN, the vessel was given a precautionary search when arriving back from Cherbourg. Resumed sailings the following day.

August 20th 1985: Trimmed 20 minutes off the previous fastest crossing, 3 hours 29 minutes, (1910 by IBEX, 3 hours 49 minutes from breakwater to breakwater ) between Cherbourg – Weymouth .

October 25th 1985: An agreement with Townsend Thoresen (The European Ferries Group) was successfully concluded and completely excluded Sealink UK Ltd.

May 22nd 1986 – June 22nd 1986: Chartered to B&I Line, Dublin, Ireland. Operated between Fishguard – Rosslare

1986: Returned to Ostend – Dover as relief ship, making several more sailings.

© Peter Longhurst

© Peter Longhurst

September 25th 1986: Final crossing for R.M.T. then laid up.

November 14th 1986: Sold to Navigazione Arcipelago Maddalenino Spa, Naples, Italy and rebuilt at the RMT dock, at Ostend.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

December 4th 1986: Arrived Spezia, Italy. Renamed MOBY LOVE

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection (both)

1986: Introduced by Navarma Lines between La Spezia – Livorno – Bastia.

Bernt Anderson Collection  Bernt Anderson Collection

Bernt Anderson Collection (both)

May 22nd 1993 – May 23rd 1993: Operated between Piombino – Portoferraio carrying passengers for the Giro d’Italia (Italian equivalent of the Tours De France).

1993: Sold to Ventouris Sea Line (C. Ventouris’ Sons Cyclades Coastlines) Piraeus, Greece and renamed PANAGIA TINOU 2.

Roy Thornton Collection  © Carsten Dettmer

Roy Thornton Collection (left) © Carsten Dettmer (right)

1993: Commenced service between Piraeus – Paros – Naxos – Ios – Santorini.

1995: When her operators collapsed in 1995 she was retained in operation that summer on the orders of her mortgagees but spent much of the following year laid-up in Piraeus before sale.

August 1996: Sold to Agapitos Express Ferries by whom she was renamed EXPRESS ATHINA and transferred to Rafina.

© Tony Garner   © Ton Grootenboer

© Tony Garner (left) © Ton Grootenboer (right)

August 25th 1996: Operated between Piraeus – and the Greek Islands. Although Agapitos Express Ferries were taken over into Hellas Ferries her name and route have not altered.

November 8th 1999: Sold to Minoan Flying Dolphins, Piraeus, operating Hellas ferry traffic

Roy Thornton Collection   © Ton Grootenboer

Roy Thornton Collection (left) © Ton Grootenboer (right)

December 2004: Operated between Rafina – Andros – Tinos – Mykonos.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler (both)

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

January 2005: Transferred to Hellenic Seaways, Greece.

January 2005: Company adopted the new name of Hellenic Seaways, Greece. The fleet were re-liveried with blue hulls.

Nigel Thornton Collection   Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection (both)

November 2005: Laid up.

June 2006: Returned to service.

© Andreas Wörteler   © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler (both)

December 2006: Laid up.

© Aleksi Lindström

© Aleksi Lindström

January 9th 2007 – February 28th 2007: Chartered to Strintzis Ferries. Operated between Kilini – Poros.

March 4th 2007: Laid up in Piraeus.

March 25th 2005: Sold to Saos Ferries, Greece. To be renamed to EXPRESS LIMNOS and introduced between Lavrio-Limnos-Kavala and on Thessaloniki-Limnos-Mytilini service.

May 8th 2007: Renamed EXPRESS LIMNOS.

© Aleksi Lindström  © Aleksi Lindström

© Aleksi Lindström  © Aleksi Lindström

© Aleksi Lindström

© Aleksi Lindström (all)

July 2nd 2007: Commenced service between Lavrio – Agios Efstratios – Limnos – Mytilene – Thessaloniki – Kavala.

December 2nd 2008: Owing to financial the difficulties of her owners she was arrested in Lavrio.

October 2011: Sold to Turkish breakers.

November 7th 2011: Arrived at Alang, under tow of tug LUCKY STAR, for scrapping.

© Selim San

© Selim San


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: Carsten Dettmer, Brian Fisher, Tony Garner, Ton Grootenboer, A G Jones, Ken Larwood, Aleksi Lindström, Derek Longly, Peter Longhurst, Selim San and Andreas Wörteler.

Special thanks to Jim Ashby

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


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