ex RR Arrow, Varbola, Dart 6, Varbola
© Mike Griffiths (Holyhead, 23/02/2018)
Steel twin screw “R Class” motor vessel built in 1998 by Astilleros de Huelva S.A., Huelva, Spain (Yard No 571), as a commercial vehicle ferry for the Estonian Shipping Company (ESCO), Tallinn, Estonia
- Length: 122.32 m (overall) m (between perpendiculars)
- Breadth: 19.80 m
- Depth: 12.9 m
- Draught: 6.214 m
- Tonnage: 7606 gross/2282 net/5803t deadweight
- Engines: Two 9- cylinder Wartsila 9R32LN diesels
- Power: 7400 kW/9900 bHP
- Speed: 17 knots (Max)
- Capacity: 12 passengers/ 88 trailers/1057 lane meters
- Call Sign: 9HGF8, 2GFG5
- MMSI Number: 235096892
- IMO Number: 9119414
- Port of Registry: Tallinn/Estonia 🇪🇪, Valletta/Malta 🇲🇹, Douglas/Isle of Man 🇮🇲
- Sister Ships: Lehola (569), Lembitu (570), Leill (572)
Current AIS Location
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September 11th 1995: Contract date.
April 7th 1997: Keel struck.
January 26th 1998: Launched as VARBOLA.
August 20th 1998: Delivered to Estonian Shipping Company (ESCO), Tallinn, Estonia.
August 26th 1998: Chartered to Dart Line for services between Vlissingen – Dartford.
© Simonwp, Zeebrugge, 01/09/1998 (Left) and © Fotoflite (Right)
January 1999: Renamed DART 6.
© Frank Foerst (Vlissingen, 22/04/1999)
© Pieter Inpyn (Vlissingen, 1999)
September 1999: Charter completed and renamed VARBOLA.
October 1999: Chartered to Merchant Ferries for services between Heysham – Dublin.
© Tim Becker (Dublin, August 2001)
January 2003: Chartered to Dart Line for services between Vlissingen/ Dunkerque – Dartford.
May 2003: Chartered to NorseMerchant Ferries for services between Liverpool – Belfast.
April 2004: Services Dublin – Heysham.
July 2005: Sold to Elmira Shipping & Trading, Piraeus, Greece.
July 18th 2005: Registered to Arrow Maritime Co, Ltd, Valletta, Malta and renamed RR ARROW.
December 23rd 2005 – January 14th 2006: Chartered to Condor Ferries for services between Portsmouth – Jersey – Guernsey.
2006: Services for Norfolk Line.
© John Jones (Portsmouth, 25/07/2006)
© Chris Hunsicker (Portsmouth harbour, 28/07/2006)
© Eddie Walker (Birkenhead, 21/10/2006)
October 30th 2007: Sold to Seatruck Ferries, Ltd, Heysham, England.
November 2007: Registered to Arrow Shipping Co Ltd, Heysham, U.K and renamed ARROW.
June 1st 2009: Final day in service for Norfolkline.
June 16th 2009: Laid up in Liverpool.
July 20th 2009 – October 13th 2009: Seatruck services between Liverpool – Dublin.
October 20th 2009 – May 14th 2010: Services between Warrenpoint – Heysham.
May 2010: Seatruck services between Liverpool – Dublin.
May 2010 – June 20th 2010: Laid up in Liverpool.
June 22nd 2010 – July 2010: Chartered to Condor Ferries for services between Portsmouth – Jersey – Guernsey.
August 2010: Chartered to DFDS Seaways for services between Liverpool – Dublin.
August 5th 2010 – August 18th 2010: Laid up in Liverpool.
August 20th 2010 – October 4th 2010: Chartered to Condor Ferries for services between Portsmouth – Jersey – Guernsey – St Malo.
© Aubrey Dale (Larne, 27/10/2010)
October 16th 2010: Seatruck services between Heysham – Larne.
© Simonwp (Birkenhead, 24/02/2012)
February 25th 2012 – March 12th 2012: Chartered to Northlink Ferries for services between Aberdeen – Kirkwall – Lerwick.
May 7th 2012 – May 23rd 2012: Seatruck services between Heysham – Belfast.
May 28th 2012 – June 12th 2012: Chartered to Isle Of Man Steam Packet for services between Heysham – Douglas.
June 14th 2012: Laid up in Birkenhead.
August 7th 2012 – August 12th 2012: Seatruck services between Heysham – Belfast.
© Robert Foy (Liverpool, 07/08/2012)
August 2012 – September 15th 2012: Services between Liverpool – Dublin.
September 15th 2012: Laid up in Birkenhead.
November 15th 2012 – November 16th 2012: Left Liverpool for Dublin.
November 16th 2012 December 2nd 2012: Services between Dublin – Heysham.
December 5th 2012: Trials in Stornoway.
December 2012: Services between Dublin – Heysham.
May 22nd 2013 – June 3rd 2013: Chartered to Isle Of Man Steam Packet for services Heysham – Douglas.
August 30th 2013 – September 1st 2013: Sailed from Liverpool to Portsmouth.
September 1st 2013 – September 26th 2013: Chartered to Condor Ferries for services between Portsmouth – Jersey – Guernsey.
September 26th 2013 September 26th 2013: Sailed from Portsmouth to Dublin.
September 27th 2013 – April 19th 2014: Services between Dublin – Heysham.
April 2014: Chartered to Isle Of Man Steam Packet for services between Heysham – Douglas.
June 23rd 2014 – June 28th 2014: Sailed from Heysham to Algeciras.
July 2014: Chartered to Acciona Trasmediterranea for services between Algeciras – Tanger Med.
July 30th 2014 – August 2nd 2014: Sailed from Algeciras to Portsmouth.
August 3rd 2014 – August27th 2014: Chartered to Condor Ferries for services between Portsmouth – Jersey – Guernsey.
August 27th 2014 – September 1st 2014: Moored in Portsmouth approaches.
September 1st 2014 – September 7th 2014: Sailed from Portsmouth, via Setubal, to Gibraltar refit.
October 3rd 2010 – October 8th 2014: Sailed from Gibraltar, via Ceuta, to Birkenhead.
October 19th 2014 – November 10th 2014: Chartered to Northlink for services between Aberdeen – Kirkwall – Lerwick.
November 12th 2014: Laid up in Heysham approaches.
2014: Chartered to Isle Of Man Steam Packet for services between Heysham – Douglas.
September 10th 2015 – November 14th 2015: Chartered by Condor Ferries as cover for vessels being fitted with scrubbers. Charter extended until December 14th 2015.
© Ray Goodfellow (Arriving in Portsmouth)
© Barrie Clark (Portsmouth, 23/09/2015) (Left) and © Robert J Smith (Portsmouth, 09/10/2018) (Right)
© Mike Griffiths (Holyhead, 23/02/2018)
July 2018: Sold to CFCL Arrow LLC, Copenhagen, Denmark. Management Clipper Bulk A/S. Services Portsmouth – Jersey – Guernsey.
September 2018: Laid up in Larne before sailing to Portsmouth.
© Robert J Smith (Portsmouth, 09/10/2018)
February 12th 2019: Arrived Larne from Portsmouth for lay up.
March 13th 2019: Left Larne for Douglas Isle of Man Steam Packet services between Douglas – Heysham.
March 19th 2019: Arrived Larne, then to Portsmouth Condor services Portsmouth – Jersey – Guernsey.
April 21st 2019: Arrived in Larne.
April 22nd 2019: Left Larne for Douglas to cover overhauls.
May 2019: Condor services Portsmouth – Jersey – Guernsey.
December 30th 2019: Having arrived from Falmouth, left Larne for Portsmouth and services between Portsmouth – Jersey – Guernsey.
January 2020: Northlink services.
February 1st 2020: Arrived Larne from Aberdeen
© Trevor Kidd
February 12th 2020: Left Larne for Heysham and Northlink services.
March 19th 2020: Arrived Larne from Portsmouth for lay up.
April 14th 2020: Left Larne for Douglas and Isle of Man Steam Packet services Douglas – Heysham.
May 29th 2020: Arrived Belfast building dock from Douglas
June 13th 2020: Left Belfast building dock to anchor in Belfast Lough
June 15th 2020: Left Belfast anchorage for Aberdeen
June 25th 2020: Ran aground at the entrance to Aberdeen Harbour, freed by harbour tugs and continued to the quayside.
June 27th 2020: Left Aberdeen for dry dock in Birkenhead.
June 30th 2020: Arrived Birkenhead.
July 22nd 2020: Arrived Larne from Birkenhead after grounding repairs
August 28th 2020: Left Larne to Heysham to cover dry docking relief then Douglas – Heysham
October 2020: Portsmouth – Jersey – Guernsey.
November 5th 2020: Arrived Larne.
December 16th 2020: Left Larne for Portsmouth and Condor services Portsmouth – Jersey – Guernsey.
July 19th 2021: Chartered to Caledonian MacBrayne to carry freight on the Stornoway to Ullapool route.
July 23rd 2021: Damage caused by a rope getting wrapped in the ship’s propeller resulted in the vessel being withdrawn from service.
July 27th 2021: Arrived Belfast for repairs.
© Trevor Kidd
August 2nd 2021: Repairs completed and returned to service between Stornoway and Ullapool.
August 24th 2021: Suffered a technical issue with the steering gear pump and had to be taken out of the service.
August 25th 2021: After repairs were finished, the vessel returned to service , sailing from Stornoway
September 7th 2021: Charter complete and relocated to Portsmouth for Channel Island services.
October 2021: Relief at Stornoway.
December 2021: Relief service at Douglas – Heysham.
January 12th 2022: Arrived Poole.
January 15th 2022: Sailed from Poole to Portsmouth.
January 17th 2022: Services Portsmouth – Jersey – Guernsey.
January 20th 2022: Departed Portsmouth for Larne.
February 7th 2022: Departed Larne for Portsmouth.
February 9th 2022: En-route Larne to Portsmouth, off Ryde, suffered bow thruster problems. Anchored at St. Helens Anchorage, Isle Of Wight.
February 10th 2022: Left anchorage for Falmouth and entered A&P Shipyard.
March 4th 2022: Resumed Portsmouth – Channel Island services.
July 3rd 2022: Left Portsmouth for Larne.
July 5th 2022: Arrived Larne “for orders”.
© Trevor Kidd (Larne, 16/07/2022)
August 6th 2022: Left Larne for Portsmouth.
August 8th 2022: Arrived Portsmouth.
August 8th 2022: Took up Portsmouth – Channel Islands services covering COMMODORE GOODWILL (off service for repairs at Dunkerque).
September 29th 2022: Announcement made that Isle of Man Steam Packet Co had taken up the option to purchase the vessel and had secured the deal for 9 m Euros.
December 15th 2022: Came off service at Portsmouth.
December 17th 2022: Arrived Larne to lay over.
© Trevor Kidd (Larne, 17/12/2022)
January 13th 2023: Left Larne.
January 17th 2023 – March 2023: Short-term charter to CalMac Ferries for services Stornoway – Ullapool. (“She was only used four times: Feb 8th, 15th, 18th March 16th”)
March 2023: Resumed service Portsmouth – Channel Islands.
June 23rd 2023: Came off service at Portsmouth and sailed to Larne.
July 25th 2023: Arrived Larne and “laid over”.
© Luke Wilson (Larne, 02/07/2023)
July 31st 2023: Sailed to Liverpool Anchorage.
June 31st 2023: Arrived Cammell Laird Wet Basin, Birkenhead for refit.
© Robert Foy (Birkenhead, 02/08/2023)
September 4th 2023: Left Cammell Laird and sailed to Mersey Bar Anchorage.
© Ian Collard (Birkenhead, 04/09/2023)
September 12th 2023: Left Mersey Bar Anchorage and sailed to Portsmouth.
October 19th 2023: Came off service at Portsmouth and sailed for Larne.
October 21st 2023: Sheltered in Falmouth Bay owing to Storm Babet.
October 23rd 2023: Arrived Larne.
October 31st 2023: Left Larne for Stornoway (Charter to Caledonian MacBrayne)
November 2nd 2023: Services Stornoway – Ullapool.
November 17th 2023: Came off service at Stornoway.
November 20th 2023: Sailed to Larne.
November 21st 2023: Arrived Larne to lay over.
November (Thurs) 23rd 2023: Sailed for Heysham to act as relief for the damaged BEN-MY-CHREE.
“The Company has brought in relief vessel ARROW in order to deal with some of the freight backlog caused by the loss of a sailing and the limited number of freight trailers carried on Thursday’s AM sailing from Heysham.”.
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: Tim Becker, Barrie Clark, Ian Collard, Aubrey Dale, Frank Foerst, Robert Foy, Mike Griffiths, Chris Hunsicker, Pieter Inpyn, John Jones, Nigel Scutt (@ Fotoflite), Simonwp, Robert J Smith, Eddie Walker, Luke Wilson and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.
A special thanks goes to Trevor Kidd.