Agapitos Express FerriesFerriesPast and PresentRegie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT)Sealink

MV Artevelde – Past and Present

IMO Number: 5025586

MV Aigaion

ex Artevelde

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by Cockerill’s of Hoboken (Yard No. 794) for the Belgian Marine Administration’s Ostend service as a passenger and car ferry. Engined by Sulzer Bros. Ltd, Winterthur

Technical Data

  • Length: 116.85m
  • Breadth of Hull: 15.96m
  • Draught: 3.89m
  • Tonnage: 2,812 gross, 1,417 net, 775 deadweight
  • Engines: Two 12-cylinder Sulzer 12MD-510 two-stroke single-acting diesels
  • Power: 7,061 kW
  • Speed: 21 knots
  • Capacity: 1,000 passengers, 160 cars and 7 coaches or caravans
  • Call Sign: ORAB,  SXEV
  • IMO Number: 5025586
  • Registry: Oostende/Belgium 🇧🇪, Piraeus/Greece 🇬🇷


February 1st 1958: Launched.

May 28th 1958: Delivered to Belgian Maritime Transport Authority, Oostende, Belgium.

Postcard Postcard Postcard Postcard


Roy Thornton Collection

June 2nd 1958: Commenced service between Ostend – Dover.

© Fotoflite, Stéphane Poulain Collection  © Ken Larwood  

© Fotoflite – Stéphane Poulain Collection (Left) and © Ken Larwood (Right)

Roy Thornton Collection© Michael Woodland  

Roy Thornton Collection (Left) © Michael Woodland (Right)

© Fotoflite

© Fotoflite

November 14th 1967: Collided with the Danish motor vessel ALAMEDA in thick fog. She sustained heavy damage to the bows and near the bridge. Repaired at Beliard & Crichton, Antwerp, Belgium.

  © Karel Goutsmit

© Karel Goutsmit (Where noted)

© A G Jones © A G Jones

© A G Jones (both)

December 13th 1967: Returned to commercial service, Ostend – Dover.

Roy Thornton Collection  

Roy Thornton Collection

1969: Operated sailings Ostend – Harwich together with Ostend – Dover.


© Urbain Ureel

October 7th 1970: Leaving Dover she rammed and sank the two-year-old coaster SEACON (200 tons, owned by Sea & Continental Waterways Transport Ltd., London). Damage took six weeks to repair.

© Nigel Scutt

(Extract from “Front Line Harbour” by Anthony Lane. ISBN 978-1-4456-0030-7) (Left)🆕 © Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping) (Right)

Roy Thornton Collection  © A G Jones 

Roy Thornton Collection (Left) and © A G Jones (Right)

Courtesy of Ted Ingham  Courtesy of Ted Ingham  

Courtesy of Ted Ingham

November 1970: Belgian Marine joined the Sealink consortium. Trading as Sealink

November 1st 1971: Belgian Marine became the Belgian Maritime Transport Authority – Regie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT).

1974: For a month she was used as a training vessel for the Nautical School in Antwerp.

© Jean-Michel Marlier © Jean-Michel Marlier © Jean-Michel Marlier © Jean-Michel Marlier © Jean-Michel Marlier © Jean-Michel Marlier © Jean-Michel Marlier © Jean-Michel Marlier © Jean-Michel Marlier © Jean-Michel Marlier © Jean-Michel Marlier © Jean-Michel Marlier © Jean-Michel Marlier © Jean-Michel Marlier © Jean-Michel Marlier

© Jean-Michel Marlier (All pictures are taken during the period she was used as a training vessel)


August 23rd 1974: Collided with the ramp at Dover Eastern Docks No 1 berth, temporarily making it unusable.

© Brian Fisher  © A G Jones  

Courtesy of Brian Fisher (Left) and © A G Jones (Dover, 16/01/1975) (Right)

Edmund Ziegler Collection

🆕 Edmund Ziegler Collection

1975: Final year laid up in reserve.

June 30th 1976 – September 25th 1976: Chartered to Sealink UK, Ltd. For services between Dover – Calais.

Courtesy of Christoph Bonvarlet

Courtesy of Christophe Bonvarlet

September 26th 1976: Made her final sailings.

October 3rd 1976: Sold to Vasilios Agapitos, Piraeus, Greece.

© Roger Corveleyn (Ostend, 12/11/2006)

November 6th 1976: Renamed AIGAION. Left Ostend for Piraeus. (Reg. No. 6057)

Roy Thornton Collection  © Ken Larwood  

Roy Thornton Collection (Left) and © Ken Larwood (Right)

June 1977: Commenced service between Piraeus – Paros – Naxos – Kalymnos – Kos – Rhodes with departures Monday and Wednesdays. On Saturdays, Piraeus Tinos – Mykonos – Kos – Rhodes.

November 1977: Commenced service between Piraeus – Syros – Tinos – Mykonos – Ikaria – Samos.

April 1978: Commenced service between Piraeus – Syros – Paros – Naxos – Ikaria – Samos.

© Tony Garner

© Tony Garner (Piraeus, 20/06/1983)

January 1979 – December 1988: Operated between Piraeus – Paros – Ikaria – Samos.

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection  

Roy Thornton Collection (both)(© A Scrimali)

November 13th 1983: Ran aground near Paros. Engine room became flooded.

Courtesy of Chris Howell  Roy Thornton Collection

Courtesy of Chris Howell

December 1983 – January 1984: Repaired in Piraeus.

June 1989: Operated between Piraeus – Paros – Ios – Santorini.

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection  

Roy Thornton Collection (both) (© A Scrimali)

Courtesy of Simonwp

🆕 Courtesy of Simonwp

© Frank Heine  © Frank Heine  

© Frank Heine (Piraeus 20/07/1990)

October 1992: The emblem on her funnel was changed and she also commenced services between Piraeus – Paros – Ios – Santorini – Naxos.

Roy Thornton Collection   

Roy Thornton Collection and © Bernd Crause (Santorini, 06/09/1993) (Right)

© Bernd Crause (Naxos, 08/09/1983)

November 1993: Withdrawn from service and laid up in Perama, later being floated to Elefsina.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Keratsini 17/07/1994)

1995: Laid up in Drapetsona to be for rebuilt for day cruising, was to have been renamed KALLISTI.

February 19th 1996: During rebuild caught fire and was towed from the dock area to the Island of Atalanti. Mysteriously sank en-route.


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: Christophe Bonvarlet, Roger Corveleyn, Bernd Crause, Brian Fisher, Fotoflite, Tony Garner, Karel Goutsmit, Frank Heine, Chris Howell, Ted Ingham, A G Jones, Ken Larwood, Jean-Michel Marlier, Stéphane Poulain, Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping), Simonwp, Urbain Ureel, Michael Woodland and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.

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


  1. Hi,
    Tonight feeling a bit nostalgic and doing some googling, my career started on the Artevelde when I joined her as a 16 yr old stewards boy having just left school. One of my jobs was to get rid of the Galley rubbish and as there were no lifts and the bags were full of veg peelings and really heavy, me and my friend used to drag the bag and throw it over the aft end. Having been caught once and warned, we did it again but it landed on the belting, splitting the contents all over. As the 2nd officer always attended the aft end during berthing, we were bound to be caught and sacked. So during the morning crossing to Calais on a calm beautiful early morning trip during the summer of 1976, I climbed down the ladder and crept along the belting and kicked off all the rubbish and then climbed back up. Stupid to say the least but exhilarating being a few feet above the water doing 18 knots. The result was we didnt get caught and 12 years later I was appointed as a catering officer!

    1. David,

      Thanks for the comment.

      You weren’t one of those who threw the rubbish off the windward side and then charged passengers for clothing cleaning. Those were the days. Ha!

      Nigel T

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