Artevelde – 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
- 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 (1958 – 1976), SXEV(1976)
- IMO Number: 5025586
- Registry: Oostende, Belgium (1958), Piraeus, Greece (1976)
February 1st 1958: Launched.
May 28th 1958: Delivered to Belgian Maritime Transport Authority, Oostende, Belgium.
Artevelde – Roy Thornton Collection (both) (Postcard – Photo View left)(Postcard – Editions VOG right)
June 2nd 1958: Commenced service between Ostend – Dover.
Artevelde – © Fotoflite – Stéphane Poulain Collection (left) and © Ken Larwood (right)
Artevelde – © Michael Woodland (Right)
🆕 Artevelde – © 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.
Artevelde – © A G Jones (both)
December 13th 1967: Returned to commercial service, Ostend – Dover.
Artevelde – Roy Thornton Collection
1969: Operated sailings Ostend – Harwich together with Ostend – Dover.
Artevelde – © 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.
(Extract from “Front Line Harbour” by Anthony Lane. ISBN 978-1-4456-0030-7) (Left)🆕 © Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping) (Right)
Artevelde – Roy Thornton Collection (Left) and © A G Jones (Right)
Artevelde – 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 (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.
Artevelde – Courtesy of Brian Fisher (left) and © A G Jones (Dover, 16/01/1975) (right)
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
September 26th 1976: Made her final sailings.
October 3rd 1976: Sold to Vasilios Agapitos, Piraeus, Greece.
November 6th 1976: Renamed AIGAION. Left Ostend for Piraeus. (Reg. No. 6057)
Aigaion – 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.
Aigaion – © Tony Garner (Piraeus, 20/06/1983)
January 1979 – December 1988: Operated between Piraeus – Paros – Ikaria – Samos.
Aigaion – Roy Thornton Collection (both)(© A Scrimali)
November 13th 1983: Ran aground near Paros. Engine room became flooded.
Aigaion – Courtesy of Chris Howell
December 1983 – January 1984: Repaired in Piraeus.
June 1989: Operated between Piraeus – Paros – Ios – Santorini.
Aigaion – Roy Thornton Collection (both) (© A Scrimali)
Aigaion – © 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.
Aigaion – Roy Thornton Collection and © Bernd Crause (Santorini, 06/09/1993) (Right)
Aigaion – © Bernd Crause (Naxos, 08/09/1983)
November 1993: Withdrawn from service and laid up in Perama, later being floated to Elefsina.
Aigaion – © 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, Bernd Crause, Brian Fisher, Tony Garner, Frank Heine, Chris Howell, Ted Ingham, A G Jones, Ken Larwood, Jean-Michel Marlier, Stéphane Poulain, Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping), Urbain Ureel, Michael Woodland and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.