ex Diplomat, European Diplomat, Pride of Suffolk, Baltic Ferry, Stena Transporter, Finnrose, Stena Transporter, Stena Trader
Baltic Ferry © Simonwp
Steel twin screw “Stena Searunner Class” motor vessel built in 1978 by Hyundai Shipbuilders & Heavy Industries, Ulsan, South Korea (Yard No 652) as a Passenger RoRo Cargo vessel
- Length: 151.01 m (overall) 137.01 m (between perpendiculars)
- Breadth: 21.67 – 23.58 m
- Depth: 14.66 m
- Draught: 6.45 – 7.319 m
- Tonnage: 5539 – 6455 – 18732 gross/2485 – 3248 – 5744 – 105780 net/7068 – 8672 – 8704 deadweight
- Engines: Two Pielstick 12 -cylinder 12PC2-5V-400 V-diesels
- Power: 11475 kW/15600 bhp
- Speed: 17 knots
- Capacity: Passengers 12/144/688/220/80 Freight Units: 40 – 81
- Call Sign: GZOM, ZCDD4, V4FS2
- IMO Number: 7528661
- Official Number: 379708
- Port of Registry: London/UK 🇬🇧, Hamilton/Bermuda 🇧🇲, Basse Terre/St Kitts & Nevis 🇰🇳
- Sister-Ships: See Below
In total, 11 vessels of the Stena Searunner design were built by Hyundai Heavy Industries, South Korea, and the first vessel was delivered in 1977. Those vessels remaining in service are operated by a number of operators around the world and as a group they are considered to be one of the most successful classes of RoRo vessels ever built.
1977; Elk, Tor Baltica, Balticum (645)
May 7th 1978: Launched as STENA TRADER.
September 15th 1978: Delivered to Stena Cargo Line Ltd, London, England as STENA TRANSPORTER.
Stena Transporter © Simonwp (Immingham, 02/04/1979)
September 1979: Chartered to Atlanticargo and renamed FINNROSE.
Finnrose – Courtesy of Cees De Bijl
Finnrose © Simonwp (Rozenburg, 01/06/1980)
July 25th 1980: Renamed STENA TRANSPORTER.
October 6th 1980 – December 13th 1980: Rebuilt at Hapag Lloyd Werft GmbH, Bremerhaven, with extra passenger accommodation and weather deck. Side-sponsons added.
Stena Transporter – Andreas Wörteler Collection
December 1980: Chartered to Townsend Thoresen European Ferries, Dover, England and renamed BALTIC FERRY.
Baltic Ferry © Brian Fisher
May 2nd 1982: The BALTIC FERRY was requisitioned by the British Armed Forces (Royal Marines) to transport supplies to the Falklands and ordered to sail immediately to Portsmouth for modifications prior to the voyage south.
May 3rd 1982: Arrived at Portsmouth. “Her role was to carry troops and supporting equipment for 5 Infantry Brigade. Given two helipads, satnav and satcom equipment, RAS gear, freshwater generating plant and additional living spaces. She carried three Army helicopters, 105 troops, and 1,874 tons of stores and ammunition.”
May 9th 1982: Sailed in company with NORDIC FERRY to Falklands.
May 20th 1982: Arrived at Ascension Island for bunkering.
May 30th 1982: Arrived at Falkland Islands.
June 1st 1982: Anchored in Ajax Bay to disembark troops and stores. Made three more visits to San Carlos Water and then went to Port Stanley where she remained as a stores ship.
Baltic Ferry – Dover Ferry Photos Library
April 1983: Returned to England.
April 12th 1983: Re-commenced services between Felixstowe – Europoort.
December 1984: Sold to Monarch Steamship Co Ltd, London, England.
1984: A new TT logo, in white, was introduced on the funnels.
Baltic Ferry © Simonwp (left) © Brian Fisher (right)
February 1986: Converted to a passenger ferry at Wilton Fijenoord BV Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Baltic Ferry © Ken Larwood (left) and © Brian Fisher (right)
May 23rd 1986: Re-delivered from yard and commenced services between Felixstowe – Zeebrugge.
Baltic Ferry © Simonwp (Zeebrugge, 18/06/1986)
Baltic Ferry © Ken Lubi (River Tyne, 03/02/1987)
Baltic Ferry (Zeebrugge, 31/03/1987) © Michael Neidig and © Bob Scott (right)
1987: Following the “HERALD” disaster, from spring onwards, pale blue funnels with P&O flag logo became the norm.
Baltic Ferry © Ken Larwood
December 31st 1987: Registered to P&O European Ferries, Ltd, London, England.
Baltic Ferry © Brian Fisher (Felixstowe, 01/11/1987)
Baltic Ferry – © Brian Fisher Felixstowe, 01/05/1990)
Baltic Ferry © Ken Larwood
March 18th 1991: Sold to BMBF(No. 15), London, England and bareboat chartered to P&O European Ferries, Felixstowe.
February 1992: Renamed PRIDE OF SUFFOLK.
October 22nd 1995: Expected return to Felixstowe – Zeebrugge as a freight (only) ferry.
October 25th 1995: Arrived at Harland & Wolff, Belfast for rebuilding as a freight ferry.
November 1995: Commenced service between Felixstowe – Europoort.
Pride of Suffolk © Joerg Seyler (Rotterdam, 01/05/1997)
Pride of Suffolk © Brian Fisher (left) and © Tony Garner (right)
October 2001: Commenced service for P&O Irish Ferries between Liverpool – Dublin.
November 2001: Renamed EUROPEAN DIPLOMAT.
January 18th 2002: Services between Rosslare – Cherbourg.
December 2004: Laid up at A&P, Birkenhead.
January 2005: Sold to Celtic Link Ferries, Ltd, Rosslare, Ireland.
January 24th 2005 – January 27th 2005: Services between Liverpool – Dublin.
January 27th 2005: Arrived at Rosslare and taken over by her new owners.
January 28th 2005: Renamed DIPLOMAT.
February 1st 2005: Services between Rosslare – Cherbourg.
February 13th 2005: On a service between Rosslare – Cherbourg suffered engine problems and, after 4 hours, sailed to Falmouth.
December 19th 2005 – January 14th 2006: Refit.
Diplomat © Ulrich Streich
Diplomat © Ton Grootenboer
Diplomat © Charlie Chambers (Rosslare Europort, 15/03/2009)
September 28th 2009: Berthing trials in Portsmouth.
October 2009 – November 20th 2009: Services between Cherbourg – Portsmouth.
December 23rd 2009: Last call at Rosslare.
December 29th 2009: Left Rosslare for Dublin and lay-up.
January 13th 2010: Left Dublin for Rosslare.
February 25th 2010: Left Rosslare for Waterford and lay-up.
April 2010: Chartered to Marine Express.
April 2nd 2010: Left Waterford for Puerto Rico via Rosslare.
April 2010 – March 18th 2011: Services between Santo Domingo – Mayaguez.
April 2011: Sold to Argo Systems Fze, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and renamed PAVILION.
May 2011: Left Santo Domingo for Salvador, Brazil.
May 28th 2011 – June 15th 2011: Left Salvador for Cape Town.
June 19th 2011: Left Cape Town for India.
August 7th 2011: Arrived at Alang, India for scrapping.
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, Cees De Bijl, Charlie Chambers, Brian Fisher, Tony Garner, Ton Grootenboer, Ken Larwood, Ken Lubi, Michael Neidig, Bob Scott, Joerg Seyler, Simonwp, Ulrich Streich and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.