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MV GNV Spirit (Ex Cap Finistere/Superfast V) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 9198927

MV GNV Spirit

ex Cap Finistere, Superfast V

© Andreas Wörteler

©  Andreas Wörteler

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 2001 by Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft AG, Kiel, Germany (Yard No 3555) as a Roll on – Roll off cargo ferry for Superfast Ferries, Patras, Greece

Technical Data

  • Length: 203.9m (overall) 185.6m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 25m
  • Depth: 14.5m
  • Draught: 6.8m
  • Tonnage: 32,728 gross/6515t deadweight
  • Engines: Four 4T – 16 cylinder Wartsila – Sulzer NSD 16 ZAVS diesels
  • Power: 46080 kW/62608 HP
  • Speed: 28.0 knots (max)
  • Capacity: 1,608 passengers, 1000 cars/1,500 passengers, 500 cars or 110 freight vehicles 
  • Cabins: 265
  • Crew: 107
  • Call Sign: SZLV, FLSO, 5BZD5, IBIK
  • IMO Number: 9198927
  • Official Number: 239716000
  • MMSI Number: 247438100
  • Port of Registry: Patras/Greece 🇬🇷, Morlaix/France 🇫🇷, Limassol/Cyprus 🇨🇾 
  • Sister ships: Superfast VI (356)

Current AIS Location

Please note that this specific vessels AIS position data may be over an hour old and that the vessels position will only be displayed when it is within range of the VesselFinder AIS system. The AIS transponder/ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and it is in no way related to the 'Safety of Navigation at Sea'. All the AIS ship position data featured within this article is provided by VesselFinder and we are therefore not responsible for its content or its accuracy.


“Built at HDW along with her sister ship SUPERFAST VI. She was the first ship in the third pair of ropax ferries built for Superfast Ferries from various ship yards in Northern Europe. “ 

July 2000: Anticipated delivery to Superfast Pente, Patras. Greece.

© Tim Becker

© Tim Becker (Kiel, 08/05/2000)

July 2000: Delivery delayed owing to difficulties experienced at the builders yard.

August 25th 2000: Encountered severe mechanical problems on her inaugural sea trials.

September 12th 2000: Announced that delivery would be in November 2000.

September 2000: Severe financial penalties imposed upon her builders.

March 19th 2001: Trials further mechanical repairs were required before delivery.

March 29th 2001: Successful trials.

April 5th 2001: Christened by Mrs Eleni Stamboulelis.

April 5th 2001: Delivered to Superfast Ferries, Patras, Greece.

April 12th 2001: Introduced into service between Patras – Ancona.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Patras, 19/07/2001)

January 11th 2002: Arrived at Lloyds Werft, Bremerhaven, for refit and repairs.

April 2002: Re-delivered and commenced service between Patras – Ancona.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Ancona, 12/07/2003)

January 2nd 2007: Services between Patras – Igoumenitsa – Bari.

© Cristian Gregoretti  © Cristian Gregoretti  

© Cristian Gregoretti (Between Igoumenitsa and Corfu on 25/07/2005)

© Frank Heine  © Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Igoumenitsa, 03/08/2007)

2008: Services between Patras – Igoumenitsa – Ancona.

December 17th 2009: Sold to Bretagne Angleterre Irlande SA (Brittany Ferries), Morlaix, France for delivery in February 2010.

February 11th 2010: Arrived in Patras for the final time and then departed for Syros.

February 12th 2010: Arrived in Syros where Brittany Ferries took possession.

February 16th 2010: Renamed CAP FINISTÉRE.

February 2010: Left Syros for Portsmouth.

February 23rd 2010: Arrived in Portsmouth for berthing trials.

© D. Samson

© D. Samson (Southsea, 03/02/2010)

February 24th 2010: Arrived at Arno, Dunkerque for refit.

© Robert Fournier  © Robert Fournier

© Robert Fournier

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler (ARNO Dunkerque)

March 2010: Commenced services between Portsmouth – Cherbourg/ Santander.

Cap Finistere Interior

© Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos)                     © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos) © Ben Bartlett (Midship Photos)  

© Ben Bartlett

© Chris Hunsicker  © Chris Hunsicker

© Chris Hunsicker (Portsmouth, 25/05/2010)

October 13th 2010: Arrived in Bilbao for berthing trials.

© Jakub Bogucki

© Jakub Bogucki (Gdańsk, 19/03/2011)

March 29th 2011: Commenced services between Portsmouth – Bilbao.

© Prieto  © Robert J Smith

© Prieto (Santander, 02/06/2011)(Left) and © Robert J Smith (Portsmouth, 31/01/2012)(Right)

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow (Arriving at Portsmouth, 17/07/2013)

January 11th 2015: Operated from Portsmouth to Santander via Brest and completed service before refit.

January 14th 2015: Proceeded to the Astander Shipyard in Santander for a major refit and installation of exhaust gas ‘scrubbers’. As a part of the refit the ships funnel had to be remodelled to accommodate the scrubbers and as a consequence she lost her characteristic superfast ‘wings’. The refit was expected to take 10 weeks.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

Before (top) and after (bottom) photos of the ship’s funnel following the fitting of exhaust gas ‘scrubbers’ © Ray Goodfellow

March 22nd 2015: Departed the Astander Shipyard in Santander and proceeded to Bilbao to resume service.

March 24th 2015: Resumed service between Bilbao and Portsmouth.

© The 'Ferryman'  © The 'Ferryman'

© The ‘Ferryman’ (Arriving at Portsmouth from Bilbao, 27/03/2015)

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow (Arriving at Portsmouth from Bilbao on the 01/04/2015)

© Trevor Chipperfield  © Trevor Chipperfield

© Trevor Chipperfield (Arriving Portsmouth, 03/07/2015)

January 2016: Due to cover the Portsmouth-Santander route in place of the PONT AVEN until March.

March 24th 2016: Cap Finistere arrived in Plymouth for a Port State Inspection and operated a one off crossing between Plymouth and Santander.

April 28th 2016: Arrived in Santander for refit at the Astander shipyard.

May 12th 2016: Resumed service between Bilbao/Santander-Portsmouth.

© Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow (Arriving at Portsmouth International Port 05/02/2017)

February 12th 2017: Entered dry dock at the Astander shipyard in Santander, Spain for a 5 week overhaul.

March 28th 2017: Resumed service between Bilbao and Portsmouth.

March 2019: Received new livery.

© Gary Davies  © Gary Davies

© Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic) (Portsmouth, 15/03/2019) 

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow (Portsmouth, 26/07/2019)

November 2019: Continued services between Bilbao and Portsmouth together with mid-week sailings Le Havre – Portsmouth (until December 19th 2019).

March 2020: Services Bilbao – Portsmouth (Freight Only).

February 2021: Services Roscoff – Portsmouth – Bilbao/ Portsmouth – Cherbourg/ Santander. 

© Pascal Bredel

© Pascal Bredel (Le Havre, 14/07/2021)

November 1st 2021: Came off service at Portsmouth and sailed to Le Havre for lay-up.

January 13th 2022: It was rumoured that the Cap Finistere was to be sold to Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV) for use in the Mediterranean for an estimated €50 million.

Aponte takes over another ferry for GNV for almost 50 million euros

The ship in question was built in 2001, has a length of 203.9 meters, width of 25 and a gross tonnage of almost 33.00 tons. She can accommodate up to 1,600 passengers on board, while the rolling load capacity is 1,908 linear meters.


11 JANUARY 2022

Not only the overtaking at the top of the world ranking of shipping carriers for container transport , the 2022 of Gianluigi Aponte has begun with the commitment of shopping also in the ferry sector.

According to SHIPPING ITALY, in fact, the number one of MSC would be completing the purchase of the ro-pax ship Cap Finistere from the shipping company Brittany Ferries for a sum between 45 and 50 million euros. There are no official confirmations at the moment but from Grandi Navi Veloci, the recipient company of the vehicle, there are not even denials. According to some insiders, the deal is already closed, according to others, only details remain to be finalized.

The ship in question is a ferry (formerly Superfast V) built in 2001 at the German shipyard Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in Kiel, has a length of 203.9 meters, width of 25 and a gross tonnage of almost 33.00 tons. She can accommodate up to 1,600 passengers on board, the maximum speed is 26 knots, while the rolling load capacity is equal to 1,908 linear meters. She currently flies the French flag and is operated by Brittany Ferries between the English port of Portsmouth and the Spanish port of Bilbao.If confirmed, this acquisition would represent a further strong signal from Aponte on the desire to strengthen the business carried out by Grandi Navi Veloci and to modernize the fleet. Over the last year and a half the ferry company has received (between purchases and rentals) the arrival of ro-pax Forza, Tenacia, Gnv Aries, Gnv Antares, Gnv Bridge and Gnv Sealand.

Source: Shipping Italy (Google Translation)

February 17th 2022: Sale to Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV) announced. Renamed GNV Spirit, registered in Cyprus. Expected to leave Le Havre for Italy soon.

The Grandi Navi Veloci fleet rises to 25 units: the GNV Spirit is arriving in Naples

Official purchase of the Cap Finistère ferry which will be subjected to maintenance and painting at La Nuova Meccanica Navale


FEBRUARY 17, 2022

Grandi Navi Veloci has finally announced the arrival of a new ship in their fleet confirming the purchase from the French shipping company Brittany Ferries of the Ca Finisère ferry which now takes the name of GNV SPIRIT. Built in 2001 at the German shipyard Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG in Kiel in Germany, this modern ro-pax has 32,728 gross tons, 203 meters in length and a cruising speed of 29 knots.

According to what SHIPPING ITALY revealed at the beginning of the year, the purchase price should be close to 50 million euros.

The ship will depart today from the port of Le Havre directed to the shipyards of Nuova Meccanica Navale in Naples, always participated by the MSC Group where the ship will be subject to maintenance activities in view of the upcoming summer season during which it will wear the colors of the Genoese company and will have the GNV logo on the sides.

“The arrival of the new ship is part of the strategies for strengthening the network of routes through the increase of transport capacity on its lines operated by the company in the Mediterranean” explains the company led by Matteo Catani in a note. “The new unit allows for an increase in commercial capacity by 1,926 linear meters and 500 cars”.

GNV Spirit offers large spaces on board and a capacity to accommodate up to 1595 passengers: 265 cabins, lifts on each deck, a relaxation area with swimming pool, 3 on-board bars, a restaurant, a space dedicated to the entertainment of the most small, a shop and an area dedicated to four-legged friends, with services in line with the positioning of the company.

Founded in 1992 and part of the MSC Group (controlled by the Italian holding company Marinvest), Grandi Navi Veloci operates in the cabotage and passenger transport sector in the Mediterranean Sea with a fleet that thus increases to 25 ships operating on 27 lines to and from Sardinia. Sicily, Spain, France, Albania, Tunisia, Morocco and Malta.

Source: Shipping Italy (Google Translation)

GNV Spirit – Artist’s impression © GNV

February 22nd 2022: Left Le Havre for Naples.

April 2022: Services Civitavecchia – Palermo and Civitavecchia – Termini Imerese.

May 22nd 2022: Anticipated services between Barcelona and the Balearic Islands (weekdays)/Valencia – Palma de Mallorca (weekends)

© Manuel Hernández Lafuente (Valencia, 22/05/2022)

© Dogan © Dogan

© Dogan (Palermo, 16/05/2023)

May 2023: Continues is service Barcelona and the Balearic Islands (weekdays)/Valencia – Palma de Mallorca (weekends)

© Tony Martin

© Tony Martin (Barcelona, 06/11/2023)

November 14th 2023: Came off service and sailed to Marseille.

November 15th 2023: Arrived Marseille for refit.

February 19th 2024: Left Marseille for Naples.

February 23rd 2024: Expected to enter service Naples – Palermo.

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: Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV), Shipping Italy, Tim Becker, Pascal Bredel, Trevor Chipperfield, Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic), Dogan, Robert Fournier, Ben Bartlett, Cristian Gregoretti, Frank Heine, Chris Hunsicker, Manuel Hernández Lafuente, Tony Martin, Prieto, Robert J Smith, The ‘Ferryman’ and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

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

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