FerriesPast and PresentSealinkSociété Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF)

MV Chantilly – Past and Present

IMO Number: 6601997

MV El Salam 93

ex Baltavia, Europa Link, Olympia, Chantilly.

Matt Murtland (HHV Ferry)

Matt Murtland (HHV Ferry)

Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by Dubigeon-Normandie, S.A., Nantes (Yard No. 822), in 1966 for the French National Railway’s cross-Channel service. 

Technical Data

  • Length on Deck: 109.91m (386.6 ft)(overall), (362.9 ft)(between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth of Hull: 17.84m (58.5 ft) (extreme)
  • Depth: 5.19m, 5.97m
  • Draught: 4.0m (13.1 ft) (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 3,255 gross, 1,559 net, 640 deadweight
  • Engines: Two 12-cylinder Pielstick four-stroke single-acting diesels
  • Power: 6,988 kW
  • Speed: 20 knots
  • Capacity: 1,350 passengers, 200 cars
  • Crew: 45 (including officers)
  • Call Sign: FNRB, C6JB4
  • IMO Number: 6601997
  • Registry: Calais/France 🇫🇷, Dieppe/France 🇫🇷, Piaeus/Greece 🇬🇷, Nassau/Bahamas 🇧🇸, Gdynia/Poland 🇵🇱, Panama 🇵🇦


“The third ship of the second generation of S.N.C.F. car ferries built on similar lines to VILLANDRY and VALENCAY but had larger dimensions.”.

May 5th 1966: Sea trials after launch.

May 6th 1966: Delivered to Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer France (S.N.C.F), Calais, France.

May 23rd 1966: Left Nantes for Calais with a short stop at Saint Nazaire for work on an engine.

June 1st 1966: Arrived in Calais for berthing trials.

June 2nd 1966: Berthing trials in Dover.

June 7th 1966: Publicity trip between Calais – Dover.


June 8th 1966 – August 15th 1966: Visits to Boulogne – Newhaven and Dieppe.

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection © Karel Goutsmit

Roy Thornton Collection (As noted) 🆕 © Karel Goutsmit (As noted)

June 15th 1966: Cruise from Dieppe to Rouen.

June 21st 1966: Owing to a strike by English seamen she prematurely ran between Calais – Dover .

© Ken Larwood © Karel Goutsmit

© Ken Larwood (Left) © Karel Goutsmit (Right)

July 2nd 1966: Officially installed between Calais – Dover.

© A G Jones  © A G Jones 

© A G Jones (Both)

Nigel Thornton Collection  Jim Ashby Collection 

Nigel Thornton Collection (Left) Jim Ashby Collection (Right)

October 29th 1966: Chartered to Townsend Car Ferries Ltd, Dover for 1 week between Dover – Zeebrügge.

© httpswww.archieven.nl

© httpswww.archieven.nl (Flushing, 1967)

February 22nd 1970 – March 14th 1970: Operated between Calais – Folkestone

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

February 4th 1972 – May 28th 1972: Operated between Newhaven – Dieppe.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

December 1975 – March 1976: Converted with Chantier Caillard, Le Havre to drive- through operations between receiving substantial modifications to her vehicle deck, including its strengthening to allow for increased freight use plus addition of bow door.

© Brian Fisher © Brian Fisher

© Brian Fisher 

1975 (late): Operated Calais/Boulogne – Folkestone

© A G Jones  © Fotoflite (Image Ref 19897)

© A G Jones (Left) © Fotoflite (@ Folkestone)(Right)

April 3rd 1975: Suffered rudder failure and collided with the quayside in Calais. Seriously damaged her bow door.

© Ken Larwood 

© Ken Larwood (Left) Postcard (Right)

May 31st 1976: Collided with the quayside in Calais. Taken out of service for repairs

June 23rd 1976: Returned to service.

© Ken Larwood 

© Ken Larwood

January 20th 1979: Near Calais collided with the Norwegian freighter EIR.

© Philippe P. Brébant

© Philippe P. Brébant

1979: Operated between Boulogne – Dover.

April 15th 1981: Laid up as a reserve vessel.

May 1981: Commenced service between Calais – Dover.

Roy Thornton Collection  © Gary Davies of Maritime Photographic 

Roy Thornton Collection (Left) and © Gary Davies of Maritime Photographic (Right)

August 5th 1982: In clear visibility COTE D’AZUR and CHANTILLY were in collision some four miles off Calais. The CHANTILLY was on passage to Dover and appears to have been the villain of the peace while her new fleet companion was sailing inward-bound and received her first accident damage since entering service in October 1981. Both ships sustained considerable bow-damage. The “Cote” was immediately sent to Dunkirk for emergency repairs, during which time she had her bow-visor removed and the water-tight door behind it welded up, entering service again purely as a stern -loader on the following Wednesday. Repairs to the CHANTILLY were set in hand and by August 20 she was also at Dunkirk.

© Deck 5

🆕 © Deck 5

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection 

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection 

Roy Thornton Collection

November 1st 1982: Transferred back to the Dover-Calais “Flagship Service”.

January 1984: Used as relief vessel between Folkestone – Boulogne. Then laid up in Calais.

© Mark Willis  © Mark Willis

© Mark Willis

© Mark Willis (Folkestone, 1984)

June 3rd 1984: Re-installed for full summer service.

Roy Thornton Collection

© Fotoflite 

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Calais 01/08/1984)

1986: Underwent a £600,000 refit at Le Havre prior to taking up service on the route (Newhaven-Dieppe) . Her forward bar area was extended by 12ft to house a supermarket, the roof of which provided a new forward for passengers. At the aft end of the old bar area was extended, totally refitted and a small area was converted to a lorry drivers’ restaurant. A new waiter-service restaurant was also provided as was a new general lounge and 350 reclining seats. The vessel took up the service with the CHARTRES and SENLAC.

© Andy Gilbert

© Andy Gilbert

1986 (late Spring): SNCF formed a subsidiary company Dieppe Ferries to manage the future of their Newhaven service

© Ted Ingham © Mike Woodland

© Ted Ingham (Left) © Mike Woodland (Right)

April 6th 1986: Commenced service between Dieppe – Newhaven.

© Ken Larwood  © Ken Larwood 

© Ken Larwood

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Dieppe, 02/08/1986)

February 1987:Sold to Olympiade Maritime Co, Piraeus, Greece. (Agapitos Bros Ferries) for U.S. $ 1.4 million.

April 22nd 1987: Left Dieppe for Piraeus. Renamed OLYMPIA.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection (Left) Courtesy of Chris Howell (Right)

May 1st 1987: Arrived at Piraeus.

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

1987: Commenced service between Piraeus and the Greek Islands.

April 5th 1989: Operated between Chalkis – Rhodos – Kapathos.

May 17th 1990: Sold to Winston Shipping Ltd, Nassau, Bahamas. (Sea-Link Ab, Nacka). Renamed EUROPA LINK.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Immingham, 08/05/1990)

May 1990: Arrived at Humber Ship-repairs Ltd, Immingham, England for rebuilding and conversion for the new owners service.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Immingham, 23/05/1990)

August 18th 1990: Re-delivered from builders yard after rebuild.

August 31st 1990: Commenced service for GT-Link A/S between Gedser – Travemünde.

© Dirk Jankowsky

© Dirk Jankowsky

January 3rd 1991: Operated between Gedser – Rostock.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Rostock, 12/01/1991)

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

© Pieter Inpyn  © Pieter Inpyn  

© Pieter Inpyn (Gedser, 01/06/1991)

© Frank Heine  © Frank Heine  

© Frank Heine (Gedser, 28/07/1991)

1992: Registered Owner; Windspoint Shipping Co., Ltd. Registered Manager; G.T. Link A/S

August 1992 – September 1992: Chartered to Compagnie Marocaine de Navigation (Comanav), Casablanca, Morocco. Operated between Algeciras – Tangier.

September 17th 1992 – February 1993: Laid up in Nakskov.

January 27th 1993: Sold to Plough Navigation Inc Monrovia, Liberia. ( Management Polish Hansa Line, Szczecin, Polen). Renamed BALTAVIA.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

February 11th 1993 – August 1993: Chartered to Europa Linjen A/S (GT-Link A/S) for service between Gedser – Travemünde, after which laid up in Rostock.

© Frank Heine  © Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Travemunde, 07/03/1993) (Left) (Travemunde, 27/03/1993) (Right)


© Bernd Crause (Skaninavienkai, 03/04/1993)(Left) (Travemunde, 31/05/1993)(Right)

August 1993: Laid up in Gdynia, Poland.

1994: Commenced service between Gedser – Travemünde.

May 31st 1994: Became the last ferry to operate between Gedser – Travemünde, a route which had been in existence since 1963.

June 1st 1994: Operated service between Gedser – Rostock.

1994: Charter completed. Laid up in Rostock.

© Frank Heine  © Frank Heine  

© Frank Heine (Rostock, 05/11/1994)

April 14th 1996: Sold to El Salam Shipping & Trading Establisment, Alexandria, Egypt. Left Rostock for the Red Sea.

1996: Renamed EL SALAM 93. Registered to European Maritime Transport S.A., Panama. Operated as a pilgrim ship in the Red Sea.

Nigel Thornton Collection

December 31st 2002: Arrived at Alang (India) for breaking.

We would like to thank:  Philippe P. Brébant, Bernd Crause, Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic), Deck 5, Brian Fisher, Fotoflite, Andy Gilbert, Karel Goutsmit, Frank Heine, Chris Howell, Pieter Inpyn, Dirk Jankowsky, A G Jones, Ken Larwood, Simonwp, Mark Willis, Mike Woodland and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature. All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors and omissions.

Special thanks to Jim Ashby, Micke Asklander (Faktaomfartyg) and Matt Murtland (HHV Ferry),

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

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