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)

Chantilly – 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.

Chantilly – Postcards

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

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

Chantilly – Roy Thornton Collection (All)

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

Chantilly – © Ken Larwood

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

© A G Jones  © A G Jones 

Chantilly – © A G Jones (Both)

Nigel Thornton Collection  Jim Ashby Collection 

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

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

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

Nigel Thornton Collection

Chantilly – Nigel Thornton Collection

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

Roy Thornton Collection © Brian Fisher 

Chantilly – Roy Thornton Collection (Left) and © Brian Fisher (Right)

1975 (late): Operated Calais/Boulogne – Folkestone

© A G Jones

Chantilly – © A G Jones

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.

© Ken Larwood

Chantilly – © Ken Larwood (Left) Postcard (Right)

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

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

June 23rd 1976: Returned to service.

© Ken Larwood 

Chantilly – © Ken Larwood

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

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 

Chantilly – 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.

Roy Thornton Collection Roy Thornton Collection 

Roy Thornton Collection Roy Thornton Collection 

Chantilly – 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

Chantilly – © Mark Willis (Folkestone, 1984)

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

Roy Thornton Collection

Chantilly – © Fotoflite (Roy Thornton Collection)

© Frank Heine

Chantilly – © 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

Chantilly – © Andy Gilbert

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

© Ted Ingham

Chantilly – © Ted Ingham

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

© Ken Larwood © Ken Larwood 

Chantilly – © Ken Larwood

© Frank Heine

Chantilly – © 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

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

May 1st 1987: Arrived at Piraeus.

© Ken Larwood

Olympia – © 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

Europa Link – © 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

Europa Link – © 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

Europa Link – © Dirk Jankowsky

January 3rd 1991: Operated between Gedser – Rostock.

© Frank Heine

Europa Link – © Frank Heine (Rostock 12/01/1991)

© Andreas Wörteler

Europa Link – © Andreas Wörteler

© Pieter Inpyn © Pieter Inpyn  

Europa Link – © Pieter Inpyn (Gedser 01/06/1991)

© Frank Heine © Frank Heine  

Europa Link – © 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

Baltavia – 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

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


Baltavia – © 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  

Baltavia – © 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.

El Salam 93

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

We would like to thank: Micke Asklander (Faktaomfartyg), Matt Murtland (HHV Ferry), Bernd Crause, Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic), Brian Fisher, Fotoflite, Andy Gilbert, Frank Heine, Chris Howell, Pieter Inpyn, Dirk Jankowsky, A G Jones, Ken Larwood, Simonwp, Mark Willis 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

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: