Compagnie Marocaine de Navigation (COMANAV)FerriesPast and PresentRederi AB GotlandSealink British Ferries (SBF)

MV Delfini (ex Gotland/Thjelvar – 1964) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 6415908

MV Delfini

ex Diva, Arrafiq, Thjelvar, Gotland

© Paul Quiström

© Paul Quiström (Andreas Wörteler Collection)

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1964 by NV Scheepswerf & Machinefabriek ” De Merwede” Van Vliet & Co, Hardinxveld, Netherlands (Yard No 581) as a Passenger/RoRo Cargo/Ferry for Rederi Ab Gotland, Visby

Technical Data

  • Length: 93.20 m (overall) 84.00 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 16.41 m
  • Depth: 5.36 m
  • Draught: 4.166 m
  • Tonnage: 2773 – 2990 gross/1185 – 1443 net/700 – 784t deadweight
  • Engines: 4 x 16-cyl NV Werkspoor, V- diesels
  • Power: 5884 kW/8000 bHP
  • Speed: 18.5 knots
  • Capacity: Passengers 1300/cars 140/Lane Length 535
  • Call Sign: SDJR
  • IMO Number: 6415908
  • Official Number: 10536
  • Port of Registry: Visby/Sweden 🇸🇪, Morocco 🇲🇦,Valletta/Malta 🇲🇹, Kingstown/Saint Vincent and Grenadines 🇻🇨


June 5th 1964: Launched.

October 31st 1964: Delivered to Rederi Ab Gotland, Visby.

November 5th 1964: Maiden arrival at Visby.

© Bo Friberg

© Bo Friberg (Andreas Wörteler Collection)

November 7th 1964: Displayed at Nybroviken, Stockholm.

November 8th 1964: Displayed at Västervik and Oskarshamn.



November 9th 1964: Introduced into service:

Summer services:
1964 Nynäshamn – Visby – Oskarshamn
1967 Nynäshamn – Visby/Kappelshamn
1968 – 1972 Nynäshamn – Visby
1973 Oskarshamn – Visby
1974 Laid up
1977 – 1983 Nynäshamn – Visby – Västervik (not in 1981 when she suffered engine problems)
1984 Nynäshamn – Visby – Västervik/Grankullavik
Other services:
November 1964 – Spring 1967
Nynäshamn – Visby – Västervik/Oskarshamn. Alternatively laid up with VISBY
Autumn 1967 – 1972
Nynäshamn – Visby
1973 – Spring 1974 and Autumn 197 – 1987
Reserve or laid up

June 22nd 1965: Due to dock in Visby after travelling from the mainland when a small screw unthreaded and unfortunately blocked the engine from reversing. Rammed a quay in the outer harbour, causing damage to her bow visor. The quay had a five metre deep gash, and the corner of the pier collapsed into the sea. After the incident, she was forced to depart for Finnboda yard for repairs.

September 28th 1965: Chartered to Oxelösund harbour to participate in the opening of the new harbour.

1973: During the spring, the ship had its stern deck extended at Sölvesborg Shipyard, Sölvesborg.

November 1973: Laid up and renamed THJELVAR.

June 1974: Prepared for service and continued lay up in Oskarshamn.

June 1974: Sold to an unknown Italian buyer.

August 1974: Sale fell through owing to import restrictions in Italy.

August 14th 1974: Quickly readied for Gotland services.

1975: In the spring, chartered to Polish Ocean Lines, Poland for services Helsinki – Gdansk.

© German Digital Library

© German Digital Library

June 22nd 1975 – September 11th 1975: Involved in a collaboration between the three shipping companies Rederi AB Gotland, Stockholms Rederi AB Svea and Polish Ocean Line for services between Stockholm – Gdansk.

1976: Rebuilt at Oskarshamn Shipyard, Oskarshamn with an aft extension of more cabins.

June 1976 – September 1976: Involved in a collaboration between the three shipping companies Rederi AB Gotland, Stockholms Rederi AB Svea and Polish Ocean Line for services between Stockholm – Gdansk.

1981: Suffered an engine failure and laid up for repairs.

© Bo Friberg  © Bo Friberg

© Bo Friberg (Andreas Wörteler Collection) (1982/1984)

July 16th 1984:

“After leaving Visby for Västervik, with 670 passengers and 100 cars on board she was rammed by the Dutch cargo ship ANDROMEDA Visby. The ANDROMEDA had been seen early, but as she was obliged to turn, no measures were taken at THJELVAR. Only at a distance of 50 meters was it discovered that ANDROMEDA’s bridge was unmanned and that there was an immediate danger of collision.

THJELVAR managed to turn slightly to starboard, but ANDROMEDA immediately rammed the Gotland ferry at a speed of ten knots amidships, and soon after again aft. No one was injured in the collision, and ANDROMEDA was able to continue her journey north, but THJELVAR sustained plate damage six to seven meters above the waterline and returned to Visby for closer inspection.

The passengers had to transfer to the evening ferry to Oskarshamn, and THJELVAR had to depart for Oskarshamn shipyard for repairs for a couple of days.”

April 1st 1985 – April 21st 1985: Chartered, at short notice. to Sealink British Ferries UK for services Weymouth – Cherbourg.

April 21st 1985: Weymouth – Jersey and then replaced by the chartered PRINS PHILIPPE.

© Robert Wright  © Robert Wright

© Robert Wright (@ Weymouth)

© Tony Garner

© Tony Garner (Weymouth, 27/04/1985)

May 23rd 1985: Chartered to Gotland’s farmers (protesting against the government’s agricultural policy) for cargo to Stockholm.

October 1987: Sold to Comp. Marocaine de Nav, Casablanca (Comanav), Morocco and renamed ARRAFIQ.

October 10th 1987: Left Finnboda Varv for Casablanca.

© Fotoflite Ref 320198

© Fotoflite

1987: Taken over by the Moroccan Navy under the Identification Number 407.

1988: Rebuilt in Gibraltar for her new career, later being painted completely grey.

December 1993: Sold to Intercruise Ltd, Greece (Registered to Louris Shipping Co Ltd, Valletta, Malta) and renamed DIVA.

© Lelekis

© Lelekis (Andreas Wörteler Collection)

December 1993: Arrived Piraeus.

1994: Services between Greece and Turkey.

1996: Chartered to Topas Maritime Line. (Registered to Acanthus International SA, Kingstown, St Vincent) and renamed DELFINI.

1996: Services Ancona – Cesme.

1999: Laid up in Eleusis Bay, Greece.

© Pieter Inpyn  © Pieter Inpyn

© Pieter Inpyn (Eleusis, 01/05/2000)

January 2003: Sold to Demtas, Aliaga for breaking.

February 5th 2003: Arrived Aliaga, Turkey.

February 18th 2003: Beached.

© Selim San  © Selim San

© Selim San

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: Nigel Scutt (Fotoflite), Tony Garner, Pieter Inpyn, Selim San, Andreas Wörteler and Robert Wright for their assistance in producing this feature. A special thanks goes to Micke Asklander (Faktaomfartyg)

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

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