MV Star Fighter
ex Ardenia, Gardenia, European Endeavour (I), European Enterprise
European Enterprise © AG Jones
Steel twin screw motor vessel, intended primarily as a commercial vehicle ferry, built and engineered by Schichau Unterweser AG, Bremen (Yard No 2275) in 1977 for the Monarch Steamship Company, a subsidiary of the European Ferries Group
- Length: 118.15m (388 ft) (overall)/107.56m (352.9 ft) (between perpendiculars)
- Breadth of Hull: 20.27m (66.5 ft) (extreme)/19.90m (65.3 ft) (moulded)
- Draught: 5.80m (19.0 ft) (maximum)
- Tonnage: 3,767 gross (pre “69”), 8,097 (“69”)/ 1,029 net, 2,429 (“69”)/ 2,281 deadweight, 3,767 (pre “69”), 2276t (“69”)
- Engines: Two 5,700 bhp 9-cylinder Stork-Werkspoor TM 410C four-stroke single-acting diesels
- Power: 8592 kW
- Speed: 18.5 knots
- Capacity: 107 Passengers & 46 x 15m vehicles
- Number of crew: 36
- Call Sign: GXXJ (1977), ZCBN6 (1997), P3JY9 (2002)
- IMO Number: 7711139
- Official Number: 362878
- Registry: Dover/United Kingdom (1977) 🇬🇧, Hamilton/Bermuda (1997) 🇧🇲, Limassol/Cyprus (2002) 🇨🇾
- Sister Ships: European Clearway, European Gateway, European Trader
“The fourth of the four “European Class” designed as standard Roll On – Roll Off ships which could be adapted for Townsend Thoresen use. Not a direct sister to the earlier trio because her funnel design and being fitted with fin stabilizers”.
Construction and Launch
European Enterprise – Courtesy of Derrick Packman
December 22nd 1977: Launched.
April 27th 1978: Delivered to Townsend Car Ferries Ltd., Dover (Monarch Steamship Co. Ltd., London), England.
April 28th 1978: Maiden voyage.
April 29th 1978: Commenced service between Dover – Zeebrugge.
European Enterprise (Dover 02/04/79) © Bob Scott (left) and © Alex Duncan (right)
European Enterprise (Dover, 16/04/1983) © John Jones (Left) and Dover, 1985 © Simonwp (Right)
European Enterprise © Fotoflite (Courtesy of Derrick Packman)
1984 – 1985: A new TT logo, in white, was introduced on the funnels.
© Gary Davies, Maritime Photographic (left) and © Fotoflite (right)
European Enterprise © David Ingham (Left) and © Peter Coupland (Right)
European Enterprise – Postcard (Chantry Classic, Philip J Cone) Courtesy of Derrick Packman
1987: Following the “HERALD” disaster, from spring onwards, pale blue funnels with the P&O house flag logo became the norm.
European Enterprise © Brian Fisher (left) and © Ken Larwood (right)
European Enterprise (Zeebrugge, 01/08/1987) © Pieter Inpyn (left) and © David Ingham (right)
1987: Work carried out included a split stern door so that she is able to use other ramps at Dover.
October 1987: Change to P&O European Ferries navy blue hull and funnel.
December 17th 1987: Renamed EUROPEAN ENDEAVOUR. She still served the Dover routes..
European Endeavour © Brian Fisher (left) and © Ken Larwood (right)
December 31st 1987: Registered to P&O European Ferries Ltd., Dover, England.
European Endeavour © A G Jones
February 1988: Laid up in Vlissingen, The Netherlands owing to National Union of Seamen’s strike.
June 1988: Resumed service Dover – Zeebrugge.
European Endeavour © Bernd Crause (Zeebrugge, 01/08/1988)
European Endeavour © Simonwp (Dover 01/07/1990)
March 15th 1991: Sold to Abbey National Leasing, England. Bareboat chartered to P&O European Ferries Ltd.
European Endeavour © Simonwp (Portsmouth 01/07/1991)
European Endeavour © Andreas Wörteler (Calais 12/04/1992) (Both)
December 1992: Transferred to cover refits of the Felixstowe – Europoort vessels
1993 (winter): Spells at Felixstowe and Larne.
1994: Became the company relief ship, covering overhauls throughout the fleet.
March 17th 1994: Supplement Dover – Zeebrugge/Calais
European Endeavour © Brian Pawley
April 24th 1995 – May 1995: Operated between Europort – Felixstowe.
May 1995: Operated between Dover – Calais.
European Endeavour © George Holland (left) and the Nigel Thornton Collection (right)
September 25th 1995: Transferred to the Larne/Cairnryan service increasing the capacity from 2 to 3 vessels.
European Endeavour © Trevor Kidd
1996: The headroom on the upper vehicle deck was increased to 5 meters, allowing double deck trailers to be accommodated.
June 8th 1997 – June 26th 1997: Commenced service with Pandoro between Dublin – Fleetwood – Cherbourg.
1997: Port of registry was changed from Dover, UK to Hamilton, Bermuda and shortly afterwards she had a Spanish crew. Also Ardrossan and Fleetwood services from Larne, as well as the Rosslare to Cherbourg….
1998: Alterations to upper decks accommodation at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead.
1998: Commenced service with P&O Irish Ferries between Cairnryan – Larne.
July 17th 2002: Final day in service between Cairnryan – Larne.
European Endeavour © Trevor Kidd
July 20th 2002: Departed Larne.
July 2002: Dry-docked at Dunkerque
July 2002: Sold to TransEuropa Ferries.
July 22nd 2002: Taken over by her new owners and renamed GARDENIA.
2002: Port of registry changed to Limassol, Cyprus.
Gardenia – © Andreas Wörteler
Gardenia © Pieter Inpyn (Ostend, 01/09/2002)
2002: Major refit/refurbishment and livery change at Ostend.
December 2002: To dry-dock at ARNO Dunkerque.
December 26th 2002: Survey at Dunkerque.
December 28th 2002: To Ostend.
January 15th 2003: Maiden voyage and commenced service between Ostend – Ramsgate.
Gardenia © Nigel Thornton
April 6th 2005: Antwerp for refit.
April 16th 2005: Expected return from refit.
2006: Registered owner recorded as Odyssey Maritime Co. Ltd (TransEuropa Ferries).
August 2006: Currently still in service Ostend – Ramsgate.
Gardenia © Ray Goodfellow (Ramsgate, 17/04/2006)
March 3rd 2007: To ARNO, Dunkerque for refit.
Gardenia © Robert Fournier (Dunkerque 03/03/2007)
June 20th 2007: Rumours circulated that she had been sold to Baltic Scandinavian Lines, these later appeared to be false.
16th May 2008: Owing to engine damage the Gardenia is laid up in Ostend awaiting repairs.
17th July 2008: Following repairs to her damaged engine the Gardenia re-enters service between Ostend and Ramsgate for Trans Europa Ferries.
Gardenia © Nigel Thornton ( Ramsgate, 23/07/2008)
January 22nd 2009: To ARNO Dunkerque for refit.
January 30th 2009: Returned to service.
Gardenia © Simonwp (left) and © Nigel Thornton (right)
Gardenia © Carsten Dettmer (Ostend, 14/04/2012)
January 31st 2013: To Antwerp for extensive dry-docking and refit.
February 25th 2013: Arrived back in Ostend (no exterior cosmetic work seen)
February 28th 2013: Resumed service.
April 17th 2013: Ceased sailings and laid up in Ostend.
Gardenia © Carl Tunnicliffe
November 24th 2013: Noted on Bureau Veritas as now being owned by ‘Oilchart International’
November 27th 2013: Noted as having been renamed ARDENIA.
December 12th 2013: Sailed to Zeebrugge (rumoured to be for underwater survey).
December 12th 2013: Arrived Zeebrugge.
December 13th 2013: Departed Zeebrugge.
December 13th 2013: Arrived back in Ostend.
Ardenia © Robert Pirotte
Ardenia © Andreas Wörteler (Ostend 23/02/2014)
April 23rd 2014: Anticipated departure from Ostend, bound for Piraeus.
May 5th 2014: Arrived in Piraeus.
Ardenia © Petros Psarras
Ardenia © Frans Truyens (Piraeus 17/06/2014)
Ardenia © Petros Psarras (left) and Salamis Shipyard (26/07/2014) © Matt Murtland (right)
September 27th 2014: Believed to have been renamed STAR FIGHTER and had her bow door welded up. Also had stern and internal ramps fitted.
Star Fighter © George Togias
November 18th 2014: Arrived in Limassol.
December 30th 2014: Departed Limassol.
January 2nd 2015: Arrived in Bijela, Montenegro.
Star Fighter – Adriatic Shipyard, Bijela-Boka Bay, Port of Montenegro © Drago Krivokapic (all)
May 20th 2015: Arrived in Denia (Spain)
Star Fighter © Manuel Hernández Lafuente
December 13th 2016: Reported to have been beached for at Alang for demolition on the 6th December 2016.
Star Fighter © Ron DK
December 28th 2016: Cutting begins!!!
Star Fighter © Ron DK
All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions found. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Peter Coupland, Bernd Crause, Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic), Carsten Dettmer, Ron DK, Brian Fisher, Robert Fournier, George Holland, David Ingham, A G Jones, John “Jonesy” Jones, Pieter Inpyn, Trevor Kidd, Drago Krivokapic, Manuel Hernández Lafuente, Ken Larwood, Mark Leiper, Brian Pawley, Robert Pirotte, Petros Psarras, Simonwp, George Togias, Frans Truyens and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.A special thanks goes to Derrick Packman and Carl Tunnicliffe.