FerriesPast and PresentScandlinesTownsend Thoresen

MV European Gateway – Past and Present

IMO Number: 7400261

MV Lopi

ex Penelope, Penelope A, Rostock Link, Travemunde Link, Flavia, European Gateway

© Fotoflite

© Fotoflite

Steel twin screw motor vessel, intended primarily as a commercial vehicle ferry, built and engined by Schichau Unterweser A.G., Bremen (Yard No. 2256) in 1975 for the Monarch Steamship Company, a subsidiary of the European Ferries Group.

Technical Data

  • Length on Deck: 118.32m (388 ft) (overall) 133.46m/ 107.60m (between perpendiculars)(1975)/ 133.46m
  • Breadth of Hull: 20.30m (66.5 ft) (extreme), 19.9m (65.3 ft) (moulded)
  • Depth: 11.65m (38.2 ft) (moulded)
  • Draught: 5.817m (19 ft)(maximum)
  • Tonnage: 3,335 gross (1975), 4,263 after lengthening, 11,335 (1994)/ 1,070 net (1975), 1,291 after lengthening/3,927 deadweight (1975), 3,949 after lengthening (1994)
  • Engines: Two 5,700 bhp 9-cylinder Stork-Werkspoor TM 410C four-stroke single-acting diesels
  • Power: 8504 kW/8385 kW
  • Speed: 18.5 knots
  • Capacity: 132 passengers, 76 x 15m commercial trailers/1,100 (after lengthening) 400 cars after rebuild 76 x 12m commercial trailers
  • Call Sign: GUQS, H2RW, C6DX3, SWGI, 5BLZ3
  • IMO Number: 7400261
  • Registry: London/UK 🇬🇧, Limassol/Cyprus 🇨🇾, Nassau/Bahamas , Piraeus/Greece 🇬🇷, Limassol/Cyprus 🇨🇾
  • Sister Vessels: European Clearway (2263)European Enterprise (2275), European Trader (2258)


“The first of the four “European Class” designed as standard Roll On – Roll Off ships which could be adapted for Townsend Thoresen use”.

1974: Keel Laid.

December 20th 1974: Launched with the name EUROPEAN EXPRESS

June 4th 1975: Delivered to Townsend Car Ferries Ltd., Dover, England.

© Cees de Bijl

© Cees de Bijl

June 9th 1975: Commenced service between Felixstowe – Europoort.

© Wolfgang Fricke

© Wolfgang Fricke (Rotterdam, 01/08/1979)

Jurgen Stein Collection  © Derek Longly

Jürgen Stein Collection (Left) and © Derek Longly (Right)

March 17th 1980 – June 1980: Service between Cairnryan – Larne.

June 1980 – September 1980: Service between Felixstowe – Europoort

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Europoort, 01/06/1980)

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Europoort 08/09/1980)

September 1980 – November 1980: Lengthened by 15.7m at Werft Amsterdamsche Droogdok Mij., Amsterdam., Holland.

© Fotoflite

 © Fotoflite 

November 1980: Re-introduced between Cairnryan – Larne.

© Aubrey Dale

© Aubrey Dale (Larne)

 © Kenneth Whyte

© Kenneth Whyte

February 14th 1981 – March 1981: Relief vessel for Felixstowe – Europoort.

November 1981 – December 1981: Felixstowe – Europoort

May 1982: Short period Felixstowe – Europoort

December 19th 1982: Collision 2.5 miles off Harwich, between the SPEEDLINK VANGUARD and the EUROPEAN GATEWAY. The impact resulted in a 20 ft gash in the hull of the GATEWAY. Within 10 seconds her engines and generators were knocked out. In a heavy swell and within three minutes she took on a 45º list and within half an hour she had rolled onto her starboard side. Of the 70 persons aboard 6 were unfortunately lost.

Ken Larwood Collection  Ken Larwood Collection  

Ken Larwood Collection

Ken Larwood Collection

© Ted Ingham

© Ted Ingham

February 26th 1983: Vessel raised by Wijsmuller BV and towed to Felixstowe.

© Gees De Bijl © Gees De Bijl © Gees De Bijl

🆕 © Gees De Bijl

March 30th 1983: Laid up at IJmuiden (Amsterdam), Holland.

May 3rd 1983: Sold to Clorinda Navigation Co, Limassol, Cyprus as hulk and towed to Alliance Navigation S.A. yard Perama, Greece for total rebuild.

May 1983: Towed to Perama for rebuilding.

© Ton Grootenboer  © Ton Grootenboer  

© Ton Grootenboer (Leaving IJmuiden, Amsterdam)

© Fotoflite Image Ref 16639 © Fotoflite Image Ref 16650 © Fotoflite Image Ref 16793 © Fotoflite Image Ref 16644

🆕  © Fotoflite 

© Peter J Fitzpatrick

© Peter J Fitzpatrick (Perama, 01/01/1984)

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection  

© Simonwp

🆕 © Simonwp

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection  

© Steffen Weirauch

August 1984: Renamed FLAVIA. Introduced by Anco Ferries between Ancona – Igoumenitsa – Patras.

© Jurgen Stein  Frank Heine Collection

© Jürgen Stein (Left) and Frank Heine Collection (Right)

1987: Owners went bankrupt and the vessel was laid up.

June 1988: Sold to GT-Link, Nassau, Bahamas (Company Sea Link Ab, Nacka). Renamed TRAVEMÜNDE LINK I.

July 2nd 1988: Arrived Cuxhaven

July 27th 1988: To Nakskov Skipsværft for rebuilding and conversion to new role.

Andreas Wörteler Collection

Andreas Wörteler Collection

1988: Further rebuilding at Öresundsvarvet, Landskrona and renamed TRAVEMÜNDE LINK.

November 28th 1988: Introduced between Gedser – Travemünde.

Roy Thornton Collection  © Tony Garner  

Roy Thornton Collection (Left) and © Tony Garner (ight)

Ludger Wörteler

© Ludger Wörteler

© Pieter Inpyn © Pieter Inpyn  

© Pieter Inpyn (June 1989 @ Travemunde)

December 23rd 1990: Made her last trip between Gedser – Travemünde.

January 5th 1991: Laid up in Nakskov.

1992: Sold to R-L Shipping Ltd, Douglas, Isle Of Man. (R-L shipping = Rostock Link).

1992: Commenced service with Europa Linien A/S.

February 6th 1992: Renamed ROSTOCK LINK. Introduced between Gedser – Rostock.

February 8th 1993 – February 11th 1993: Operated freight only between Gedser – Travemünde.

February 12th 1993: Full service between Gedser – Rostock.

© Dirk Jankowsky

© Dirk Jankowsky (1992)

© Frank Heine © DDGHANSA

© Frank Heine  (Gedser 14/05/1992)(Left)© DDGHANSA (Travemünde, 01/05/1993)(Right)

February 16th 1996: With 874 passengers aboard grounded on a sandbank near to Gedser

February 17th 1996: With the aid of tugs re-floated and taken to Kværner Warnow-Werft, Rostock for repairs.

March 2nd 1996: Final day in service between Gedser – Rostock.

Mary 2nd 1996: Back in service

© Frank Heine  © Andreas Wörteler  

© Frank Heine (Warnemünde 21/05/1996)(Left) and © Andreas Wörteler (Right)

June 1st 1996: Säljs Europa Linjen taken over by DSB Rederi A/S.

June 1st 1996: Chartered to DSB Rederi A/S.

January 1st 1997: Owners name changed names from DSB Rederi A/S to Scandlines.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Frank Heine  

© Andreas Wörteler (Left) © Frank Heine  (Warnemünde 10/01/1998)(Right)

February 5th 1997: Reportedly ran aground on a sandbank. Undamaged and re-floated 5 hours later. Completed her journey.

March 26th 1998: Final day in service, thereafter laid up in Nakskov.

May 1998: Commenced services for Scandlines Baltic A/S (Amber Line) as a freight ferry between Århus – Liepaja.

1999: Rebuilt at Bladt Industries, Aalborg.

June 1999: Chartered to Mols Linien A/S Ebeltoft.

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

© Pieter Inpyn  © Pieter Inpyn 

© Pieter Inpyn (Århus, 01/06/1999)

June 14th 1999: Commenced service between Århus – Kalundborg under the trading name of “KALUNDBORG LINK”.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Kiel 01/11/1999)

December 30th 1999: Final day operating between Århus – Kalundborg.

2000: Sold to Agoudimos Lines, Piraeus, Greece. (Registered under Trading SA, Nassau, Bahamas) .

January 2nd 2000: Laid up in Nakskov.

January 12th 2000: Transferred to the new company whilst in Nakskov having been renamed PENELOPE A

© Dirk Jankowsky

© Dirk Jankowsky (Kiel 15/01/2000)

January 15th 2000: Left Nakskov for Piraeus.

January 27th 2000: Arrived in Piraeus.

March 1st 2000: Commenced service for Agoudimos Lines between Igoumenitsa – Brindisi.

June 2004 – September 2004: Bari-Durres

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler  

© Andreas Wörteler

© Carsten Dettmer

© Carsten Dettmer

September 2004: Brindisi – Igoumenitsa.

December 17th 2004 – January 16th 2005: Bari-Durres.

July 2005: Renamed PENELOPE. (transferred to the Greek flag)

July 2005 – September 15th 2005: Services between the Greek Islands.

2008: Used between Igoumenitsa, Corfu and Brindisi.

December 11th 2008 – January 9th 2009: Service between Brindisi and Durres.

January 2009: Laid up in Perama

2010: Registered Owner; Penelope Maritime, Piraeus. Registered Manager; Nisia Aigaiou, Piraeus.

July 16th 2010 – September 2010: Services between Igoumenitsa, Corfu and Brindisi together with Brindisi and Zante.

2010: Laid up in Perama

December 24th 2010: Charter to NEL Lines, sailing between Igoumenitsa – Samos.

December 26th 2010: One trip: Samos, Chios, Mytilene, Limnos, Thessaloniki.

April 30th 2011: Laid up in Perama.

Aleksi Lindström

© Aleksi Lindström

October 2011:  Home port: Limassol.

October 2011: Charter to Al-Marfa for service Lybia-Tunisia

October 27th 2011: Service Tunis – Tripoli for Marfamar.

November  29th 2011: Back to Piraeus

December 6th 2011: Laid up in Ampelakia.

December 14th 2011: Known to be moored in Salamina. Registered Owner; Penelope Shipping co Ltd, Limassol. Operator; Flanmare Lines, Piraeus

© George Koutsoukis

© George Koutsoukis (15/07/12 Ambelakia)

July 2013: Sold for scrap and renamed LOPI. To be towed to Aliaga by the tug HECTOR.

© Petros Psarras

© Petros Psarras

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: DDGHANSA, Carsten Dettmer, Peter J Fitzpatrick, Wolfgang Fricke, Ton Grootenboer, Frank Heine, Ted Ingham, Pieter Inpyn, Dirk Jankowsky, George Koutsoukis, Ken Larwood, Aleksi Lindström, Derek Longly, Petros Psarras, Simonwp, Jürgen Stein, Andreas Wörteler and Ludger Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Thanks to Fotoflite

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

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