FerriesP&O FerriesP&O Stena LinePast and PresentPolferriesSealinkStena Line

MV Wawel (ex Fantasia) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 7814462

MV Wawel

ex Alkmini A, PO Canterbury, P&OSL Canterbury, Stena Fantasia, Fantasia, Fiesta, Tzarevetz, Scandinavia

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw motor vessel, originally built in 1979 by Kockums Varv (shipyard) AB, Malmo, Sweden (Yard No. 569), as a passenger and roll-on roll-off and commercial vehicle ferry

Technical Data

    • Length: 163.51 m
    • Breadth of Hull: 23.04m/27.63m
    • Depth:16.01m
    • Draught: 7.922m/6.317m/6.5 m
    • Tonnage: 8,919/25,112/25,318 gross, 3,801/11,331/12,889 net,10,500/ 3501 deadweight
    • Engines: Two Sulzer 7RLA56 diesels
    • Power: 13,020 kW
    • Speed: 21.5 knots
    • Capacity: 1000 Passengers, 430 Cars, 66 Trailers
    • Call Sign: LZHR,C8HC9,C6TY9
    • MMSI Number: 311852000
    • IMO Number: 7814462
    • Registry:  Nassau/Bahamas 🇧🇸,Dover/UK 🇬🇧, Piraeus/Greece 🇬🇷, Nassau/Bahamas 🇧🇸
    • Sister Ship: Fiesta (568), Zenobia (567)

Current AIS Location

Please note that this specific vessels AIS position data may be over an hour old and that the vessels position will only be displayed when it is within range of the VesselFinder AIS system. The AIS transponder/ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and it is in no way related to the 'Safety of Navigation at Sea'. All the AIS ship position data featured within this article is provided by VesselFinder and we are therefore not responsible for its content or its accuracy.


“The 3rd in a trio of “Passenger/RoRo Cargo” ships originally built for Rederi Ab Nordö, Malmö”

Courtesy of HHV Ferry


(L to Right Zenobia, Ariadne, Scandinavia) Courtesy of HHV Ferry

December 1st 1979: Launched as SCANDINAVIA

March 17th 1980: Delivered to Rederi Ab Nordö, Malmö.

April 1980: Commenced service between Koper, Yugoslavia – Tartous, Syria.

1981: Sold to Navigation Maritime Bulgare, Varna, Bulgaria.

April 1982: Sold to So Mejdunaroden Automobile Transport (S.M.A.T), Bourgas, Bulgaria. Renamed TZAREVETZ.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

April 1982: Operated under trade banner of MedLink.

1984: Commenced service between Livorno – Iran – Iraq.

1986: Chartered to Rederi Callitzis, Greece. Commenced service between Greece – Italy.

1987: Chartered to Rederi Ab Nordö-Link, Malmö. Commenced service between Malmö – Travemünde September 1988 – October 1988: Chartered to DFDS, A/S, Esbjerg, Denmark. Commenced service between Esbjerg – Harwich.

© Frank Foerst

© Frank Foerst (Canakkale, Turkey, 17/07/1988)

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Felixstowe, 01/09/1988)

November 1988: Sold to Sealink U.K. Ltd, Ashford (registered in the Bahamas, home port Nassau). Renamed FIESTA.

  Nigel Thornton Collection Nigel Thornton Collection Nigel Thornton Collection Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

November 1988: Chartered to OT-Africa Line.

© Frank Foerst  © Frank Foerst  

© Frank Foerst (Hamburg, 07/04/1989)

© Fotoflite Image Ref 83580

🆕 © Fotoflite (21/04/1989)

Courtesy of simonwp

© Simonwp (Immingham, 22/06/1989)

June 22nd 1989: “At this point she’d been taken over by Sealink from her previous Bulgarian owners, but still had a charter to OT Africa Line to complete, so Sealink crews had a change from Dover – Calais with at least two NW Europe – West Africa round trips”

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Bremerhaven, June 1989)

June 29th 1989: Arrived at Lloyds Werft GmbH, Bremerhaven, Germany. Rebuilt as a passenger ferry. The existing superstructure was modified and extended to the stern. To make room for new passenger areas, the upper vehicle deck was cut free and lowered, taking advantage of redundant headroom for double-stacked containers. The vehicle decks were converted from stern-loading to drive-through, and large sponsors were added on both sides

Nigel Thornton Collection  Courtesy of Jim Ashby  

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby  

Nigel Thornton Collection (as noted) Courtesy of Jim Ashby (as noted)

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Courtesy of Jim Ashby

February 1990: Renamed FANTASIA.

© M Fournet  © M Fournet  

© M Fournet (Under conversion at the yard of Lloyd Werft, Bremerhaven)

March 1st 1990: Re-delivered from builders yard.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

March 8th 1990: Arrived at Dover.

© Fotoflite  Sealink, Nigel Thornton Collection  

Sealink, Nigel Thornton Collection

© Fotoflite

© Fotoflite, Nigel Thornton Collection  © Ted Ingham  

© Fotoflite (Left) and © Ted Ingham (Right)

  © Gary Davies Maritime Photographic  

© Justin Merrigan (Left) and © Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic)(Right)

March 8th 1990: Commenced service as a freight only ferry between Dover – Calais.

© Ken Larwood   © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood   © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood   © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood   © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood   © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood (Dover, 16/03/1990)

March 17th 1990: Introduced as a car and passenger ferry between Dover – Calais.

© Brian Fisher  © Brian Fisher  

© Brian Fisher

May 31st 1990: Registered under Stena Equipment Ltd, London, England. Operating for Sealink Stena Line Ltd, Ashford.

June 3rd 1990 – June 12th 1990: Returned to Lloyd Werft, Bremerhaven for improvements to bow-thrusters…

© Simonwp

🆕 © Simonwp (Dover, 01/07/1990)

December 1990: Renamed STENA FANTASIA.

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

© Fotoflite  

© Fotoflite

Terry Conybeare Collection

Terry Conybeare Collection

1991: Stena full takeover of Sealink UK Ltd for a sum believed to be in the region of £259 million. The fleets livery was changed to reflect the fact.

© Andreas Wörteler © Carsten Dettmer  

© Andreas Wörteler (Left) and © Carsten Dettmer (Right)

January 8th 1991: Collided with a loading ramp in Calais and damaged her stern.

January 10th 1991: Arrived at Wilton Feyenoord, Rotterdam for repairs.

February 1991: Resumed service.

January 6th 1992 – February 7th 1992: Dry-docking at City Yards, Göteborg.

“The £12 million modifications will drive two new higher-rated bow thrusters and also includes the fitting of a new Kamewa azimuthing propulsion unit. The ships will be capable of operating nine single trips a day, thereby increasing capacity by 12.5 per cent.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

“Passenger facilities on each ship have also been upgraded to provide dance floors for evening ‘leisure cruises’ and improving duty and tax free shopping areas. The vessels also now boasts an ‘ a la carte waiter service restaurant”

1992: As part of the arrangements for refinancing Sealink Stena Line a £55 million sale and lease back agreement for the vessel was concluded. The ferry was bought by Stena Equipment and Aircraft Leasing Ltd. a UK based subsidiary of Stena AB Group and was immediately leased back to Stena Fantasia (F.L) Ltd who chartered ships to Sealink Stena Line.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Calais 01/06/1992)

© Fotoflite, Nigel Thornton Collection  © Andreas Wörteler  

© Fotoflite (Left) and © Andreas Wörteler (Right)

Nigel Thornton Collection

© Fotoflite 

© Pieter Inpyn  © Pieter Inpyn  

© Pieter Inpyn  (Calais 01/05/1993)

December 31st 1995: (midnight): Stena Sealink Line ceased as a company name and all ships in the fleet adopted the trading name of Stena Line. The fleet was painted in the Scandinavian livery.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler  

© Andreas Wörteler

© Pieter Inpyn  © Pieter Inpyn  

© Pieter Inpyn  (Calais 01/05/1997)

March 3rd 2008: P&O European Ferries and Stena Line merge their operations on the short sea. The new company was called P&O Stena Line. Registered as a British private sector company, 60% owned by the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) and 40% owned by Stena Line AB of Sweden. The new company took over the Dover and Newhaven services of P&O European Ferries and Stena Line.

March 10th 1998: Commenced service for P&O Stena Line between Dover – Calais.

1998: Registered to P&O Stena Line Ltd. UK, London.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Calais 01/06/1998)

© Andreas Wörteler  Nigel Thornton Collection  

© Andreas Wörteler (Left) and © Fotoflite (Right)

© Pieter Inpyn © Pieter Inpyn

© Pieter Inpyn  (Calais 01/09/1998)

December 1998: Renamed P & OSL CANTERBURY.

© Andreas Wörteler  Nigel Thornton Collection  

© Andreas Wörteler (Left) and © Fotoflite (Right)

© Gavin Hall

© Gavin Hall (“Limits scrapped – Prices Held” (relating to post Duty Free prices), July 1999)

Interior (March 1999)

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

© Carsten Dettmer

© Carsten Dettmer

April 2002: P&O announced its intention to buy out the 40% stake in P&O Stena Line owned by Stena AB.

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

August 2002: P&O Stena alliance ended with P&O purchasing Stena’s 40% share in the business. The Dover-Calais fleet adopted the appropriate P&O “Pride of ….” names, losing there P&OSL prefixes. All vessels had their Stena house flag removed from their funnels, along with the deletion of the name Stena from their hulls. In future the company would trade as P&O Ferries.

© Andreas Wörteler   

© Andreas Wörteler (Calais, 03/10/2002)

October 15th 2002: Commenced service for P&O Ferries, London. Renamed PO CANTERBURY. Continued between Dover – Calais.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler  

© Andreas Wörteler (Calais, 09/02/2003)

May 14th 2003: Final day in operational service at Dover. Came off service, ex Calais, at 08.30 hrs. De-stored at No 1 berth Dover and sailed across the harbour to “salute” Channel House (P&O HQ). Departed for Dunkerque at 18.30 hrs.

© Terry Conybeare  © Terry Conybeare  

© Terry Conybeare

(Time to say ‘goodbye’ )© Terry Conybeare

May 14th 2003: Laid up in Dunkerque.

© Carsten Dettmer

© Carsten Dettmer

October 22nd 2003: Sold to GA Ferries, Piraeus, Greece.

March 2004: Renamed ALKMINI A.

March 26th 2004: Left Dunkerque for Antwerp to collect a consignment of cars.

March 31st 2004: Left Antwerp for Tartous, Syria.

© Fotoflite Image Ref 281036 © Fotoflite Image Ref 281038

🆕 © Fotoflite (01/04/2004)

© Daniel Ferro

© Daniel Ferro (Gibraltar, 03/04/2004)

April 2004: Left Tartous for Greece, arriving at Drapetsona for conversion to her new role.

June 2004: Introduced between Igoumenitsa and Brindisi.

© Matt Murtland (HHV Ferry)  © Matt Murtland (HHV Ferry)  

© Matt Murtland (HHV Ferry)

© Frank Heine  © Frank Heine  

© Frank Heine (Brindisi, 07/2004)

September 2004: Laid up in Perama.

September 2004: Sold to Polferries.

September 27th 2004: Handed over to her new owners.

October 2004: Renamed WAWEL.

October 13th 2004: Left Perama for Poland.

October 18th 2004: Bunkered in Algeciras.

October 25th 2004: Arrived at Remontowa, Gdansk, Poland for rebuilding.

© Jakub Bogucki  © Jakub Bogucki  

© Jakub Bogucki  © Jakub Bogucki  

© Jakub Bogucki

February 15th 2005: Introduced between Swinoujscie – Ystad.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler  

© Andreas Wörteler

2007: Remains in service between Swinoujscie – Ystad for Polferries.

November 2008: Chartered to DFDS for service between Swinoujscie – Ystad (a co-operation between DFDS A/S and Polferries).

January 23rd 2009: Dry Docking.

February 8th 2009: Re-enters service.

May 6th 2015: Final day in service Swinoujscie – Ystad.

May 5th 2015: Left Swinoujscie for Nynäshamn.

May 7th 2015: Arrived Nynäshamn for trials then left for Gdansk.

May 9th 2015: Commenced service between Gdansk – Nynäshamn.

© Carsten Dettmer  © Carsten Dettmer  © Carsten Dettmer

© Carsten Dettmer (Nynashamn, Sweden 26/07/2017)

© F Vornholt (Gdansk, 27/08/2019)

October 14th 2020: “Suffered an engine failure and due to being too close to the shallow bottom on the approach to Nynäshamn, it was decided to drop anchor both to reduce the speed of the ship and to provide further possibilities for evasive manoeuvring.

For some unknown reason however, the anchor “did not catch” the ground and was dragged along the bottom without stopping the vessel as expected. It is not clear if she ran aground or, for example, hitting shallow rocks. 

The vessel remained at the quay in Nynäshamn for inspection.

Of course, directing a ship to a shipyard does not have to mean damage to its hull i.e. earlier grounding or contact with a rocky bottom. It may be a need for repairs in connection with the engine failure.”.

October 16th 2020: Left Nynäshamn for dry-docking in Gdansk.

October 27th 2020: Resumed service.

September 2nd 2021: With the opening of a new Terminal in Gdynia, conducted berthing trials in the port before continuing Nynäshamn – Gdansk services.

© F Vornholt

🆕 © F Vornholt (Nynäshamn, 20/07/2022)

January 2023: Still in service Nynäshamn – Gdansk.

January 21st 2023: In high winds, collided with the quayside in Gdansk. The ship was damaged 2-3 meters above the waterline. There were 151 people on board who disembarked safely. Remained in port for damage assessment and repairs

January 28th 2023: Resumed service.


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: Micke Asklander (Faktaomfartyg), Jakub Bogucki, Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic), Carsten Dettmer, Daniel Ferro, Brian Fisher, Frank Foerst, Fotoflite, M Fournet, Gavin Hall, Frank Heine, Ted Ingham, Pieter Inpyn, Ken Larwood, Justin Merrigan, Matt Murtland (HHV Ferry), Simonwp, Stéphane Poulain, Fabian Vornholt and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.

Special thanks go to Jim Ashby and Terry Conybeare.

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

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