ex Kallisti, Methodia II, Ergina, Kimolos, Free Enterprise I, Free Enterprise
Free Enterprise – © Malcolm Cranfield
Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by N.V. Werf “Gusto”, Schiedam, Rotterdam,(Yard No. 424) for Townsend Bros. Ferries Ltd, in 1962.
- Length: 96.5m (316.5 ft) (overall)
- Breadth of Hull: 15.8m (53.7 ft) (extreme)
- Draught: 4.3m (13.3 ft) (maximum)
- Tonnage: 2,607 gross (1962), 890 net, 457 deadweight
- Engines: Two 12-cylinder Smit-M.A.N. RBL 6612 four-stroke single-acting diesels.
- Power: 7,360 kW/3470 bhp
- Speed: 17.0 knots
- Capacity: 850 passengers (1962), 1,400 (1981), 120 cars on two decks and 6 freight vehicles
- Number of crew: 56
- Call Sign: GIAR, SWHW
- IMO Number: 5120752
- Official Number: 303416
- Registry: Dover/UK 🇬🇧, Piraeus/Greece 🇬🇷
August 7th 1961: Keel laid
February 2nd 1962: Launched as FREE ENTERPRISE.
Free Enterprise – Steve R Salter Archives (Fitting Out)
Free Enterprise – Courtesy of John Hendy
Free Enterprise – © A G Jones
April 12th 1962: “Maiden Voyage” delayed.
Free Enterprise – © Fotoflite, Stéphane Poulain Collection (Left) © Frank Phillips (Right)
April 22nd 1962: Commenced service between Dover – Calais.
Free Enterprise – Roy Thornton Collection
August 1962 (early): Returned to Rotterdam with a damaged bow rudder.
August 7th 1962: Damaged when leaving Dover for Calais.
July 26th 1964: Collided with the East Pier at Calais. Slight damage to hull.
May 1965: Renamed FREE ENTERPRISE I.
1965: “Townsend” in red was added to the superstructure.
Free Enterprise I – © Ken Larwood (Left) © Bob Scott (Dover 07/09/1970)(Right)
Free Enterprise I – © Ted Ingham (Left) 🆕 Courtesy of Philippe Brébant (Association Paquebots & Marine Marchande) (Right)
1968: Townsend European Ferries joined with Thoresen Ferries to become Townsend Thoresen European Ferries
Free Enterprise I – © A G Jones (Calais, 05/07/1969)(both)
September 6th 1971: Damaged at the stern when accidentally ramming spar at Calais.
Free Enterprise I – Courtesy of Colin Hartley (Dover)
1972: “Townsend Thoresen” was added in small white letters on the hulls and TTF logo appeared on funnels in pale green.
November 13th 1972: Ran aground in Calais and suffered minor damage.
November 17th 1972: Towed to Vlissingen for repairs.
December 17th 1973: Deputised on Dover – Zeebrugge service.
1974: Ships had hulls painted dark green with company name in large white letters.
Free Enterprise I – Courtesy of Philippe Brébant (Association Paquebots & Marine Marchande)
May 25th 1975: Introduced, for the summer season, between Cairnryan – Larne.
Free Enterprise I – Roy Thornton Collection
1976: “Thoresen” orange was adopted for all ships hulls and funnels eventually became dark green with orange TTF company logo.
Free Enterprise I – © Michael Woodland
Free Enterprise I – © Bob Scott (Left) © Cees de Bijl, Nigel Thornton Collection (Right)
1976 (Summer): Operated between Cairnryan – Larne
Free Enterprise I – Steve R Salter Archives (Left) © Derek Longly (Dover Strait, 01/11/1976)(Right)
1977: Mostly on stand-by duties. Then laid up in Tilbury during the winter seasons.
Free Enterprise I – © Tim Webb (Tilbury 11/03/1978)
Free Enterprise I – © Derek Longly (Dover, 01/07/1979)
December 24th 1979: Final day in service for Townsend Thoresen, thereafter laid up in Tilbury.
February 23rd 1980: Left Tilbury for Rotterdam and refit
February 1980: Sold to Ventouris Group, Piraeus, Greece and renamed KIMOLOS.
Kimolos – Roy Thornton Collection (© A Srimali)
March 2nd 1981: Arrived at Piraeus after rebuild. Operated between Piraeus – Cyclades Islands.
November 24th 1981: Ran aground at Sifnos and repaired in Piraeus.
October 21st 1992: Off Halki, hit a wreck. After 10 hors re-floated and towed for repair..
June 17th 1983: Ran aground on Sifnos Island. The accident occurred at 09.30 during a period of strong winds but fortunately the vessel ran aground on a sandy beach and refloated herself at 14.30. However so much wash was made during the attempt that 11 other craft in the harbour at Kamares were damaged.
Kimolos – © Ken Larwood
Kimolos – © Frank Heine (Piraeus July 1981)
September 28th 1983: Arriving at Syros at 04.25 she struck the edge of the North breakwater bringing down the lighthouse. The ship became stranded on the breakwater’s triangular concrete blocks and passengers were eventually ferried ashore by the local tugs. Refloated herself at 17.15 and she was surveyed at dry dock in Piraeus on October 3 (1983). Damage extended from the starboard rails on her forecastle, partial flooding of engine room spaces and crew cabins to bent screws. The engines had to be opened up and inspected and repairs were also carried out to her hull following her earlier troubles when she ran aground at Sifnos in June
Kimolos – © Frank Heine (Piraeus 12/07/1990)
Kimolos – © Bernd Crause (02/08/1992)
February 25th 1993: Ran aground on the beach of Kamares, Sifnos.
1993: Registered to Hellenic Coastal Lines C. Ventouris Sons Shipping Co., Piraeus, Greece, renamed ERGINA.
Ergina – Roy Thornton Collection (Postcard © Pilip James) (Left) © Bernd Crause (Naxos, 13/09/1993)(Right)
Ergina – © Frank Heine (Piraeus 18/07/1994)
1995: Renamed VENTOURIS.
May 1995: Commenced service for Ventouris Sea Lines, Piraeus, Greece. Renamed METHODIA II.
October 1995: The financial problems of her operators saw her laid up in the Great Harbour in Piraeus
Methodia II – © Carsten Dettmer (Piraeus, 01/11/1996)
January 1997: Sold to Sinderella NE, Piraeus, Greece. Renamed KALLISTI.
Kallisti – Courtesy of Philippe Brébant (Association Paquebots & Marine Marchande)
Kallisti – Anderson Collection
1997: Introduced in the summer for cruising between Crete – Santorini and in the winter between Lavrio – Tinos – Mykonos.
Kallisti – © Carlo Martinelli (Iraklion, 01/11/1999)
Kallisti – © Peter J Fitzpatrick (Heraklion August 2002)
2003: Reportedly laid-up in Heraklion, Crete.
2004 (Summer): Cruising only between Crete – Santorini.
2005: Registered owner: Ionian Lines Cruises & Ferry, renamed OKEANIS.
Okeanis – © Matt Murtland (HHV Ferry)
2006 (Autumn): Laid up in Zakynthos and advertised for sale.
Okeanis – © Carsten Dettmer (Zakinthos, 01/072007)
© Google Earth (both, 38º-037868 N/23º-520809 E, 10/01/2012 )
February 16th 2013: Confirmed as being laid up at Eleusis, Greece.
June 1st 2013: Left Eleusis, under tow from the tug CHRISTOS XVII, for scrapping in Aliaga .
June 6th 2013: Arrived Aliaga for scrapping.
Okeanis – © Selim San (all)
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), Courtesy of Philippe Brébant (Association Paquebots & Marine Marchande), Malcolm Cranfield, Bernd Crause, Carsten Dettmer, Brian Fisher, Peter J Fitzpatrick, Colin Hartley, Frank Heine, Ted Ingham, A G Jones, Derek Longly, Carlo Martinelli, Matt Murtland (HHV Ferry), Frank Phillips, Stéphane Poulain, Selim San, Bob Scott, Tim Webb and Michael Woodland for their assistance in compiling this feature.
Special thanks go to the World Ship Society (East Kent Branch), John Hendy and Steve R Salter.