ex Pride of Canterbury, Free Enterprise VIII
Free Enterprise VIII – © Fotoflite, Roy Thornton Collection
Steel triple screw vessel built for Townsend Thoresen in 1974 by Verolme Scheepswerf, Alblasserdam, N.V., near Rotterdam (Yard No. 862), a part of Verolme United Shipyards. Engined by Stork-Werkspoor Diesel, Amsterdam.
- Length on Deck: 123.60m (385.5 ft) (overall), 110.00m (361.1 ft) (between perpendiculars)
- Breadth of Hull: 19.45m (63.9 ft) (extreme)
- Depth: 11.13m (36.5 ft) (moulded)
- Draught: 4.39m (14.4 ft) (maximum)
- Tonnage: 5,170 gross, 2,635 net, 1,268 dead weight
- Engines: Three 8-cylinder Stork-Werkspoor four stroke single acting diesels with double-reduction gearing, connected to three screw shafts.
- Power: 9710 kW
- Speed: 19 knots
- Capacity: 1,200 passengers, 350 cars ,24 freight (60 from 1987)
- Number of crew: 74
- Call Sign: GUEN (1974 – 1993), SVAI (1993 – 2011 )
- IMO Number: 7368499
- Official Number: 362864
- Registry: Dover, United kingdom (1974 – 1993), Greece (1993 – 2011)
- Sister Ships: Free Enterprise VII (CO882), Free Enterprise VI (CO881), Free Enterprise V (CO755), Free Enterprise IV (CO719)
April 6th 1974: Launched.
July 1974: Delivered to Townsend Car Ferries Ltd., Dover, England.
Free Enterprise VIII – © A G Jones
July 18th 1974: Maiden voyage for Townsend Thoresen between Dover – Calais/Zeebrügge.
1976 – 1977: Thoresen orange hulls were adopted for all ships and funnels eventually became dark green with orange TTF logo although initially they did not have black tops.
Free Enterprise VIII – Courtesy of Philippe Brébant (Association Paquebots & Marine Marchande)
Free Enterprise VIII – 🆕© Steffen Weirauch Collection (13/06/1983)
Free Enterprise VIII – © John Jones (left) and Nigel Thornton Collection (right)
Free Enterprise VIII – © Ken Larwood (all)
1980: Commenced service between Dover – Zeebrügge.
Free Enterprise VIII – © Kevin Hoggett
1983: Accommodation up-rated to come in line with the new “Spirit” class.
Free Enterprise VIII – © Simonwp
1984 -1985: A new TT logo, in white, was introduced on the funnels.
Free Enterprise VIII – © Brian Fisher (left) and © Fotoflite (right)
Free Enterprise VIII – Courtesy of Steve Salter(Left) © Mark Willis (Dover, 1985)
1987: Following the “HERALD” disaster, from spring onwards, pale blue funnels with P & O flag logo became the norm.
Free Enterprise VIII – © Fotoflite, Roy Thornton Collection (left) and © Pieter Inpyn (right)
October 1987: There was a change to P&O European Ferries navy blue hull and funnel.
October 28th 1987: Renamed PRIDE OF CANTERBURY.
Pride of Canterbury – © Ken Larwood
December 4th 1987: Commenced service between Dover – Boulogne.
December 31st 1987: Registered to P&O European Ferries Ltd., Dover.
January 1988: Damaged her stern while berthing at Boulogne. Sent to Vlissingen for repairs. Lost part of her damaged rudder and had to make for dry dock at Calais. Remained there owing to NUS strike.
February 1988: Laid up at Vlissingen Scheldepoort, owing to seamen’s strike.
April 1988: Laid up in Calais and offered for sale.
August 19th 1988: Resumed Dover – Boulogne.
March 15th 1991: Sold to Abbey March Leasing Ltd, London, England. Bareboat-chartered back to P&O European Ferries.
Pride of Canterbury – © Fotoflite
Pride of Canterbury – © Nigel Thornton (both)
Pride of Canterbury – © Ken Larwood
Pride of Canterbury – © Andreas Wörteler
January 4th 1993: P&O European Ferries announced the Closure of the Dover-Boulogne route. Final service between Dover – Boulogne. Sailed to Tilbury again offered for sale.
Pride of Canterbury – © Brian Pawley
March 1993: Sold to GA Ferries, Piraeus, Greece. Renamed ROMILDA.
Romilda – © Brian Pawley
April 8th 1993: Arrived in Piraeus.
Romilda – © Sebastiaan Toufekoulas (left) and © Ken Larwood (right)
1993: Commenced service between Piraeus and the Greek Islands.
Romilda – © Benoit Donne
March 16th 2004: Collided with the quayside in Naxos, suffered minor damage to her bow.
Romilda – © Aleksi Lindström
2007: Remains in service.
August 30th 2011: Towed from Piraeus bound for scrapping in Aliaga.
Romilda – © Peter J Fitzpatrick
September 7th 2011: Noted as be beached at Aliaga.
Romilda – © Selim San
All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors and omissions. All items included in this article are subject to ©. We would like to thank: Philippe Brébant (Association Paquebots & Marine Marchande), Benoit Donne, Brian Fisher, Peter J Fitzpatrick, Kevin Hoggett, Pieter Inpyn, A G Jones, John Jones, Ken Larwood, Aleksi Lindström, Brian Pawley, Simonwp, Steve Salter, Selim San, Sebastiaan Toufekoulas, Mark Willis and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.