Africa Morocco Link (AML)Attica GroupFerriesPast and PresentSealinkSealink British Ferries (SBF)Stena LineStena Sealink Line

MV Morocco Sun (Ex Galloway Princess/Le Rif) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 7719430

MV Morocco Sun

ex Le Rif, Stena Galloway, Galloway Princess

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by  Harland & Wolff, Belfast (Yard No. 1713), for Sealink U.K. in 1980 as a passenger and roll-on roll-off car and commercial vehicle ferry

Technical Data

  • Length on deck: 129.44 m (overall), 120.70 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth of hull: 21.62 m (moulded)
  • Depth to ‘B’ deck: 13.20 m
  • Draught: 4.74 m (scanting), 4.65 m (service)
  • Tonnage: 6,630 gross (1980) 6,506 (1984), 2,675 net (1980) 3,096 (1984), 1,895 deadweight (1980) 1,850 (1984)
  • Engines: Two Crossley-Pielstick medium speed 16PC2-5V diesels, 10400 bhp at 520 revs/min
  • Power: 11,770 kW
  • Speed: 18.5 knots (service)
  • Capacity: 974 passengers, 309 cars, 62 x 12 m freight vehicles.
  • Call Sign: GBJF, CNA2177, CNA2494
  • IMO Number: 7719430
  • Official Number: 341514
  • MMSI Number: 242228000
  • Registry: Stranraer/United Kingdom 🇬🇧, Casablanca/Morocco 🇲🇦, Tanger/Morocco 🇲🇦
  • Sister-ships: St Anselm (1715)  St Christopher (1716), St David (1717)

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 first of a series of four similar “Saint Class” ships to be produced by the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast. The ST ANSELM and her twin sister ST CHRISTOPHER were Sealink’s response to the freight challenge and passenger demands of the 1980s. The other pair, the GALLOWAY PRINCESS and ST DAVID was originally delivered for Irish Sea operations

May 24th 1979: Launched.

Nigel Thornton Collection

 Nigel Thornton Collection

March 9th 1980: Sea trials.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

April 22nd 1980: Delivered to IBOS Finance Ltd, England. Chartered to Sealink UK Ltd, Stranraer, England.

Justin Merrigan Collection

 Justin Merrigan Collection

May 1st 1980: Commenced service between Stranraer – Larne.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

June (end), 1980: Suffered mechanical problems and taken out of service for a week.

September 1980: Dry-docked at her builders in Belfast received shaft and propeller attention.

July 27th 1984: Registered to Sea Containers Ltd.

© Aubrey Dale  © Aubrey Dale

 © Aubrey Dale

© Brian Fisher  Nigel Thornton Collection

© Brian Fisher (Left) and Nigel Thornton Collection (Right)

1984: In readiness for privatisation, on their re-appearance from overhaul, units of the Sealink UK Ltd fleet all appeared without the B.R. double arrow logo on their funnels. The vessels gradually appeared with white hulls. From that time the company would trade as Sealink British Ferries and a subsidiary company British Ferries was set up for Channel Island operations.

Ken Larwood  © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

July 18th 1984: Sale of Sealink U.K. to Sea Containers Ltd, Bermuda. Company changed name to Sealink British Ferries U.K.

1988 – 89: Complete overhaul and refurbishment in Bremerhaven, Germany.

© Frank Heine  © Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Bremerhaven)

January 1990: Sold to Stena Line, Ab, Göteborg. (Registered to Stena Equipment Ltd. London) Commenced service for Sealink Stena Line.

May 31st 1990: Registered to Sealink Stena Line Ltd., London.

© Brian Fisher  Nigel Thornton Collection

 © Brian Fisher (Left) and Nigel Thornton Collection (Right)

© Aubrey Dale  © Aubrey Dale

© Aubrey Dale

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

February 1991: Renamed STENA GALLOWAY.

© Aubrey Dale  © Aubrey Dale

© Aubrey Dale

February 27th – March 16th 1992: Refit at Harland & Wolff, Belfast.

© Ian Collard

🆕 © Ian Collard (West Float waiting to enter Bidston dry dock Birkenhead)

August 1992 – August 21st 1992: Operated between Holyhead – Dun Laoghaire.


© Bernd Crause (Stranraer, 10/05/1994)

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

© Alan Geddes

© Alan Geddes

1995: Registered to Stena Line Ltd, Stranraer.

November 12th 1995: Commenced service between Stranraer – Belfast.

February 22nd 2002: Final day operating between Stranraer – Belfast.

February 22nd 2002: Sold to IMTC (International Maritime Transport Corporation), Casablanca, Morocco. Renamed LE RIF.

© Stephen Brown

© Stephen Brown

February 24th 2002: Left Belfast for Morocco.

© Daniel Ferro  © Daniel Ferro

© Daniel Ferro

March 2002: Commenced service between Tangier – Algeciras.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Algeciras, 30/07/2002)

April 2nd 2008: A fire during the early hours of this morning on board – moored in Algeciras port forced the evacuation of the crew and 14 passengers – mostly long-distance lorry drivers none of whom were injured. It seems that the fire started in one of the ferry’s cargo holds though the cause is not known at this stage.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Algeciras, 17/08/2008)

© Daniel Ferro  © Daniel Ferro

© Daniel Ferro (Algeciras, (16/10/2008)

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Algeciras, 09/08/2010)

2014: Laid up in Ksar es Seghir near Tangier.

© Google Earth

© Google Earth (images dated 26/01/2015)

June 30th 2015: The Administrative Court of Appeal in Rabat announced the decision to auction the ship.  The auction is expected to repay some of the debts of the company, including those due to Total Morocco, mooring Society Strait or the PNA.

July 21st 2016: “After its auction for $ 9 million dirhams and its registration in the name of its new owner, DWLM (Detroit World Logistics Maritime), towed to a shipyard in Malaga in southern Spain .”.

August 31st 2016: “Reports from Spain indicate that former North Channel favourite Le Rif (ex Stena Galloway, Galloway Princess) has yet to enter Andalucia dry dock at the Cernaval Mario Lopez shipyard in Malaga , despite it being a month since her arrival in the Spanish port. It appears that the delay is due to the ship requiring more work than previously thought to prepare her for entering the dry-dock for a €2.5m refurbishment concentrating mostly on her hull and mechanicals. It is understood that onboard power is currently being provided by a generator on the dockside ………………………………..” (Steven Tarbox – niferrysite)

March 2017: Towed from La Spezia to Naples.

© Detroit World Logistic Maritime   © Detroit World Logistic Maritime

© Detroit World Logistic Maritime   © Detroit World Logistic Maritime

© Detroit World Logistic Maritime

© Malcolm Cranfield

© Malcolm Cranfield (10/10/2017)

January 2018: Reports that refurbishment work had ceased.

March 31st 2018: DWLM (Detroit World Logistics Maritime) Facebook page indicates sea trials will take place 15/04/2018), then enter service Tanger Med-Algeciras

© Volodymyr

© Vovashap (Naples, 23/04/2018)

© Malcolm Cranfield

© Malcolm Cranfield (Naples, 10/07/2018)

January 8th 2019: Towed to Genoa where work continued. However, she was repainted “All white” and there were reports that she had been taken over by Africa-Morocco Line (AML).

© Giorgio Parodi (Genoa 14/01/2019)

© Giorgio Parodi (Genoa 05/04/2019)

May 18th 2019: It was reported that AML had agreed to pay the outstanding debts (€ 8 million) of DWLM for work done at both Naples and Genoa. She will be renamed MOROCCO SUN and is expected to be introduced on the Algeciras-Tanger Med run on June 15, 2019.


© Giorgio Parodi (Genoa 05/06/2019) (Left) (Genoa 08/06/2019) (Right)

© Eerik Laine  © Eerik Laine

© Eerik Laine (Genoa, 09/062019)

July 20th 2019: Conducted sea trials




©  Giorgio Arra (Genoa, 20/07/2019)(Navi e Armatori)

July 24th 2019: Left Genoa for Tanger Med (e.t.a. 27/07/2019) where she will undergo a survey.

August 2nd 2019: Commenced service Algeciras-Tanger Med .

© Justo M Prieto (Algeciras, 25/08/2019)

September 12th 2019: Left Tanger Med for Palumbo shipyards (Malta) in order to undergo some more scheduled and necessary repairs.

September 16th 2019: Arrived Valletta and entered Dock No 5.

© Emmanuel.L.Stafrace (Malta)

© Emmanuel.L.Stafrace  (Malta) Dock No 5, Valletta 24/09/2019)

October 15th 2019: Left Valletta.

October 17th 2019: Arrived Perama to carry out repairs and upgrades.

© Dimitris Mentakis (Perama, 29/02/2020)

May 22nd 2020: Conducted sea trials.

© Dimitris Mentakis (Perama, 25/05/2020)

May 29th 2020: Conducted more sea trials before returning to Perama.



© Dimitris Mentakis (Perama 25/05/2020)

October 4th 2020: Sources indicate she will leave Perama for Chalkida (Avlida Shipyards) where work will be done before she sails for Tanger-Med.

October 9th 2020: Left Chalkida for Spain.

October 20th 2020: Commenced services Algeciras-Tanger Med .

© Vovashap © Vovashap

© Vovashap (Algeciras, 21/10/2021)

January 4th 2022: Came off service in Algeciras and entered dry-dock in Gibraltar for refit.

© Frances Ferro (Gibraltar, 04/01/2022)

© John Isola © John Isola

© John Isola (Gibraltar)

© Justo Prieto

© Justo Prieto (Algeciras, 24/09/2022)

June 2023: Still in service Algeciras-Tanger Med .

© Richard Seville © Richard Seville

© Richard Seville (Algeciras, 03/06/2023)

January 23rd 2024: Came off service at Algeciras and sailed to Cernaval Group Shipyard, Campamento (San Roque Cadiz).

April 24th 2024: Resumed service Algeciras – Tanger Med.

© Tony Davis

🆕 © Tony Davis (Algeciras, 21/05/2024)

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: Stephen Brown, Ian Collard, Malcolm Cranfield, Bernd Crause, Aubrey Dale, Tony Davis, Detroit World Logistic Maritime, Daniel Ferro, Brian Fisher, Alan Geddes, Frank Heine, John Isola, Eerik Laine, Ken Larwood, Dimitris Mentakis, Justin Merrigan, Giorgio Parodi, Justo Prieto, Richard Seville, Emmanuel.L . Stafrace (Malta), Steven Tarbox (NIferrysite), Vovashap and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.

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


  1. Every summer as a child in the 80’s I would begin my summer holidays on this ship. She would take us to Scotland and weeks later return us home. I will forever associate Galloway Princess with these happy carefree times. Wonderful ship for a child, there was something majestic about her, can’t quite put my finger on it. If I could I’d buy her today and put her back into her original colours, I fear that I cannot be put back to mine.

  2. Very interesting piece, thank you. However, given such a detailed account of the vessel’s history I’m amazed that the most interesting fact of all didn’t even warrant a mention! This is the ferry that Inga-Maria Hauser made her fateful final journey on – she was abducted onboard the Galloway Princess immediately upon docking in Larne on April 6th 1988 and was tragically raped and murdered later that night. It remains the only case of it’s kind to have occurred in Northern Ireland, and is still unsolved all these years later.

  3. This ship is part of my childhood holidays, used to hear it rumbling up loch ryan when i was lying in bed in our caravan. Loved watching it coming in to port too. Hope its back to work soon.

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