FerriesHolyman LtdPast and PresentSally LineTransEuropa Ferries (TEF)

MV Larkspur – Past and Present

IMO Number: 7500451

MV Lucky Star

ex Larks, Larkspur, Eurotraveller, Sally Sky, Viking 2, Gedser

© Jürgen Stein

© Jürgen Stein

Steel twin screw motor vessel built by Schichau-Unterweser Ag, Bremerhaven (Yard No. 2269) in 1976 for Gedser-Travemunde Ruten A/S, Gedser Denmark.

Technical Data

  • Length: 123.4m (overall) (1976), 143.84m (1990)
  • Breadth: 20.54m (extreme)
  • Depth: 11.99m
  • Draught: 5.82m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 4,998 gross (1976),14,558 gross (1990), 14,300 (1992)/1,728 net (1976), 7,196 net (1990)/ 2,342 deadweight (1976), 4,150 deadweight (1990)
  • Engines: Two 9-cylinder Stork-Werkspoor 9TM410 diesels.
  • Power: 12,000 hk
  • Speed: 18.5 knots
  • Capacity: 800 passengers (1976), 1155 (1990)/314 Cars (1976), 325 (1990) or 55 commercial trailers
  • Call Sign: C6BR6, 5BJZ3
  • IMO Number: 7500451
  • Registry: Gedser/Denmark 🇩🇰, Nassau/Bahamas 🇧🇸, Limassol/Cyprus 🇨🇾


September 26th 1974: Ordered.

April 9th 1976: Keel struck.

August 23rd 1976: Launched.

December 18th 1976: Delivered to I/S Gedser-Travemünde Ruten A/S, A/S Östersöens Faergedrift, Sydfalster Kommune and M. Thorviks Rederi A/S.

© Jürgen Stein

© Jürgen Stein

December 19th 1976: Commenced service between Gedser – Travemünde.

December 1976: Registered to Gedser-Travemünde Ruten A/S, Gedser.

March 5th 1977: Ran aground outside Gedser, remaining stuck for 12 hours before re-floating and being able to continue her journey.

September 4th 1978 – September 14th 1978: Chartered to NATO as a troop-transport.

May 1980: Sale of 34% of shares to DFDS V/ A/S Boröy, Norway.

© Wolfgang Fricke  © Pieter Inpyn

© Wolfgang Fricke (Travemunde, 01/08/1982)(Left) © Pieter Inpijjn (Travemunde, 01/06/1984)(Right)

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Travemunde, 19/06/1984)

May 1986: Sale of the DFDS share to other interests.

January 14th 1986: Final day operating between Gedser – Travemünde.

January 15th 1986: Repairs to engine damage at Rickmers Werft, Bremerhaven.

© Christoph Podloucky

© Christoph Podloucky

February 17th 1986: Sold to Torsviks Rederi A/S, Oslo, Norway (Nassau, Bahamas)(Sally Line U.K. Ltd.) and renamed VIKING 2.

© Christoph Podloucky

© Christoph Podloucky


Courtesy of John Taylor (both)

April 1986: Chartered to Sally Line U.K.

© Ted Ingham

© Ted Ingham 

April 25th 1986: Maiden voyage Ramsgate – Dunkerque. Sailed with a complete French crew from the Captain, officers, deck and catering crew to reception staff.

© Simonwp

🆕 © Simonwp (10/06/1986)

1987: There was a reorganisation of Sally Line’s parent company in Finland. The outcome was that Rederi AB Sally sold its 33% share of Viking Line, while the other two partners in Viking Line bought up an equally large part of Sally’s shareholding.

© Pieter Inpyn © Pieter Inpyn  

© Pieter Inpijn (both)(01/05/1988)

December 1988: Sold to Johnson Line AB, Nassau, Bahamas. Refit at ARNO, Dunkerque, where she was renamed SALLY SKY. Bareboat-chartered to Sally Line (UK) Ltd., Ramsgate.

Nigel Thornton Collection © Ken Larwood  

 Nigel Thornton Collection (Left) © Ken Larwood (Right)

1988: Old livery was thought to be “Rather aggressive” so it was decided to cut down on the amount of red. Therefore, instead of the whole of the ships’ hulls being painted red, only the lower half would be this colour with the remainder being white. The funnel colour would also be simplified in that it would be white with two slim red bands near the top. The word “Sally” would be painted on the white section of the hull in red letters. The major change as far as the ships were concerned was that the vessels would now drop the “Viking” name.

© Simonwp

🆕 © Simonwp (Ramsgate, 01/06/1989)

January 18th 1990: Final arrival at Ramsgate prior to departure for Immingham.

January 18th/19th 1990: Departed Ramsgate for Immingham.

January 19th 1990: Arrived at Humber Ship Repair Immingham, England to be lengthened by 20.4m.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Immingham, 18/01/1990)

© Simonwp © Simonwp  

© Simonwp (left, Immingham preparing for lengthening 19/01/1990)(right, after lengthening)

April 8th 1990: Works completed and deaparted Immingham.

April 15th 1990: Returned to Ramsgate

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

April 19th – 20th 1990: Resumed service between Ramsgate – Dunkerque.

© Andreas Wörteler © Andreas Wörteler  

© Andreas Wörteler (both)

1990: New livery with an extra red band on the upper white section of the hull.

© Ken Larwood  © Tony Garner

© Ken Larwood (Left) © Tony Garner (Ramsgate, 07/09/1991)(Right)

1990: Sold to Johnson Line Ab, Nassau, Bahamas Inc. & EffJohn International (Sverige) AB, Nassau, Bahamas.

1991: Sold to Saudi Maritime Holding (Liners) Ltd. & Johnson Line AB, Nassau, Bahamas.

1995: The company revamped its image with a new logo and the adoption of Silja Line (parent company) seals head on the hulls and funnels of the ships.

© Andreas Wörteler © Ken Larwood  

© Andreas Wörteler (Left) © Ken Larwood (Right)

December 1996: Withdrawn from service between Dunkerque – Ramsgate and given a thorough upgrading of her passenger facilities in preparation for her new freight role.

December 1996: Laid up.

February 1997: Renamed EUROTRAVELLER, operating on a reduced passenger certificate and was to be crewed by former RMT personnel. The main reason for retaining the vessel was that she would act as back-up to the fast craft operation of Holyman Sally.

March 1st 1997: The joint Holyman Sally fast craft passenger operation commenced and “Sally Freight” continued.

March 13th 1997: Commenced service for Holyman Sally Ferries between Ostend – Ramsgate.

Roy Thornton Collection © Andreas Wörteler  

Roy Thornton Collection (Left) © Andreas Wörteler (Right)

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

© Pieter Inpyn © Pieter Inpyn

© Pieter Inpijn

July 29th 1998: The Sally Direct passenger service commenced between Ramsgate – Ostend

© Andreas Wörteler © Andreas Wörteler  

© Andreas Wörteler (both)

© Pieter Inpyn © Ken larwood  

© Pieter Inpijn (Ostend 01/09/1998)(Left) © Ken Larwood (Right)

November 20th 1998: Irreversible financial loses led to Sally Direct and Sally Freight links coming to an end. The Slovenian company, TransEuropa Shipping Lines, with its partners H R Services Ltd., Diaz Haulage, Ostend Cargo Handling Services and the Port of Ostend, commenced operations without so much as missing a single sailing

November 20th 1998: Final day in service with Sally Direct between Ostend – Ramsgate.

November 1998: Laid up in Dunkerque.

1999: Registered to Sally Line Ltd., Nassau, Bahamas. Chartered to TransEuropa Shipping Lines, Nassau.

April 1999: Renamed LARKSPUR.

© Andreas Wörteler © Carsten Dettmer  

© Andreas Wörteler (Left) © Carsten Dettmer (Ostend, 12/10/1999)(Right)

October 1999: Sold to TransEuropa Shipping Lines (Registered to Forsythia Maritime Co. Ltd., Nassau, Bahamas), still laid up in Dunkerque.

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

August 27th 2000: Maiden voyage between Ostend – Ramsgate.

© Andreas Wörteler © Andreas Wörteler  

© Andreas Wörteler (both)

July 20th 2004: Started a new passenger service between Ostend and Ramsgate. Makes four daily crossings with cars, mobile homes, caravans and motor cycles but initially no coaches or foot passengers.

May 15th 2005: Returned to service.

© Cedric Hacke © Cedric Hacke  

© Cedric Hacke (both)

May 5th 2006: To Arno Dunkerque for refit/dry-docking. Anticipated return 10th

© Robert Fournier

© Robert Fournier

May 13th 2006: Sailed from Dunkerque direct to Ramsgate to resume service.

May 7th 2007: To Zeebrugge for underwater survey

May 8th 2007: Resumed.


© John Taylor   © John Taylor

© John Taylor   © John Taylor

© John Taylor   © John Taylor

© John Taylor

© John Taylor (all)

July 2008: Reportedly suffering mechanical problems.

January 24th 2009: Grounded in Ramsgate for 2 hours. Able to remove herself.

August 6th 2009: Detained for 2 days in Ostend owing to deficiencies in safety regulations.

© Nigel Thornton © Nigel Thornton  

© Nigel Thornton (both)

August 8th 2009: Resumed service.

August 22nd 2009: To ARNO, Dunkerque for remedial work resulting from detention + annual survey.

© Robert Fournier

© Robert Fournier

August 27th 2009: Left Dunkerque bound for Ostend then resumed.

September 10th 2009: To ARNO suffering from rudder problems.

September 23rd 2009: Left ARNO and sailed to Ostend.

September 25th 2009: Resumed service.

August 2011: Re-flagged to Cyprus, home port Limassol.

November 10th 2011: To dry-dock at ARNO Dunkerque.

November 19th 2011: Resumed service.

December 20th 2011: Sailed to Antwerp Ship Repair reason unknown (rumoured to be engine failure).

December 24th 2011: Arrived back in Ostend and laid up.

November 2013: Rumours circulate that she had been sold by auction.

December 21st 2013:Reportedly sold to Oilchart 870.000 Euro at auction.

January 13th 2014: Reportedly renamed LARKS.

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler (Ostend 23/02/2014)

March 4th 2014: Sailed from Ostend to Sluiskil, Holland.

© Netty (Terneuzen, Netherlands)


© Netty (Drydocked in Shipyard De Schroef drydock B for survey and renovation works.)

April 5th 2014: Remains in Sluiskil at the shipyard.


© Netty

April 8th 2014: Arrived in Ostend.

May 9th 2014: Anticipated departure from Ostend, destination Igoumenítsa (Greece).

May 10th 2014: Departed Ostend for Igoumenítsa. According to AIS she is scheduled to arrive on the 18/05/2014.

May 20th 2014: Arrived at Igoumenítsa.

July 11th 2014: Commenced sailings Igoumenitsa – Brindisi.

July 27th 2014: Suffered port engine failure and sailed to Igoumenitsa where she was detained pending all necessary repairs.

© Matt Murtland

© Matt Murtland

September 22nd 2014: In Igoumenitsa and noted as having been renamed LUCK STAR.

June 14th 2015: Towed to Bijela, Montenegro.

© Drago Krivokapic © Drago Krivokapic  

© Drago Krivokapic

© Drago Krivokapic (Adriatic shipyard Bijela)

August 16th 2015: “Moored in Adriatic shipyard Bijela, in Bay of Boka, Montenegro. Her future is unknown, because the shipyard is closed. Same situation is with others ships in shipyard. His stern ramp is broken and now is in the sea”.

© Drago Krivokapic

© Drago Krivokapic (Adriatic shipyard Bijela 26/03/2016, New Ramp/Old fitted)

September 2016: Remains at Adriatic shipyard Bijela, in Bay of Boka, Montenegro

© Sydney Sinclair

© Sydney Sinclair (25/08/2016)

October 6th 2016: Known to have been beached at Aliaga prior to scrapping . (Source Shipspotting Forum http://forum.shipspotting.com/)

Lucky Star –


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: Robert Fournier, Wolfgang Fricke, Cedric Hacke, Ted Ingham, Pieter Inpijn, Drago Krivokapic, Ken Larwood, Matt Murtland, Netty, Christoph Podloucky,  Sydney Sinclair, Jürgen Stein, John Taylor, Simonwp and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

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


  1. I see larks has moved today. Up river by the look of things. Hopefully she won’t get sold as scrap.

    1. Hi John,

      According to a Facebook contact the `Larks’ is now anchored on the Canal Ghent – Terneuzen, next to the dry dock facility in Sluiskil. Hopefully things will become clearer in the coming days.

      Best Wishes


  2. Thank you for adding my photos. I will miss her, it’s a real shame as she’s been ‘local’ for many years. Still, I’m pleased she’s not off to the breakers yard yet.

    1. Hi John,

      It is good to see your photos on the page, thanks for sending them in to Nigel. Seeing your photographs brings back a lot of happy memories of the trip we did on her a few years back.

      Best Wishes

  3. Down to three letters and an heavy legacy… it is now “Ark”, on the route Brindisi to Ionian islands, starting this summer… it was quite a treasure hunt but now I am 100% confident it is the same boat. I am still not convinced that buying a ticket is a wise move but the only alternative to reach Cefalonia from Italy is from Ancona…

  4. Something tells me things won’t end well for this ferry. I fear some sad time ahead for her. 🙁

    1. Hi John,

      I am afraid I have to agree with you here. Then again the number of times we have prophesied her demise and she has continued in one form or another so who knows, perhaps it can be Lucky by name Lucky by nature?

      All the best


  5. I have to assume there was a reason she was towed to the shipyard at Bijela and not to the breakers at Aliaga, etc. — somebody presumably had something in mind for her other than beaching.

    Montenegro LInes are down to one ship — maybe they could use a slightly down-at-the-heels backup for Sveti Stefan II (ex-Nieborow, ex-Stena Baltica, ex-Prinz Hamlet)?

    1. A new photo (26 March 2016) shows Lucky Star still moored at Bijela, Montenegro, but with a new/repaired/replaced stern ramp in place (or at least the gaping hole covered up). I don’t know what this might portend — is she being readied for service, or just for the voyage to the breakers?


      Her former running mate, Star Fighter, seems to have found a home in the Red Sea for now.

    1. I’m genuinely gutted.

      Many many sailings as a child and was privileged to have had one final ride just before TEF’s demise. – They don’t make em like that any more.

      I wonder why she was scrapped? Perhaps to recover berthing costs from the defunct shipyard where she was? – Begs the question as to why they repaired the rear door!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button