Atlantic Steam Navigation Company (ASN)European Ferries Group (EFG)FerriesPast and PresentTownsend Thoresen

MV Ionic Ferry – Past and Present

IMO Number: 5162542

MV Tamerlane

ex Kamasin, Ionic Ferry

Courtesy of Chris Howell

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1958 at Wm. Denny & Bros., Dumbarton,  (Yard No 1493) as a Passenger/RoRo Cargo ferry for the Atlantic Steam Navigation Co. Ltd

Technical Data

  • Length: 22 m (overall) 96.62 – 96.63 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth:16.82 m
  • Depth: 9.75 m
  • Draught: 3.69 – 4.414 m
  • Tonnage: 2438 – 1595 gross/1132 – 420 net/1210 – 1229t deadweight
  • Engines: 2 Oil 2SA 10-cylinder Sulzer 10 TD 36 diesels
  • Power: 2270 kW/3000 bHP
  • Speed: 14 knots
  • Capacity: 55 – 219 passengers/20 cars/295 metres of cargo (Containers 37 x 26’ & 22 x 20’)
  • Call Sign: GXSP, 3EFL
  • IMO Number: 5162542
  • Official Number: 300773/7138 – 76
  • Port of Registry: London/UK 🇬🇧, Panama 🇵🇦
  • Sister Ship: Bardic Ferry (1489)


May 2nd 1958: Launched

Dover Ferry Photos Library Dover Ferry Photos Library  

Dover Ferry Photos Library

October 4th 1958: Delivered to Atlantic Steam Navigation Co. Ltd., London, England.

Roy Thornton Collection
Roy Thornton Collection

October 10th 1958: Commenced service between Preston – Larne.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

November 18th 1971: Sale of Atlantic Steam Navigation to European Ferries Group, London (Townsend Thoresen).

July 1973: Opened the service Cairnryan – Larne.

Dover Ferry Photos Library Dover Ferry Photos Library 

Dover Ferry Photos Library

“Initially, IONIC FERRY lay overnight at Larne and sailed twice daily (including Sundays) whence 0900 and 1600, returning from Cairnryan at 1230 and 1930………..Two extra lifeboats were fitted aft shortly after she took up the route, and this enabled her to have a certificate for 219 passengers between Cairnryan and Larne………When built, the after end of the promenade deck had been fitted to carry about 20 containers, loaded by either quay-side crane or the ship’s own. This deck had now been cleared for carrying cars, which were driven on and off by means of a long gangway.”

March 24th 1973: Final day in service between Preston – Larne. Rebuilt with more passenger accommodation.

July 10th 1973: Opened the new service between Cairnryan – Larne.

July 1st 1974: With the arrival of FREE ENTERPRISE III (from Dover) IONIC FERRY was intended to remain as relief but, she continued her roster of two sailings.

November 1974: Commenced service between Felixstowe – Europort, Rotterdam.

1976: Sold to Fratelli Cosulich, Genoa, Italy (Registered in  Panama). Renamed KAMASIN.

1976: Commenced service for Neptunia Line in the Mediterranean.

1976: Commenced service between Livorno – Tripoli – Benghazi.

November 1978: Special survey.

1980: Sold to Black & Red Shipping Co. Inc., Panama. Renamed TAMERLANE.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

1980: Laid up in Livorno, Italy.

July 1983: Laid up in Eleusis, Greece.

April 9th 1988: Arrived at Gemi Skum Ticaret A.S. Aliaga, Turkey for breaking.


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: Chris Howell and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

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

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