Past and PresentStena Line

MV Prinsessan Christina (Ex “The Londoner” (1966)) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 5285411

MV Santa Margarita Dos

ex General Jose Artigas, Botnia Express, Prinsessan Christina

© Fotoflite Ref 242632
© Fotoflite

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1960 by Aalborg Skibsværft, Aalborg, Sweden (Yard No 130) as Vehicle and Passenger Ferry

Technical Data

  • Length: 86.50m (283.8’) (overall) 77.86m (255.11′)(between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 14.91m (48.6’)
  • Depth: 6.14 m (19.8’)
  • Draught: 4.47 m (14.325’)
  • Tonnage: 2240 gross/1096 net/585 deadweight
  • Engines: Two 5-cylinder Nohab-Polar diesels
  • Power: 2984 kW/HP
  • Speed: 17 knots
  • Capacity: 809 passengers, 152 cars
  • Call Sign: SMIT, OGTB
  • IMO Number: 5285411
  • Official Number: 10008
  • Port of Registry: Gothenburg/Sweden 🇸🇪, Vaasa/Finland 🇫🇮


September 28th 1959: Launched.

March 24th 1960: Delivered to Rederi Ab Göteborg – Frederikshavn Linjen, Gothenburg. (Sessan Linjen).

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection 

Nigel Thornton Collection  

March 1960: Commenced service between Gothenburg – Frederikshavn.

May 1st 1965 – September 1965: Chartered to Skandinavisk Linjetrafik A/S for services between Kiel – Korsør.

March 1966 – October 1966: Chartered to Stena Ab, Göteborg operating between Tilbury (London) – Calais under the trading name of “THE LONDONER“.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection  © Robert J Smith © David Ingham

© Robert J Smith (Left) and Courtesy of Ted Ingham (Right)

© David Ingham © Fotoflite Ref BWS226

Courtesy of Ted Ingham (Left) 🆕© Fotoflite (Right) 

October 25th 1966: Sold to Oy Vaasa – Umeå Ab, Vasa, Finland for 7.085.000 SEK and delivery in March 1967.

March 1966: Arrived at Eriksbergs Yard for engine and hull survey before being delivered to her new owners.

March 15th 1967: Renamed BOTNIA EXPRESS and left Gothenburg for Vasa. Carried a load of Volvo cars to Hangö.

May 26th 1967: Commenced service between Vasa – Sundsvall. Also operated between Vasa – Sundsvall/Örnsköldsvik/Umeå.

October 11th 1967 – October 19th 1967: Chartered to Silja Line for services between Kapellskär – Pargas.

January 15th 1968 – February 15th 1968: Chartered to Rederi Ab Göteborg-Frederikshavn Linjen, Göteborg. (Sessan Linjen) for services between Gothenburg – Frederikshavn.

Nigel Thornton Collection   Nigel Thornton Collection   Nigel Thornton Collection  

Nigel Thornton Collection  

May 6th 1968: First seasonal voyage to Umeå.

November 28th 1968: Grounded outside Holmsund. Re-floated with the aid of a tug and a rescue vessel. No injuries recorded.

January 7th 1970 – January 31st 1970: Chartered to Rederi Ab Solstad, Mariehamn, Finland for Viking Line services between Kapellskär – Mariehamn – Nådendal.

September 25th 1971: Captain was sentenced in court at Luleå for an incident in 1971 where BOTNIA EXPRESS took on board 1113 passengers, 304 over her passenger certificate.

November 25th 1971 – December 14th 1971: Chartered to Rederi Ab Solstad, Mariehamn, Finland for Viking Line services between Nådendal – Kapellskär.

August 1975: Sold to Navegacion Atlantida S.A. Montevideo, Uruguay and renamed GENERAL JOSÉ ARTIGAS.

Nigel Thornton Collection  

Nigel Thornton Collection  

1976: Services between Montevideo – Buenos Aires.

May 1977: Sold to Consolidada de Ferrys C.A. (Conferrys), Caracas, Venezuela and renamed  SANTA MARGARITA DOS. Operated between the Venezuelan mainland and the island of Margarita.

November 3rd 1987: During loading in Cumana the vessel capsized and sank in 75 metres of water. Five people were killed.


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: Fotoflite, Ted Ingham, Robert J Smith and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

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

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