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MV Maria Rosario (ex Purbeck) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 7528489

MV Maria Rosario

ex Purbeck

 © Bob Scott

© Bob Scott (Poole, 01/08/1988)

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1978 at Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre (ACH), Le Havre, France (Yard No 247) as a passenger and commercial vehicle ferry for Truckline Ferries France S.A. Cherbourg, France 

Technical Data

  • Length: 109,70 m (overall)(1978), 125.53 m (1986)
  • Breadth of hull: 17.50 m (extreme), 17.50 m (1986)
  • Depth: 11.45m
  • Draught: 4.50 m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 2,736 gross (1980), 6,507 (2001)/1,550 deadweight (1978), 1,626 (1986)
  • Engines: Two MAK 9 M 453 diesels
  • Power: 4,416 kW.
  • Speed: 18.0 knots (max), 17.2 knots (service)
  • Capacity: 58 passengers, 64 commercial trailers
  • Call Sign: ZM4249, YYKO
  • IMO Number: 7528489
  • Registry: Cherbourg/France 🇫🇷, Nassau/Bahamas 🇧🇸, Wellington/ New Zealand 🇳🇿, Saint Vincent & Grenadines 🇻🇨
  • Sister Ship: Coutances (246)


January 13th 1978: Launched.

June 23rd 1978: Delivered to Truckline Ferries France S.A. Cherbourg , France.

1978: Commenced service for Truckline Ferries between Cherbourg – Poole.

September 22nd  1980 РSeptember 25th 1980: Services between Cherbourg РWeymouth

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

© Simonwp

Simonwp (Poole, 01/08/1984)

January 1986: Lengthened by 15m at Ateliers et Chantiers, La Rochelle, France.

July 1987 – September 1987: Services between Caen and Portsmouth.

1992: Services between Roscoff – Plymouth – Santander.

1992: Services between Cherbourg – Poole

1993: Laid up in Cherbourg.

November 1st 1993 – February 2nd 1993: Services for British Channel Island Ferries between Poole – Channel Islands.

January 22nd 1994: Chartered to Commodore Lines for services between Portsmouth РChannel Islands.

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler (Portsmouth, May 1994)

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

June 19th 1995: Chartered to Sally Ferries Ltd, Ramsgate for services between Dartford – Vlissingen.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Ted Ingham

Vlissingen, June 1995 © Andreas Wörteler  (Left) and © Ted Ingham (Right)

January 1996: Services between Ramsgate – Dunkerque.

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood (Ramsgate)

May 1996 – October 1996: Chartered to Irish Ferries for services between Holyhead – Dublin.

October 1996 – June 18th 1997: Chartered to Sally Ferries Ltd, Ramsgate for services between Ramsgate – Dunkerque.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

Ostend, November 1996 (Left) and Ostend, April, 1997 (Right) © Andreas Wörteler

June 20th 1997 – September 1997: Chartered to Truckline for services between Caen – Portsmouth.

October 14th 1997 – April 11th 1998: Chartered to Gaelic Ferries, Cork for services between Cherbourg – Cork.

April 20th 1998: Chartered to Falcon Seafreight for services between Boulogne – Folkestone.

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler (Boulogne, June 1999)

Nicolas Levy Collection  Nicolas Levy Collection

Nicolas Levy Collection (Boulogne)

© Ken Larwood  © Andreas Wörteler

Folkestone © Ken Larwood (Left) and Boulogne, May 1998 © Andreas Wörteler (Right)

© Andreas Wörteler  © Pieter Inpyn

© Andreas Wörteler (Left) and Boulogne, 01/08/1999 © Pieter Inpyn (Right)

September 5th 2000: Services for Brittany Ferries between Caen/Ouistreham – Portsmouth.

Nicolas Levy Collection

Nicolas Levy Collection (Portsmouth, 2001)

September 8th 2002 – September 22nd 2002: Chartered to Commodore for services between Portsmouth – Jersey.

April 2003: Chartered to Tranz Rail, New Zealand.

April 15th 2003: Arrived in Falmouth for repairs to a stabiliser.

April 16th 2003: Left for Portsmouth.

April 21st 2003: Left Portsmouth (via Panama, Papeete on the island of Tahiti), destination New Zealand.

May 27th 2003: Arrived in Wellington.

June 23rd 2003: Re-flagged from Nassau to Wellington.

June 25th 2003: Trial sailing Wellington – Picton.

June 26th 2003: Commenced service between Wellington – Picton.

© Christian Bursche  © Christian Bursche

 © Christian Bursche 22/09/2004 (Andreas Wörteler Collection)

August 2005: Charter completed.

October 31st 2005: Laid up in Wellington.

March 8th 2006: Sold to Toll NZ Consolidated Ltd and immediately advertised for sale. To revert to Bahamas flag on re-delivery.

August 14th 2006: Re-entered service.

September 3rd 2006: To resume lay up pending sale.

September 2006: Sold to Consolidated de Ferrys C.A. (Conferrys), Pampatar, Venezuela.

November 22nd 2006: Passed through the Panama Canal.

November 25th 2006: Arrived in Curacao.

2006: Renamed MARIA ROSARIO.

December 2006: Commenced services between Puerto La Cruz – Isla De Margarita.

© Cees Bustraan  © Cees Bustraan

© Cees Bustraan (Willemstad, 07/07/2009)

© Theo Hinrichs  © Theo Hinrichs

© Theo Hinrichs (Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, 25/04/2011)

March 2017: Still in service.

December 31st 2018: The laid up ferry partially submerged alongside a pier at Puerto La Cruz port, Venezuela. As with her sister vessel the ROSA EUGENIA (ex Coutances), the sinking was blamed on the total lack of maintenance.

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: Christian Bursche, Cees Bustraan, Ted Ingham, Pieter Inpyn, Ken Larwood, Nicolas Levy, Bob Scott, Simonwp, Theo Hinrichs and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.

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


  1. The Purbeck as well the Coutances was delivered in 1978 to Truckline Ferries and not to Brittany Ferries.
    Truckline has been later ,solstice to Brittany Ferries
    An Ex Truckline staff membre

  2. I remember as a kid on Shell Bay beach watching this depart from Poole. Used to smoke a lot from memory! Circa 1991?

  3. I worked on the Purbeck 2 weeks on 2 weeks off in 1998/99 from Folkestone to Boulogne. It was a piece of **** but I loved it.

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