MV Reine Astrid (I)
Reine Astrid (I) – © Bob Scott
Steel twin screw motor vessel, built and engined by Cockerill’s of Hoboken (Yard no 785) in 1956 for the Belgian Marine Administration’s Ostend-Dover passenger service.
- Length on Deck: 114m (374 ft)(overall) 108.56m (356.2 ft) (between perpendiculars)
- Breadth of Hull: 15.9m (49.10 ft)(extreme) 14.23m (46.7 ft) (moulded)
- Depth: 7.3m (24.11 ft) (moulded)
- Draught: 4.45m (13 ft)(maximum)
- Tonnage: 3,388 gross/1,513 net/408 deadweight
- Engines: Two 12-cylinder Cockerill/Sulzer two-stroke single acting diesels.
- Power: 11190kW
- Speed: 22 knots
- Capacity: 1700 passengers, 30 cars (in holds)
- Call Sign: ORAE (@1974)
- Registry: Ostend
- ID/IMO Number: 5292452
- Sister Ships: Koningin Elizabeth, Roi Leopold III
““The third of a trio of mailboats built for the 1958 World Fair in Brussels. Their design was based on KONING ALBERT but their Lascroux-funnels (all uptakes are combined into one rising to the top of the funnel and large air-intakes at the front lift fumes upwards to avoid fumes and soot descending down on the decks), gave the ships a more modern and lean appearance”
November 25th 1957: Launched. The first Ostend ship to be fitted with fin stabilizers.
Reine Astrid (I) – Roy Thornton Collection (Left) Courtesy of Chris Howell (Right)
May 1958: Delivered to Belgian Marine Administration, Oostende, Belgium.
Roy Thornton Collection (left) © A G Jones (right)
May 1958: Commenced service between Ostend – Dover.
Reine Astrid (I) – © A G Jones
1968: English port became Folkestone.
November 1970: Belgian Marine joined the Sealink consortium. Trading as Sealink
Reine Astrid (I) – © Ken Larwood (both)
November 1st 1971: Belgian Marine became the Belgian Maritime Transport Authority – Regie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT).
1973: Belgian Sealink livery
Reine Astrid (I) – © A G Jones (Left) © Tony Garner (Right)
Reine Astrid (I) – Roy Thornton Collection (Left) © Derek Longly (Right)
1976 (Winter): During refit her upper passenger deck was enclosed to increase her passenger capacity for her busy summer schedule.
Reine Astrid (I) – © “Ri Innse Gall” (left) Roy Thornton Collection (right)
Reine Astrid (I) – © Brian Fisher (Left) © Pieter Inpyn (Right)
Reine Astrid (I) – © Robert Bertel
Reine Astrid (I) – © Urbain Ureel (Left) © Kevin Hoggett (Right)
1978: Reduced to summer service only until she was laid up.
May 1979: Known to have called at Southend, UK on a “Day Cruise”
Reine Astrid (I) – Courtesy of Michael Woodland
1981: Laid up in Ostend.
Courtesy of Michael Woodland
1983: Rebuilt at Kon, Maats, De Schelde, Vlissingen, Holland to a floating passenger terminal. Her engines/propellers/rudder and most interior fittings were removed and replaced in order she could continue as a “barge”.
Roy Thornton Collection
May 30th 1983: Towed to Dover.
Roy Thornton Collection (all)
© Ken Larwood
June 6th 1983: Transferred to “special lagoon” created at the old Number 1 berth, Dover Western Docks replacing a “temporary” terminal which had been place since 1981.
“Old” Temporary “Floating Terminal” – Courtesy of Jim Ashby
Roy Thornton Collection (all)
Roy Thornton Collection except © Ken Larwood (bottom left)
© Ken Larwood (all)
© Mike Sartin (both)
March 1994: Laid up as a jetfoil terminal in Ramsgate.
© Mike Sartin Left) © Ted Ingham (right)
🆕 © Philippe Holtof (both)
April 1st 1997: Sold to Tracomax Shipping S.L., La Coruna, Spain for breaking.
April 6th 1997: Towed from Ramsgate to La Coruna, Spain.
All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Jim Ashby, Robert Bertel, Brian Fisher, Tony Garner, Kevin Hoggett, Philippe Holtof, Chris Howell, Ted Ingham, A G Jones, Ken Larwood, Derek Longly, Mike Sartin, Bob Scott, Urbain Ureel and Michael Woodland for their assistance in compiling this feature.
Special thanks go to the World Ship Society (East Kent Branch)