MV CTMA Vacancier
ex City of Cork, Ville de Sete, Egnatia II, Saint Patrick II, Aurella
Aurella – Andreas Wörteler Collection
Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by J.J. Sietas KG Schiffswerft GmbH & Co. Ltd,. in Hamburg in 1973 for S F Line of Finland (Yard No 702) as a passenger, roll-on roll-off car and commercial vehicle ferry
- Length: 125.63 m (overall), 108.84m (between perpendiculars)
- Breadth of Hull: 21.40 m (moulded), 21.65m (extreme)
- Draught: 5.27 m (maximum)
- Tonnage: 7,210 gross after rebuild 7,984 (1982), 3,234 net after rebuild 4,319 (1982), 1,893 deadweight after rebuild 1,325 (1982)
- Engines: Two 16-cylinder Stork-Werkspoor 16TM410 Diesels
- Power: 15,445 kW
- Speed: 21.5 knots
- Capacity: 1,500 passengers, 420 cars and 35 lorries (1973), 1,612 passengers (after re-classification), 300 cars (2003)
- Call Sign: EIBL (as SAINT PATRICK II 1982 – ), CFN3031 (C.T.M.A.)
- MMSI Number: 316004770
- IMO Number: 7310260
- Registry: Mariehamn/Finland, Dublin/Ireland, Tallin/Estonia, Dublin/Ireland, Tallin/Estonia, Dublin/Ireland, Tallin/Estonia, Dublin/Ireland, Tallin/Estonia, Dublin/Ireland, Madeira/Portugal, Valletta/Malta, Cap Aux Meules/ Canada
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May 27th 1972: Ordered a cost of 33 million DEM.
March 17th 1973: Launched.
Aurella – © Wolfgang Fricke (Hamburg, 01/06/1973)
June 23rd 1973: Sea trials.
June 30th 1973: Delivered to Oy SF-Line Ab, Mariehamn, Finland and officially named AURELLA.
Aurella – 🆕© R. Nerlich (Elbe 30/06/73)
July 3rd 1973: Commenced service with Viking Lines between Nådendal – Mariehamn – Kapellskär. She was the first “Jumbo ferry” in operation in the Ålands Sea.
September 21st 1973: Suffered engine failure and ran aground near Björkön in the Åländ Islands.
October 10th 1973: Arrived at Finnboda Yard, Nacka for repairs.
Aurella 🆕© Arnold Kludas (1974)
September 1981: Laid up in Mariehamn.
January 20th 1982: Sold to Irish Continental Group Ltd Dublin, Ireland for about $16 million.
January 1982: Renamed SAINT PATRICK II. Rebuilt by Amsterdamsche Droogdok, Amsterdam, Holland extra cabins.
Saint Patrick II – © Aubrey Dale
June 2nd 1982: Commenced service between Rosslare – Le Havre.
November 21st 1982 – April 1st 1983: Chartered to North Sea Ferries. Operated between Rotterdam – Hull.
Saint Patrick II – © Simonwp (01/02/1983 @ Hull) © Patrick Hill (02/02/1983, North Sea Ferries charter)
April 21st 1983 – June 22nd 1983: Chartered to Belfast Car Ferries, operated between Belfast – Liverpool.
1984, 1988 & 1989: Chartered to B&I Line. Operated between Pembroke – Rosslare.
Saint Patrick II – Courtesy of Andreas Wörteler (© Steffen Weihrauch, Hamburg 1985)
1985 (winter): Chartered to DFDS Seaways, operated between Hamburg – Harwich.
Saint Patrick II – © Ken Larwood (1985 DFDS charter)
1985: Chartered to Stena Line, operated between Moss – Frederikshavn – Gothenburg.
Saint Patrick II
Saint Patrick II – © Bob Scott (14/05/1986 @ Gothenburg)
1986: Back from charter.
Saint Patrick II – © Paul T (Langton Basin, Mersey)(Both)
1987: Operated between Liverpool – Belfast.
Saint Patrick II
1988: Owners company changed name to Irish Continental Group, PLC, Dublin
Saint Patrick II
Saint Patrick II – © Brian Fisher (September 1989 @ Portsmouth)
September 15th 1989 – 30th September 1989: Chartered to Sealink UK Ltd, operating between Portsmouth and Cherbourg.
October 1989 – March 1990: Between Dover and Calais.
Saint Patrick II – © Nigel Thornton (Dover)(both)
Saint Patrick II – © Ted Ingham (Dover) (left) and © Ken Larwood (Dover)(right)
Saint Patrick II – © Justin Merrigan (Dover)
1990: All Sealink vessels were laid-up during a seaman’s strike.
Saint Patrick II – © A G Jones (Dover, 08/02/1990)
September 22nd 1990 – March 1991: Continued at Dover, this time under charter to P&O European Ferries and operating between Dover and Zeebrugge
Saint Patrick II – 🆕© Frank Heine (Zeebrugge, October 1990)
Saint Patrick II – © Mike Jackson (Dover, March 1991)
Saint Patrick II – © Aubrey Dale (ex Le Havre inbound Cork 11/07/1992)
Saint Patrick II – © Andreas Wörteler (Cherbourg, July 1992)
1992, 1993, 1994 & 1995: In the winters she was chartered to Estonian Shipping Company, Tallinn, Estonia. Operated Tallink services between Helsinki – Tallinn. Transferred to the Estonian ships register.
Saint Patrick II – © Ulrich Streich (left) © Frank Heine (Helsinki 10/05/1994) (right)
1993, 1994 & 1995: In the summers, back to the Irish register and operating between Ireland and France.
Saint Patrick II – Nigel Thornton Collection
March 4th 1994: Went to the aid of the grounded SALLY ALBATROSS, and evacuated 1,101 passengers and 158 crew.
Saint Patrick II – Roy Thornton Collection
1995 (early): Operated between Dublin and Holyhead, replacing the previous ISLE OF INNISFREE which had been returned to Stena Line at the end of her charter in early 1995.
Saint Patrick II – © Aubrey Dale
1997: Laid up in Le Havre for sale.
July 1997: Reinstated for two crossings between Cork/Rosslare – Roscoff/Cherbourg/Le Havre.
July 1997: Laid up in Le Havre, France.
1998: Chartered to Hellenic Mediterranean Line of Greece (with purchase at end of five year charter period) and re-named the EGNATIA II.
Egnatia II – © Ton Grootenboer
June 24th 1998: Operated between Brindisi and Patras.
May 2000: Chartered to Balear Express, Spain and renamed VILLE DE SETE. She then operated between Sete and Palma
Ville De Sete – © Andreas Wörteler
September 29th 2000: At the end of her charter she was laid-up in Piraeus as EGNATIA II.
Saint Patrick II –
March 2001: Chartered to Swansea Cork Ferries and renamed CITY OF CORK.
March 15th 2001: Commenced between Swansea – Cork.
City of York – © Marko Stampehl
2001: Transferred to Maltese flag, home port Valletta.
December 2001: Withdrawn from service at the end of the season, then went to lay up in Greece.
March 6th 2002: Sold to CTMA of Canada to be renamed C.T.M.A. VACANCIER for service between Montreal and the Iles de la Madeleine.
30th April 2002: Left Piraeus bound for Canada.
CTMA Vacancier – © Marc Piché
May 8th 2002: Arrived at Cap-aux-Meules where she was renamed C.T.M.A. VACANCIER. She then operated between Montreal and Cap-aux-Meules.
2002 (Autumn): Underwent refit at Cap-aux-Meules.
2003: Major refit, including engine overhaul and rebuild, at Les Mechins Dry Dock, Quebec.
April 28th 2003: In dry dock for the installation of new aluminium bridge-wings as well as a general inspection, mechanical repairs, sandblasting and painting. The bridge-wings, which were constructed by Verreault Navigation prior to the arrival of the vessel.
CTMA Vacancier – © Marc Piché
2007: Still in service with CTMA as the C.T.M.A. VACANCIER.
CTMA Vacancier – Courtesy of Groupe C.T.M.A.
CTMA Vacancier – © Marc Piché (Montreal, 25/09/2014)
February 5th 2015: “Whilst in service between Souris, Prince Edward Island and the Magdalen Islands. She was half way to Souris when there was a small fire in the exhaust pipe of one of the main engines starboard side that was extinguished very quickly. In heave ice conditions the ferry only could use one main engine up to Souris and docked only in the morning of Feb 6 afer almost 24 hours. The passenger understood the situation but were glad to finally get into port. The ferry was then assisted by the Coast Guard back to the Magdalen Islands for repairs. The next departure from the Magdalen Islands started on Feb 10 at 8 a.m.”.
2016: Brand name changer from “GROUPE C.T.M.A,” to “CROISIÈRES CTMA”)
CTMA Vacancier – 🆕© Marc Piché (Montreal, 29/07/2016).
January 8th 2019: Service on the Matane-Baie-Comeau-Godbout route because of problems with the propulsion system of the F.-A.-Gauthier.
January 22nd 2019: “Suffered a mechanical breakdown off Matane with around 30 passengers on board enroute from the Îles-de-la-Madeleine. The passengers had boarded at 5 p.m. in Baie-Comeau. The ship did not have enough power to navigate the ice around the wharf. An icebreaker was called for to pave the way for the CTMA VACANCIER, but none was available. The ship remained off the wharf. During the night, mechanics on board were able to carry out repairs since the necessary parts were available. The ship finally managed to dock at the Matane wharf on Jan 23 at 7.15 a.m., 12 hours behind schedule. “.
July 3rd & 10th 2019: Cancelled her weekly stop at Gaspé (Quebec), owing to speed restriction of 10 knots on the St Lawrence River imposed to protect the endangered whale population.
September 2021: Remains in the port of Cap-aux-Meules having had little activity since 2020 owing to the Covid-19 pandemic which has also stopped the entire cruise line. It is anticipated that she will sail to Montreal (Quebec) or Georgestown (Prince Edward Island, Canada) for winter lay-up. It is also hoped that she will back in service next spring to replace the MADELEINE II (ex VILLE DE TERROR) for about 4 weeks. After that her future is unknown.
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: Aubrey Dale, Brian Fisher, Ton Grootenboer, Frank Heine, Patrick Hill, A G Jones, Ted Ingham, Mike Jackson, Ken Larwood, Justin Merrigan, Marc Piché, Bob Scott, Simonwp, Marko Stampehl, Ulrich Streich, Paul T and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.
Special thanks go to Capitaine Mario Landry (Directeur des Opérations Maritimes, C.T.M.A.)