FerriesPast and PresentSeafranceSealinkSociété Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF)

MV Seafrance Renoir – Past and Present

IMO Number: 7920534

MV Eastern Light

ex Seafrance Renoir, Cote D’Azur

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1981 by Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre (Yard No. 256), Le Havre, France, for Societe des Nationale des Chemins de fer Frances (SNCF)

Technical Data

  • Length: 130.03m (overall)
  • Breadth of Hull: 23.02m (extreme)
  • Draught: 5.00m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 8,862 gross, 2,950 net, 1,865 deadweight
  • Engines: 2 x 18-cylinder Pielstick-Atlantique 18PC2/5V diesels
  • Power: 16778 kW
  • Speed: 18 knots
  • Capacity: 1596 passengers (1981) 1,400 (1996), 330 cars, 43 freight vehicles
  • Call Sign: V3QO4
  • MMSI Number: 312108000
  • IMO Number: 7920534
  • Registry: Calais/France ūüáęūüá∑, Belize ūüáßūüáŅ


December 22nd 1980: Launched.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection







Roy Thornton Collection (all)

August 16th 1981: Delivery postponed.

September 26th 1981: Delivered to Societé des Nationale des Chemins de fer Français, (SNCF) Paris, France.

September 28th 1981: Berthing trials at Dover.

September 29th 1981: Berthing trials at Folkestone.

© Fotoflite

© Fotoflite (@ Folkestone)


© Fotoflite (both)

September 29th 1981: Maiden trial voyage between Calais – Dover and further trip between Boulogne – Dover.

October 7th 1981: Maiden voyage (commercial) officially unnamed due to a strike.

October 27th 1981: Officially named following the end of strike action, replaced the CHARTRES.

December 1st 1981: Visit to the Pool of London.

Roy Thornton Collection    

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection (all)

© Phil English

© Phil English

January 1982: Operated service between Calais – Dover

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

August 5th 1982: Collided with the CHANTILLY four miles off Calais harbour, she suffered serious bow damage. Sent to Ziegler Yard Dunkirk for emergency repairs, she had her bow visor removed and inner water-tight door welded up.

© Deck 5

ūüÜē ¬© Deck 5

© Nigel Thornton Collection  © Nigel Thornton Collection  

Roy Thornton Collection

Internet Source

© Steffen Weirauch  © Steffen Weirauch

© Steffen Weirauch (both)

August 11th 1982: Returned to service as a stern loader only.

© Fotoflite, Roy Thornton Collection

© Fotoflite 

October 1982: Overhaul and repairs to bow.

December 20th 1982: Resumed service between Calais – Dover.

© Ken Larwood  © Ken Larwood  

© Ken Larwood  © Ken Larwood  

© Ken Larwood  (all)

© Ken Larwood 

© Ken Larwood (Left) © Ted Ingham (Right)

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  © A G Jones

Courtesy of Jim Ashby (Left) © A G Jones (Right)

 © Brian Fisher

© Brian Fisher

June 1985 – August 1985: Served between Boulogne – Dover, with remainder of the time between Calais – Dover.

© Nigel Thornton    

© Nigel Thornton (both)

© Ken Larwood    

© Ken Larwood (both)

January 1st 1986: Final trip between Boulogne – Dover.

© Manuel Dhondt

© Manuel Dhondt (Pictured at Boulogne in 1987 following a blockade at the port of Calais)

January 2nd 1986: Full time roster between Calais – Dover.

© Brian Pawley  © Brian Pawley  

© Brian Pawley

January 22nd 1990: Registered to Societé Proprietaire des Navires (SPN), Paris, France. At the same time selling 49% of the ferry operations to Stena Line UK, London, England.

© Andreas Wörteler    

© Andreas Wörteler (all)

© Fotoflite, Ray Goodfellow Collection

© Fotoflite


© Andreas Wörteler (all)


© Ken Larwood (both)

July 12th 1995: Agreement between Stena Sealink Line and French partners SNAT would terminate from December 31st 1995. From that time onwards SNAT would trade as SeaFrance.

January 1st 1996: Commenced service for Seafrance between Calais – Dover.

January 1996: Rebuilt at Le Havre with extra passenger facilities.

February 1996: Renamed SEAFRANCE RENOIR, and re-introduced between Calais – Dover.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler  

© Andreas Wörteler (both)


© Carsten Dettmer (both)

1997: Rebuilt with stern sponsons to comply with the new SOLAS stability standards.

© Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

1999: Stena Line sold their 49% share to Societé Proprietaire des Navires.

November 30th 2001: Taken out of service and laid up in Dunkerque.

January 18th 2002 – March 2002: Operated between Calais – Dover.

March 2002: Laid up used only in a reserve capacity.

2002: Reintroduced peak time roster.

2003: Operated a full roster to enable 20 Seafrance passenger sailings per day to continue to 2004.

2004: Continued full time roster between Calais – Dover.

April 9th 2005: Arrived in Dunkerque and laid up.

© Julien Carpentier

© Julien Carpentier

September 2005: Replaced the SEAFRANCE MANET on the full time roster.

October 13th 2005: Due at Dunkerque (for lay up, rumoured sale)

January 3rd 2006: Back in service Calais – Dover.

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton  

© Nigel Thornton    

© Nigel Thornton (all)

October 2nd 2006: The SeaFrance overhaul schedule up to the end of February 2007:¬†“SEAFRANCE RENOIR – 30 Nov – 24 Dec”

© Robert Fournier  © Robert Fournier  

© Robert Fournier

October 2007: Remains in service with Seafrance between Calais and Dover

December 10th 2007: “European Seaway and Seafrance Renoir intermingled their anchoring line off berth number 7 in Dover Harbour (bad weather conditions) To Arno, Dunkerque to repair her starboard windlass and to check all is ok with her starboard anchoring line. While she shifted in Calais, she had a ‘blackout’ 50 meters off berth number 9 and collided with¬†it. She cancelled again all departures and proceeded to Dunkerque for refit.”

December 13th 2007: Resumed service.

© George Holland (Ferry Fantastic)

© George Holland

December 27th 2007: Seafrance announced that they had purchased a new vessel to replace both the Seafrance Manet and Seafrance Renoir.

January 11th 2008: To ARNO for refit.

February 11th 2008: Returned to Calais and continued ‚ÄúFreight Only‚ÄĚ sailings.

September 17th 2008: Owing to congestion caused by a fire in the Channel Tunnel, re-activated to operate cover/extra ‚ÄúFreight Only‚ÄĚ sailings

February 14th 2009: Re-introduced as refit cover.

© The Ferryman  © The Ferryman  

© The Ferryman

April 10th 2009: Retired to lay-by at Calais.

May 10th 2009: Returned to service as cover for the SEAFRANCE MOLIERE.

© Robert Fournier

© Robert Fournier

May 25th 2009: Laid up in Calais.

September 1st 2009: Proceeded to Dunkerque for continued lay up and sale.

© Robert Fournier

© Robert Fournier

2nd June 2010: Listed by ship register `Bureau Veritas’ with the classification `laid up’. The vessel remains for sale in the port of Dunkerque, France.

December 2010: Remained laid up in the French port of Dunkerque.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow  

© Ray Goodfellow  (Dunkerque 14/12/2010)

July 2011: Reported to have been sold. The vessel has been renamed EASTERN LIGHT and re-flagged to Belize. She currently remains in the Port of Dunkerque, France.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow  

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow  

© Ray Goodfellow (Dunkerque 26/07/2011)

July 7th 2011: Registered Owner, EMILY SHIPPING INC, Care of Condor Maritime Dienstleistungen GmbH & Co KG, Neuer Wall 80, 20354 Hamburg, Germany. Ship Manager, CONDOR MARITIME DIENSTLEISTUNGEN, Neuer Wall 80, 20354 Hamburg, Germany.

September 8th 2011: Entered dry dock at ARNO Dunkerque.

September 10th 2011: Returned to her original berth in the Port of Dunkerque.

September 21st 2011: Departed Dunkerque for Gibraltar.

September 27th 2011: Took on Bunkers at Ceuta before departing for Malta.

October 2nd 2011: Arrived off Malta for fuel before departing for Port Said (Suez canal).

October 10th 2011: Arrived at Port Said.

October 11th 2011: Entered the Suez Canal.

October 13th 2011: Completed her transit of the Suez Canal and anchored off the Egyptian port of Adabiya. Her destination now showing Dubai with an ETA of the 24/10/11.

October 21st 2011: Last seen on AIS in the Gulf of Aden still showing Dubai as her destination with an ETA of the 27/10/11.

October 31st 2011: Reported to have arrived in Alang, India.

November 9th 2011: Her last journey completed she was beached at Alang for demolition.


Ship Breaking


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: Micke Asklander (Faktaomfartyg), Deck 5, Carsten Dettmer, Phil English, Brian Fisher, George Holland, The Ferryman, Robert Fournier, Ted Ingham, A G Jones, Ken Larwood, Brian Pawley and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.

Special thanks to John Hendy and Fotoflite

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

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