FerriesPast and PresentSealinkStena Line

MV Seafreight Freeway – Past and Present

IMO Number: 7826867

MV Stena Gothica

Ex Ask, Arka Marine, Nordic Hunter, Serdica, Seafreight Freeway, Stena Driver, Lucky Rider

© Brian Fisher

Seafreight Freeway – © Brian Fisher

Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by Nuovi Cantieri Apuania S.P.A. Marina di Carrara, Italy (Yard No. 2120) for Castello Hellas Shipping Co, Piraeus, Greece in 1982 as a commercial vehicle ferry.

Technical Data

  • Length on deck: 150.81m (overall), 171.05m (after lengthening)
  • Breadth of hull: 25.28m (extreme)
  • Draught: 5.40m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 5,088 gross, 5,739 (after rebuild 1), 13,294 (after rebuild 2)/ 2,406 net (after rebuild 1)/6,235 deadweight, 3,567 (after rebuild 1), 3,998 (after rebuild 2)
  • Engines: Two 12-cylinder MWM TBD511V12 Diesels/Two Wartsila-Vasa 12 V32E diesels (after engine rebuild)
  • Power: 8,830kW (1982)/13,380 bhp (after engine rebuild)
  • Speed: 17.0 knots/17.5 knots (after engine rebuild)
  • Capacity: 240 passengers, 548 (after rebuild, later re-classed to 109) 69 freight units/291 cars (after rebuild)
  • Call Sign: OUVU OUVU2, VSBV2, SGLH, OYCF2
  • IMO Number: 7826867
  • Official Number: 87K133
  • Registry: Hamilton/Bermuda 🇧🇲, Aarhus/Denmark 🇩🇰, Gothenburg/Sweden 🇸🇪, Copenhagen/Denmark 🇩🇰
  • Sister Ships: Easy Rider (2119)

Location Data

Please note that this vessels AIS transponder and position data may be over an hour old and that this specific vessels position will only be displayed when it is within range of the MarineTraffic AIS system. The AIS transponder/ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and it is no way related to the safety of navigation at sea. All the AIS ship position data featured within this page is provided by marinetraffic.com and we are therefore not responsible for the content or the accuracy of this data


July 16th 1981: Launched for Castello Shipping and Navyglad Shipping Corp, Piraeus, Greece.

December 30th 1981: Completed, but problems at her builders meant late delivery.

© Fotohaus Pamperin

Lucky Rider – © Fotohaus Pamperin

Lucky Rider – © Michael Neidig (Marina di Carrara, Italy 18/06/1981)

March 1982: Delivered to Delpha Maritime Co, Ltd., Limassol, Cyprus.

October 23rd 1982: Chartered to Rederi Ab Nordö, Malmö. Commenced service between Malmö – Travemünde.

© Jörg Seyler © Ulrich Streich

Lucky Rider – © Jörg Seyler (Left) © Ulrich Streich (Right)

November 3rd 1982: Suffered an engine-room fire and towed into Travemünde.

November 1983: Whilst at her refit in Malmö her owners went bankrupt.

1984: Sold to Stena Ab, Göteborg. Renamed STENA DRIVER. Commenced service between Gothenburg – Travemünde.

Andreas Wörteler Collection

Stena Driver – Andreas Wörteler Collection

1984: Transferred to Challenger Ltd, Nassau, Bahamas.

May 4th 1985 – May 21st 1985: Operated between Moss – Frederikshavn.

May 22nd 1985: Commenced service between Gothenburg – Travemünde.

December 1985: Sold to Sealink (UK) Ltd, Nassau, Bahamas. Renamed SEAFREIGHT FREEWAY.

December 1985: Left Göteborg for Blackwater River and then laid up.

December 29th 1985: Left Blackwater River for Dunkerque.

© Simonwp

Seafreight Freeway – © Simonwp

January 1986: Left Dunkerque for Bremerhaven, then to Blackwater River for further lay up.

 Vehicle Deck internal Ramp





Seafreight Freeway – Nigel Thornton Collection

© Mike Sartin © Mike Sartin  

© Mike Sartin © Mike Sartin  

© Mike Sartin © Mike Sartin  

© Mike Sartin

Seafreight Freeway – © Mike Sartin (all)

January 21st 1986: Commenced service between Dover – Dunkerque West.

© Ken Larwood © Ken Larwood  

Seafreight Freeway – © Ken Larwood (both)

Courtesy of Kim Bridgland Courtesy of Kim Bridgland

Courtesy of Kim Bridgland Courtesy of Kim Bridgland

Courtesy of Kim Bridgland Courtesy of Kim Bridgland

Seafreight Freeway – Courtesy of Kim Bridgland

December 1987: Fitted with 590 kW Bow Thruster.

© Pieter Inpyn

Seafreight Freeway – © Pieter Inpyn (Dunkerque 01/05/1988)

1988: Resumed Dover – Dunkerque after the prolonged NUS strike, then continued Dover – Calais.

© Ted Ingham © Ted Ingham  

Seafreight Freeway – © Ted Ingham (both)

May 23rd 1988: An engine-room fire broke out shortly after the vessel left Dover. The fire was caused by lubricating oil spraying onto the hot exhaust manifolds of the port engine from the starboard engine oil filter. This happened because some of the cover bolt studs on the oil filter sheared allowing the cover to lift under the oil pressure”One engineer was killed and one seriously injured in the blaze. Kent firemen were airlifted by helicopter and the ship, carrying 30 crew and 42 lorry drivers, was later towed into Dunkerque by a French salvage tug. Later sent to Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven.

© Fotoflite, © Fotoflite,  

Seafreight Freeway – © Fotoflite, Roy Thornton Collection (both)

© Ken Larwood © Dennis Hopkins

Seafreight Freeway – © Ken Larwood (Dunkirk 07/06/1988)(Left) © Dennis Hopkins (Right)

Nigel Thornton Collection 

Seafreight Freeway – Nigel Thornton Collection

September 15th 1988: An announcement was made that the Dover – Zeebrugge route was to be closed.

October 16th 1988: Made her last sailing between Dover – Zeebrugge, and then went to lay up in the Fal.

October 13th 1988 (12.40 hrs @ Falmouth): Sold to Navigation Maritime Bulgaria, Varna, Bulgaria. (Partly paid for by the exchange of TZAREVETZ).

October 16th 1988: Made her last sailing between Dover – Zeebrugge, and then went to lay up in the Fal.

October 1988: Transferred to So Mejdunaroden Automobile Transport (S.M.A.T.) Bourgas, Bulgaria. Renamed SERDICA.

1990: Sold to Hornet Shipping Co, Nassau, Bahamas. Commenced operations for Swedish Gulf Line, Göteborg. Renamed NORDIC HUNTER.

Andreas Wörteler Collection  © Frank Heine

Nordic Hunter – Andreas Wörteler Collection (left) © Frank Heine (right)

August 1991: Sold to Arka Marine II K/S, Århus, Denmark. Renamed ARKA MARINE.

August 1991: Arrived at Seabow/ PZ Dora yard, Gdynia, Poland for rebuilding to car and passenger ferry.

May 1991: Chartered to DSB Ferry Division, Århus, Danmark. Renamed ASK.

July 1991: Commenced service between Aarhus – Kalundborg. On her first sailing she suffered major engine problems.

Simplon Postcard

Ask – Simplon Postcard

September 8th 1993 – November 27th 1993: Complete engine replacement at Fredericia Skibsværft, Fredericia.

September 1997: Sold to Scandlines A/S, Copenhagen .

January 1988: Laid up in Århus.

© Andreas Wörteler © Andreas Wörteler  

Ask – © Andreas Wörteler (left 1996) (1997 right)

April 1st 1999: Commenced operations for Euro Seabridge between Travemünde – Klaipeda.

November 1999: Laid up in Nakskov.

January 4th 2000: Commenced services between Rostock – Liepaja.

May 25th 2001 – September 28th 2001: Rebuilt and lengthened at Gdansk Shiprepair Yard “Remontowa”, Gdansk, Poland.

September 29th 2001: Commenced service between Rostock – Liepaja.

January 2nd 2002: Chartered to Rederi Ab Nordö Link, Malmö. Commenced services between Malmö – Travemünde.

© Dirk Jankowsky © Dirk Jankowsky  

Ask – © Dirk Jankowsky (both)

Ask – © Tim Becker

December 21st 2002: Final day operating between Malmö – Travemünde. Then she finished her charter with Nordö-Link.

2003: Commenced service between Trelleborg – Rostock.

March 2003: Commenced service between Karlshamn – Liepaja.

April 15th 2003: Chartered to Stena Line, Gothenburg. Commenced service between Trelleborg – Travemünde.

© Andreas Wörteler © Andreas Wörteler  

Ask – © Andreas Wörteler (both)

August 14th 2003: On departure from Travemünde, she was the victim of a bomb alert. She returned to the port, police searched the vessel and found nothing.

April 1st 2005: Completion of charter to Stena Line (Scandlines services between Trelleborg – Travemünde).

April 2005: Commenced services between Nynäshamn – Ventspils for a short time.

May 25th 2005: Laid up in Puttgarden.

May 30th 2005 – June 3rd 2005: Bareboat chartered to NATO, for transport between Bornholm/ Northland – Sandefjord.

June 4th 2005: Laid up in Puttgarden.

June 2005: Bareboat chartered to Iscomar, Spain for three months. Operated between Valencia – Palma.

October 1st 2005: Introduced between Rostock – Ventspils.

January 16th 2006 – February 5th 2006: Some services between Karlshamn – Ventspils.

July 24th 2006 – July 26th 2006: Service between Rostock – Trelleborg

January 3rd 2007 – January 12th 2007: Operated between Nynäshamn – Ventspils.

January 2007: Service between Rostock – Ventspils.

January 4th 2009: Operated between Ventspils – Nynashamn.

January 2011: Operated between Liepaja – Travemünde.

© Tim Becker © Tim Becker  

Ask – © Tim Becker (both)

June 2011: Chartered for 1 month to SOL Continental Line for services between Travemünde – Helsingborg.

July 2011: Charter completed charter and laid up in Nakskov.

September 2011: Commenced service between Travemünde – Liepaja.

October 2012: Sold to Stena Line Baltic A/S, Frederikshavn, Denmark

© Tim Becker © Tim Becker  

Ask – © Tim Becker

October 20th 2014 – April 2015: In service between Ventspils – Nynäshamn.

July 25th 2015: Services between Frederikshavn – Gothenburg.

August 7th 2015: Final day in service Frederikshavn – Gothenburg.

August 8th 2015: Laid up in Lysekil.

August 24th 2015: Left Lysekil for Gothenburg.

August 25th 2015: Commenced services between Gothenburg – Frederikshavn replacing the STENA SCANRAIL.

© Andreas Wörteler © Andreas Wörteler  

Ask – © Andreas Wörteler (Frederikshavn 09/09/2015)

September 28th 2015: Transferred to Swedish flag home port Göteborg and renamed STENA GOTHICA.

October 6th 2015: Upon arrival at the port of Frederikshavn, Denmark, the ship developed a severe list to the port side. This was later attributed to the malfunctioning of her anti-heeling system.

November 26th 2015 – December 4th 2015: Extra services between Gothenburg – Kiel.

December 5th 2015: Services between Gothenburg – Frederikshavn.

© Tim Becker © Tim Becker  

Stena Gothica – © Tim Becker

January 8th 2016: From the 9th of January to the 12th of March will serve the route between Travemünde and Liepaja in place of the STENA FLAVIA.

January 7th 2016: Left Gothenburg for Travemünde.

January 9th 2016  – March 2016: Services between Travemünde – Liepaja/ Ventspils and  Liepaja/ Ventspils – Nynäshamn.

March 2016: Services between Gothenburg – Frederikshavn.

March 30th 2016: Halmstad.

April 1st 2016 – April 12th 2016: Services between Halmstad – Grenå.

April 2016: Services between Göteborg – Frederikshavn.

October 2016 – November 11th 2016: Services between Hoek Van Holland – Killingholme.

November 13th 2016: Services between Travemünde – Liepaja.

February 13th 2017: Left Travemünde for Trelleborg.

February 13th 2017: Services between Trelleborg – Rostock.

© Andreas Wörteler © Andreas Wörteler  

Stena Gothica – © Andreas Wörteler (Travemünde 12/03/2016)

March 19th 2017: Commenced service between Gothenburg – Frederikshavn.

May 2017 – June 2017: Refit in Gdynia.

January 21st 2018: Left Gothenburg for Travemünde.

January 22nd 2018: Services between Travemünde – Liepaja.

March 3rd 2018: Left Liepaja for Gothenburg.

March 5th 2018: Services between Gothenburg – Frederikshavn.

March 9th 2018: Left Gothenburg for Europoort.

March 11th 2018: Services between Europoort – Harwich.

March 26th 2018: Services between Gothenburg – Frederikshavn.

September 9th 2018: Final day in service between Gothenburg – Frederikshavn.

September 10th 2018: Registered to Stena Rederi A/S, Hellerup, Denmark, home port Copenhagen.

September 13th 2018: Left Gothenburg for Liepaja.

September 16th 2018: Services between Liepaja – Travemünde.

© Carsten Dettmer

Stena Gothica – © Carsten Dettmer (Liepaja, 23/07/2019)

March 2020: Still in service between Liepaja – Travemünde.

© Carsten Dettmer © Carsten Dettmer

Stena Gothica – © Carsten Dettmer (Travemünde, 04/06/2021)

September 2021: Still in service between Liepaja – Travemünde.

January 2nd 2022 – February 4th 2022: Services Trelleborg – Rostock.

February 4th 2022: Left Trelleborg for Karlskrona.

February 4th 2022: Services Karlskrona – Gdynia.

April 15th 2022: To dry-dock at Remontowa, Gdansk for extensive refit.

May 14th 2022: Left Gdansk.

May 17th 2022: Entered service Nynäshamn – Hankö.

We would like to thank: Tim Becker, Kim Bridgland, Arsten Dettmer, Brian Fisher, Fotohaus Pamperin, Frank Heine, Dennis Hopkins, Ted Ingham, Pieter Inpyn, Dirk Jankowsky, Ken Larwood, Mike Sartin, Jörg Seyler and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature. All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors and omissions.

Special thanks goes to the World Ship Society (East Kent Branch).

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

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