FerriesPast and PresentSealink

MV St George (II) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 6810897

MV Texas Treasure

ex Discovery Dawn, Island Dawn, Discovery Dawn, Scandinavian Dawn, Scandinavian Sky II, Patra Express, St George

Courtesy of John Hendy

Courtesy of John Hendy

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1968 by Swan, Hunter & Tyne Shipbuilders Ltd, West Yards, Walker-on-Tyne, (Yard No. 2029) for British Railways as a passenger, car and commercial vehicle ferry

Technical Data

  • Length: 115.22 m (overall) 128.02m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 20.60m (extreme)
  • Depth: 12.12m
  • Draught: 5.03m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 7,356.33 – 7,216 gross/3,868.5 – 3,914 net/1,036 deadweight
  • Engines: Four 9-cylinder, Ruston & Hornsby diesels
  • Power: 18,000 bhp.
  • Speed: 22 knots @ 220 rpm (trials, loaded) 21 knots @ 210 rpm (trials, service).
  • After rebuild 1988: Two Wärtsilä-Vasa 16V32 diesels.
  • Power: 16,120 bhp.
  • Speed: 19.5 knots.
  • Capacity: 1,200 passengers, 218 cars (or 80 cars 32 (20 ft) commercial vehicles)
  • Call Sign: GYQR, C6IU4 
  • IMO Number: 6810897 
  • Official Number: 309433
  • Registry: Harwich/UK 🇬🇧, Limassol/Cyprus 🇨🇾, Nassau/Bahamas 🇧🇸


November 1966: Ordered.

February 28th 1968: Launched and christened by Mrs H. Johnson, wife of the chairman of B.R.

Courtesy of John Hendy

Courtesy of John Hendy

July 13th 1968: Delivered to British Railways, Harwich, U.K at a cost of £3,100,000.

July 17th 1968: Maiden voyage between Harwich – Hook of Holland. The ship suffered serious vibration problems at speed, which were so bad at one time that the crew even had to be transferred to passenger cabins. Tests were carried out at Newcastle University and at her builders, but neither were able to solve the problem.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection  

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection (as noted) and courtesy of Jim Ashby (as noted)

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of John Hendy  © Ken Larwood

Courtesy of John Hendy (Left) © Ken Larwood (Right)

October 25th 1968: Returned to her builders with further vibration problems, caused by her variable pitch propellers. Amongst other work done to ease the problem, stiffeners were placed around the ships stern.

Nigel Thornton Collection © A G Jones  

Nigel Thornton Collection (Left) © A G Jones(Harwich, 14/08/1971) (Right)

November 2nd 1968: Returned to service.

November 1969: It was announced that British Rail’s Shipping and International Services Division (SISD) had adopted the new brand name Sealink and as a consequence all vessels were painted in the new house colours.

1973: Sealink trading name painted on hulls.

© Anthony Williams

© Anthony Williams (02/05/1973)

© Ken Larwood  © John Jones  

© Ken Larwood (Left) and © John Jones (Harwich, 15/05/1982) (Right)

January 1st 1979: The creation of Sealink U.K. Ltd a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Railways Board, who were to take the company to its privatisation and eventual purchase by Sea Containers (trading as Sealink British Ferries) in 1984.

© Brian Fisher  © John Jones  

© Brian Fisher (Left) and © John Jones (Harwich, 11/08/1980)(Right)

Courtesy of John Hendy Courtesy of John Hendy  

Courtesy of John Hendy (both)

Courtesy of Chris Howell

Courtesy of Chris Howell

September 15th 1982: Collided with the Zeeland Steamship Co. vessel KONINGIN JULIANA after which she spent most of the remainder of the year laid-up as a reserve vessel.

© Joerg Seyler  © Joerg Seyler  

© Joerg Seyler

June 5th 1983: Final day in service for Sealink.

September 20th 1983: Left Parkeston Quay for Immingham and refit.

© Simonwp © Simonwp

🆕 © Simonwp (Immingham, October 1983)

November 10th 1983: Laid up in the Fal after a proposed sale to Folkline fell through.

Sealink News

Sealink News

September 18th 1984: Sold to Psatha Navigation, Co, Ltd, Limassol, Cyprus and renamed PATRA EXPRESS.

© Ken Larwood  © Simonwp

© Ken Larwood (Left)  © Simonwp (Corfu (Kerkira) Greece 01/05/1986)(Right)

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

1984: Commenced service for Ventouris Lines between Greece – Italy.

1988: Complete engine change.

February 1990: Intended sale to British Iberian Lines, who intended to rename her MAIDEN CASTLE and operate her between Poole – Bilbao, fell through.

February 18th 1990: Left Piraeus for Hull.


© LMC (27/03/1990)

April 9th 1990: Left Hull for Immingham.

© Simonwp © Simonwp © Simonwp 

© Simonwp

April 10th 1990 – July 1990: Rebuilt at Humber Ship-Repair, Immingham, England to a cruise vessel and renamed SCANDINAVIAN SKY II.

© Simonwp © Simonwp

© Simonwp

July 1990: Registered to MSJ Shipping Ltd., Nassau, Bahamas. Renamed SCANDINAVIAN DAWN.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection  

Nigel Thornton Collection

August 1990: Commenced service for SeaEscape cruises between Fort Lauderdale – Freeport.

November 1996: Chartered to SeaEscape Cruises, Nassau, Bahamas. Renamed DISCOVERY DAWN.

November 1996: Commenced short cruises from Port Everglades.

May 1998: Chartered to New SeaEscape. Renamed ISLAND DAWN.

May 1998: Plans to introduce her as a floating casino from New York were denied, therefore went to lay up in New York.

August 1999: Renamed DISCOVERY DAWN.

August 1999: Commenced day cruises from Port Isabel, Texas.

2000: Registered to Discovery Dawn Ltd. Partnership, Nassau, Bahamas.

July 2000: Chartered to Viva Gaming & Resorts. Renamed TEXAS TREASURE.

July 17th 2000: Arrived at Corpus Christi.

September 15th 2000: Casino Ship from Corpus Christi, Texas.

February 20th 2003: Casino Ship from Port Aransas, Texas.

© Mikael Soderholm  © Mikael Soderholm  

© Mikael Soderholm

© Mikael Soderholm (all)

May 2008: “Routine Maintenance” in The Bahamas.

June 2008: Charter completed.

Originally published 03:16 p.m., June 17, 2008
Updated 03:16 p.m., June 17, 2008.

“The Texas Treasure casino ship is wrapped in a legal dispute and its operator’s attorney says he is uncertain of a return to service. The company returned the ship to its owner with damage to its backup generators, according to court documents filed in Florida and California.

The ship’s operator, Day Cruises Maritime, LLC, which does business as Corpus Christi Day Cruises, has asked two federal judges to prevent the ship’s owner from collecting money set aside in the event of damage to the ship.

The Texas Treasure was dry-docked in the Bahamas at the end of May for what its general counsel, Pat Beam, described as routine maintenance. Beam said Tuesday, he does not know when or if the casino cruises will resume”

July 2008: Sold to Indian breakers.

September 23rd 2008: Arrived at Alang for scrapping.

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: John F Hendy, Chris Howell, A G Jones, Ken Larwood,  Joerg Seyler, Simonwp, Mikael Soderholm, Anthony Williams and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Special thanks go to Jim Ashby.

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


  1. Remember the St George well as I was one of the Ruston & Hornsby commissioning engineers on sea trials and subsequent trips to Holland. (Nightmare) The Ruston 9 cylinder A.O. engines were put into service to early with many problems including piston scuffing, cam lobes cracking, not to mention oil leaks which were still taking place on the test pits in Lincoln??
    I left the Company in 1969 and I think its true to say this engine broke the back of once was a good engineering establishment. Interesting to say the Company now belongs to Siemans!!!!

  2. Hi
    I am looking for any photos of the St George ii to be used only on a slide show this weekend to Mark 50 years of the launch
    Stephen Gooch will be displaying a scale model of the ship over the 2 day History fair. He has plenty of photos and information whcih I’m sure he will share if you so wish, the only photo missing from his collection is of the breaking in Alang , any ideas who I could contact to try and find a photo ?

    I also run the Harwich and Dovercourt website and have a few photos of St George and some of its captains, your welcome you use any photos.

    I would like to use some of the photos on your page with copyright if possible

    Many thanks

    1. Hi Steve,

      Unfortunately “Comments” are only infrequently monitored and this seems to have been missed! Apologies.

      If you still wish to contact me please let me know and I’ll try to email you.

      Nigel Thornton

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