FerriesPast and PresentSealinkStena Line

MV Stena Gothica (ex Seafreight Freeway, Ask) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 7826867

MV Stena Gothica

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

© Brian Fisher

© Brian Fisher

Steel twin screw motor vessel, built in 1981 by Nuovi Cantieri Apuania S.P.A. Marina di Carrara, Italy (Yard No 2120) as a Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) passenger ferry for Castello Hellas Shipping Co, Piraeus, Greece 

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: 8,830 kW (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)
  • Callsign: OUVU OUVU2, VSBV2, SGLH, OYCF2
  • IMO Number: 7826867
  • Official Number: 87K133
  • Registry: Hamilton/Bermuda 🇧🇲, Aarhus/Denmark 🇩🇰, Gothenburg/Sweden 🇸🇪, Copenhagen/Denmark 🇩🇰
  • Sister Ship: Easy Rider (2119)


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

© Fotohaus Pamperin

© Michael Neidig  Courtesy of Simonwp

Marina di Carrara, Italy 18/06/1981 © Michael Neidig (left) and at La Spezia, Courtesy of Simonwp (right)

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

© Jörg Seyler (left) and © 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 Courtesy of Simonwp

Andreas Wörteler Collection (Left) 🆕 Courtesy of Simonwp (Right)

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

© Simonwp (Dunkerque)

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

 Vehicle Deck Internal Ramp

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

© Mike Sartin  © Mike Sartin

© Mike Sartin  © Mike Sartin

© Mike Sartin  © Mike Sartin

© Mike Sartin

© Mike Sartin

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

© Ken Larwood  © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

Courtesy of Kim Bridgland  Courtesy of Kim Bridgland

Courtesy of Kim Bridgland  Courtesy of Kim Bridgland

Courtesy of Kim Bridgland  Courtesy of Kim Bridgland

Courtesy of Kim Bridgland

December 1987: Fitted with 590 kW bow thruster.

© Pieter Inpyn

© Pieter Inpyn (Dunkerque, 01/05/1988)

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

© Ted Ingham  © Ted Ingham

© Ted Ingham

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,

© Fotoflite

© Ken Larwood  © Dennis Hopkins

 © Ken Larwood (Left) and © Dennis Hopkins (Right)(Dunkirk 07/06/1988)

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

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

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 on the river Fal.

October 1988: Transferred to So Mejdunaroden Automobile Transport (SMAT) 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

Andreas Wörteler Collection (Left) and © 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

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

© Andreas Wörteler

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

© Dirk Jankowsky

© Tim Becker

© 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

© Andreas Wörteler

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  

© Tim Becker

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  

© 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  

© 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

© 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 Gothenborg – 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

© 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

© Carsten Dettmer (Liepaja, 23/07/2019)

March 2020: Still in service between Liepaja – Travemünde.

August 13th 2020: 

“Stena Line will start a new freight focused connection between Latvia, Sweden and Germany by adding a port-call in Karlskrona on the existing ferry route between Liepaja and Travemünde. The additional service to freight customers a port call in Karlskrona on the existing route between Liepaja and Travemünde, enabling more effective trade and transport opportunities between the Baltic countries and southern Scandinavia. The route between Liepaja and Travemünde is operated by the two Danish flagged RoPax vessels ‘Stena Gothica’ and ‘Urd’, both 171 meter long with a freight capacity of 1,600 lane meters. The new weekly port-call in Karlskrona will initially be in the direction Liepaja-Travemünde on Thursday evenings.”

© Carsten Dettmer  © Carsten Dettmer

© Carsten Dettmer (Travemünde, 04/06/2021)

September 2021: Still in service between Liepaja – Travemünde.

© Marcus S  © Marcus S

© Marcus S

© Marcus S (Travemünde, 18/09/2021)

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.

September 2023: Still in service Nynäshamn – Hankö.

October 6th 2023: It was announced that Stena Line would close the Nynäshamn – Hankö route.

Stena Line closes line to Finland

“Stena Line has decided to withdraw its ferry line between Nynäshamn and Hanko in Finland. The shipping company announced this on Friday. The main reason is a lack of demand from the company’s shipping customers.”

“As a consequence of the development and outlook for the near future, Stena Line has decided to withdraw the line between Nynäshamn and Hanko. The traffic will continue until October 20th 2023, when the ships STENA GOTHICA and URD will leave the line for new assignments, either on the charter market or within Stena Line.”

October 20th 2023: Nynäshamn – Hanko service closed. Came off service and sailed to dry-dock at the BLRT Western Shipyard, Klaipeda.

© Gena Anfimov  © Gena Anfimov

© Gena Anfimov (Klaipeda, 24/10/2023)

November 18th 2023: Left dry-dock at Klaipeda and sailed one Roundtrip Liepaja – Travemünde -Liepaja as relief for STENA FLAVIA.

November 25th 2023:  Left Liepaja.

November 25th 2023: Arrived Ventspils.

December 6th 2023: Left Ventspils for Rotterdam to act as relief for STENA FORETELLER Europort  – Harwich and relace SOMERSET (Stena charter complete).

December 9th 2023: Arrived Rotterdam.

December 10th 2023: Took up service Rotterdam (Europort) – Harwich.

January 6th 2024: Came off service in Rotterdam and moved within the port, to Waalhaven, for lay up.

© Rob De Visser

© Rob De Visser (Rotterdam, 06/01/2024)

April 11th 2024: Trials before returning to Waalhaven.

April/May 2024: Anticipated use as cover for STENA FORETELLER .

© Rob De Visser

© Rob De Visser (17/04/2024)

April 17th 2024: Took up service Rotterdam – Harwich as cover for STENA FORETELLER.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Passing Felixstowe, in-bound for Harwich, 25/04/2024)

June 8th 2024: Came off service at Europoort and moved within Rotterdam for lay up.

© Rob De Visser

🆕© Rob De Visser (Passing Rozenburg, o8/06/2024)


We would like to thank: Gena Anfimov, Tim Becker, Kim Bridgland, Carsten Dettmer, Brian Fisher, Fotoflite, Fotohaus Pamperin, Frank Heine, Dennis Hopkins, Ted Ingham, Pieter Inpyn, Dirk Jankowsky, Ken Larwood, Marcus S, Mike Sartin, Jörg Seyler, Simonwp, Rob De Visser 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 go to the World Ship Society (East Kent Branch).

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

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