Belfast Steamship CompanyFerriesP&O FerriesPast and Present

MV Ulster Queen (1967) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 6703317

MV Al Kafain

Ex Poseidonia, La Patria, Poseidonia, Alla-Eddin, Al Kahera, Med Sea, Ulster Queen

Courtesy of Simonwp

Ulster Queen – Courtesy of Simonwp

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1967 by Cammell Laird & Co, Birkenhead (Yard No 1323) as a passenger and vehicle roll-on roll-off vehicle ferry, for Belfast Steamship Co., Belfast

Technical Data

  • · Length on deck: 114.92 m (overall) 108.51 m (between perpendiculars)
    · Breadth of hull: 16.46m (extreme)
    · Depth: 9.07 m
    · Draught: 4.15m (maximum)
    · Tonnage: 4270 gross/ 2115 net/1390 – 1412 deadweight
    · Engines: Two 12-cylinder Pielstick diesels
    · Power: 5295 kW/7200 bhp
    · Speed: 17½ knots
    · Capacity: 522 1st class – 500 2nd class (1967) – 1,311 passengers, 140 (1967) – 230 cars
    · Crew: 85 (1967)
    · Call Sign: GTVE, H2HK
    · IMO Number: 6703317
    · Official Number: 305575 (1967)/701946 (1982-85)/
    · Registry: Belfast/UK 🇬🇧, Limassol/Cyprus 🇨🇾, Panama 🇵🇦, Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦
    · Sister Ship: Ulster Prince (1667)


March 29th 1966: Keel laid at Birkenhead.
December 1st 1966: Launched by Lady Robinson, wife of the Chairman of Coast Lines Limited, Sir Arnet
Ulster Queen
May 27th 1967: Completed trials.
May 31st 1967: Delivered to the Belfast Steamship Company Limited, Belfast. 
© Ian Collard
Ulster Queen – © Ian Collard (Maiden arrival at Princes Docks, Liverpool for trials)
Ulster Queen –
June 6th 1967: Maiden voyage Liverpool-Belfast.
Ulster Queen – Postcards
February 12th 1971: While making a special daylight trip from Liverpool, to relieve ST CLAIR, damaged in heavy seas.
February 13th 1971: Repaired at Cammell Laird.
February 26th 1971: Coast Lines Limited was acquired by the P&O Steam Navigation Company Limited.
August 27th 1971: Damaged two cylinder liners and was towed to Belfast. Off service for repairs.
September 2nd 1971: Resumed service.
October 1st 1971: Managed by P&O Short Sea Shipping Limited.

© Ian Collard

Ulster Queen – © Ian Collard

July 20th 1974: A bomb exploded in the first class lounge 45 minutes after had arrived at Belfast but caused only superficial damage and no injuries. The ship had been cleared after a telephone warning.

Ulster Queen – (Liverpool 1976)

March 31st 1975: Managed by P&O Ferries.

Ulster Queen –

© Ian Collard

Ulster Queen – © Ian Collard (Left)

September 21st 1978: Owned by P&O Ferries Limited.

February 1980: Given blue hull.

© Ian Collard

Ulster Queen – © Ian Collard

© Ian Collard

Ulster Queen – © Ian Collard (Laid up Princes Docks with ULSTER PRINCE)

February 1981: During overhaul had her blue hull colouring raised by a deck and the P & O flag was added to the funnel.

December 10th 1981: Sailed from Liverpool to Ostend to lay up awaiting sale.

© Mike Louagie © Dr Achim Borchart

Ulster Queen – © Mike Louagie (Left)© Dr Achim Borchart (Dunkerque, 06/08/82 Ostend)(Right)

April 22nd 1982: Sold to Pangloss Bav. Co. Ltd., Limassol, Cyprus and renamed MED SEA (name not officially registered.

May 1982: Left Ostend for the Mediterranean.

1982: Services Cyprus – Syria.

September 16th 1985: Laid up in Piraeus.

1986: Chartered out for services in the Red Sea pilgrim trade and renamed AL KAHERA.

1987: Renamed ALA-EDDIN.

1988: Sold to Hellenic Mediterrean Lines, Piraeus, Greece (registered to Silkwave Maritime Co. Ltd., Limassol, Cyprus) and renamed POSEIDONIA.

1988: Services Igoumenitsa – Brindisi.

June 13th 1998: Laid up in Elefsis.

2000: Renamed LA PATRIA.

2002: Name reverted to POSEIDONIA.

May 2000: Registered to Founders Shipping & Trading Co., Panama.

Poseidonia – © 

Poseidonia – © Aleksi Lindström (Igoumenitsa, July 2002)(Left) & (Right)

© Frank Heine

Poseidonia – © Frank Heine (Brindisi, July 2002)(Right)

September 2003: Laid up in Keratsini, Greece.

May 2005: Sold to Al-Kahfain, Saudi Arabia and renamed AL KAHFAIN.

May 27th 2005: Left Eleusis Bay.

June 2005: Arrived in Egypt.

November 1st 2005:  Suffered a serious engine room fire off Hurghada. No passengers on board and attempts were made to take her in tow.

November 3rd 2005: Struck the reef at Sha’ab Sheer, turned upside down, and sank. No loss of life and all crew were rescued.


All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Ian Collard, Frank Heine,  Aleksi Lindström, Simonwp and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

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

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