Ex Mecca I, Al- Quamar Al-Saudi II, Mecca I, Al-Quamar Al-Saudi Al-Misri I, Al Hussein II, Khalid I, Viking I, Wasa Express, Viking I
Twin screw motor vessel built in 1970 at Jos L Meyer Werft, Papenburg-Ems, Germany (Yard No. 562) as a passenger and vehicle roll-on/roll-off ferry.
- Length: 108.69m (overall), 96.50m (between perpendiculars)
- Breadth: 17.24m (extreme), 17.20m (overall)
- Depth: 6.0m.
- Draught: 4.60m (maximum)
- Tonnage: 4,239 – 5993gross/2049 – 2750net/1118t – 800tdeadweight
- Engines: Two Klockner-Humboldt-Deutz SBV 12M 350 diesels.
- Power: 5968 kw/8000 bhp
- Speed: 18.5 knots
- Capacity: 1,200 passengers, 260 cars or 26 x 12m haulage vehicles
- Call Sign: OGXO, 3EVX3, HQRR7
- IMO Number: 7018599
- Official Number: 14910-85
- Registry: Mariehamn/Finland, Panama City/Panama, San Lorenzo/Hondurus
- Sister-ships: Apollo (1969) Viking 3 (1971) Diana (1972) Viking 4 (March 1973) Coromuel (July 1973) Puerto Vallarta (November 1973) Viking 5 (March 1974) Azteca (November 1974).
Constructed between 1969 – 1974, the nine so-called ‘Papenburg Sisters’ were all built at Jos. L. Meyer Werft shipyard at Papenburg-Ems, West Germany.
November 3rd 1968: Ordered.
May 6th 1970: Launched and christened by Birgitta Johansson (Swedish orienteering competitor).
August 9th 1970: Delivered to Rederi Ab Sally, Mariehamn, Finland.
Viking I – © Kurt Wengel (Andreas Wörteler Collection)(Emden 1970)
August 9th 1970: Sea trials.
August 11th 1970: Arrived in Mariehamn.
August 12th 1970: Open to the press/media in Mariehamn before conducting a shake – down trip to Kapellskär and back.
August 12th 1970: Commenced services for Viking Line between Nådendal – Mariehamn – Kapellskär. On the same day the TS Viking (ex DINARD) arrived at the port, on her final service, before withdrawal. VIKING I took over her services by sailing to Kapellskär.
Viking I & TS Viking – Andreas Wörteler Collection
November 21st 1971: Grounded outside Kapellskär.
November 22nd 1971: Refloated herself and, after unloading, went to Finnboda shipyard for inspection.
November 29th 1971: Resumed service.
Viking I – © Tapio Karvonen
July 18th 1973: Grounded on the Fjardrock outside Kapellskär. The reason for the grounding was that the ferry passed on the wrong side of the channel and outside a marker buoy. As there was no danger to the vessel all passengers remained on board and transferring to APOLLO the following morning.
Viking I – © Viking Line
July 19th 1973: Examination revealed minor hull damage and she was towed to Finnboda Vaarf Ab, Stockholm for repairs.
August 3rd 1973: Resumed service.
1974 (Autumn): Laid up in Mariehamn.
December 1974 – February 1975: Extended aft. At Jos L Meyer Werft, Papenburg, increasing her cabin capacity from 222 to 310.
Viking I – © Viking Line (After 1975 refit/rebuild)
February 25th 1975 – April 24th 1975: Services between Stockholm – Helsinki.
April 24th 1975 – May 1st 1975: Services between Turku – Mariehamn – Stockholm.
May 1975: Services between Naantali – Mariehamn – Kapellskär.
May 16th 1975: Replaced DIANA on a single trip between Stockholm – Turku.
July 3rd 1975 – July 8th 1975: Wild strike among the Finnish Engineers’ Association.
Viking I – © Simonwp
August 15th 1975: Grounded on some mud banks north of Nagu.
August 16th 1975: Refloated with the aid of tug NAANTALI. She then continued under her own power to Kapellskär, for inspection. No major damage and she was able to continue services.
February 1976 – March 1976 : Services between Stockholm – Helsinki.
March 1976: Services between Naantali – Mariehamn – Kapellskär.
April 20th 1976 – April 26th 1976: Services between Turku – Mariehamn – Stockholm.
April 27th 1976: Services between Naantali – Mariehamn – Kapellskär.
April 19th 1977 – May 12th 1977: Strike among the Finnish Engineers’ Association and the ship out of service.
July 4th 1978: Assisted with taking passengers from the grounded DIANA.
November 7th 1979: Scandi Line offered Sally 30% to enter into a joint operation between Norway – Denmark using VIKING I.
Viking I – © Viking Line
March 1980 – June 21st 1980: Services between Stockholm – Helsinki.
March 28th 1980 – May 21st 1980: Strike on Finnish ships, and she remained in Naantali.
June 22nd 1980 – July 5th 1980: Services between Naantali – Mariehamn – Kapellskär.
July 1980: Laid up in Mariehamn.
September 1st 1980 – September 15th 1980: Services between Naantali – Mariehamn – Kapellskär.
September 16th 1980: Laid up in Mariehamn.
January 1981: Operated some services between Stockholm – Mariehamn, but mainly laid-up.
Viking I – © Viking Line (16/05/1981)
April 29th 1981: Sally Line announced they would commence sailings across the English Channel listing vessels including VIKING 1. However, she never transferred.
May 29th 1981 – August 31st 1981: Services between Naantali – Mariehamn – Kapellskär.
September 1981: Laid up in Mariehamn.
March 1982: Planned sale to the Faroe Islands did not mareialise.
April 13th 1982 – May 10th 1982: Chartered to Brittany Ferries, Morlaix, France for services between St Malo – Portsmouth.
May 14th 1982 – August 31st 1982: Services between Naantali – Mariehamn – Kapellskär.
September 1982: Laid up in Mariehamn.
June 12th 1983: Mechanical breakdown.
July 4th 1983: Mechanical fault similar to June breakdown.
Viking I – © Simonwp (Kiel Fjord, March 1981)
Viking I – Andreas Wörteler Collection
April 10th 1984: Renamed VIKING 1 and laid up in Mariehamn.
Khalid I – © Frank Heine (@ Ferries- das Fährsschiffahrtsmagazin) (Bremerhaven, 11/06/1984)
Khalid I – © Viking Line (Bremerhaven 29/06/1984)
June 20th 1984: Having arrived at Rickmers Werft, Bremerhaven, Germany for rebuilding and being renamed KHALID 1, chartered to Khalid Shipping Co., Panama.
July 17th 1984: Left builders yard for pilgrimage services in the Red Sea.
July 1984: Services Suez – Jeddah.
August 1984: Failure of the fuel pipe to the main engine.
February 19th 1985: Completed charter and laid up in Suez.
May 1985: Sold to Brave Commander S.a., Panama for $ 5.8 million and renamed MECCA 1 .
August 3rd 1985: Suffered a major engine room fire in Suez. Temporarily repaired.
January 1986: Sold to Khaled Fouda, Cairo, Egypt and renamed renamed AL HUSSEIN II . She was also fully repaired.
January 1991: Sold to El Salam Trading & Shipping, Cairo, Egypt.
January 26th 1991: Renamed AL-QUAMAR AL-SAUDI AL-MISRI 1 .
Al-Quamar Al-Saudi Al-Misri – © Frank Heine (@ Ferries- das Fährsschiffahrtsmagazin) (Red Sea, 03/04/1991)
1992 -1993: Registered Owner; Brave Commander S.a.
April 1992: Renamed MECCA 1 .
1993: Renamed AL-QUAMAR AL-SAUDI II .
August 1994: Renamed MECCA 1 .
March 28th 1994: Ran aground about 15 nautical miles from Safaga. Towed free and returned to Safaga for inspection.
April 2nd 1994: Arrived in Suez for dry-docking.
January 1997: Whilst in dry-dock in Suez, the ship was arrested,
1997: The arrest was lifted and she made several trips between Saudi Arabia – India.
March 1998: Laid up in Suez.
Mecca I – © Frank Heine (@ Ferries- das Fährsschiffahrtsmagazin) (Suez, 18/05/1998)
August 1999: Sold to Brave Commander, Sa, San Lorenzo, Honduras and renamed FAGR (only on ships documents).
January 1999: Laid up at anchor Port Tewfik near Suez. There were no crew on board and the plan was to rebuild the ship so it would be able to handle SOLAS.
April 19th 1999: During a severe storm, capsized and sank off Port Tewfik (Suez).
October 2002: Wreck raised.
October 2002: Arrived at breakers in Suez.
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: Frank Heine (@ Ferries- das Fährsschiffahrtsmagazin), Tapio Karvonen, Simonwp and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.