FerriesP&O FerriesPast and PresentTownsend Thoresen

MV Viking Venturer – Past and Present

MV Oujda

ex Pride of Al Salam 2, Pride of Hampshire, Viking Venturer

© Brian Fisher

© Brian Fisher (Southampton, June 1983)

Steel triple screw motor vessel built in 1974 by Aalborg Værft A/S, Aalborg, Denmark (Yard no 203) for Townsend-Thoresen European Ferries as a passenger and vehicle ferry.

Technical Data

  • Length: 128.71m (overall), 119.87m (between perpendiculars)/ 143.67 m (overall) 137.67 (between perpendiculars) (1986)
  • Breadth: 20.22 m (extreme), 19.81m (moulded)/ 23.47m (extreme) 23.00m (moulded) (1986)
  • Depth: 11.61m
  • Draught: 4.53m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 6,387 – 14,760 gross/2,918 – 7,014 net/1,616 – 1,544 deadweight
  • Engines: Two 8-cylinder Werkspoor 8TM410 “Wing” diesels, one 9-cylinder TM410 “centre” diesel
  • Power: 10,665 kW
  • Speed: 19.0 knots (service)/ 18 knots (service)
  • Capacity: 1,200 passengers, 275 cars/713 – 1,316 passengers 380 cars
  • Call Sign: GUPM, HOPD
  • IMO Number: 7358286
  • Official Number: 365082
  • Port of Registry: Southampton, Portsmouth, Panama
  • Sister ships: Viking Valiant, Viking Viscount, Viking Voyager


June 1st 1974: Launched.

January 1975: Delivered to Townsend Car Ferries Ltd., Southampton, England.

January 11th 1975: Commenced service with Townsend Thoresens services between Southampton – Le Havre.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

May 28th 1975: Commenced services between Portsmouth – Le Havre.

© Brian Fisher   Nigel Thornton Collection

© Brian Fisher (Cardiff, 1977) (left) Nigel Thornton Collection (right)

© John Jones

© John Jones (Southampton, 18/10/1981)

1983: Chartered to the British Ministry of Defence for a trip to the Persian Gulf.

March 25th 1983: Introduced between Southampton – Le Havre.

1984: A new TT logo, in white, was introduced on the funnels.

© Robert J Smith  © Brian Fisher

© Robert J Smith (Southampton, 25/08/1984)(left) © Brian Fisher (right)

December 7th 1984: Introduced between Portsmouth – Le Havre.

December 8th 1985: Arrived at Schichau Unterweser AG, Bremerhaven, Germany for “Jumboisation”. Fitted with larger forward sections as well as being horizontally cut in two with an additional full-length vehicle deck inserted enabling VENTURER and VALIANT to carry 60 lorries.

Dover Ferry Photos Library

Dover Ferry Photos Library

John Hendy Collection  Courtesy of John Hendy

Courtesy of John Hendy

© Bob Scott

© Bob Scott (Bremerhaven, 01/05/1986)

May 19th 1986: Resumed commercial traffic.

© Bian Fisher

© Bian Fisher (Portsmouth, 01/04/1987)

1987: Following the “HERALD” disaster, from spring onwards, pale blue funnels with P&O flag logo became the norm.

Photoship  © Brian Fisher

Photoship (Left) © Brian Fisher (Portsmouth, 01/06/1987) (Right)

October 1987: There was a change to P&O European Ferries navy blue hull and funnel.

December 31st 1987: Registered under P&O European Ferries, London, England.

May 1989: Renamed PRIDE OF HAMPSHIRE.

© Peter Wearing  © Peter Wearing

© Peter Wearing (both)

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (06/05/1989)

March 18th 1991: Sold to Investments Co, BMBF (No, 15), England. Bareboat chartered to P&O European Ferries.

© Brian Fisher  © Brian Fisher

© Brian Fisher (both) (Portsmouth 1991 – 1990)

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

© Fotoflite  © Fotoflite

© Fotoflite

June 22nd 1994: Final day operating between Portsmouth – Le Havre.

July 10th 1994: Commenced service between Portsmouth – Cherbourg.

September 25th 1994: During a lifeboat drill in Cherbourg, some of the boats fell straight into the water. Eight crewmen were injured.

© Malcolm Cranfield

🆕 © Malcolm Cranfield (Portsmouth, 20/10/2001)

September 30th 2002: Final day in service for P&O.

September 2002: Sold to El Salam Maritime, Panama.

October 2002: Renamed PRIDE OF AL SALAM 2.

June 2003 – August 2003: Chartered to Comanav, Morocco. Introduced between Seté – Nador.

June 2004: Chartered to COMANAV, Morocco. Renamed OUJDA.

© Franks Heine   © Franks Heine

© Franks Heine (Seté, 09/08/2004)(both)

June 14th 2004 – October 22nd 2004: Operated between Seté – Nador.

June 13th 2005 – September 21st 2005: Chartered to COMANAV, Morocco for services between Seté – Nador.

June 2006  – September 2006: Chartered to COMANAV, Morocco for services between Seté – Nador.

© Federico Bolognini

©  Federico Bolognini (Suez, 17/06/2006)

© Frank Heine  © Frank Heine

© Frank Heine

© Franks Heine (Seté, 22/07/2006) (All)

November 2006: Services from Safaga, Egypt.

July 2007 – September 2007: Chartered to COMANAV, Morocco for services between Seté – Nador.

February 2010: Sold to Indian breakers.

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: Federico Bolognini, Malcolm Cranfield, Brian Fisher, Frank Heine,John Jones, Ken Larwood, Bob Scott, Robert J Smith,Peter Wearing, Simonwp and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Special thanks go to John F  Hendy.

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

One Comment

  1. Went on the 83 Defence Sales trip…….what a blast…..best restaurant in the Middle east at that time !!!!!

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