British and Irish Steam Packet Company (B&I Line)FerriesMeridian FerriesPast and Present

MV Spirit of Independence (Ex Innisfallen (1969)) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 6905446

MV Derin Deniz

ex Happy Dolphin, Spirit of Independence, Cariba Viva, Sardinia Viva, Corsica Viva I, Dominican Viva, Corsica Viva, Innisfallen

Bernt Anderson Collection

Bernt Anderson Collection

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1969 as a passenger and vehicle ferry by Werft Nobiskrug GmbH, Rendsburg, Germany (Yard No. 660) for B & I Line, Dublin

Technical Data

  • Length: 118.19m (overall), 107.80m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth of Hull: 17.84m (extreme), 17.61m (registered)
  • Depth: 11.41m
  • Draught: 4.446m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 4,849 gross, 4,623,4,007/ 2,419 net 2,375, 2,096/772 deadweight 3,878
  • Engines: Four MaN 7L40/54 diesels
  • Power: 11936 kW/16,000 bhp
  • Speed: 22.0/18.0 knots
  • Capacity: 1,149 passengers, 280 cars
  • Call Sign: EIXT, H8RH
  • IMO Number: 6905446
  • Registry: Dublin/Irish Republic 🇮🇪, Pointe-à-Pitre/France 🇫🇷, Panama 🇵🇦, Nassau/Bahamas 🇧🇸, Madeira/Portugal 🇵🇹, Istanbul/Turkey 🇹🇷
  • Sister ships: Munster (657), Prins Bertil (635), Gustav Vasa (641), Kronprins Carl Gustav (646)


Last of a quintet of similar, Knud E Hansen A/S design, ferries originally destined for Lion Ferry but sold to British & Irish Line ( B&I). 

December 7th 1968: Launched.

© Michael Neidig

🆕 © Michael Neidig (Rendsberg, January 4th, 1969)

March 28th 1969: Delivered to B&I Line, Dublin, Ireland.

April 10th 1969: Inaugural arrival in Swansea.

  © Mike Griffiths

Bernt Anderson Collection (Left) and © Mike Griffiths (Right)

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Swansea, June 1971)

May 2nd 1969: Introduced between Swansea – Cork.

© Fotoflite Image Ref: BW690860 © Fotoflite Image Ref: BW690863

🆕 © Fotoflite  (01/06/1969)(Both)       

© Wolfgang Fricke 

© Wolfgang Fricke (Cork, 01/06/1974)(Left) © A G Jones (Right)

© Wolfgang Fricke

© Wolfgang Fricke (Swansea, 01/09/1975)

February 1979: Service between Dublin – Liverpool.

© Robbie Cox

© Robbie Cox

February 23rd 1980: Sold to Tourism & Shipping Co, Panama and renamed CORSICA VIVA. Services for Corsica Ferries between Italy – Corsica.

1985: Renamed DOMINICAN VIVA for services between Puerto Rico – Dominican Republic.

1988: Renamed CORSICA VIVA I for services between Italy – Corsica.

© Frank Heine © Frank Heine 

© Frank Heine (Porto S. Stefano, 21/07/1989)

Ramsey Postcard

Ramsey Postcard

1988: Services between Savona – Ajaccio – Porto Torres.

1992: Renamed SARDINIA VIVA for services between Sardinia – Italy.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Livorno, 24/07/1992)

October 21st 1993: Transferred to Caribia Ferries Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe and renamed CARIBIA VIVA. Services between Pointe-a-Pitre – Fort-de-France.

May 1994: Laid up in La Spezia, Italy.

July 1994: Chartered to Paolo Ferries for services between Bari – Greece – Cesme.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Patras, 11/07/1994)

July 1994: Chartered to Stern Maritime Lines for services between Ancona – Greece – Cesme.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Bari, 27/07/1994)

August 1994: Chartered to Cotunav, Tunisia for services between Tunis  – Genoa.

Collection Frank Heine

Collection Frank Heine (La Goulette, 11/07/1994)

December 1994: Chartered to Meridian Ferries, Panama. Fitted out in Sunderland.


Courtesy of John Hendy (Sunderland) (both)

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Sunderland, 01/12/1994)

February 5th 1995: Renamed SPIRIT OF INDEPENDENCE and introduced, as a freight ferry, between Folkestone – Boulogne.

© Seán Seosamh Robertson © Seán Seosamh Robertson © Seán Seosamh Robertson © Seán Seosamh Robertson © Seán Seosamh Robertson

🆕 © Seán Seosamh Robertson (Arriving Folkestone for trials)

© Fotoflite Image Ref: 169878 © Fotoflite Image Ref: 169883

🆕© Fotoflite (Both)


© Ken Larwood (both)

March 15th 1995: Meridian Ferries collapsed and she returned to Corsica Ferries.

March 27th 1995: Arrived at Dover.


© John Hendy (Dover)(both)

April 4th 1995: Left Dover for the Mediterranean.

April 14th 1995: Laid up in La Spezia.

September 1998: Sold to Millenium Shipping, Nassau, Bahamas and renamed HAPPY DOLPHIN.

1998: Chartered to Happy Lines and continued her lay up in La Spezia.

© Carlo Martinelli 

© Carlo Martinelli (Bastia, 29/09/1999)(Left) Simplon Postcards (Right)

April 24th 1999 – October 17th 1999: Services between La Spezia – Bastia.

© Carlo Martinelli

© Carlo Martinelli (La Spezia, 30/04/1999) 

April 2000 – October 2000: Services between La Spezia – Bastia.

© Carlo Martinelli

© Carlo Martinelli (La Spezia, 29/07/2000) 

April 2001 – October 2001: Services between La Spezia – Bastia.

© Frank Heine  © Frank Heine  

© Frank Heine (La Spezia, 03/07/2001)

October 2001: Arrested in La Spezia, Italy.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (La Spezia, 21/07/2002)

March 25th 2003: Sold to Sancak Lines, Izmir, Turkey.

2003: Renamed DERIN DENIZ.

Ferry Publication Postcard

June 12th 2003: Left La Spezia.

June 14th 2003  – August 11th 2003: Services between Cesme – Brindisi.

© Frank Heine  © Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Brindisi, 23/07/2003)

August 11th 2003: Arrived in Tuzla.

September 2004: Sold to Indian breakers.

October 17th 2004: Beached at Alang.

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: Robbie Cox, Fotoflite, Wolfgang Fricke, Mike Griffiths, Frank Heine, John F Hendy, A G Jones, Ken Larwood, Nicolas Levy, Carlo Martinelli, Michael Neidig, Seán Seosamh Robertson, 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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