British Transport Commission (BTC)FerriesPast and PresentSouthern RailwayViking Line

TS Dinard – Past and Present

IMO Number: 5380302

TS Viking

ex Dinard, Hospital Carrier 28, Dinard

Roy Thornton Collection

Sea trials 1924, British Railways Board, Roy Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw turbine ship, built and engined by Dennys of Dumbarton (Yard No 1164) for the Southern Railway’s Southampton-St. Malo service in 1924. 

Technical Data

  • Length on Deck: 99.0m (325 ft) (overall)
  • Breadth of Hull: 12.53m (41.1 ft)
  • Depth: 4.6m (15.0 ft)
  • Draught: 3.8m (12.6 ft)
  • Tonnage: 2,291 gross (1,769 after rebuild 1946), 1,165 net (588 after rebuild 1946), 370 deadweight (after rebuild 1946)
  • Engines: 4 Denny steam turbines single reduction gearing, in two independent sets, each driving one screw.
  • Boilers: One DE and one SE return tube 182 lb/sq in coal/oil
  • Power: 5,200shp (3,935 hk)
  • Speed: 13 knots (service), 19 knots (max)
  • Capacity: 1,500 passengers (1924), 900 passengers, 70-80 cars (1946)
  • Call Sign: GKTN, OFZV
  • IMO Number: 5380302
  • Official Number: 146991
  • Registry: Southampton/UK 🇬🇧, Mariehamn/Finland 🇫🇮


October 11th 1923: Ordered. Cost £265,000 for both. Final cost , after adding extras £140,370. Both were originally intended to be coal fired oil fired was installed as an extra during the course of construction.

January 23rd/24th 1924: Keel laid.

May 2nd 1924: Launched.


July 4th 1924: Six hours sea trials. Max speed 19.56 knots.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

July 14th 1924: Arrived at Southampton.

July 16th 1924: Handed over to Southern Railways.

July 1924: Commenced service between Southampton and St. Malo.

July 1925: The only time she visited the Channel Islands, when she was acting as yacht for the Southern Railways Directors’ tour of inspection.

1930: Third class accommodation was improved and the open rails of the poop deck were plated in.

Associated British Ports

Associated British Ports (@ Southampton late 1930’s)

June 1939: She changed to the Weymouth station.

September 1939: Moved to the Southampton – Le Havre service.

October 1st 1939: Left Le-Havre bound for Southampton.

October 2nd 1939: Following the outbreak of war requisitioned and converted to Hospital Carrier No 28

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

November 2nd 1939: Sailed for Newhaven.

November 12th 1939: Sent to Cherbourg where she remained on stand-by until January 5th 1940

February 23rd 1940: The vessel operated around the south coast leaving Dieppe for Newhaven.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

April 23rd 1940: Left Boulogne for Southampton.

May 25th 1940: Reached Cherbourg to embark wounded, some of whom were survivors of the Dieppe bombing of the hospital carrier MAID OF KENT.

May 25th 1940: Reached Southampton and then left for Dover.

May – June 1940: She rescued a number of stretcher cases from Dunkirk.

June 16th 1940: Went to Southampton to serve Cherbourg and then from December served between Belfast – Liverpool.

August 17th 1940: Arrived in Preston.

December 7th 1940: Left Preston for Belfast, en-route colliding with a suction dredger.

December 9th 1940: Arrived Liverpool with patients from Belfast.

April 1st 1941: Lent to the Royal Navy and arrived at Loch Ewe from Preston.

April 1941: Based at Scapa Flow as a floating hospital for merchant-seamen.

October 3rd 1941: Went to Newhaven to take part in a negotiated prisoner of war exchange. At the last moment, the German government demanded terms not provided for in the Geneva Convention and in excess of those agreed, so the exchange did not take place.

October 7th 1941: All prisoners disembarked. The ship then went to the Clyde and during the winter was engaged in exercises in embarking casualties by various methods, based at Inveraray in Loch Fyne.

March 10th 1942: Sailed from Scapa Flow to transfer patients from the hospital vessels AMARAPOORA and ISLE OF JERSEY to Aberdeen.

April 12th 1942: After leaving Aberdeen, ran aground and required tug assistance to free her.

1942: Engaged in the regular Scapa- Aberdeen medical shuttle service.

January 6th 1943: ran aground just prior to being sent to the Clyde for a refit.

April 7th 1943: While anchored in Gourock Roads she dragged her anchor and was slightly damaged when she collided with MAID OF ORLEANS.

January 1943: Went to Glasgow, where she was fitted out for Mediterranean service

June 25th 1943: Left Glasgow via Falmouth for Gibraltar

June 30th 1943: Arrived in Gibraltar.

July 11th 1943: Took part in the invasion of Sicily the until April 1944 she participated in the invasion of North Africa, operating between Sicily and Sodra, Italy.

April 7th 1944: Left Naples and headed for Southampton.

April 20th 1944: Arrived at Southampton, where she was prepared for the Normandy (D-Day) landings.

June 6th 1944: Commencing operations

June 7th 1944: While engaged on this operation that she was badly damaged by a mine off Juno Beach. After all-night efforts to keep her afloat she was successfully towed back to Southampton, arriving there on the 9th.

July 17th 1944: Emergency repairs were completed, following which she sailed back to France for further duties.

September 16th 1944: Became the first hospital ship to enter Dieppe.

October 22nd 1944: Made three trips between Ostend and Southampton.

January – February 1945: Ran a shuttle service between Cherbourg and Southampton.

March 14th 1945: Transferred and arrived back in Dover to handle US casualties from Boulogne.

March 22nd 1945: First sailing to Boulogne.

May 23rd 1945: Arrived in Southampton to be converted to a troop transport.

October 1945: Operated troopship duties between Newhaven – Dieppe.

May 24th 1946: Moved to Tilbury to undertake six return crossings to Antwerp.

June 15th 1946: Switched to operate between Calais and Dover.

July 11th 1946: Arrived back at Southampton to service the Channel Islands, she reverted to Southern Railways and her original name of DINARD.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

August 19th 1946: Completely rebuilt by Messrs. Palmer’s of Hebburn-on-Tyne as a car ferry, to sail between Dover and Boulogne. The extensive alterations made include a new bridge and upper works, construction of two car decks, improved accommodation for passengers and crew and a large opening on the promenade deck at the stern to permit he loading and unloading of cars by crane. A turntable on the main car deck worked on the first-on first-off principle.

July 1st 1947: Re-introduced between Folkestone/Dover – Calais/Boulogne.

Roy Thornton Collection    

Roy Thornton Collection

  Roy Thornton Collection  

Roy Thornton Collection

January 1st 1948: Registered to British Transport Commission, Railway Executive, Southern Region.

© Skyfotos  Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection (Left) and © Skyfotos/Fotoflite (Right)

February 19th 1950: Ran into the Eastern Arm at Dover in thick fog and was badly damaged. Repairs were made at Cardiff.

March 31st 1950: Returned to service.

Stéphane Poulain Collection  Stéphane Poulain Collection  

Stéphane Poulain Collection

1952: Fitted with hinged stern doors at the end of the main car deck by Messrs. Silley, Cox at Falmouth, for the fist time enabling cars to be driven straight on board instead of being craned on or off.

  Roy Thornton Collection  

Roy Thornton Collection


Roy Thornton Collection

July 1952: Replaced by the new car ferry LORD WARDEN, and thereafter acted as a relief ship, at the weekends operating a new car ferry service between Southampton and St Malo.

July 3rd 1953: When Dover Harbour Board’s new Car Ferry Terminal at Eastern Docks was opened, it was the DINARD which opened the new service from there to Boulogne.

August 28th 1956: Collided with the quayside in Boulogne. Suffered stern damage and sent to Southampton for repairs.

Courtesy of Derrick Packman

October 1958: Withdrawn for reasons of economy and replaced by the newly built MAID OF KENT III.

April 7th 1959: Sold to Rederi Ab Viking Linjen, Mariehamn, Finland for £ 30,000 and renamed VIKING. Leaving Dover on April 21st in tow of a tug she headed for Aalborg Skibsværft A/S, Ålborg, Denmark yard for a refit and alterations upon completion of which she sailed in the Baltic Sea for some years between various Finnish and Swedish ports: –

Roy Thornton Collection  Photoship  

Roy Thornton Collection (Left) and Photoship (Right)

June 1st 1959 – September 19th 1959: Operated between Korpo – Mariehamn – Gräddö. Then laid-up for the winter.

Courtesy of Åland Maritime Museum

🆕 Courtesy of Åland Maritime Museum (Inaugural sailing from Korpo)

May 8th 1960 – September 30th 1961: Operated between Korpo – Mariehamn – Kapellskär.

May 6th 1962 – September 3rd 1967: Operated between Pargas – Mariehamn – Kapellskär.

Erik Hag, Andreas Wörteler Collection  Erik Hag, Andreas Wörteler Collection  

© Erik Haag, Andreas Wörteler Collection

August 12th 1970: Laid-up in Mariehamn and remained there until August 1973

August 1973: Sold to Helsingin Romuliike, Helsinki, Finland for scrap.

October 12th 1973: She was altered several times during her surviving period, but finally she was towed from Mariehamn to Helsinki and broken up.



All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors and omissions. We would like to thank: Fotoflite, Derrick Packman, Stéphane Poulain, Erik Haag and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

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


  1. The MV Falaise. Was she a coal burner or an oil burner.

    Did she ever dock/use Newhaven Harbour..?

    Thank you. Tony Sissons

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