British Railways Board (BRB)British Transport Commission (BTC)FerriesPast and PresentSealink

TS Zenith (Ex Duke of Argyll (III)) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 5094460

TS Zenith

ex Fairy Princess, Faith Power, Corinthia, Neptunia, Duke of Argyll (III)

© British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library)

Steel twin screw turbine vessel built by Harland and Wolff in 1956 (Yard No 1541) for The British Transport Commission originally as a passenger and cargo vessel.

Technical Data

  • Length: 114.64m (overall), 107.91 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth of hull: 17.48m (extreme)
  • Depth: 5.97m
  • Draught: 4.52m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 4,797 (1956), 4,943 (1967) net/2,274 – 2,787 gross/1,111 – 1,017 deadweight
  • Engines: Four Denny Pametrada double reduction geared steam turbines
  • Power: 7723 kW/10500 shp
  • Speed: 14 knots (service), 21 knots (max)
  • Capacity: 1,100 passengers (1956), and 105 cars (1970)
  • Call Sign: MWNW, C4KD, 9HOS2
  • IMO Number: 5094460
  • Official Number (LR 1967 – 68): 165015
  • Registry: Lancaster/United Kingdom 🇬🇧, Limassol/Cyprus 🇨🇾,Valletta/Malta 🇲🇹, San Lorenzo/Honduras 🇭🇳, Panama 🇵🇦


January 12th 1956: Launched. The first of three Dukes, the others being DUKE OF LANCASTER and the DUKE OF ROTHESAY.

September 1956: Delivered to British Transport Commission, London Midland Region, England.

© British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library) Jim Ashby Collection  

© British Railways Board  – National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library (Left) and the Jim Ashby Collection (Right)

September 1956: Commenced service between Heysham – Belfast as a passenger ferry.

British Railways Postcard

British Railways Postcard

January 1st 1963: British Railways Board succeeded British Transport Commission.

1964: Vessels painted in the new livery of British Railways, (blue hull and red funnels) and the “Double -Arrow”

© Derek Longly

© Derek Longly

November 1969: It was announced that British Rail’s Shipping and International Services Division (S.I.S.D.) had adopted the new brand name Sealink and as a consequence all vessels were painted in the new house colours.

1970: Converted to a car ferry by Harland and Wolff, with a vehicle deck of only 6ft 6in height, loading from the stern.

© William MacDonald

© William MacDonald

Jim Ashby Collection Sealink News

Sealink News

Jim Ashby Collection  Jim Ashby Collection 

Jim Ashby Collection

January 28th 1970: Re-delivered after rebuild.

February 24th 1970: Resumed service between Heysham – Belfast.

Simplon Postcard

Simplon Postcard

1973: Sealink trading name painted on hulls.

© Malcolm Cranfield

© Malcolm Cranfield

© William MacDonald

© William MacDonald

April 5th 1975: The Heysham-Belfast route was closed with the Duke of Argyll running the final sailing to Belfast.

April 6th 1975: Became surplus on the Heysham – Belfast service.

1975: Acted as reserve vessel for Holyhead – Dun Laoghaire route.

September 1975: Laid up in Barrow.

October 13th 1975: Sold to A.G. Yannoulatos (Registerad för Cynthia Nav. Ltd., Limassol, Cyprus). Renamed NEPTUNIA.

© William MacDonald  © George Mason

© William MacDonald (Left) 🆕 © George Mason (Courtesy of Andy Ham) (Barrow, 01/10/1975) (Right)

October 19th 1975: Left Barrow for Piraeus.

October 31st 1975: Arrived at Piraeus.

Libra Maritime Postcard

Libra Maritime Postcard

June 1976: Commenced service for Libra Maritime between Brindisi – Patras – Korint Kanalen – Piraeus.

1977: Rebuilt at Chalkis Shipyard

1978 – 1979: Registered Owner; Cynthia Navigation Co. Ltd. Registered Manager; Cia. Armadora de Sudamercia S.A.

1979: Commenced service between Ancona – Piraeus – Limassol – Haifa.

© A Scrimali

© A Scrimali

© Frank Heine  © Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Piraeus, 01/07/1981)(Both)

October 15th 1982 – 1983: Laid up in Chalkis.

1984: Used as a school-ship.

1986: Commenced service between Brindisi – Piraeus – Izmir.

1987: Sold to Scanmed Shipping Co, Valletta, Malta. Renamed CORINTHIA.

© A Scrimali

© A Scrimali

Simplon Postcard

Simplon Postcard

1988: Commenced service for Hellenic Mediterrean Lines, Valletta, Malta.

Courtesy of Chris Howell

Courtesy of Chris Howell

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Patras, 12/07/1990)

© Frank Heine © Frank Heine  

© Frank Heine (Brindisi, 16/07/1992)

1992: Operated between Patras – Messina.

1994: Sold to Power Sea Transportation S.A., Panama. Renamed FAITH POWER.

1995: Renamed FAIRY PRINCESS, registered in San Lorenzo, Honduras.

© Yvon Perchoc

© Yvon Perchoc

July 20th 1995: Arrived Hong Kong for rebuilding. Renamed ZENITH.

1995: Suffered an engine-room fire. The fire was extinguished and she was run aground. Later re-floated and sold for scrap.

Terry Conybeare Collection Terry Conybeare Collection  

Terry Conybeare Collection

March 1996: Arrived Zhongshan for scrapping.

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: Jim Ashby, Terry Conybeare, Malcolm Cranfield, Andy Ham, Frank Heine, Chris Howell, Derek Longly, William MacDonald, George Mason, National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library and Yvon Perchoc for their assistance in compiling this feature.

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

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