FerriesLondon Brighton & South Coast Railway (LB&SCR)Past and PresentSociété Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF)

TS Londres – Past and Present

TS Sofoklis Venizelos

ex Ionian II, Londres, Lothringen, Londres, Dieppe

© Ken Larwood

Londres © Ken Larwood

Steel twin screw steamer built by Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, Le Havre, France, between 1941-43, known as DIEPPE during building

Technical Data

  • Length: 308.4 ft (94.00m)(overall)
  • Breadth of hull: 39.7 ft(12.10m)(extreme)
  • Depth: 23.3 ft(7.10m)
  • Draught: 10.9 ft (3.32m)(maximum)
  • Tonnage: 2,444 net/790 gross
  • Engines: Two sets of Parsons SR geared turbines
  • Boilers/propellers: (Two oil-fired superheated w/t bt Penhoet)/2
  • Power: 22,000shp (12,000 shp astern)
  • Speed: 24 knots
  • Capacity: 1,450 passengers
  • Call Sign: 
  • ID Number: 552143
  • Registry: Newhaven, Piraeus
  • Sister Ship: Newhaven


1939: Ordered

1939: Known as DIEPPE during building.

1940: Launched as LONDRES.

After surrender of France to the Germans in WW2 taken over by the Germans , fitted out as mine-layer, called LOTHRINGEN, operating in the Hamburg and Bremerhaven areas. After the war she was found at Kiel and taken to her builders for re-conversion

April 18th 1946: Delivered to  Societe Nationale de Chemins de Fer, Dieppe and installed between Dieppe-Newhaven as LONDRES.

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

May 1955: Registered to The London, Brighton & South Coast Railway Company.

Nicolas Levy Collection  Nicolas Levy Collection

Nicolas Levy Collection  Courtesy of William Macdonald

Nicolas Levy Collection (As noted) and Courtesy of William Macdonald (Right)

1963: Laid up in Newhaven.

© John Hendy

© John Hendy

December 1963: Sold to Typaldos Bros., Piraeus, Greece. Renamed IONION II. Towed to Southampton for rebuilding.

January 1st 1964: Towed from Southampton to Piraeus.

January 7th 1964: Arrived Piraeus.

May 1964: Typaldos Bros went bankrupt and vessel laid up.

1964: Sold at auction to Aegean S.N. Co., Piraeus, Greece. Renamed SOFOKLIS VENIZELOS. Rebuilt throughout.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

1964: Commenced service between Piraeus – Heraklion – Rhodos.

April 14th 1966: Fire broke out on board while the vessel was refitted in Piraeus.

April 15th 1966: Vessel beached and entirely gutted by fire. Broken up where she lay.

© Steffen Weirauch, Roy Thornton Collection

© Steffen Weirauch, Roy Thornton Collection

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: John Hendy, Ken Larwood, Nicolas Levy and William Macdonald for their assistance in producing this feature.

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

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