Former NI Ferries of DFDS/Norfolk Line/Norse Merchant/Norse Irish Ferries

Norse Irish/Norse Merchant Ferries

Pictured at the new Victoria Terminal 2 in 1992 is Norse Lagan - a very different ship to the vessel with which replaced her, the first Lagan Viking. She was an important ship for Belfast, in that she helped reestablish the direct ferry service to Liverpool. Her appearance was largely the result of an extensive rebuild in Poland during 1990, having originally been built as a much smaller rail ferry for Canadian service. Copyright © Alan Geddes
Pictured at the then new Victoria Terminal 2 in 1992 is Norse Lagan – a very different ship to the vessel with which replaced her, the first Lagan Viking. She was an important ship for Belfast, in that she helped reestablish the direct ferry service to Liverpool along with the Transgermania (below). Her appearance was largely the result of an extensive rebuild in Poland during 1990, having originally been built as a much smaller rail ferry for Canadian service. Copyright © Alan Geddes

 

Norse Lagan, Stockholm. Pictured in 1998 whilst on charter to Seawind Line but still in full Norse Irish Ferries livery. Copyright © Ian Boyle. Simplon postcard.
Norse Lagan, Stockholm. Pictured in 1998 whilst on charter to Seawind Line but still in full Norse Irish Ferries livery. Copyright © Ian Boyle. Simplon postcard from the NIFS archive.

 

Transgermania pictured at Belfast Sinclair Wharf on Easter Monday 1992. Copyright © Albert Bridge
Transgermania pictured at Belfast Sinclair Wharf on Easter Monday 1992. Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

 

Another view of Transgermania, this time in colour, taken during September 1992 after her spell on the Belfast to Liverpool service. Copyright © Fotoflite. Click on the picture to be taken to their website.

 

The first Norse Mersey, pictured in 1992. Built in 1969 as Finncarrier, this ship had a longer and more varied career than many and would survive until 2014 when she was broken up at Aliaga. She operated for Norse Irish Ferries between Belfast and Liverpool between 1992 and 1995, having been chartered from a Stena Line subsidiary company to increase capacity and allow up to two sailings per ay in each direction along with her running mate, Norse Lagan. She was replaced by Norse Irish Ferries first new build (also called Norse Mersey, see next entry). Copyright © Alan Geddes.
The first Norse Mersey, pictured in 1992. Built in 1969 as Finncarrier, this ship had a longer and more varied career than many and would survive until 2014 when she was broken up at Aliaga. She operated for Norse Irish Ferries between Belfast and Liverpool from 1992 to 1995, having been chartered from a Stena Line subsidiary company to increase capacity and allow up to two sailings per day in each direction following the departure of the Transgermania.  She was replaced by Norse Irish Ferries first new build (also called Norse Mersey, see next entry). Back then few would have predicted that the entire Norse Irish operation would later become part of Stena Line (via a few other owners). Copyright © Alan Geddes.

 

The second Norse Mersey was much more modern than the ship which she replaced (also called Norse Mersey). She was also the first of 5 Visentini built ferries delivered to the operation, though unlike the later ones she was designed as a freighter. Copyright Scott Mackey
The second Norse Mersey was much more modern than the ship which she replaced (also called Norse Mersey, see above). She was also the first of 5 Visentini built ferries delivered to the operation, though unlike the later Visentini ferries she was designed as a freighter. Copyright Scott Mackey

 

The first Mersey Viking pictured in 2003. One of the lead vessels (the other being Lagan Viking) in the Visentini ro-pax series. The current Belfast-Liverpool vessels are an enlarged and improved version of this design.
The first Mersey Viking pictured in 2003. One of the lead vessels (the other being Lagan Viking) in the Visentini ro-pax series. The current Belfast-Liverpool vessels are an enlarged and improved version of this design. Until recently she was also a Stena ship (Stena Feronia), but has recently been sold to Strait Shipping of New Zealand to operate their “Blue Bridge” service on the Cook Strait and renamed Strait Feronia. © Albert Bridge [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons .
Mersey Viking with her original funnel colours in March 2007. Copyright © Scott Mackey.
The second Mersey Viking with her original funnel colours in March 2007. Copyright © Scott Mackey.

 

Merchant Brilliant. This 1979 built freighter had the distinction of operating Heysham to Warrenpoint for both Merchant Ferries and Seatruck, the company established by a group of Merchant Ferries management who didn't believe in moving the operation to Belfast instead of Warrenpoint. The vessel would also operate for Norfolk Line (after what became Norse Merchant was absorbed into Norfolk Line) from Belfast to Heysham as well as Dublin to Heysham for Merchant/Norse Merchant. She was originally built in Norway as Norwegian Challenger and from 2015 was sailing as BEKAA DREAM under the flag of Palau.
Merchant Brilliant. This 1979 built freighter had the distinction of operating Heysham to Warrenpoint for both Merchant Ferries and Seatruck, the company established by a group of Merchant Ferries management who didn’t believe in moving the operation to Belfast instead of Warrenpoint. The vessel would also operate for Norfolk Line (after what became Norse Merchant was absorbed into Norfolk Line) from Belfast to Heysham as well as Dublin to Heysham for Merchant/Norse Merchant. She was originally built in Norway as Norwegian Challenger and from 2015 was sailing as BEKAA DREAM under the flag of Palau. Copyright © David Rimmer.
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