Further update on the former Stena Antrim

By: Steven Tarbox
Last updated:
Stena Antrim in happier times ariving in Belfast © Albert Bridge

From reading Spanish news reports it would appear that the former Stena Antrim (ex St Christopher, now Ibn Battouta) has been declared abandoned along with 3 other ships previously owned by the failed COMARIT/COMANAV ferry operation.  A demand for EUR 386,191.58 in fees owed to the port has been made to be paid within 15 days (of the 21st of March) it seems, or the ships will presumably be sold at auction.  As previously reported on this site the 4 ships have lain idle at Algericas  for almost 3 years now, and with COMARIT/COMANAV bankrupt (though I understand some legal proceedings are still underway) its hard to see where the money is going to come from.  Another of the ships, Al Mansour, also served on the Irish Sea briefly for B&I line between Rosslare and Pembroke, though she will be remembered by many as RMT’s Reine Astrid operating from Ostend to Dover and Ramsgate.

Ibn Battouta was launched in 1980 as St Christopher at Harland and Wolff in Belfast and was built for Sealink as one of two flagships (the other being St Anselm) for the Dover-Calais route.  She served the Stranraer link for 1991 – 1996 until being moved to other routes such as Newhaven-Dieppe after the arrival of the HSS in Belfast.  Perhaps ironically she has survived the vessel which replaced her at Stranraer, with HSS Stena Voyager making her final journey to Sweden under tow last year to be recycled at Karlskrona.

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