LE RIF (ex Stena Galloway) update

LE RIF nearing completion of her refurbishment in Italy prior to being reintroduced to the Tangier Med to Algeciras route. LE RIF is better known to UK readers as the former Stranraer ferry Stena Galloway/Galloway Princess. © DWLM.

LE RIF nearing completion of her refurbishment in Italy prior to being reintroduced on the Tangier Med to Algeciras route. LE RIF is better known to UK readers as the former Stranraer ferry Stena Galloway/Galloway Princess. © DWLM.

Refurbishment of the former Galloway Princess nears completion. 

Reports from Morocco indicate that LE RIF (ex Stena Galloway, Galloway Princess) is expected to return to service soon, following an extensive refurbishment and overhaul.  The Belfast built former Sealink ferry has been out of service since 2013 when previous operator IMTC collapsed.  A new entrant to the market, Moroccan company DWLM (Detroit World Logistics Maritime), intend to operate LE RIF on her former IMTC route between Tangier Med and Algeciras across the Gibraltar Strait.

© Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ .
The “Galloway Princess” was built by Harland & Wolff, in 1980, for service on the Larne – Stranraer route. She is seen arriving at Larne with the 12.00 from Stranraer. The “Free Enterprise IV” can be seen (right) at the Continental Quay. Copyright © Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Originally the 1980 built vessel had been towed to the Mario Lopez shipyard in Malaga for work, following a lengthy layup whilst awaiting sale at Tangier Med.  But following costs increasing from the €2.5m originally quoted, LE RIF was moved to the Jobson shipyard in Italy.  The final cost of the refurbishment is almost 70m Moroccan Dirhams (around €6m), a significant expenditure considering the purchase price for the vessel at auction was just 11m Morrocan Dirhams.  However useful ferry tonnage is has been in short supply in recent years.  The cost of building new vessels continues to escalate, and a number of companies have invested in older vessels recently which less than a decade ago would have been sold for further use or sent for recycling.

LE RIF nearing completion of her refurbishment in Italy prior to being reintroduced to the Tangier Med to Algeciras route. LE RIF is better know to UK readers as the former Stranraer ferry Stena Galloway/Galloway Princess. © DWLM.
LE RIF nearing completion of her refurbishment in Italy prior to being reintroduced to the Tangier Med to Algeciras route. LE RIF is better known to UK readers as the former Stranraer ferry Stena Galloway/Galloway Princess. © DWLM.

The former Sealink ferry now sports a colour scheme not dissimilar to her original colours, with a blue hull and red funnel.  She retains her former name and home port of Tangier in Morroco, is expected to return to service in September.  DWLM have stated they intend to operate a second route from Almeria to Nador once they find a suitable vessel.  DWLM is 100% Moroccan owned and is understood to be controlled by Moroccan businessman Hakim Rahmouni, who has interests in logistics the construction industry and agriculture.

LE RIF nearing completion of her refurbishment in Italy prior to being reintroduced to the Tangier Med to Algeciras route. LE RIF is better know to UK readers as the former Stranraer ferry Stena Galloway/Galloway Princess. © DWLM.
LE RIF nearing completion of her refurbishment in Italy prior to being reintroduced to the Tangier Med to Algeciras route. LE RIF is better known to UK readers as the former Stranraer ferry Stena Galloway/Galloway Princess. © DWLM.

The company have a facebook page here where you can keep up with the latest developments.

Stena Galloway leaves Larne in the short lived Stena Sealink Line livery. Copyright © Gary Andrews.
Stena Galloway leaves Larne in the short lived Stena Sealink Line livery. Copyright © Gary Andrews.

Title image: LE RIF nearing completion of her refurbishment in Italy before being reintroduced to service on the Tangier Med to Algeciras route. © DWLM.

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