Godby Shipping’s Mistral
MISTRAL is a 1998-built freight ferry owned by Godby Shipping and chartered to P&O Ferries. She is currently used as a Ro-Ro on the Dublin to Liverpool route, providing extra capacity to the Ro-Pax sister-ships NORBAY and NORBANK. MISTRAL is one of seven vessels built by experienced freight ferry builder J.J. Sietas KG to their ‘Sietas 163’ Sto-Ro (Stowable Ro-Ro) design. She is powered by a single Wartsila 12-cylinder diesel engine. This turns a single propeller. All seven ships in the series were ordered for long term charters to Transfennica, though they were built for a few different owners. At the time of writing the six other vessels are known as CAROLINE RUSS, ELISABETH RUSS, FREDERICH RUSS, PAULINE RUSS, MIRAMAR EXPRESS, and SEAGARD. CAROLINE RUSS is also joining P&O Ferries on charter and will be used on their new route between Calais and Tilbury.
What IS a Sto-Ro?
The Sietas 163 design is optimised for the transport of paper and forestry products, containers, and conventional Ro-Ro trailers. As well as carrying wheeled cargo such as freight trailers like a conventional Ro-Ro, the Sto-Ro sub-type is also designed to have cargo (in this case paper reels) placed directly on the decks of the ship. In addition to wheeled cargo and paper reels, MISTRAL and her sister-ships are designed to carry up to 303 TEU containers. TEU’s can be stacked up to three high on the weather deck.
P&O Ferries Service
MISTRAL has been on charter to P&O Ferries since 2014, operating between Zeebrugge and Teesport or Tilbury until February 2019. A brief exception to this was a sub-charter to Stena Line for temporary cover on the Europoort to Harwich route between June and August 2018.
Dublin to Liverpool
Since March 4th 2019 MISTRAL has been the third ship on the Dublin to Liverpool route. This was initially as dry-dock cover for the regular vessels on the route. However, with the sale of the previous “third-ship” on the route EUROPEAN ENDEAVOUR complete, MISTRAL will remain on the Dublin to Liverpool route for the foreseeable future. MISTRAL only has accommodation for 12 freight drivers and so can only carry a limited amount of accompanied freight. Unlike running mates NORBAY and NORBANK she does not carry any accompanied passenger vehicles.
- MISTRAL is fitted with fin stabilisers, unlike many freight-only ferries.
- in addition to her periods spent with P&O Ferries and Stena Line, MISTRAL has also had spells with Faroe Islands-based operator Smyril Line and Estonia’s Tallink.
Godby Shipping have a full technical information document available for her on their website here.
Further Reading / References
- https://www.portalmorski.pl/stocznie-statki/20414-mistralpojazdowiectypusietas163 – MISTRAL profile on Portal Morski (in Polish)
- https://www.godbyshipping.fi/en/ship/mv-mistral – Vessel page on Godby Shipping’s website
- http://www.ferry-site.dk/ferry.php?id=9183788&lang=en – Vessel page on ferrysite.dk