Ibn Batouta (ex Stena Antrim) update.

STENA ANTRIM arrives in Belfast, 1995, still in Stena Sealink livery. Copyright © Alan Geddes.

Further service (hopefully) beckons for the former North Channel favourite It has been confirmed that the purchasers, at auction, of the former COMANAV ferry Ibn Batouta (better known as the former Stena Antrim and St Christopher) was Albanian operator Red Star Ferries.  Red Star Ferries currently operate from the Italian port of Brindisi to the Albanian ports of Durres and Vlore, with the elderly Red Star 1 (ex, Viking III, originally built 1965).  It is rumoured that Ibn Batouta has been acquired to operate one of the existing Brindisi to Durres or Vlore routes, though it is understood that the Vlore route has less traffic and so it may be more likely she will operate to Durres instead.  It is believed that the vessel is currently (or about to) undergo an intensive refit at Bijela (Montenegro), which will involve her capacity being enhanced, and recertification.  Certainly, an intensive refurbishment will be required, with the long layover in Algercias having … Read more

Former Stena Antrim towed to Albania, unknown destination for the former Galloway Princess.

IBN BATOUTA (ex ST DAVID, STENA ANTRIM) leaving Algeciras on 12/8/15 under tow of the Italian registered tug Brucoli. Copyright © Juan Gabriel Mata.

Could further service beckon for Ibn Batouta? The Ibn Batouta (ex St Christopher, Stena Antrim) left the port of Algeciras under the tow of the tug Brucoli on Tuesday, having been helped from the position she was occupying in the port by local tugs VB Twenty and VB Algeciras.  Her apparent destination is Durres in Albania. Ibn Batouta had been sold at auction earlier this year for just €1,027,000, having been laid up since Janurary 2012 following the collapse of the COMARIT group (of which her operator COMANAV was a part).  It is believed that Ibn Batouta may be the only one of the group of 4 COMARIT group ferries which have left Algeciras in the past few weeks not purchased for breaking, with the purchaser rumoured to have been the owner of the Italy-Albania ferry Red Star 1 (1965).  Bari (ex St Anslem, Stena Cambria, Isla de Botafoc), a sister ship of the … Read more

Further update on the former Stena Antrim

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 … Read more