Former ferries of NI Part 1: From Sealink to Stena Line

Stena Galloway departs Belfast with Stena Caledonia in the background. Taken on June 16th 1999. Copyright © Alan Geddes.

A photographic look back at some of the ferries which have operated to or within Northern Ireland, including those which operated both for present operators and those which no longer exist. This first part looks at Sealink, Sealink Stena, Stena Sealink, and Stena Line.

[Quick News] Former Galloway Princess looking for a new operator?

STENA GALLOWAY undertaking berthing trials in Belfast, April 5th, 1995. Copyright © Alan Geddes

It appears that LE RIF, the former GALLOWAY PRINCESS / STENA GALLOWAY, is available for charter having reappeared on a brokers website. Her owners DWLM had previously advertised that she would enter service with them between Algeciras and Tangier Med towards the end of last year.

Former Stena Antrim on her way to Turkey with uncertain future.

Sealink Stena Line publicity photograph of STENA ANTRIM. Sealink Stena Line.

NI Ferry Site has learned that IBN BATOUTA, the former STENA ANTRIM and ST CHRISTOPHER which hasn’t seen service for 6 years, is currently under tow from Durres in Albania to Turkey. At present it is uncertain whether the former North Channel and English Channel favourite is to be refurbished or scrapped.

In Waters New Roundup: Autumn 2017

F/B Bari at sea. Ventouris Lines

A quick update on the current status of some of the former Northern Ireland based ferries now operating elsewhere around the world, including the former EXPRESS, STENA GALLOWAY / GALLOWAY PRINCESS, STENA CALEDONIA / ST. DAVID, STENA CAMBRIA / ST. ANSELM, STENA NAVIGATOR / SEAFRANCE MANET, and EUROPEAN PATHFINDER / JAGUAR / EUROPEAN CLEARWAY / BEGONIA

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.

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.

In Waters New, Easter 2017 Roundup.

Stena Galloway at sea in Stena Line colours. Copyright © Scott Mackey.

A quick news roundup featuring some vessels which previously plied their trade in NI waters. LE RIF:  Could the former STENA GALLOWAY/GALLOWAY PRINCESS soon be back in service? The last purpose-built vessel for the Larne to Stranraer service could soon be back plying her trade in the Mediterranean.  Last month LE RIF (ex Stena Galloway, Galloway Princess) was moved from La Spezia to Napoli.  The vessel had previously been purchased at auction by the mysterious new Moroccan company DWLM who had intended to refit her at Malaga, however the vessel was moved to La Spezia amid reports of a dispute with the Malaga yard owners over costs.  Reports from Italy suggest that the vessel may now be under the control of the group of companies that own Mediterranean operator Moby Lines.  Moby themselves have been acquiring a number of elderly vessels in the past couple of years, including the now MOBY KISS (ex … Read more

Former Stena Galloway on the move again

© Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ .

Le Rif, better known locally as the former Stena Galloway and Galloway Princess, has been on the move again.  The former Stena and Sealink ferry had been moved from Tangier Med to the Mario Lopez shipyard in Malaga earlier in the year, however it appears that her owners have decided to complete work on the ship elsewhere with the ship having never entered the dry dock at the Spanish yard.  It has been rumoured that the owners and the yard could not come to a financial agreement acceptable to both parties.  It is said that the ship is seriously deficient in basic areas and that the work required is more extensive than previously thought meaning the original €2.5m budget for the work was inadequate.  Le Rif  left Malaga under the tow of Sea Dream on 17th of November, arriving in La Spezia (Italy) on the 23rd of November.  According to ferrybalear.blogspot.be it … Read more

PR (Stena): Stranraer Museum Recognises Stena Galloway Community Contribution

Captain Robin White and past crew members of the Stena Galloway, formerly the Galloway Princess ferry, which made the daily ferry crossing between Stranraer to Larne for over two decades, joined representative of Dumfries & Galloway Council at a special ceremony held at Stranraer Museum today (Wed 19th Oct). To mark the special link between the vessel and the town of Stranraer over many years, Stranraer Museum kindly agreed to put on permanent display the nameplate of a British Rail locomotive name in honour of the Stena Galloway, as a lasting reminder of the special bond that existed between the ship and the town and people of Stranraer. The British Rail engine was built in Crew and entered service in 1965 as Engine D1973.  The locomotive engine spent most of its working life based in Scotland located at either Inverness or Eastfield in Glasgow.  The locomotive engine was called the … Read more