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.

Former Stena Galloway to re-enter service?

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

Le Rif arrives at Malaga for dry docking Recent reports that Le Rif (ex Stena Galloway, Galloway Princess) had been sold for scrap appear to have been untrue, as the former North Channel favourite arrived in Malaga on Saturday for a dry docking.  The ship (including 4 crew and a Captain appointed for the trip) was towed from Tangier in Morocco where she had been abandoned in 2013, though she had been moved to a different berth in the port since then.  Initially the Harland and Wolff built ship will undergo an assessment of her condition taking around 10 days and involving 14 people.  A budget of around €2.5m has been set aside for the overhaul and refurbishment, which will involve significant technical work and is expected to take around 2 months.  The work will be undertaken at Cernaval’s Mario Lopez shipyard in Malaga. Le Rif had been laid up following a major technical … Read more

Image of Le Rif being towed a “false alarm”.

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

The former Galloway Princess / Stena Galloway is still in Morocco. The image of the former IMTC ferry Le Rif (ex Galloway Princess, Stena Galloway) being towed last month, which caused many (including NIFS) to believe she may be on her final journey, appears to have been a false alarm.  As recently as yesterday (15/8/15) she has been spotted at Tangier Med II.  It appears, therefore, that Le Rif was simply being moved within the port last month, rather than being towed to either further operations, or as thought, to a beach for dismantling / recycling.  It has been reported by some sources that Le Rif has been sold to interests based in Dubai, however this has not yet been confirmed.  As reported by NIFS a few days ago, former fleet mate and part-sister ship Ibn Batouta (ex St Christopher. Stena Antrim) has left Algeciras under the tow of tug Brucoli, with a … Read more

Bad news about the former Stena Antrim (updated)

In particularly sad news for Belfast and Northern Ireland, one of the final passenger vessels built by Harland and Wolff could soon be headed to a beach somewhere for scrapping.  The Ibn Batouta (ex Stena Antrim, St Christopher) is one of 4 ferries which have been laid up in Algericas for over 2 years following the failure of owners COMARIT.  The port authority is now pushing for them to be declared abandoned so they can be removed and auctioned to the highest bidder.  The most likely destination considering the age and condition of the 4 ships is for scrap.  Between 1991 and 1996 Stena Antrim served to Stranraer, first from Larne and then from Belfast when Stena moved there in 1995.  Of the other veseels (Al Mansour, Banasa, and Boughaz) Al Mansour also served in Irish waters as Stena Nautica for both Sealink and B&I line between Fishguard and Wales. … Read more