Including one of our own

By Andy Gilbert

Photo:Ferries at Piraeus

Ferries at Piraeus

Kind permission of Antonis Lazaris

It was almost tradition that ships that have served the Newhaven-Dieppe route then went on to forge a new career in the Mediterranean. It was usually under Greek ownership, running between ports like Piraeus and the many Greek islands. The ships often changed ownership, and names, a few times along the way.

Such is the case of our one time stalwart, "Senlac". After being sold by SNCF, who took over her ownership in 1985 when Sea Containers pulled out of the route, she moved south and, with a few modifications to make her better suited to the sunny climes, started on the Greek islands runs.

I've created pages about this before but a new photo surfaced this morning and photographer Antonis Lazaris has given me permission to use it on Our Newhaven.

Four ferries in the photo taken in Piraeus harbour. From left to right we see "Georgios Express", the former Belgian ferry "Roi Baudoin" that ran from Dover to Oostende. Then "Apollo Express 1", our very own "Senlac". Her sister ship comes next, "Apollo Express 2", ex "Hengist" from the Folkestone route. Finally at the right is "Naias Express", the former "Ailsa Princess". Originally a Stranraer-Larne ship, Sealink used her all over the place, under a few different names.

Apart from "Roi Baudoin", all the others have been to Newhaven at some point. "Senlac", obviously, but it was "Hengist" that called into the port in June 1972 to do a 'test fit' for the arrival of "Senlac" in 1973. "Ailsa Princess" was one of many Sealink ships that lay up at the Railway Quay for a lick of paint during the Winter, and then again for one last time when awaiting sale.


This page was added by Andy Gilbert on 15/10/2023.

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