Prince of Brittany / Reine Mathilde / Beauport

A tranquil scene as Prince of Brittany steams through the Solent during her early years with Brittany Ferries.
Photo: © Richard Furnival.

This handsome vessel spent fifteen years of her life on the English Channel in three different guises. She was built in 1970 as Prince of Fundy for a Canadian ferry service. Eight years later she was chartered to Brittany Ferries who adjusted her title to Prince of Brittany and placed her on their overnight Portsmouth/St. Malo crossing. After her outright purchase she was registered in St. Malo and remained associated with that port until 1989. That year she was redeployed on the Portsmouth/Ouistreham (near Caen) route as Reine Mathilde.

By then she was comparatively small against her fleet mates and the delivery in 1992 of Normandie spelled her demise. The French sold her to a Bahamas based concern, but she remained in local waters on charter to British Channel Island Ferries who named her Beauport after a delightful little bay on the south coast of Jersey. She flew the Bahamas flag as a Nassau registered vessel. Here she is pictured in full steam at St. Peter Port, in her second and final season. Her operator ceased trading the following year. She then led a nomadic existence, with various charters in Mediterranean waters. Her most recently known employment was with the Government of Trinidad & Tobago in the West Indies. Sadly she was subsequently broken up for scrap in 2005.

M. S. Prince of Fundy
Builder: Shiffbau-Gesselschaft Unterweser, AG, Bremerhaven, Germany.
Yard number: 477.
Dimensions (length, breadth, depth): 119.6 x 18.1 x 4.75 metres.
Tonnages (gross, net, dead weight): 5,464, 2,907, 1,348.
Engines: Two 12 cylinder, Pielstick diesel.
Power: 12,000 kW.
Speed (knots): 21.
Passenger certificate: 1,020.
Car capacity: 210.

9.2.1970: Launched.
10.6.1970: Delivered to Lion Ferry A. B., Halmstad.
6.1970: Entered service Portland, U. S. A./Yarmouth, Canada.
27.11.1976: Transferred toVarberg/Grenå.
17.4.1978: Chartered to Brittany Ferries. Renamed Prince Of Brittany. Entered service Portsmouth/St. Malo.
1.1980: Sold to Brittany Ferries, Morlaix.
30.12.1988: Registered for Soc. Econ. Mixte d' Arm Naval du Calvados, Ouistreham. Renamed Reine Mathilde.
1.1989: Sent to Jos. L. Meyer Werft, Papenburg, for renovation.
17.3.1989: Entered service Portsmouth/Ouistreham (near Caen).
17.10.1991: Sold to Marine Invest, Nassau, Bahamas. Renamed Beauport.
28.1.1992: Chartered to British Channel Island Ferries. Poole/St. Helier (Jersey)/St. Peter Port (Guernsey).
31.10.1993: Charter expired. Laid up at Southampton.
1994: Registered for Beauport Shipping Limited, Nassau, Bahamas.
6.1994: Chartered to Stern Maritime Line.
9.1994: Chartered to Hellenic Inter Ferries.
10.6.1995: Chartered to Compagnie Marocaine de Navigation (COMANAV), Morocco.
9.1999: Laid up at Marseille.
5.2000: Chartered to Sancak Lines, Turkey.
10.12.2000: Chartered to Government of Trinidad & Tobago.

An early morning scene at Portsmouth as Reine Mathilde leaves for Caen (Ouistreham) during the late 1980s.
Photo: © Tony Garner.

Beauport steams out of St. Peter Port at first light on an August morning in 1993, en route for St. Helier.
This was her second and final season on the Channel Islands service

Beauport turns to enter St. Peter Port stern first.
This call was made before her return to the mainland later that afternoon