This ship spent her first decade crossing the Irish Sea as the Connacht. She was built in 1978 for the B. & I. Line and was tried on a series of unfruitful experimental routes. She took her maiden voyage between Swansea and Cork, but poor loadings were attributed to the long duration of the passage. The Welsh terminal was switched to Pembroke Dock, but the service soon folded and she moved up to the well established Liverpool/Dublin route.
In 1988 she was sold to Brittany Ferries who spent a year having her stripped out and renovated before her debut as Duchesse Anne on the Portsmouth/St. Malo line the following season. She was in such a poor state of repair, twice as much money was spent than originally planned to bring her up to scratch. Her spell at Portsmouth ended in 1993 when the much larger Bretagne took over. She was sold in 1996 after being employed on an experimental Poole/St. Malo service.
M. S. Connacht
Builder: Verolme Cork Dockyards Limited, Cork, Ireland.
Yard number: 955.
Dimensions (length, breadth, depth): 122 x 18.,83 x 4.83 metres.
Tonnages (gross, net, dead weight): 9,796/ 3,818/ 1,373.
Engines: Four 8 cylinder, M. A. K. diesel.
Power: 18,000 kW.
Speed (knots): 20.
Passenger certificate: 1,500.
Car capacity: 332.
1.1979: Delivered to B. & I. Line, Dublin.
7.2.1979: 02 07. Entered service Cork/Swansea.
21.5.1979: Service moved to Cork/Pembroke Dock.
9.1980: Transferred to Dublin/Liverpool.
6.1988: Sold to Société Anonyme de Economie Mixte d` Equipment Navale, Morlaix, France.
3.10.1988: Sent to Jos. L. Meyer Werft, Papenburg for renovation. Renamed Duchesse Anne.
1.1989: Chartered to Crown Line (S. M. Z.) Hoek van Holland/Harwich.
13.2.1989: Entered service St. Malo/Portsmouth.v
14.6.1993: Transferred to Cork/Roscoff/Plymouth.
1994: Tried on new seasonal Poole/St. Malo/Cork service.
30.9.1996: Route closed. Withdrawn from service.
10.1996: Sold to Jadrolinja, Rijeka, Croatia. Renamed Dubrovnik.