European Clearway / Panther / Begonia
& European Trader




European Clearway approaches Portsmouth Harbour on an August evening in 1992.
She is overtaken by the small Wightlink catamaran,
Our Lady Pamela.



Townsend Thoresen ordered a trio of freight ferries in the mid 1970s which were the first on the Channel to feature twin lorry decks and passenger accommodation. European Clearway and European Trader entered service in 1975/6 on the Dover/Zeebrugge run (the ill-fated European Gateway went to Felixstowe). The first double deck linkspan was installed at Dover's Camber Dock to serve them. After sixteen years they were succeeded by new generation freight vessels. They moved west to Portsmouth to perform relief freight sailings to Le Havre. In 1996 European Clearway was transferred to the P. & O. Pandoro subsidiary and opened a service between Rosslare in Ireland and Cherbourg. For this purpose she was renamed Panther. Latterly she operated as European Pathfinder, before passing to Trans-Europa Ferries as Begonia. European Trader served out her last years for P. & O. on the Scotland/Northern Ireland service.


M. S. European Trader & European Clearway
Builder: Schichau Unterweser AG, Bremerhaven, Germany.
Yard numbers: 2258 and 2263.
Dimensions (length, breadth, depth): 117.85 x 20.3 x 5.09 metres.
Tonnages (gross, net, dead weight): 3,335, 3,954.
Engines: Two 9 cylinder Stork Werkspoor diesel.
Power: 8,385 kW.
Speed (knots): 18.5.
Passengers: 132.
Lane metres (for vehicles): 1,000.

30.5.1975: European Trader launched.
10.1975: Delivered to Townsend Car Ferries Limited (Monarch Steamship Company Limited), Dover.
18.10.1975: Dover/Zeebrugge.
21.10.1987: Registered for P. & O. European Ferries (Dover) Limited.
15.3.1991: Sold to Abbey National Leasing, London. Chartered back to P. & O.
22.10.1991: Portsmouth/Le Havre.
26.5.1994: Felixstowe/Zeebrugge.
20.9.1995: Felixstowe/Europoort.
28.2.1996: Cairnryan/Larne.
5.2001: Sold to Taygran Shipping, Hamilton, Bermuda. Renamed Taygran Trader.
12.2001: Sold to El Salam Shipping, Egypt. Renamed Lina Trader.

10.10.1975: European Clearway launched.
16.1.1976: Delivered to Townsend Car Ferries Limited (Monarch Steamship Company, Limited), Dover.
15.2.1976: Dover/Zeebrugge.
21.10.1987: Registered for P. & O. European Ferries (Dover) Limited.
15.3.1991: Sold to Abbey National Leasing.
18.7.1992: Portsmouth/Le Havre.
10.1993: Cherbourg/Rosslare. Registered for Pandoro Limited, Hamilton, Bermuda.
1.1996: Renamed Panther.
1.1998: Renamed European Pathfinder.
19.4.2001: Larne/Cairnryan.
19.7.2002: Laid up at Liverpool. Sold to Erato Shipping, Kingstown, St. Vincent. Renamed Regina I.
28.10.2002: Sold to Trans-Europa Ferries. Renamed Begonia.







Panther rests at Cherbourg on a September evening in 1996.
She was employed on a route to Rosslare in Eire for P. & O.'s Pandoro subsidiary.





European Enterprise / European Endeavour (I) / Gardenia




European Endeavour is found making a brisk approach towards Calais on a July afternoon in 1994.
The navy pin stripe along her superstructure was an additional livery feature not seen on all of her fleetmates
.


This vessel was a modified fourth vessel in the series of 'European Class' freighters for Townsend Thoresen's Anglo/Belgian routes. She was christened European Enterprise and entered service on the Dover/Zeebrugge run in 1978. She featured minor modifications to the design of her earlier sister, European Clearway. Her most significant difference was her much taller funnels. She could originally carry over seventy twelve metre lorries which was impressive compared with the competition at that time.

Ten years later, P. & O. restyled her European Endeavour in an effort to remove connections with the ill-fated Herald of Free Enterprise name. With the delivery of a new generation of 'Super European Class' freight ferries, she provided spare capacity on the shorter Dover/Calais service and is captured here cutting a dash across the Channel from France. She looks quite smart for a freighter; notice in particular the arrow head line painted along her superstructure. This feature of the livery was not carried by the P. & O. passenger vessels at Dover.

European Endeavour spent her final years of P. & O. service on the Irish Sea before she was sold to the owners of Trans-Europa Ferries. Having already purchased three other former Townsend Thoresen ships, this particular firm evidently had faith in the old 'T. T.' brand! Renamed Gardenia, she now plies the Ramsgate/Oostende line, painted in the rather flattering livery of white hull, yellow funnels and red lowerworks.


M. S. European Enterprise
Builder: Schichau Unterweser AG, Bremerhaven, Germany.
Yard number:: 2275.
Dimensions (length, breadth, depth): 117.86 x 20.27 x 5.81 metres.
Tonnages (gross, net, dead weight): 8,097, 2,429, 3,767.
Engines: Two 9 cylinder Stork Werkspoor diesel.
Power: 8,385 kW.
Speed (knots): 18.5.
Passengers: 134.
Lane metres (for vehicles): 1,000.

22.12.1977: Launched.
27.4.1978: Delivered to Townsend Car Ferries Limited, (Monarch Steamship Company Limited), Dover.
28.4.1978: Dover/Zeebrugge.
17.12.1987: Renamed European Endeavour.
21.10.1987: Registered for P. & O. European Ferries (Dover) Limited.
15.3.1991: Sold to Abbey National Leasing, England. Bare-boat chartered back to P. & O.
5.1995: Dover/Calais.
25.9.1996: Cairnryan/Larne.
12.1997: Registered in Hamilton, Bermuda.
17.7.2002: Withdrawn from service. Sold to Trans-Europa Ferries. Renamed Gardenia.
15.1.2003: Oostende/Ramsgate.












As Gardenia she looks terrific in the colours of TransEuropa Ferries.