Goelo / Viking 6 / Sun Express / Viking 6

Crowds of holidaymakers throng the decks of Goelo as she glides through the Solent during her charter to Brittany Ferries.
Photo: © Richard Furnival.

Here is another vessel that enjoyed two separate incarnations as a Cross-Channel ferry. Originally completed in 1967 as Stena Britannica, it wasn’t long before Stena Line sold her on. In 1980 she appeared as Goelo on a two year charter to Brittany Ferries for their Portsmouth/St. Malo crossing. Her next appointment was a very brief spell with Sally Line as Viking 6. She was to return to the Ramsgate/Dunkerque service in 1985 for nearly a year, initially under the name of Sun Express, before reverting back to Viking 6. She was then sold to the Italian ferry line, Navarma, and renamed Moby Dream. This company now trades as Moby Lines, and their giant whale motif remained a feature of her livery when she was transferred to their Sardegna Lines subsidiary as Sardegna Belle. She was laid up in 1998 and three years later suffered the indignity of being demolished by a crane on a Turkish beach. She had been dragged up to the shore and tied up whilst the machinery went into action to break her up: A pitiful end to her thirty-four year life. She was a stylish and very modern looking ferry for her time, but her inherent disadvantage was her low freight capacity.

M. S. Stena Britannica
Builder: A. S. Langesund Mekaniske Verksted, Langesund, Norway.
Yard number: 55.
Dimensions (length, breadth, depth): 110.8 x 18.04 x 4.82 metres.
Tonnages (gross, net, dead weight): 5,073, 2,660, 711.
Engines: Two 16 cylinder, M. A. N. diesel.
Power: 17,280 kW.
Speed (knots): 23.5.
Passenger certificate: 1,170.
Car capacity: 210.

25.11.1966: Launched.
18.12.1967: Delivered to Stena A. B., Göteborg.
4.1968: Sold to Marine Highway System Inc., Panama. Renamed Wickersham.
16.7.1974: Sold to Rederi A. B. Sally, Mariehamn, Finland. Renamed Viking 6.
2.6.1980: Chartered to Brittany Ferries, Morlaix. Renamed Goelo. St. Malo/Portsmouth.
1.5.1982: Renamed Viking 6. Sally Line Ramsgate/Dunkerque.
24.5.1982: Chartered to North Sea Ferries. Rotterdam/Hull.
22.12.1982: Sold to Takis Solomonidis (Sol Lines), Limassol, Cyprus. Renamed Sol Olympia.
21.2.1985: Renamed Sun Express.
5.3.1985: Left Limassol for Chatham. Bareboat chartered to Rederi A. B. Sally U.K.
1.4.1985: Entered service Ramsgate/Dunkerque.
6.1985: Renamed Viking 6.
26.4.1986: Laid up at Dunkerque.
11.1986: Sold to Navigazione Archipelago Maddalenino S. P. A., Naples, Italy. Renamed Moby Dream.
1994: Transferred to Sardegna Lines. Renamed Sardegna Bella.
1998: Laid up at Livorno, Italy.
4.7.2001: Sold for scrap.

Such a streamlined, sleek and elegant vessel, Goelo is seen here to good advantage on a morning departure from Portsmouth to St. Malo.
Photo: © Tony Garner.

A sunny late morning scene at Ramsgate as Viking 6 departs for Dunkerque. A Schiaffino freight ferry can be seen astern awaiting her sailing to Oostende. This operation was later acquired by Sally Line.
Photo: © Ted Ingham.