N. F. Panther / Panther
& N. F. Tiger / Tiger

Here N. F. Tiger approaches Boulogne in Townsend Thoresen colours. The 'N. F.' prefix to her name was later dropped.
Photo: © Brian Fisher.

These two identical vessels arrived in the Dover Straits in the late 1970s when P. & O. Normandy Ferries was expanding its Dover/Boulogne operations. Of Danish origin, Lasse II and Kalle II were renamed N. F. Panther and N. F. Tiger respectively (the N. F. prefix denoted the brand name). Although well maintained, their small size made it difficult for the route pay in terms of operating capacity. P. & O. opted to sell the service to Townsend Thoresen in early 1985. Panther and Tiger operated for just a year and a half in T. T. orange and green before being substituted with Free Enterprise class ferries. Ironically the company was then the subject of a take over by P. & O., therefore seeing a great comeback on the English Channel. Panther was employed by P. & O. Scottish Ferries as St. Sunniva on the route between Aberdeen and the Northern Isles. She was disposed of upon the loss of the franchise to operate that service in 2002. Tiger passed to Viking Line in Scandinavia were she still trades as Ålandsfajan.

M. S. Djursland & Kattegat
Builder: Helsingör Skipsværft, Helsingör, Denmark.
Yard numbers: 399.
Dimensions (length, breadth, depth): 104 x 18.9 x 4.35 metres.
Tonnages (gross, net, dead weight): 3,960, 1,441, 925.
Engines: Two H. S. M. diesel.
Power: 11.000 kW.
Speed (knots): 20.
Passenger certificate: 1,000.
Car capacity: 220.

28.6.1972: Djursland launched.
30.10.1972: Delivered to Jydsk Færgefart A. S., Grenå, Denmark.
8.8.1974: Renamed Lasse II.
10.9.1979: Sold to P. & O. Normandy Ferries Limited. Sent to Le Havre for renovation.
27.1.1980: Renamed N. F. Panther. Dover/Boulogne.
31.12.1980: Registered for P. & O. Steam Nav. Company, London.
4.1.1985: Sold to European Ferries P. L. C. (registered for Monarch Steam Nav. Company). Renamed Panther.
3.8.1986: Laid up at Chatham for sale.
16.3.1987: Sold to P. & O. Ferries Limited.
27.3.1987: Renamed St. Sunniva. Converted to overnight service: Aberdeen/Lerwick (Shetland).
1.10.2002: Franchise for service expired. Sold to Al Thuraya Marine Services Company, Dubai. Renamed Faye.

24.3.1972: Kattegat launched.
14.7.1972: Delivered to Jydsk Færgefart A/S, Hundested, Denmark.
2.3.1978: Sold to Midland Montague Leasing (U.K.) Limited, London, for P&O Normandy Ferries Limited, London.
14.4.1978: Sent to Caillard S.A., Le Havre, for renovation.
9.6.1978: Renamed N. F. Tiger. Dover/Boulogne.
4.1.1985: Registered for Townsend Car Ferries Limited, Dover. Renamed Tiger.
18.7.1986: Laid up at Chatham for sale.
1.11.986: Sold to Finlandshamnen Ab, Norrtälje, Sweden. Renamed Ålandsfärjan.
18.5.1987: Entered service for Viking Line. Kapellskär/Mariehamn.

Departing from Dover, N. F. Panther displays some curious inconsistencies in livery, with her name painted in black as opposed to white, and the 'TOWNSEND THORESEN' branding in slimmer, taller characters compared to her twin sister.
Photo: © Brian Fisher.