Lion / Portelet

A tranquil scene as Lion rests in unfamiliar surroundings.
Photo: © Brian Fisher.

This vessel had two spells of English Channel service. She was originally built as Lion for a Scottish subsidiary of the P. & O. Group, Burns & Laird, and plied the often choppy waters between Ardrossan and Belfast. This service drew to a close in 1976 when passenger numbers had declined to an unviable level. She was transferred to a new P. & O. service from Dover to Boulogne, marketed under the Normandy Ferries banner. Her port of registry remained Glasgow! Her demise was sealed when Townsend Thoresen acquired her nine years later. Being a small ferry, she was of little value to the Company, who were quick to substitute her with one of their ‘Free Enterprise’ series vessels. She was promptly sold to a Cyprus based shipping concern.

1987 saw her return to the Channel as Portelet, named after a bay on the south coast of Jersey. She spent two seasons operating on charter to British Channel Island Ferries from Weymouth before her replacement by Havelet. She passed to warmer waters under the guise of Baroness M.

M. S. Lion
Builder: Cammel Laird & Company (Shipbuilders), Birkenhead, England.
Yard number: 1,326.
Dimensions (length, breadth, depth): 111.1 x 17.1 x 4.3 metres.
Tonnages (gross, net, dead weight): 3,333, 1,204, 932.
Engines: Two 12 cylinder, Crossley diesel.
Power: 7,722 kW.
Speed (knots): 19.
Passenger certificate: 1,200.
Car capacity: 250.

8.8.1967: Launched.
12.1967: Delivered to Burns & Laird, Glasgow, Scotland.
3.1.1968: Entered service Ardrossan/Larne.
1.10.1971: Transferred to P. & O. Short Sea Shipping.
12.2.1976: Service closed.
20.2.1976: Sent to Chantiers de l' Atlantique, Le Havre, France, for modifications.
8.4.1976: Entered service Dover/Boulogne. Bareboat chartered to P. & O. Normandy Ferries Limited.
31.8.1978: Registered for P. & O. Normandy Ferries Limited, London.
4.1.1985: Sold to European Ferries P. L. C. (Townsend Thoresen).
24.4.1985: Sold to Thenamaris Shipping Inc., Limassol (Marlines), Cyprus. Renamed Baroness M.
5.4.1987: Chartered to British Channel Island Ferries. Renamed Portelet. Weymouth/St. Helier (Jersey)/St. Peter Port (Guernsey).
1.10.1988: Charter expired. Renamed Baroness M.
1.1997: Sold to Equester, Shipping, Kingstown, Saint Vincent.
2002: Renamed Adinda Lestari 101.

Bathed in glorious sunshine, Portelet looks resplendent in the cruising white livery of British Channel Island Ferries. Note that the conversion of some of her public rooms into cabins has resulted in smaller windows in parts of superstructure.
Photo: © Brian Fisher.

Portelet is seen making a departure from St. Helier during her two year association with the Channel Islands.
Photo: © Dru Marland