Stena Empereur / P. & O. S. L. Provence / Pride of Provence
This imposing looking vessel was finally completed in early 1983 at Chantiers du Nord et de la Méditerranée, Dunkerque. She had been launched over two years earlier. As Stena Jutlandica she was delivered to Stena Line's Gothenburg (Sweden)/Frederikshavn (Denmark) service. She remained dedicated to that route until she was reincarnated as Stena Empereur for the Dover/Calais crossing in the Autumn of 1996. Much work was done on refurbishing her accommodation and alterations had to be made to her stern and boor doors. Her prow was saddled with ugly scaffolding to facilitate fitting the linkspan at Calais. Despite these modifications, the vessel had a difficult time getting established on the intensive short sea service. A year after the formation of P. & O. Stena Line, the London registered Stena Empereur was renamed P. & O. S. L. Provence, as part of a new naming scheme to remove the separate company identities attached to individual fleet members. Upon the purchase of Stena's share of the joint company by P. & O. in 2002, she was restyled Pride of Provence, reflecting that she had become a one hundred per cent P. & O. ship!
Whilst much-liked by passengers for her spacious and comfortable accommodation, Pride of Provence was an operational disappointment. Her upper vehicle deck suffered from narrow access at the bow and this caused delays to turnarounds in Calais. She wasn't the fastest of conventional vessels either, so she often ran late. It was therefore not altogether a surprise when P. & O.'s devastating business review of 2004 included the disposal of this vessel. She was initially sold to Greek operator, G. A. Lines, for delivery at the end of that year. However, her new owners decided she would not be particularly suited to their services after all, so they opted to charter her (now renamed Alkmini A) to the Norwegian-based Kystlink in mid-2005. She was purchased by that company later that year and had a further change of name, this time to Pride of Telemark.
In September 2007 Pride of Telemark suffered a loss of power which resulted in her colliding with the jetty at Hirtshals, Norway. She started to take on water and required refloating with the aid of pumps. The damage was severe and she was out of service undergoing repairs until July the following year. She continues with Kystlink to date.
M. S. Stena Jutlandica
Builder: Chantiers du Nord et de la Méditerranée, Dunkerque.
Yard number: 310.
Dimensions (length, breadth, depth): 154.9 x 28.48 x 6.3 metres.
Tonnages (gross, net, dead weight): 28,559, 8,020, 3,100.
Engines: Four 12 cylinder, Sulzer diesel.
Power: 25,470 kW.
Speed (knots): 20.
Passenger certificate: 2,204.
Car capacity: 600.
31.3.1983: Delivered to Stena Line A. B., Göteborg.
25.4.1983: Entered service Göteborg/Frederikshavn.
12.1988: Sold to Wallenius Safe Jasmina A. B., Stockholm.
12.1990: Sold to Stena Rederi A. B. Göteborg.
25.6.1996: Sent to Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven, Germany for modifications.
7.1996: Renamed Stena Empereur.
8.1996: Chartered to Stena Line U. K. Limited.
15.8.1996: Entered service Dover/Calais.
11.1998: Renamed P. & O. S. L. Provence.
15.10.2002: Registered for P. & O. Ferries. Renamed P. O. Provence.
2.2003: Renamed Pride Of Provence.
18.4.2003: Collided with the breakwater at Dover. Taken out of service for repair.