SeaFrance Rodin / Rodin / Côte des Dunes
& SeaFrance Berlioz / Berlioz / Côte des Flandres
SeaFrance Rodin was the first new ferry built for SeaFrance (and its predecessors) since Nord Pas-de-Calais of fourteen years previously. This giant was delivered by Aker Finnyards of Rauma, Finland in 2001 to replace SeaFrance Renoir on the Dover/Calais service. By modern standards she was comparatively sleek in external design, and her attractive and innovative passenger facilities also made a great impression. Her almost identical sister, SeaFrance Berlioz, was not to arrive until April 2005. She was constructed by Chantiers de l'Atlantique of Saint-Nazaire, Nantes, France. Externally there was very little to tell them apart above the waterline. However, because Chantiers de l'Atlantique didn't want to have to pay Aker Finnyards for the plans of SeaFrance Rodin, they designed their own hull form for SeaFrance Berlioz. Other slight differences included the wheelhouse window arrangements (the frames are also painted black on the later vessel). Internally they had been decorated and furnished in quite constrasting schemes too which is quite unusual for recent sister ships in the ferry industry. Their powerful engines generated a cruising speed of twenty five knots, facilitating under an hour crossings from pier to pier. The twins established themselves as the most admired ferries on the route during the first decade of the new century.
After the collapse of SeaFrance the sisters spent eight long months idle in Calais Harbour awaiting their fate. Having been sold to Eurotunnel they were moved to the A. R. N. O. ship repairers in Dunkerque for overhauling in July 2012. During this they lost the 'SeaFrance' prefixes to their names and adopted the livery of the new 'MyFerryLink' service, planned to start on the Dover/Calais route the following month.
M. S. Seafrance Rodin
Builder: Aker Finnyards, Rauma, Finland.
Yard number: 437.
Dimensions (length, breadth, depth) 184 x 27.7 x 6.5 metres
Tonnages (gross, deadweight) 33,796, 5,700.
Engines: Four Wärtsilä diesel.
Power: 39,000 kW.
Speed (knots): 25.
Passenger certificate: 1,900.
Car capacity: 700.
13.11.2001: Delivered to Seafrance, Calais.
30.11.2001: Entered service Dover/Calais.
Dusk on a January afternoon as SeaFrance Berlioz is seen in this sequence making a rare arrival at Dover Harbour through the Western Entrance. Normally all Cross-Channel traffic uses the Eastern Entrance at Dover. She still looks great against her newly delivered competitor, Spirit of Britain.