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Page 2: Continental Ferry Services
This page is one of a series devoted to postcards and photographs of the shipping and piers at Harwich. This page gives a brief overview of the continental ferry services which which have used the port. Harwich - Page 1 gives a brief overview of the local ferries to Felixstowe and Shotley, plus the piers, and excursion ships at Harwich. Harwich - Page 3 covers Trinity House and the Harwich lifeboats.
An alphabetical list of ships shown on this page is shown below. The Table beneath gives links to complete postcard history pages on selected individual ships associated with Harwich.
This page is still under construction
Sections on This Page:-
DFDS Ferries - Services to Denmark, Sweden & Germany
Prinz Ferries - Services to Germany
Railway Ferries - Services to Holland & Belgium
Stena Line - Services to Holland
Train Ferries
Zeeland Shipping Co - Services to Holland
Ships on This Page:-
Dana Anglia - DFDS: 1978-2002
Dana Sirena - DFDS: 2003-
England - DFDS: 1964-1983
Koningin Beatrix - Stena Line BV: 1989-97
Kronprins Frederik - DFDS: 1941-1976
Kronprinsesse Ingrid - DFDS: 1949-1969
Stena Seatrader - Stena Line BV: 1989-
Associated Pages:-
Harwich - Page 1 - Piers, Local Ferries, Excursions
Harwich - Page 2 - Continental Ferry Services - this page!
Harwich - Page 3 - Trinity House, Lifeboats, Lighthouses
Harwich - Page 4 - Tugs
DFDS - Services to Denmark, Sweden and Germany
Great Eastern Railway - continental Ferry Services
Great Eastern Railway - Local Ferry & Excursion Services
London & North Eastern Railway - continental Ferry Services from Harwich
Prinz Ferries - Services to Germany
Stena Line BV - Stena Line Harwich-Hook services
Zeeland Shipping Company - Harwich-Hook services
Ferry Postcards
Cruise Ship Postcards
Ocean Liner Postcards
Simplon Postcards Home Page
Harwich Photo Diary Pages:-
Harwich - 31st May 2008 - Discovery, Celebrity Constellation, Brightlingsea
Harwich - 8th May 2008 - Alexander von Humboldt, Trinity House
Harwich - 14th April 2008 - Funchal, Trinity House, Stena Line, Train Ferry Pier
Harwich - 20th May 2007 - Stena Line, DFDS, Trinity House
Harwich - 25th February 2007 - RNLI, container ships, lighthouses
Harwich - 28th January 2007 - Stena Line, Trinity House
Harwich - 9th December 2006 - Stena Line, Trinity House and the Harwich lifeboat returning from a rescue
Photo Diary - Header Page
Table of Ship Histories



Other names

 Brightlingsea  LNER, BR  

 Dana Anglia  DFDS Seaways  Duke of Scandinavia

 Explorer 12    

 Koningin Beatrix  SM Zeeland  Stena Baltica

 Prinses Beatrix  SM Zeeland  Duc de Normandie

 St Nicholas  Sealink  Prinsessan Birgitta (2), Stena Normandy, Normandy

Railway Ferries
Great Eastern Railway Ferries
London & North Eastern Railway Ferries
Train Ferries
The first three Harwich train ferries were built as part of the WW1 war effort in 1917 to operate from Richborough Military Port (in Kent) to Dunkirk. Despite attempts to interest the local railway companies in continuing the service from Richborough, the ferries were laid up. In 1922. the Great Eastern Railway considered using these ferries from Harwich. The Belgians were the most interested in providing a continental terminal, and two companies were formed in 1923, Great Eastern Ferries Ltd and Le Société Belgo-Anglaise Des Ferry-Boats SA, although the Great Eastern railway itself had become part of the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) by this time. In 1924 a new Harwich-Zeebrugge route was started, using original original gantries and linkspans from Richborough and Southampton. The three wartime ferries were refitted for service, retaining their names Train Ferry No.1, Train Ferry No.2 and Train Ferry No.3, henceforth referred to as TF1, TF2 and TF3. The service was operated by the LNER for freight only. Great Eastern Ferries Ltd went into liquidation in the depression in 1932, and its assets were purchased by the LNER.
During WW2, the three ships were requisitioned by the Royal Navy , TF2 was lost off Saint-Valéry en Caux June 13th 1940. In 1940 TF1 and TF3 were renamed HMS Princess Iris and HMS Daffodil, after the ex-Mersey ferries used in the famous WW1 Zeebrugge raid. In 1941 HMS Princess Iris and HMS Daffodil were converted into Landing Craft Carriers. Both ships were modified with their twin funnels trunked into one, slightly improving their ungainly appearance. HMS Daffodil (ex-TF3) was lost off Dieppe on March 18th 1945, leaving only HMS Princess Iris (ex-TF1) to survive the war. She returned to civilian use in 1946, and was renamed Essex Ferry (1), running three return trips a week to Zeebrugge. She was joined by new ferries Norfolk Ferry and Suffolk Ferry in 1951. Essex Ferry (2) joined them in 1957, and Essex Ferry (1) was briefly renamed Essex Ferry II before being broken up in Grays.
There are a lot of conflicting details of these ferries in published works. Some sources, including H.T.Lenton, list TF2, not TF3, as becoming HMS Daffodil. Other sources suggest that HMS Princess Iris was briefly named HMS Iris, or that HMS Daffodil was later renamed HMS Princess Daffodil.
Photographic postcard of Train Ferry No.3.
Photographic postcard of Train Ferry No.3 at Harwich.
Postcard of Train Ferry No.? at the Zeebrugge terminus.
The historic train ferry berth has been preserved in good condition, with listed building status.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 16th May 2003.
The historic train ferry berth in 2003.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 16th May 2003.
The historic train ferry berth in 2008
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 14th March 2008
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The historic train ferry berth in 2008
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 14th March 2008
Click to open larger image in new window
The historic train ferry berth in 2008
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 14th March 2008
Click to open larger image in new window
The historic train ferry berth in 2008
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 14th March 2008
Click to open larger image in new window
In 1987 Earl William was moved to Harwich for use as a detention centre for "illegal" immigrants. On the night of October 16/17th 1987, Britain was hit by a hurricane, and Earl William broke her 22 mooring ropes and ran ashore. The detainees were removed and housed elsewhere, whilst Earl William was repaired for a return to service.
Photograph of Earl William, at Harwich train ferry pier, in use as a detention centre.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 1987.
Photograph of Earl William, at Harwich train ferry pier, in use as a detention centre.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 1987.
Zeeland Shipping Co
Stoomvaart Maatschappij "Zeeland" ( SMZ - the Zeeland SS Co) was formed in 1875 to operate services from Vlissingen (Flushing) (Flushing), Zeeland, Netherlands to England. Over the years, seven different English ports were used:- Sheerness, Queenborough, Dover, Port Victoria, Tilbury, Folkestone and Harwich. The Dutch port remained Vlissingen (Flushing) until after the Second World War, when it transferred to Hook of Holland.
From 1927, the UK port moved to Harwich, and railway connections were provide by the London & North Eastern Railway, who operated a competing service to the Hook of Holland. In 1939, just before the start of the Second War, the diesel sisters Koningin Emma and Prinses Beatrix (1) were delivered. Both ships escaped to the UK and were used by the Admiralty as usually landing craft vessels, which required considerable modifications. In 1946, the Vlissingen (Flushing) base had been destroyed by the war, and services were transferred to Hook of Holland. Koningin Emma and Prinses Beatrix (1) were re-constructed, and re-entered service in 1948. A day service with the older ships Oranje Nassau and Mecklenberg (2) was run again from Vlissingen (Flushing) to Folkestone between 1949-1952, but after this Harwich-Hook remained the only route, in collaboration with British Railways and Sealink. In 1960 the streamlined Koningin Wilhelmina (2) delivered. Although she lasted with SMZ for 18 years, she was not a car ferry and therefore obsolescent from the start. She acted as reserve and extra boat after just eight years in service, following the delivery of Koningin Juliana in 1968.
The SMZ and Sealink services were fully amalgamated from 1968 when the first car ferries were delivered, SMZ's being the attractive Koningin Juliana. Each company later provided two car ferries which ran in tandem at busy times, SMZ's second contribution being the Prinses Beatrix (2). In 1984, Sealink was privatised, being bought by Sea Containers after a competition with Stena Line. Plans were initiated to replace the four ships with one large ship for each company, with Sealink being represented by the St Nicholas. SMZ built the Koningin Beatrix in 1985, and soon re-marketed their service as Crown Line. In 1988 the Dutch Government announced that would sell their 70% interest in SMZ, and the company was acquired by Stena Line in 1989. The following year, Stena also acquired Sealink from Sea Containers, and hence took complete control of the Harwich-Hook route.
Complete History of Zeeland Shipping Co
Kingsway (W.H.Smith) postcard S.16849 of Oranje Nassau on Harwich-Flushing (Vlissingen) service.
Kingsway (W.H.Smith) postcard S.19910 of Prinses Juliana (2) on Harwich-Flushing (Vlissingen) service.
Pre-war official SMZ postcard of Koningin Emma, as delivered with grey hull.
F.W.Pawsey postcard of Prinses Beatrix at Harwich.
Postcard of Koningin Juliana at Harwich.
Official SMZ company postcard of Koningin Juliana and Prinses Beatrix (2).
Kronprins Frederik (DFDS: 1941-1976)
Kronprinsesse Ingrid (DFDS: 1949-1969)
Official DFDS postcard of Kronprins Frederik (right) and Kronprinsesse Ingrid in Harwich harbour.
Postcard of Kronprinsesse Ingrid passing Harwich.
(DFDS: 1964-1983)
Dana Anglia (1978-2002)
Dana Anglia was delivered to DFDS in 1978 for the Harwich-Esbjerg route, on which she remained until October 2002. Dana Anglia then moved to a new Baltic route, when replaced by the ro-pax vessel Dana Gloria. She was renamed Duke of Scandinavia.
More images of Dana Anglia
DFDS Seaways official postcard of Dana Anglia in the original red/black colours.
Dana Sirena (DFDS: 2003- )
Dana Gloria replaced Dana Anglia on the Harwich-Esbjerg route in 2002. She is one of two partially completed ships acquired by DFDS in 2002. Her sistership, Dana Sirena was modified with additional passenger accommodation, and replaced Dana Gloria in 2003.
Official DFDS postcard of Dana Sirena.
Prinz Ferries
In 1966, Lion Ferry stated a new car ferry service between Harwich and Bremerhaven with the Prins Hamlet. In 1969, the Hamburg ferry company HADAG (Hafendampschiffart AG) joined the operation, and Prins Hamlet was transferred to their ownership under the name Prinz Hamlet (1). A new Lion Ferry vessel, Prins Oberon, was introduced on the Harwich-Bremerhaven route, and Prinz Hamlet (1) was transferred to a new Harwich-Hamburg route. In 1981, the routes were acquired by DFDS, along with the Prins Oberon, her running mate Prinz Hamlet (2) remained in German ownership until 1987.
Harvey Barton postcard M8N of Prinz Hamlet at Harwich, with HADAG silver/green funnels.
Dennis postcard F.0663 of Prins Oberon passing Felixstowe.
Postcard of Prinz Hamlet at Harwich Navyard.
The new RNLI station now stands where the tugs are berthed.
Stena Line
The Harwich-Hook of Holland service had been jointly run by Dutch Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland N.V (S.M.Z.) and various British railway companies for many years. The British operator passed from the Great Eastern Railway (GER), to the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), to British Railways (BR). BR and SMZ later marketed the service as Sealink. The British part of Sealink was later sold to Sea Containers.
Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland N.V (S.M.Z.), with the ferry Koningin Beatrix, was acquired by Stena Line Ab in 1989. The route was was managed by Dutch company Stena Line BV. The following year, Sea Containers sold Sealink to Stena Line Ab, and the St Nicholas also joined Stena Line BV.
Complete history of Stena Line BV
Koningin Beatrix
(Stena Line BV: 1989-97)
Koningin Beatrix was built in 1986 by Van der Gissen De Noord, for Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland N.V (S.M.Z.). She was used on their joint Harwich-Hook of Holland service with Sealink. The SMZ service was marketed as Crown Line. In 1989, the SMZ operation was sold to Stena Line. Ownership of Koningin Beatrix passed to Stena Ab, and she was chartered to Stena Line BV. In 1997 she was transferred to the Stena Line Fishguard-Rosslare route, when replaced by HSS Stena Discovery. In 2002 she was transferred to the Karlskrona-Gdynia route and renamed Stena Baltica, swapping with Stena Europe.
Koningin Beatrix at Harwich International Port.
Postcard issued by Harwich International Port.
Stena Seatrader
(Stena Line BV: 1989- )
Stena Seatrader was built as Svealand by A/S Nakskov Skipsværft, for Lion Ferry Ab. She was chartered to Swedish Railways (SJ), and entered service in 1973 between Trelleborg-Sassnitz. The charter ended in 1981, and Svealand was sold to Rederi Ab Nordö, Malmö in 1982, becoming Svealand av Malmö. She was rebuilt in Hamburg in 1982 to increase capacity, before entering service between Malmö-Travemünde. She was further rebuilt in 1987 by Oy Wärtsilä Ab, and renamed Svea Link, returning to Malmö-Travemünde service. In 1989, Svea Link was sold to Stena Line Ab. She was renamed Stena Seatrader and used between Harwich-Hook of Holland. In 2001, Stena Seatrader was transferred to the Killingholme-Hook of Holland route.
Simplon Postcards sp1185 (issued September 1994) of Stena Seatrader leaving Harwich.
This was an official card produced for Stena Line BV for sail on the ship.
Photo: © Ian Boyle.
HSS Stena Discovery
(Stena Line BV: 1997- )
Stena Discovery was built in 1997 by Finnyards, Rauma, Finland as the third large HSS ferry following the Stena Explorer and Stena Voyager. When she entered service, the conventional passenger ferries Stena Europe and Koningin Beatrix were transferred to other routes, so the HSS had no backup when services were cancelled due to weather. In 2000 she was joined by the first of two large ro-pax ferries which both offered passenger accommodation, the Stena Britannica (3).
Stena Discovery at Harwich in March 2003.
Photo: © Ian Boyle
Additional photos on this link.
Stena Britannica (3)
(Stena Line BV: 2000-2003)
Stena Britannica (3) was one of four sisters in the Stena Seapacer series ordered by Stena Ro-Ro from Spanish builders. The first two sisters, built in 1999, became the Finnclipper and Finneagle of Finnlines. Stena Britannica (3) was built in 2000, and chartered to Stena Line BV for their new ro-pax service between Harwich-Hook of Holland. This service was so successful that a larger ship was needed on the overnight services from Holland. In February 2003 Stena Britannica (3) was replaced by the Korean-built Stena Britannica II, later renamed Stena Britannica (4). Stena Britannica (3) was sold to Finnlines as Finnfellow, joining her sisters Finnclipper and Finneagle.
Simplon Postcards serial sp1266 of Stena Britannica (3), issued August 2001.
The photograph is by Ian Boyle at Harwich.
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