Duc de Normandie is a ferry purchased in 1986 by Brittany Ferries to operate its new route linking Ouistreham and Portsmouth. She was initially built for SMZ in 1978. She has been part of Acciona Transmediterranea’s fleet since 2005.
|M/V Duc de Normandie (1986 - 2004)|
|Launch||14th January 1978|
|Maiden Voyage||29th June 1978|
|Shipyard||Verolme Scheepswerft Heusden B.V, Heusden, Netherlands|
Roscoff (FR) - Plymouth (GB)
Ouistreham (FR) - Portsmouth (GB)
|Port of Registry||Caen, Normandie, France|
|Gross Tonnage||9,365 GT|
|Net Tonnage||4,862 NT|
|Engines||4 Stork Werkspoor 8TM410LL|
|Speed||23.00 knots (service)|
|Passengers & Cargo|
|Passengers Capacity||1,500 passengers|
|Cabins||572 berths proposed|
|Garage Capacity||350 cars|
Princess Beatrix was built in 1978 for Dutch company SMZ, using commercial name Sealink in order to operate services between Hoek von Holland and Harwich.
She was purchased by the Société d’Économie Mixte d’Armement Naval du Calvados for £12 millions on 1st October 1985, although Sealink chartered her for a few months.
After having been refurbished and renamed Duc de Normandie, she established Brittany Ferries’ new service between Ouistreham and Portsmouth on 5th June 1986. She as joined on this route in 1988 for one year by Gotland, and in 1989 by Reine Mathilde, enabling the operation of the route with two ships.
In readiness the introduction of her successor on the Ouistreham service, Mont Saint Michel, Brittany Ferries transferred Duc de Normandie on 10th June 2002 on the Roscoff – Plymouth route, where she was to replaced Quiberon. However, due to Mont Saint Michel being delivered much behind scheduled, Quiberon had to be transferred to the Ouistreham service rather than being decommissioned after having been replaced by Duc de Normandie.
In 2005, Brittany Ferries sold Duc de Normandie to TransEuropa Ferries, which renamed her Wisteria for service between Ramsgate and Ostend. She was then chartered by Ferrimaroc and Acciona Transmediterranea for operation between Almeria (EP) and Nador (MAR). However, she was at first chartered only during the summer season on this route, being operated between Ostend and Ramsgate the rest of the year. She was only chartered year-round by Acciona Transmediterranea after 2008. After the bankruptcy of her owner in 2013, she was sold to Nizhniy Shipping and renamed Vronskiy. However, she remains operated by Acciona Transmediterranea.