Saint Eloi

Ordered in 1969 for Angleterre-Lorraine-Alsace, it was not until 1975 that the British-owned French-flag train ferry entered service due to strikes and finanical problems at her Italian builders in Genoa.

On 8th January 1989 the Saint Eloi ventured into Irish Sea and took up relief duties between Stranraer and Larne. The it was to Holyhead where she arrived on 4th April 1989 to stand-in for the St Columba. Her accommodation was, to put it mildly, a mess, forcing the cancellation of her first round trip to Dun Laoghaire. Having been cleaned up, complaints about her dull and spartan appearance began flooding in and on one passage sixteen protesting passengers staged a 'sit-in' in the Master's cabin.

Entering service between Dunkirk and Dover on 12th March 1975,  the ALA became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Rail Board in 1977 and passed to Sealink UK Ltd in 1979. Following the privatisation of Sealink UK in 1984, the Saint Eloi saw two summer seasons on charter to SNCF running between Calais and Dover.

 

Saint Eloi

Built:

 

IMO No.

Deadweight

Draught:

Class:

LOA:

Beam:

Depth:

Capacity:



 

Access:

Cantieri Navali di Pietra Ligure, Italy. 1975.

7207451

1118 tonnes

4.11 metres

 

114.59 metres

18.62 metres

 

1000 passengers

160 cars

 

Stern door

1/1
© Roy Thornton Collection

© Roy Thornton Collection

A new Saint Eloi in 1975.

© Roy Thornton Collection

© Roy Thornton Collection

The Saint Eloi at Dover.

© Capt Neville Lester

© Capt Neville Lester

Saint Eloi berths at Salt Island, watched by Capt Lester's son Richard.

© Justin Merrigan

© Justin Merrigan

The Saint Eloi at Dun Laoghaire spring 1989.

© Michael Thomas

© Michael Thomas

The Saint Eloi at Holyhead's Refit Berth

© Roy Thornton Collection

© Roy Thornton Collection

The Channel Entente leaves Dover for Calais, summer 1988. © Roy Thornton Collection

© Justin Merrigan

© Justin Merrigan

As the King Orry, leaving Dublin for Douglas in ballast after an emergency relief sailing from Liverpool in place of the SuperSeaCat Two, summer 1998.

When the St Columba returned on 27 April there was a collective sigh of relief. The Saint Eloi was dispatched to dry dock at Falmouth for a much needed refit, from which she emerged renamed Channel Entente. She was acquired by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company in February 1990 for whom she quickly proved herself to be a reliable and comfortable ship as their King Orry. In October 1998 the King Orry was sold to Italy's Moby Line and renamed Moby Love.