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Already alongside was Montenegro Lines’ little freighter the Alba, which in an earlier life had served the UK as the Neckartal on charter to Sealink and, latterly worked for Schiaffino Line.
During our 2003 visit to Montenegro we stayed up the coast at Budva, and were able to stop briefly en-route at the small island town of Sveti Stefan after which the ships are named – well, we were able to stop outside it, for the island itself is a private and exclusive hotel, perhaps not the best situation for one of Montenegro’s most famous tourist sights.
She was rarely given first ranking – whether it be the Armorique, the Senlac and Chartres, the Rozel, the Beauport, the Condor fast cats or, latterly, the larger Sveti Stefan II, she was always a useful second ship, able to economically cover the routes with lower loads and with less expectations.
Only when she headed up the Truckline passenger service and her initial period with Montenegro Lines (2000 to 2003) was she the lead ship.
The Sveti Stefan of Montenegro Lines, originally Brittany Ferries’ Cornouailles of 1977, this afternoon arrived off Aliaga in Turkey prior to being scrapped.
We woke the next morning, with our sleeping bags covered in sea salt, to another beautiful and perfectly calm day and with the Duchess M following us into port.
In 2003 Montenegro Lines acquired a second passenger ship in the shape of the Sveti Stefan II, originally the third Prinz Hamlet and latterly Polferries’ Nieborow.
A shorter derivation of the KEH design that had produced the Gustav Vasa (later Norrona) and Nils Dacke (Quiberon), the ship was deployed primarily on the longer crossing from Bar to Ancona.
After taking the train up to Bari we walked around the breakwater to inspect the Orestes (ex-Cerdic Ferry) which was enduring the long lay up which preceded her final demise.
Not long removed from the port was the abandoned Sirio (ex-Cambridge Ferry) whilst in regular service were the Dubrovnik (ex-Duchess Anne), Marko Polo (ex-Zeeland), Azzurra (ex-Olau West), Siren (ex-Dana Gloria) and Polaris (ex-Dana Futura).
The Cornouailles replaced the smaller Penn-Ar-Bed as the mainstay of the Roscoff-Plymouth route but passenger traffic continued to grow and, in 1984, she was chartered out to SNCF for two years, being replaced in BF service by the Benodet (1984) and Tregastel (1985).