The 34-year career of a vessel regularly seen at Dover, and later at Ramsgate, while sailing to and from Ostend for former Belgian state operator RMT, has ended with her sale to Turkish breakers. Eurovoyager (1978/12,110gt), the last of a RMT trio built in Hoboken, Belgium, had spent several months at anchor in the Strait of Messina before an April voyage to Aliaga.
Prins Albert and sisters Princesse Marie-Christine and Prinses Maria-Esmeralda, both introduced in 1975, were rebuilt with full height upper vehicle decks and side sponsons in the mid-1980s and, after a long cooperation with Sealink ended in 1986, Prins Albert adopted the orange hull of Townsend Thoresen in a tie-up that also saw a move to Ramsgate.
Services were later marketed as Ostend Line until RMT closed down completely in 1997, Prins Albert having a spell laid up in Dunkirk before resuming Ramsgate-Ostend sailings as Eurovoyager on charter to Sally Line. TransEuropa Ferries took over in 2008 and Eurovoyager then moved to the Western Mediterranean to sail between Almeria and Nador before spending 2011 linking Algeciras and Tanger.
The former Prinses Maria Esmerelda was broken up at Alang in 2009 and Princesse Marie-Christine, which ran as TEF’s Primrose from 1998, followed her in March last year.