MS GNV Cristal
SNAV Sardegna sailing into Civitavecchia harbour
|Port of registry:|
|Route:||Olbia—Civitavecchia / Palermo—Civitavecchia (as of 2008)|
|Builder:||Schichau Seebeckwerft, Bremerhaven, West Germany|
|Laid down:||10 September 1988|
|Launched:||25 February 1989|
|Acquired:||29 September 1989|
|In service:||4 October 1989|
|Identification:||IMO number: 8712518|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||Peter Pan class cruiseferry|
|Length:||161.00 m (528 ft 3 in)|
|Beam:||29.00 m (95 ft 2 in)|
|Draught:||6.50 m (21 ft 4 in)|
|Installed power:||4 × Zgoda-Sulzer 8ZA40S (combined 18,638 kW)|
|Speed:||21.3 knots (39.4 km/h; 24.5 mph)|
MS GNV Cristal is a cruiseferry owned by the Italy-based SNAV and operated on their Olbia—Civitavecchia and Palermo—Civitavecchia services. She was built in 1989 by Schichau Seebeckwerft in Bremerhaven, West Germany as MS Olau Hollandia for Olau Line. From 1994 to 2005 she sailed as MS Pride of Le Havre for P&O ferries.. From 2005 to 2017 she has been operating as the SNAV Sardegna between Civitavecchia, Palermo and Olbia.
Concept and construction
Olau Line had been owned by the Germany-based TT-Line since 1979. Under TT-Line ownership, Olau Line had acquired two purpose-built ferries, MS Olau Hollandia (1981) and MS Olau Britannia (1982) for their Sheerness—Vlissingen service. During the mid-80s TT-Line acquired MS Peter Pan (1986) and MS Nils Holgersson (1986), enlarged versions of the Olau Hollandia and Olau Britannia design, for their Trelleborg—Travemünde service. During the latter half of the decade, TT-line decided to order two more ships of the Peter Pan-type from Schichau Seebeckwerft in Bremerhaven, West Germany as replacements for the two Olau ships. The first of these ships was delivered in 1989 as the second Olau Hollandia, replacing her older namesake.
1989—1994: Olau Hollandia
The second Olau Hollandia was delivered to TT-Line on 29 September 1989, and five days later she entered service on Olau Line's service between Sheerness and Vlissingen. On entering service she replaced the first MS Olau Hollandia (1981). The Olau Hollandia's sister, MS Olau Britannia (1990), followed a year later. In practice the new Olau Hollandia and Olau Britannia proved to be too extravagant for the service, and TT-Line was forced to look into cost-cutting measures to keep the ships running. On 6 January 1993 the Olau Hollandia was re-registered to Luxembourg, but after a series of strikes and other protests in part of the German seamen's trade union, TT-Line were forced to return the ship into German registry on 3 February 1993. Subsequently TT-Line drew up plans for swapping the Olau ships with the ships in Trelleborg—Travemünde service, and moving the resulting new Olau ships into Bahamian registry. Another strike on board the Olau ships followed, and in May 1994 TT-Line decided to close down the Olau Line brand entirely, with the Olau Hollandia and Britannia chartered to P&O Ferries. The Olau Hollandia made her last sailing for Olau Line on 15 May 1994.
1994—2005: Pride of Le Havre
On 6 May 1994 the Olau Hollandia was named Pride of Le Havre and re-registered to the United Kingdom, replacing an earlier Pride of Le Havre that was in turn renamed Pride of Cherbourg. Although planned for the Portsmouth—Le Havre route, she entered service on the Portsmouth—Cherbourg route because of delays in finishing the new ferry terminal in Le Havre. On 22 June 1994 the ship was moved to the Portsmouth—Le Havre service.
While outbound from Le Havre on the evening 27 July 1998, the Pride of Le Havre suffered a switchboard explosion in the engine room, resulting in a fire in the engine room and loss of electrical power throughout the ship. Three members of the crew were seriously injured in the explosion. After the fire had been extinguished and power restored, the ship returned to Le Havre with the assistance of two tugs. The injured crewmen were transported to a local hospital, where the most seriously injured crewman died five days later. After unloading the injured crewmen the Pride of Le Havre sailed to Portsmouth, where she arrived early the next morning. In Portsmouth all passengers and cargo were unloaded and the ship itself was subsequently repaired. On 18 March 1999 the ship suffered another engine room fire. This time repairs were carried out in Southampton, and the ship was back in service on 24 March 1999.
On 28 September 2004 plans to charter the Pride of Le Havre and her sister Pride of Portsmouth to Brittany Ferries were made public. The plans came under scrutiny of the relevant competition regulators, and as a result Brittany Ferries decided not to charter the ships. They remained in P&O Ferries service until 30 September 2005, when they were withdrawn from service and subsequently laid up on the River Fal.
2006 onwards: SNAV Sardegna
In November 2005 TT-Line sold the Pride of Le Havre and Pride of Portsmouth to the Italy-based SNAV. On 30 December 2005 the Pride of Le Havre was renamed SNAV Sardegna, but she retained United Kingdom flag for the time being. On 5 January 2006 the SNAV Sardegna left Falmouth for Naples. On 27 March 2006 she was re-registered in Italy, and in May of the same year she entered service on SNAV's routes from Civitavecchia to Palermo and Olbia.
Since February 24, 2017, SNAV Sardegna was renamed as GNV Cristal.
The Olau Britannia was the third of four sisters in the Peter Pan class, the others being:
MS Peter Pan (1986) was the first of the sisters build by Schichau Unterweser, Bremerhaven, Germany for TT-Line. She was sold in 1990 to TT-line (Tasmania) and in 1993 renamed as the first Spirit of Tasmania. She was sold in 2002 to Nordsjøferger and charted in 2003 to Fjord Line as MS Fjord Norway. In 2006 she was sold to DFDS Seaways to serve the IJmuiden (Netherlands)–Newcastle (Britain) route as MS Princess of Norway. In 2011 she was renamed MS Princess Seaways.
MS Nils Holgersson (1987) was the second of the sisters build by Schichau Unterweser, Bremerhaven, Germany for TT-Line. She was sold to Brittany Ferries in 1993 and renamed MS Val de Loire. In late 2005 she was sold to DFDS Seaways to serve the IJmuiden (Netherlands)–Newcastle (Britain) route as MS King of Scandinavia, subsequently renamed in 2011 as MS King Seaways.
MS Olau Britannia (1990) was the fourth of the sisters build by Schichau Unterweser, Bremerhaven, Germany for TT-Line's sister company Olau Line. With her Olau sister the MS Olau Hollandia (1989) she was charted in 1994 to P&O Ferries and renamed MS Pride of Portsmouth. In 2005 she stopped operating for P&O and was subsequently sold to SNAV in Italy and renamed MS SNAV Lazio.
The former MS Koningin Beatrix (1986), sold in 1989 to Stena Line and renamed in 2002 as MS Stena Baltica, was built by the Dutch shipyard Van der Giessen de Noord for SMZ to a similar design as the four sisters.
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