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MS Free Enterprise I

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Flag of Greece.svg
United Kingdom/Greece
  • Free Enterprise
  • Free Enterprise I (from May 1965)
  • 1980: Kimolos
  • 1993: Ergina
  • 1995: Ventouris
  • 1995: Methodia II
  • 1997: Kallisti
  • 2005: Okeanis
Operator1968: Townsend Thoresen
Port of registry
  • 1962-79: Channel ferry
  • 1980-2007: Greek islands
BuilderI.C.H. Holland, Netherlands
Yard number424
Laid down7 August 1961[1]
Launched2 February 1962
CompletedApril 1962
Maiden voyage22 April 1962[1]
FateScrapped (2013)
General characteristics
TypeCar and passenger ferry
Tonnage3,881 GT; 450 DWT
Length96.47 m (316.5 ft)[2]
Draught4.08 m (13.4 ft)
Installed power2x 12-cylinder Smit-MAN RBL 6612 4 stroke single acting diesels; 7360 kW[1]
Speed18 kn (21 mph)
Capacity850 (1962) / 1,400 (1981) passengers; 120 cars

MS Free Enterprise (I) was a cross-Channel ferry operated by Townsend Brothers and later Townsend Thoresen between 1962 and 1980. She was their first purpose built roll-on/roll-off passenger and vehicle ferry. She was sold to Greece in 1980 where she served until being sold for scrap in 2013.


Free Enterprise was built in 1962 by I.C.H. Holland, Werf Gusto Yard, Schiedam, the Netherlands, for Townsend Brothers Ferries. She was their first purpose built roll-on/roll-off passenger and vehicle ferry and entered service in 1962 on the Dover - Calais route.[3] On delivery of Free Enterprise II in May 1965, she was renamed Free Enterprise I. In 1968, the company became European Ferries, continuing to operate services as Townsend Thoresen and Free Enterprise I appeared briefly in the 1969 film classic The Italian Job, starring Michael Caine, Noël Coward and Benny Hill.

In February 1980, Free Enterprise I was sold to Ventouris Group as the Kimolos. She ran aground twice in 1983.[1]

In 1993 she was registered to Hellenic Coastal Lines (Ventouris Sons Shipping) receiving the name Ergina. In 1995 she was briefly given the name Ventouris before re-entering service with Ventouris Lines as Methodia II.[4]

In 1997 Methodia II was sold to Sinderella NE, Piraeus, and renamed Kallisti. Kallisti was laid up in Heraklion in 2003. In 2005, she was registered to Ionian Lines Cruises & Ferry.[1] She served for two years before being laid up in 2007. She never returned to service and was sold for scrap in June 2013.


Free Enterprise had lanes for 120 cars on two decks.[1]


Free Enterprise operated on the Dover-Calais service until 1979. During 1975 and 1976 Free Enterprise I spent time on the Cairnryan - Larne route. From 1977 until sale, she was on stand-by duties and then laid up at Tilbury.[1]

From 1981, Kimolos operated between Piraeus and the Cyclades Islands.[1] After 1997, Kallisti was used during the summer on cruises between Crete and Santorini, and in winter between Lavrio-Tinos-Mykonos. In 2007, Okeanis was operating as a day cruise ship.[5] Okeanis was laid up at the end of the 2007 season and never returned to service, despite plans to resume day cruises. She was sold for scrap in May 2013, being towed to the dismantling port of Aliaga on 1 June 2013.[6]

Film and Media

The ship features in the 1969 film The Italian Job as the necessary means of taking the cars across the English Channel at that time.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "MV Free Enterprise I - Past and Present". Dover Ferry Photos. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  2. ^ "M/F Okeanis". The ferry site. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  3. ^ "Monopolies and Mergers Commission - Report into the Merger of P&O and European Ferries Group PLC" (PDF). National Artchive. 1986. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Free Enterprise I". Simpleon Postcards. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Okeanis IMO 5120752". Shipspotting. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  6. ^ "IRISH SEA: Channel veteran goes for scrap". Ships Monthly. 27 June 2013. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014.


  • Blowers, R.P. (2013). Free Enterprise I: Townsend's trend setting ferry. Ramsey, Isle of Man: Ferry Publications. ISBN 9781906608774.
  • Cowsill, Miles; Hendy, John (2001). The Townsend eight. Ramsey, Isle of Man: Ferry Publications. ISBN 978-1871947601.
This page was last edited on 6 January 2021, at 20:03
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