Here's a sight we won't be seeing off Ramsgate's trendy East Cliff again. TransEuropa's Primrose is to be retired to sunnier climes in Italy. Reader Frank from the Ostend Ferry Crew writes:
The TEF ferry Primrose has been sold to a Italian company called Blu Navy for use between the ports of Piombino (Tuscany) and Portoferraio (Elba). The journey will take one hour.
She received bunkers [What that? Ed] this morning and her TEF logo on her funnel has been painted out. She is expected to sail tonight for the last time from Oostende [Ostend in old money] to Livorno where she will be renamed and will receive a internal upgrade.
In 1991 she was withdrawn with the arrival of the Prins Filip (Ostend Spirit), now history repeats itself. From 1991 to 1997 she was laid up as a spare vessel to cover for refits. This time she will begin a new career.
As Frank points out, many ships of the Primrose's age are now part of a new ship or car, or holding up buildings as metal bars in reinforced concrete. As least she's been recycled as a, er, ferry. Good luck to all who sail in her!