St Cecilia is thought to have sailed across the Solent 200,000 times, racking up around one million miles (Image: Wightlink)
British ferry operator Wightlink will bid farewell to its oldest ferry, St Cecilia, on 25 January 2019. She will move to Sardinia, Italy and begin sailing between Portovesma, Calasetta and Carloforte for Italian ferry company Delcomar.
St Cecilia will join her sister ships St Helen (renamed Anna Mur) and St Catherine (renamed GB Conte) after her final departure.
St Cecilia was launched at Cochrane Shipbuilders in Selby, East Yorkshire in 1987. Since starting service in March 1987, she is estimated to have sailed one million miles, having crossed the Solent around 200,000 times.
As one of Wightlink’s four Saint-class ferries on the Portsmouth to Fishbourne route, St Cecilia was built to carry 142 cars. However, as cars have got bigger over time, her current maximum capacity is 95.
“Millions of islanders and visitors have travelled to and from the Isle of Wight over the years on St Cecilia and she has been a reliable and efficient part of our fleet,” said Keith Greenfield, chief executive of Wightlink. “We are delighted she will now be sailing in Mediterranean waters.”
Last September, Wightlink christened its new flagship, Victoria of Wight, a hybrid energy-powered ferry that accommodates 1,000 passengers and 178 cars as she sails between Portsmouth and Fishbourne. The company has also completed port improvements at both ports.
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