Photo © Dominik Wagner



Alkmini A (2004)


Building Spec.

Kochums Varvet, Malmö, Sweden, 1980 N° 569

Call Sign


IMO Number







163,51 x 27,63 x 6,90


2 Sulzer, 13.020 kW


21 knots







Lane Metres


Sister Ships

Seafrance Cezanne

Zenobia (sunk in 1981)

Registry Port




Former Owners

Rederi Ab Nordo 1980-81

Navigation Maritime Bulgare 1981-82

S.M.A.T 1982-88

Sealink 1988-90

Stena Line 1990-98

P&O Stena 1998-02

P&O 2002-04

Former Names

Scandinavia 1980-82

Tzarevetz 1982-88

Fiesta 1988-90

Fantasia 1990

Stena Fantasia 1990-98

P&O SL Canterbury 1998-02

PO Canterbury 2002-04

New Owners

Polferries  2004à

New Names

Wawel 2004à





The “Alkimini A” was the first ship of G.A. Ferries on international routes after the failure of the former experience in 1993. This ship started sailing in 1980 for Rederi AB Nordö; although with a passenger capacity of 170, all berthed in cabins, was basically a cargo ship. She was deployed on an historical Mediterranean line, the Koper (Jugoslavia, today Slovenia) – Tartous (Syria). Was soon sold to Bulgarian shipowners, probably on the same service crossing Adriatic and East Mediterranean; in 1982 was sold again to the Bulgarian company S.M.A.T., which renamed her “Tzarevetz”. From 1984 was diverted to another line, sailing from Leghorn (Italy) to Iraq and Iran, then, from 1986, was chartered various times: that year to Callitzis shipowner for Italy – Greece service (Trieste – Igoumenitsa – Patras), then in 1987 was chartered to Nordö Link, for their well-known Malmo – Travemunde link; in 1988 was chartered for a month to DFDS linking Esbjerg  and Harwich. On these charters and services was always accompanied by the only sister remained after the “Zenobia” sink (1981); at the end of 1988 was bought by Sealink consortium, which plans to increase her passenger capacity to reroute the pair of sisters in Channel routes; however the refit started only at the end of 1989 due to another charter of the ferry. It’s funny to see that under Sealink ownership the two sisters changed the names of “Fiesta” and “Fantasia”. She starter sailing in the Channel seas in 1990; however, after decades of service together the Sealink consortium came to an end and the divorce between French and English companies caused also the separation ot this pair of sisters: one of them continued to serve the Channel under French ownership, the second one was acquired by Stena Line and was operated for eight years under the name of “Stena Fantasia”. At the end of 1998 two competitors of Channel links, Stena Line and P&O Ferries, decided to unite their forces to compete the French Seafrance, former member of Sealink consortium. The ship changed again her name in “P&O SL Canterbury”, in my opinion a well-chosen name because of that sort of dome at the upper deck of the ferry: we should remember that the Canterbury bishop is the head of Anglican Church! At the end of 2002 also the P&O – Stena alliance came to an end, Stena Line abandoned Channel Services and P&O became the new owner of the ferry, renamed “PO Canterbury”. She was bought by G.A Ferries on March 2004 and, from June, was deployed between Igoumenitsa and Brindisi, apparently without an internal refit considering that the ferry was taken over at the end of March and was also in Tartous (why???) in April. Not very successful on the service, was resold to Polferries at the end of 2004; the polish company decided to rebuilt her prior of her use adding more cabins. A good decision, and it was a pity that G.A. Ferries didn’t do it. Since 2005 the ferry is sailing between Swinoujscie and Ystad as the “Wawel”, the name of a famous Polish fortress where many people intended to bury the Holy Father John Paul II after his death. It’s a mystery why G.A. Ferries preferred to sell her rather of the “Anthi Marina”, since the unique better aspect of her compared to the present vessel, the speed, is not used.


MEDLINK F/B Tzarevetz – Photo from Roy Thorntonn’s collection


SEALINK BRITISH FERRIES F/B Fantasia under refit in Bremerhaven – Photo from Roy Thorntonn’s collection


SEALINK BRITISH FERRIES F/B Fantasia – Photo from Roy Thorntonn’s collection


SEALINK BRITISH FERRIES F/B Fantasia – Photo from Roy Thorntonn’s collection


SEALINK STENA LINE F/B Stena Fantasia – Photo by courtesy of Micke Asklander


P&O STENA LINE F/B P&O SL Canterbury – Photo © Pieter Inpijn


Photo © Dominik Wagner


Photo © Dominik Wagner


POLFERRIES F/B Wawel – Photo © Jakub Bugucki, Gdansk, 24/10/04 #3299


POLFERRIES F/B Wawel – Photo © Jakub Bugucki #3300


POLFERRIES F/B Wawel – Photo © Jakub Bugucki #3302


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