The Southern Railways steam turbine cross-channel ferry Dinard, built in 1924 by Denny (Dumbarton, River Clyde).
As built, she was 2294 gross tons and carried 1300 passengers (354 in berths).
Dinard served on the night route between Southampton and St Malo, for which a speed of 19 knots with 5276 hp was adequate.
She served with distinction in World War 2, being both at Dunkirk and Normandy,as Hospital Ship,
but required major refurbishment after being returned to civilian service.
The demand for the transportation of cars to France was increasing, so Dinard was rebuilt as a car-ferry,
returning to service in June 1947 between Dover (and Folkestone) and Boulogne, with tonnage reduced to 1769grt,
and a capacity of 363 passengers and 70 cars.
She passed to the nationalised British Railways in 1948. At this stage cars were still crane-loaded aboard,
but in 1953 she received modifications to the stern, allowing cars to be loaded over a ramp,
inaugurating the drive-on service between Dover and Boulogne on which Dinard remained until withdrawn in 1958.
Instead of being scrapped, Dinard was sold to become the first ship of mighty Baltic ferry giants Viking Line,
whose operations began on 1st June 1959 between Gräddö and Korppoo, for Åland owners Gunnar Eklund and Henning Rundberg.
They renamed her Viking, after further modifications to car capacity and appearance had been made.
Copyright 2008 by Miguel (murdoch)
Uploaded 2008-11-26 -
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