FERRYING IN '15, 25th June Messina
Thursday 25th June 2015
There was no need for an alarm clock this morning, as we had time for breakfast looking over the harbour of Messina before checking out of the hotel. The new tram service ran along the side of the bay so we could catch that to go along to the other ferry quay. We soon boarded the 8,383 gross tons car ferry VESTFOLD of Caronte & Tourist, which was built in Norway in 1991, for the journey across the Straits of Messina to Villa San Giovanni.
It was difficult to photograph the wall map of the Straits through the glass, but it gave some idea of the routes of the two services across the water. We could also see that the ship can hold 587 passengers.
Then we found a notice board with the original heading of Skipsinformasjon on the top of it.
As we disembarked we could see the ship's original port of registry - Horten - just visible on the hull. Out in the Straits we could see the cruise ship SEVEN SEAS MARINER heading north.
The sun was shining and it was hot and comfortable and the colour of the water below our quay was a beautiful colour, as we waited to board.
VESTFOLD sailed back to the Messina side and another ferry sailed over to where we were waiting. This was the 1993 Norwegian-built TREMESTIERI, the ex-KONINGIN BEATRIX, at 5,042 gross tons, and I was pleased to see her original name on the hull.
We saw several other ferries before we sailed back to the Messina side of the Straits, including an enormous China Shipping Line vessel.
It felt like lunchtime by now and we decided to enjoy the air-conditioned self-service restaurant at the ferry terminal on the waterside. Its ice creams are remembered with great affection by some of my friends, I recall. The hot and cold dishes, and fruit, were very welcome today and fortified us for another bus journey back towards the Messina railway station.
Ships seen so far today: Vestfold, Stretto Messina, Mirella Morace, Giuseppe Franza, Seven Seas Mariner, Tremestieri, Fata Morgana, China Shipping Line vessel, Archimede, Villa, Tindari Jet, Riace
To be continued...