Ferries, Freighters, Lightships, Lifeboats, Tall Ships – you can expect to find them all turning up here.

Page updated 3/9/2018.

Click on images to enlarge.

R.M.S. “Lusitania”

Valentine’s card commemorating the sinking of the R.M.S.”Lusitania” off the South West coast of Ireland during World War.I.

B&I Line


On May 22nd 1979 the M.V. Connacht (6,800 tons, 1,500 passengers and 350 cars), which had been launched the previous year by Verolme Dockyard, began a new service to Pembroke from Cork. The B+I Line is long gone but the M.V.Connacht is still going strong and renamed as the “Dubrovnik” now operates between Bari and Dubrovnik on the Adriatic.


W.McCalla & Co., Emigration & Tourist Agents, Belfast


Lots of paper and not a computer screen in sight!


St Killian Ferry

Built in Yugoslavia in 1973 for Stena Line, and originally named Stena Scandinavica, the St.Killian was sold to Irish Ferries in 1978 for use on their Ireland/France routes. In 1981 it was decided to lengthen the ship by cutting her in two and adding a new centre section. This was carried out in a Dutch shipyard and she re-entered service as the St.Killian II in 1982. Remained in the Irish Ferries fleet until 1997, and then passed through several operators before being scrapped in India in 2007.

S.S. Patriotic (1912)

Beflast Steam Ship Company

Another product of the Harland & Wolff Shipyard the ship entered service with the Belfast Steamship Company on the Belfast/Liverpool route. Used as a troopship during WW.I. before returning to normal service. During the W.W.II. she served as a Hospital ship off the Normandy beaches before being laid up for a spell followed by conversion for cruise working. Eventually broken up in Glasgow in 1956.

MV Hibernia (1949)

Hibernia pu 1965

Built by the Harland & Wolff Shipyard, Belfast, for the British Railways Holyhead/Dun Laoghaire route. In service until 1976 and subsequently scrapped in India.

This card was published by British Railways (London Midland Region) and posted aboard ship in 1965.

Belfast Steamship Company

Belfast steamship company

An official card postally used in 1911.

RMMV “Royal Scotsman”, Burns & Laird Lines

Royal Scotsman VALENTINES

Built as a passenger ferry by Harland & Wolff for the Burns & Laird Lines the vessel entered service on the Glasgow/Belfast route in 1936. She was later requisitioned by the British government during W.W.II. and served as a troop ship during allied landings in North Africa and Italy. Having survived the war the “Royal Scotsman” returned to service with Burns & Laird until 1967, when she was purchased by the Church of Scientology (!) and eventually ended up being scrapped in Texas in 1984. Full story here.

This card was published by Valentines – a post war (?) view by an unknown artist.

MV “Dundalk Bay”, Irish Bay Lines

MV Dundalk Bay

Came across this card today and there’s an interesting story concerning the ship’s involvement in the migration of refugees from Europe after World War.II. Full details shortly…

Card published by Henry P. Lenghan & Sons, Ltd., 29 Donegall Street, Belfast.

MV “Ulster Spinner”, Belfast Steamship Co.Ltd

MV Ulster Spinner

The “Ulster Spinner” was a cargo ship built at Ardrossan Dockyard, Clydebank, Scotland in 1942. This fine card by the well known English maritime artist John S.Smith probably dates from the 1955/60 period.

“Antrim Princess”

Antrim Princess nr Larne DIXON

The “Antrim Princess” approaching Larne.

Card by J.Arthur Dixon Ltd.

“S.S. St.Patrick” (1930-41)

RMS St Patrick

The “SS. St.Patrick” was a passenger ferry belonging to the Great Western Railway and was used to operate its services between Rosslare and Fishguard. It was bombed near Fishguard by the German Luftwaffe on 13th June 1941, resulting in the deaths of 30 people.

Asgard II

Asgard 2 FRONT

The “Asgard II” was built by Tyrell’s of Arklow and commissioned on the 7th March, 1981 for use as the Irish National Sail Training Vessel. She sank in the Bay of Biscay on the 11th September, 2008 while en route from Falmouth to La Rochelle for routine repairs. The ship was salvageable where she lay but for penny-pinching reasons the Irish government abandoned her.

Photo by Beken of Cowes (1987) and published by Kenbe Reproductions, Southampton.

MV “Ulster Prince”, Belfast Steamship Co.Ltd


Official card.

British & Irish Steam Packet Company

British Lady Lady Roberts FRONTBritish Lady BACK - Copy

Above: the “Lady Roberts” (1,462 tons) built for the B+I line in 1897 was one of a trio of similar vessels introduced in the 1890s. Passengers had the option of filling out on the front of the card which vessel that they had travelled in but the one above is definitely the “Lady Roberts”.

B&I postcard

S.S Lady Limerick” by artist Harry Hudson Rodmell (1896-1984). The ship entered service in 1924 having been built for the B+I Steam Packet Co.Ltd., at Ardrossan Shipyard in Scotland. After only six years service she was sold on to the Burns & Laird Lines Ltd. No happy ending to the story either as she sank following a collision with another vessel near the Mull of Kintyre while en route from Glasgow to Belfast on the 4th September 1940.

City of Dublin Steam Packet Company

15 Eden Quay, Dublin.

R.MS. MunsterS S Kilkenny

Left to right: “R.M.S.Munster” – card published by the City of Dublin Steam Packet Co. and printed in Dublin by James Walker & Co. postally used in 1907.  “S.S.Kilkenny” between Dublin and Liverpool early 1900s. Passing the Kish lightship with Howth Head in the left background.

Coast Lines

Burns & Laird

M V Irish Coast

Official card by artist John S.Smith.

Irish Ferries

Irish Ferries

The “Isle of Inishmore” built in the Netherlands in 1995/96 and entered into service on the Rosslare/Pembroke route in March 1997. From a set of three published by the company.


Above: “Irish Proverbs” one in a series of four published by the company.

Lots more information on Irish Ferries postcards here:

Irish Shipping (1941-1984)

Irish Spruce Irish Shipping postcard

The “Irish Spruce” – the second of the company’s fleet to carry this name – was built by Cammell Laird & Co. at Birkenhead and launched in 1957. On 27th January, 1972, while on charter to the Peruvian State Line, she ran aground on Quita Sueno Bank, off the coast of Nicaragua and became a total loss. Plenty more information on the operations and fleet of Irish Shipping Ltd may be found here.


The “Irish Elm” built 1953. Probably an official card.

A synopsis of the whole Irish Shipping saga may be had here.

Sealink Ferries

St Columba

MV St.Columba“, published in the late 1970s by Photo Precision of St Ives and numbered AN515 in their “Colourmaster” series.

The 1977 Danish-built ship operated the Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead service until 1996 (having been renamed Stena Hibernia in 1991 and Stena Adventurer in 1996) before being sold on to a Greek operator.

St Columba today

Above: Sold on again in 2006 and renamed M/F “Masarrah” she now operates between Saudi Arabia (Duba) and Egypt (Safaga) on the Red Sea. Further information here and here: HHV Ferry Blog

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