MS Oujda

MS Oujda was a ferry built by Aalborg Værft AS [4] in 1974 for Townsend Thoresen. She sailed under the name Viking Venturer from Southampton to Le Havre then latterly Portsmouth to Cherbourg . She was sold to P&O European Ferries and renamed Pride of Hampshire. With the takeover of Townsend Thoresen by P&O and the sinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise in 1987, P&O wanted to drop the Townsend Thoresen name and the ship names associated with the company. She was repainted from her Townsend Thoresen orange and white livery to the new P&O blue and white, the TT logo on her funnel was also replaced by the P&O house flag. Her funnel was also painted P&O navy blue replacing the TT turquoise colour.[6] Townsend Thoresen became P&O European Ferries and in 1989 Viking Venturer became Pride of Hampshire. She continued to sail under that name until 2002. She was transferred to the Portsmouth-Cherbourg route in 1994 as a result of larger vessels Pride of Le Havre & Pride of Portsmouth being chartered for the Le Havre route.

  • Viking Venturer (1974-1989)
  • Pride of Hampshire (1989-2002)
  • Pride of Al Salam 2 (2002-2004)
  • Oujda (2004-2010)[1]
Port of registry:
Builder: Aalborg Værft AS [4][5]
Launched: 1974 [2][3]
Out of service: 2010 [2]
Identification: IMO number: 7358286 [5]
Fate: Scrapped early 2010 [5]
General characteristics (Original)
Tonnage: 6,387
Length: 128.71 m
Beam: 19.81 m
Draught: 4.53 m
Propulsion: Två Werkspoor 8TM410, En 9TM410 diesel
Speed: 18 knots
  • 1,200 passengers
  • 275 cars
General characteristics (Extended)
Tonnage: 14,760 Gross Tonnes [2][3]
Length: 143.66 m [3]
Beam: 23.47 m [3]
Draught: 5.05 m
Propulsion: Två Werkspoor 8TM410, En 9TM410 diesel
Speed: 18 knots
  • 1,316 passengers
  • 380 cars

The Pride of Hampshire eventually became a well-loved ferry by her regular passengers and was affectionately known as 'The Happy Hampshire' by her loyal crew. Despite her rather unattractive appearance due to extensive "jumboisation" in Bremerhaven in 1986. This work added an extra deck to the ship making it appear rather top heavy. She was sold off in 2002 after 27 years service on the English Channel; at the time she was the eldest cross-channel ferry sailing from the country.

After her service with P&O Ferries she was sold to El Salam Maritime and renamed the Pride of El Salam 2[1] then latterly Oujda[1] sailing between Sète and Nador in her final days with a Panama flag.[2]

She was sold for demolition in India in 2010.[5]

Sister ships

Viking Venturer was one of four sister ships [1] ordered by Townsend Thoresen.

The other three were:

  • Viking Valiant - later the Pride of Cherbourg 2, then Mogador and was scrapped in May 2010.
  • Viking Voyager - later Pride of Cherbourg 1, now Samothraki.
  • Viking Viscount - later Pride of Winchester, now Vitsentzos Kornaros.



  1. "The ferry site". Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  2. "Entry to say the vessel has been withdrawn from service" (PDF). Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  3. Marine Accidents Investigation Branch. "MAIB Report of the investigation into the Lifeboat Accident on Pride of Hampshire on 25 September 1994 while berthed at Cherbourg" (PDF). HMSO. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  4. "Ship Photos - Pride of Hampshire - [IMO7358286] - [2]". Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  5. "" (PDF). p. 16. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  6. "Viking Venturer - Pride of Hampshire - Pride of El Salam 2 - Townsend Thoresen Ferry Photographs - Ferry Postcards". Retrieved 2 January 2015.


  • Cowsill, Miles; Hendy, John (2007). Remembering the Thoresen Vikings: Townsend Thoresen trend setters. Ramsey, Isle of Man: Ferry Publications. ISBN 1871947731.
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