Train Ferry SASSNITZ: Sad End on the Turkish Beach

She proudly drove the more than 110-year-old "royal line" - now, there is almost nothing left of the SASSNITZ. Her final destination was Aliaga beach in the Aegean. The 172 meters long and 26-meter wide railway ferry arrived on October 20, 2021, at full speed, to be taken between other ships that also have to be decommissioned. A slight smoke signal on the beach served as a final guide for the last crew. The SASSNITZ reached its destination without a load and the highest possible water level. This process is called beaching, making scrapping easier for the shipyard workers. Piece by piece, the steel parts are put on trucks ending in the blast furnaces. Motors, pumps, and other valuable elements such as furniture are offered for sale on the Internet.

The reliable connection even in times of war

The first time a train ferry sailed on the "Königslinie" was on July 6, 1909. The route was named after Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Swedish King Gustav V. The "Königslinie" and its ships were always considered a reliable connection, even during the World Wars and the Cold War. In addition, the distance of about 100 kilometers is the shortest connection between Germany and Sweden. At times, four ships operated here at the same time.

Decline just before the turn of the millennium

Since March 1989, the SASSNITZ has sailed the "Königslinie". Some of the old crew members were still active on the ship as of April 28, 2020. On this day, the SASSNITZ was the last ship to leave the "Königslinie". The GDR Reichsbahn ordered the ferry from Danyard in Aalborg, Denmark, in 1987 for 100 million marks. Even then, shipbuilding was in crisis. Shortly after the launch, the shipyard in Aalborg closed. The SASSNITZ was finally completed in Frederikshavn. Shortly after reunification, the connection was very popular - whether for short trips or just for a little shopping spree. Finally, at the end of the 1990s, the slow decline of the "royal line" followed. After several ownership changes, the ferry business ultimately belonged to Stena Line. But the downfall can no longer be stopped. First, Stena Line will sell the TRELLEBORG, followed by the SASSNITZ in 2020.

Final stop: Turkish scrapper

The last owner, Stena RoRo, put the ferry up for sale online for over a year. But nobody wants to buy used ferries during the pandemic. So the SASSNITZ finally landed in Turkey. Allegedly, the scrapper Leyal Ship Recycling paid 350,000 euros. This is not confirmed.

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