MS Merchant Brilliant

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Merchant Brilliant.jpg
Career Flag of Jamaica.svg
Name: Norwegian Challenger 1979 - 1982
Jolly Bruno 1982 - 1993
Merchant Brilliant
Owner: Steineger & Wik 1979 - 1982
Medorient Shipping Line Inc. 1982 - 1993
Merchant Ferries 1993 - 2002
Cenargo International Plc. 2002 - 2004
Brilliant Shipping Ltd,
Operator: Norient Line 1980 - 1981
OT Africal Line 1981 - 1982
Ignazio Messina 1982 - 1993
Merchant Ferries 1993 - 2002
Norse Merchant Ferries 2002 - 2005
Cobelfret 2005
Norse Merchant Ferries 2005 - 2006
Norfolk Line 2006 - 2007
Scandlines 2007
Norfolk Line 2007 - 2008
Seatruck Ferries 2008
P&O Irish Sea (2008)
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (2008)
Builder: Vaargen Werft A/S, Kyrksaeterora, Norway
Yard number: 43
Laid down: 1 May 1978
Launched: 1 April 1979
Completed: 1 July 1979
Homeport: Montego Bay, Jamaica
Identification: IMO number: 7724265
Callsign 6YRC6
Status: In service
General characteristics
Tonnage: 9368 GRT
Length: 133.07 metres (436 ft 7 in)
Beam: 21.65 metres (71 ft 0 in)
Draught: 5.03 metres (16 ft 6 in)
Ice class: ICE C
Installed power: 2 x Krupp 12M453AK 12 cylinder diesel engines,
6,620 kilowatts (8,880 hp)
Speed: 17 knots (31 km/h)
Capacity: 12 passengers,
1,272 metres (4,173 ft) freight lanes, 80 trailers, 524 TEU.
Crew: 18

The Merchant Brilliant is a ferry owned by Brilliant Shipping Ltd and currently in service with Norfolk Line.


Merchant Brilliant was launched in 1978 as Norwegian Challenger, originally owned by Steineger & Wik. She was chartered by Norient Line from 1980 - 1981 and then by OT Africa Line from 1981 to 1982. She was sold to Medorient Shipping Lines and renamed Jolly Bruno in 1982 and chartered to Ignazio Messina until 1993, when she was sold to Merchant Ferries. In 2002 she was sold to Cenargo International PLC and chatered to Norse Merchant Ferries. In 2004 she was sold to Brilliant Shipping Ltd, remaining on charter with Norse Merchant Ferries until 2005, when she was on short term charter to Cobelfret Ferries, resuming service with Norse Merchant Ferries later in the year until 2006, when she was chartered to Norfolk Line[1] On 14 December 2006, Merchant Brilliant was placed under arrest in Dublin after the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) obtained a warrant at the High Court, claiming that the Russian and Latvian crew were owed tens of thousands of Euros in unpaid wages.[2] An inspector from the ITF met with representatives of the owner in Dublin on 19 December 2006 to discuss the case.[3] The company agreed to pay the back wages, and the High Court lifted its order preventing the ship from leaving port. The owners then refused crew members permission to go ashore unless the money paid was returned. Eight crew members left the ship.[3] A further dispute about the payment of arrears owed to the crew broke out in February 2007. The ship was moored off Heysham, having sailed from Belfast. The crew were promised payment if they sailed back to Belfast, but eleven of the eighteen crew decided to leave.[4] Norfolk Line had taken the ship off charter on arrival at Heysham as the ship was not being operated in accordance with the charter agreement.[5] The Harbour Master ordered Merchant Brilliant to leave port to make way for incoming ships.[4] The stand-off lasted for four days before a the dispute was settled. Those crew wishing to leave were flown home and a new Russian crew flown in to operate her.[6] A total of US$137,000 was paid to the crew in back pay.[5] She was chartered by Scandlines in 2007 and then by Norfolk Line again in 2008.[1] In January 2008 she was chartered by Seatruck Ferries for use on the Heysham - Warrenpoint route.[7] Later that year she was chartered to P&O Irish Sea and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.[1]


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