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-Creta Cargo Lines (2016-2021)

current MARILU for Cargo Lines

Built in 1968 (age 56). Was registered in Piraeus. Current line: None in Greece, sold to Cargo Lines for service between Nigeria and Benin

The Ro-Ro carrier NEARCHOS was built in 1968 in Denmark, initially as a passenger ferry. She began her career as the CHRISTIAN IV for the Norwegian company Kristiansands Dampskibsselskap (KDS), being deployed on Hirtshals-Kristiansand line, thus connecting Denmark with Norway on the Skagerrak. Later in 1968, her company was acquired by the Norwegian ferry company Fred. Olsen Lines, and she remained on her usual service until 1984. After being laid-up in Kristiansand, she was sold in late 1984 to the Malaysian company Perbadanan Nasional Berhad. She was renamed PERNAS SAFARI and she was deployed as a military troop carrier in Malaysia. In 1994 she was sold to the Greek company Safari Lines (later the now-defunct company Endeavor Lines). After being converted in Keratsini, she entered service on the Adriatic Sea in early 1995, being deployed on the Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Bari line as the SAFARI. During the summer of the same year she was chartered to the Greek company Stern Maritime Lines and was deployed on the Bari-Corfu-Igoumenitsa-Çeşme line. In 1996 she was sold to the Portuguese company Porto Santo Line, and was converted in Perama before sailing to Portugal under the name LOBO MARINHO. She began service on the Madeira Archipelago, being deployed on the Funchal-Porto Santo line. She was renamed LOBO MARINHO I in 2003, but was then replaced by the newly-built LOBO MARINHO that same year. As a result, she was sold to the Cape Verdean company Cabo Verde Line, and was renamed LOBO DOS MARES. She was deployed on the Praia-Mindelo line, before being sold in 2005 to the Greek company Efstathiou Shipping. She began a small conversion in Drapetsona and was renamed MENHIR. She was supposed to be deployed on the Adriatic Sea, but her owners eventually experienced severe financial difficulties and she was sent for lay-up in Salamina. She went on to spend more than a decade there, with a return to service seeming impossible due to her advanced age. However, against all odds, she was sold in 2016 to the Greek company Creta Cargo Lines. After 11 years of lay-up she began a major conversion in Salamina, during which her stern was extended and her passenger superstructure decks were removed, which resulted in her becoming a Ro-Ro carrier. She was renamed NEARCHOS and entered service on the Piraeus-Andros-Mykonos-Paros-Naxos-Ios-Santorini-Rethymnon line, on the Piraeus-Skyros-Skopelos-Skiathos-Chios-Mytilene-Limnos line, and on the Piraeus-Serifos-Sifnos-Milos line. In 2017 she was deployed on the Lavrion-Mykonos-Paros-Naxos-Santorini-Kos-Rhodes line and on the Lavrion-Skiathos-Skopelos-Chios-Mytilene-Limnos line. In 2018 she operated on the Lavrion-Syros-Tinos-Mykonos-Paros-Naxos-Ios-Santorini-Skiathos-Chios-Mytilene-Limnos line. Later that year she grounded off in Nea Kameni while heading towards Santorini, and her hull was severely damaged. She was repaired in Salamina and resumed service in 2019, being deployed on the Lavrion-Syros-Tinos-Mykonos-Paros-Naxos-Ios-Santorini-Ikaria-Samos-Chios-Mytilene-Limnos line. In 2020 she operated on the Piraeus-Kea-Andros-Syros-Tinos-Mykonos-Paros-Naxos-Ios-Santorini-Ikaria-Samos-Chios-Mytilene-Limnos line. In 2021 she was sold to the Nigerian company Cargo Lines (which collaborates with the Koukianakis family, which owns Creta Cargo Lines) and was renamed MARILU. She was inserted on the Lagos-Cotonou line, transporting containers between Nigeria and Benin on the Gulf of Guinea.

PHOTOS (2019):

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