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-Saos Ferries

Built in 1994 (age 30). Registered in Piraeus. Current line: Lavrion-Kea-Kythnos-Marmari-Andros-Tinos-Syros-Paros-Naxos-Donousa-Amorgos-Koufonisi-Schoinousa-Irakleia-Folegandros-Sikinos-Ios-Thirassia-Santorini-Anafi


The conventional ferry SAONISOS was built in Japan in 1994, originally as a Ro-Ro carrier. She began service as the ROKKŌ EXPRESS for Kanku Cargo, being deployed on the Kobe-Takamatsu line. In 2000 she was sold to Higashi Nihonkai Ferry, a subsidiary of Higashi Nihon Ferry, and was renamed LIBERTY BELL. She began service on the Wakkanai-Rishiri-Rebun line, where she remained until 2007. That year, she was sold to the Greek company Saos Ferries. She arrived in Drapetsona under the name LIBERTY B, and was due to begin a conversion into a passenger ferry before entering service on the Aegean Sea. However, because Saos Ferries began to experience severe financial difficulties, plans to convert the ship were put on hold, and the ship was sent for lay-up in Elefsina in 2008, where she remained abandoned for five years. In 2013, after Saos Ferries finally managed to experience an economic recovery, the ship began her conversion in Keratsini, and was renamed SAONISOS. Her conversion eventually lasted two years, and was completed in 2015 in Perama, whereupon she received new passenger-oriented decks, new lounge areas, new engines and sun deck areas. She was due to begin service in 2016 on the Alexandroupolis-Samothraki line on the Northeast Aegean Sea, but she was eventually laid-up in Alexandroupolis due to bureaucratic issues. She was unable to enter service in 2017 for the same reasons, being laid-up in Drapetsona during that time. She finally began service on the Alexandroupolis-Samothraki line in 2018, five years after her conversion began and 11 years after her purchase by Saos Ferries. In 2019 she suffered a major engine failure in Alexandroupolis, becoming the first of the three ships of Saos Ferries to experience technical issues in the middle of the high season, which left Samothraki isolated from mainland Greece. With Saos Ferries abandoning the line in order to begin operating on the Dodecanese, the SAONISOS arrived in Perama in 2020, and underwent a small conversion whereupon she received new passenger and crew cabins. She was supposed to enter service on the inter-Cyclades lifeline in 2021, but she instead was laid-up in Lavrion. She eventually returned to service in 2023, as she was introduced on the Mantoudi-Skiathos-Skopelos-Alonissos line on the Sporades.

PHOTOS (2020, 2021):

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