SPORADES STAR (ΣΠΟΡΑΔΕΣ ΣΤΑΡ)

-Sea Jets

ex-AQUA STAR (ΑΚΟΥΑ ΣΤΑΡ), also for Sea Jets (2021-2022)

Built in 1975 (age 47). Registered in Piraeus. Current line: Volos-Skiathos-Skopelos-Alonissos

The conventional ferry SPORADES STAR was ordered in 1969 by the French company Angleterre Alsace Lorraine Société Anonyme de Navigation, which was one of the companies that became part of the Channel-based Sealink consortium. Expected to be delivered in 1972, the Italian shipyard in which she was built suffered major financial difficulties, and it was not until 1975 that she was finally completed in Italy and was delivered to her company. She began service as the train ferry SAINT ELOI on the Dunkirk-Dover line on the Channel, where she remained for 10 years. In 1986 she was inserted on the Calais-Dover line while being chartered to French railway company SNCF, still under the umbrella of Sealink, which had been renamed Sealink British Ferries in 1984. She returned to the Dunkirk-Dover line later that year. In 1987 she collided with her fleetmate CAMBRIDGE FERRY in Dover, which resulted in her hull being badly damaged. She was repaired in Dunkirk and resumed service on the Dieppe-Newhaven line. In 1988 she returned to the Calais-Dover line under the management of SNCF. That same year she collided with the breakwater in Dover, and her hull was once again damaged. She was repaired and resumed service. In 1989 she was renamed CHANNEL ENTENTE and continued to serve the Calais-Dover line until 1990. That same year, she was sold to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, and she entered service on the Heysham-Douglas line on the Irish Sea. In late 1990 she underwent a major conversion in Birkenhead, during which she was renamed KING ORRY. She was then deployed on the Liverpool-Heysham-Douglas line, where she remained until 1998. She was then sold to the Italian company Moby Lines, and was renamed MOBY LOVE. After a conversion in Livorno, she was renamed MOBY LOVE 2 and began service on the Piombino-Elba line in 1999. She was once again renamed MOBY LOVE in 2002. In 2017 she was sold to Greek company Portucalence Shipping, which was renamed Hellenic Med Ferries in 2018. The ship arrived in Drapetsona and was renamed AEOLOS. With the length of her conversion taking longer than expected, she was sent to Turkey, where her refit was completed in 2018. Despite this, she did not enter service for Hellenic Med Ferries. Instead, she was chartered to Atlântico Line for service on the Azores Islands Archipelago in 2019. She was renamed AZORES EXPRESS and began preparations in Perama. However, she was not ready in the time requested by the charterer, and therefore did not go to the Azores. Later in the summer she was sent to operate on the Alexandroupolis-Samothraki line in response to the coastal shipping crisis caused by the company Saos Ferries, whose three ships all suffered engine failures. However, the AZORES EXPRESS was never able to complete her first trip, due to being too large to enter the port of Kamariotissa in Samothraki, hence adding an additional episode to the island's fiasco. She subsequently returned to Perama, where she remained laid-up for the next two years, until she was sold to Sea Jets in 2021. She was renamed AQUA STAR and was deployed on the Lavrion-Chios-Agios Efstratios-Limnos-Kavala line on the Northeast Aegean Sea. In 2022 she underwent a refit in Chalkida, during which she was renamed SPORADES STAR, and she was then deployed on the Volos-Skiathos-Skopelos-Alonissos line on the Sporades.

PHOTOS (2021):

AQUA STAR
AQUA STAR

The AQUA STAR seen in Lavrion, during her debut season for Sea Jets (9/2021).

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AQUA STAR
AQUA STAR

The AQUA STAR docked in Lavrion (9/2021).

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AQUA STAR
AQUA STAR

The AQUA STAR docked in Lavrion (9/2021).

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AQUA STAR
AQUA STAR

The AQUA STAR docked in Lavrion (9/2021).

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AQUA STAR
AQUA STAR

The AQUA STAR resting in Lavrion (9/2021).

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AQUA STAR
AQUA STAR

The AQUA STAR resting in Lavrion (9/2021).

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AQUA STAR
AQUA STAR

The AQUA STAR seen in Lavrion, in what was my last picture of the ship under that name. She was renamed SPORADES STAR ahead of the 2022 season (9/2021).

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