ro/ro serenissima express

ADRIATICA RoRo Serenissima Express 02_Egidio Ferrighi Se88

Photo © Egidio Ferrighi, Caralis, 1988 #5992



Serenissima Express (1976)

Charter 1976-79

Building Spec.

Hayashikane Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd., Shimonoseki, Japan, 1976 – N° 1196

Call Sign


IMO Number







147,61 x 22,84 x 6,6


1 Mitsubishi – MAN 16V52-55 4S, 11.768 kW


20 knots (22,4 max)







Lane Metres


Sister Ships

Hellenic Carrier († 2010)

Hellenic Trader († 2013)

Italroro One († 2011)

Italroro Three († 2011)

Registry Port




Former Names/Own.

Serenissima Express – Società Mototraghetti Mediterranea 1976-79

New Names/Own.

Calabria – Tirrenia Navigazione 1989-06

Italroro TwoItalroro / Puglia Navigazione 2006-04/2011

Scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey 07/2011




The “Serenissima Express” is the first of three sisters ordered by the shipowner Russotti from Catania, for his company Mongibel International; they were an evolution of an Hayashikane shipyard’s project, which had already gave birth to other two vessels delivered to Japanese shipowners, which were different only on weather deck, enclosed on the three “Italian” sisters. The property of the ferries was transferred to Società Mototraghetti Mediterranea, belonging to the same shipowner, and the company chartered the sisters to Adriatica Navigazione, which intended to deploy the vessels on North Europe - Mediterranean services. Anyway the price agreed upon between Adriatica and So.Mo.Me. caused many right polemics in Italy: Adriatica had to pay to So.Mo.Me 50 billions of Italian Lires for five years of three-ship charter. To understand better how much high was this charter fee, we can say that, according to Istat, this fee is corresponding to  about 210 millions of 2009 Euros. This transaction caused a judicial enquiry which forced Adriatica to buy the three vessels, and this scandal, damaging again the pockets of Italian taxpayers, brought to the three vessels the nickname of “Golden Ferries”, where it’s easy to understand that the “golden” is not related to the hull colour. Being deployed on Adriatica lines to Northern Europe from the delivery to the end of the service, which came in 1978, was then moved to Middle East services to Aqaba (Jordan), Alexandria (Egypt) and Limassol (Cyprus). In 1984 was chartered with the sister “Anglia Express” to Sitra, deployed between Genoa, La Spezia and Palermo; then was employed also on Tirrenia routes; the Naples-based company finally bought her from Adriatica in 1989, renaming the vessel “Calabria” and serving Sardinia and Sicily from both Naples and Genoa ports. On September 2006, was sold “en-bloc” with her two sisters to Puglia Navigazione, renamed “Italroro Two” and maintaining the Italian flag, changing only the registry port from Naples to Bari. Deployed between Bari and Canakkale, near Istanbul, on Asian coast of Dardanelles, aiming to establish between Southern Italy and Turkey a strong sea bridge, she offered three sailings per-week working in tandem with her sister “Italroro One”; anyway the project was not successful and the ferry was engaged in a long serie of charters. The first important charter of this vessel was concluded after 28 days of detention in Turkey, and was an attempt to compete with the Greek sisters of this vessel sailing under Hellenic Seaways’s colours on Corinth – Venice line. The vessel was soon released from this occupation and used for a trip between Turkey and Albania; was then chartered to Navigazione Stretto di Messina, a company formed by two consortiums of Sicilian road hauliers, for a new Leghorn – Termini Imerese line. This service anyway had a very short life, started on July 9th, 2007, and finished at the end of August, due to unpaid charter wages; the following charter was to SNAV, which signed with Puglia di Navigazione a two-year contract to use the ferry on its main route Naples – Palermo, with also a weekly trip to Caralis; SNAV engaged her also on the famous “rubbish trips”, carrying garbage trucks from Naples to Sardinian incinerators. The charter anyway didn’t lasted even a quarter of what stated on the agreement between Italroro and SNAV and the “Italroro Two” was delivered back to the owners on April 30th, 2008, after some problems happened to the ship; for these reasons Italroro intended to send the ship to Genoa yards for repairs, but due to unavailability of these yards, was sent to Augusta, Sicily. Anyway the ferry was arrested there and remained moored in the Sicilian port until April 2011, when finally the Bari Court, which during the previous three years ordered various auctions trying to find a buyer for her after the bankruptcy of the owner, sold the ferry to Turkish breakers at the amount of Euro 2.000.000; this is a big pity, considering that she was the most representative of this trio of sisters, and the one who carried the “Serenissima” name, the famous nickname of Venice, Adriatica’s homeport.


ADRIATICA RoRo Serenissima Express 05_Jeanburlon

The ferry just delivered without the St. Mark’s Lion on the funnel – Photo from Jeanburlon’s collection #6327


ADRIATICA RoRo Serenissima Express 01_Commis coll

Photo from Commis’s collection #5968


ADRIATICA RoRo Serenissima Express 04_Jeanburlon

Photo from Jeanburlon’s collection #6326


TIRRENIA RoRo Calabria 07_Personale 04Gi06

TIRRENIA NAVIGAZIONE Ro/Ro Calabria – Photo © Michele Lulurgas, Genoa, 04/06/06 #4356


TIRRENIA RoRo Calabria 12_Personale 04Gi06

TIRRENIA NAVIGAZIONE Ro/Ro Calabria – Photo © Michele Lulurgas, Genoa, 04/06/06 #4361


ITALRORO RoRo Italroro Two 01_Alessandro Orfanù 10Ap07

ITALRORO PUGLIA NAVIGAZIONE Ro/Ro Italroro Two – Photo © Alessandro Orfanù, Bari, 10/04/07 #6478


adriatica                                  home