Photo © Michele Lulurgas, Piraeus, 16/08/05 #2017



Anthi Marina (2003)


Building Spec.

Schichau Unterweser, Bremerhaven, Germany 1979, N° 2279

Call Sign


IMO Number







163,39 x 26,18 x 5,75


3 Sulzer, 17.650 kW


23,75 knots







Lane Metres


Sister Ships

Herald of Free Enterprise (sunk in 1987)


Registry Port




Former Owners

Townsend Thoresen 1979-87

P&O 1987-1998

P&O Stena 1998-02

P&O 2002-03

Former Names

Spirit of Free Enterprise 1979-87

Pride of Kent 1987-98

P&O SL Kent 1998-02

PO Kent 2002-03

New Owners


New Names



Piraeus – Syros – Mykonos – Patmos – Leros – Kos – Rhodes;

Piraeus – Mykonos – Tinos – Syros



Often we hear someone who says   Everyone has his tastes„ or “Germans are the best car makers in the world„. Well, the first sentence is surely true, but I think that it’s very difficult to find someone who likes the “Anthi Marina”… I remember that John May, the author of “Greek Ferries”, a wonderful book about shipping in Greece, talking about the “Lissos” formed the hypothesis that the naval architect who designed her was afflicted by allucinations… probably the author of “Spirit of Free Enterprise” class of ferries should have had the same problem! John May also wrote about another ship (I don’t remember which one however) that, although arriving in Crete very early in the morning and sailing back to Piraeus only in the evening, the passengers were disembarked with great rapidity, probably because the company didn’t want to allow the passengers wiewing the uglyness of the ferry they had travelled aboard; I think also G.A. Ferries should do the same thing! About the last sentence, surely Germans can make very good cars as, for example, the VW Golf, the VW Passat, the Mercedes “E” series, the BMW cars, the Audi cars… but honestly as ferry builders they’re not at the first place! In fact, some “top models” like “Viking Line” class of ferries (which includes the “Express Olympia”) and the first pair of Superfast twins have German roots; I don’t want to make any other example because I don’t want legal troubles, but I could say many other things about German-built ferries…however, talking about this ferry, the “Spirit of Free Enterprise” was launched in 1979 and left Bremerhaven yards on January 1980 to link the English port of Dover to Calais in France and Zeebrugge in Belgium under Townsend Thoresen’s colours; she was the first of three sisters: the most famous one was the “Herald of Free Enterprise”, well known first because of the record Channel crossing of July 1980, when she linked Dover and Calais in 52 minutes and 53 seconds, then because of her tragedy, happened on March 6th, 1987, when soon after the departure from Zeebrugge she capsized causing the death of 193 passengers. Probably also because of that tragedy the English “TT” ceased their services and the ferries were sold to P&O, maintaining the same services; the “Spirit” was renamed “Pride of Kent”. At the end of 1991 P&O decided to rebuilt the ferry at Fincantieri yard of Palermo, Italy; she returned from Italy lengthened by 32 metres and with increased figures of GRT, DWT, passenger and cargo capacity, but her unique ugliness remained the same! She maintained the same link between Dover and Calais for 11 years between June 1992 and June 2003, but she changed her name two times: the first one at the end of 1998, under the alliance between P&O and Stena Line, when she was renamed “P&O SL Kent” and then, at the end of the alliance, from November 2002 to June 2003 she beared the name “PO Kent”. When she was bought by G.A. Ferries, the owner Gerasimos Agoudimos was searching a ferry able to front the swift “Blue Star 1” of Attica Enterprises: the solution was this ferry, capable of a maximum speed of 23,75 knots; in fact the “Anthi Marina” sails to Rhodes the same days of “Blue Star 1” departing two hours earlier. I don’t know the origin of “Anthi Marina” name, probably it’s a spell of “Rodanthi” and “Marina”; in my opinion, as the Greek word “anthi” (anqh) means “in front of” or also “opposite”, as I saw in some G.A. Ferries advertisings, this ship is really the opposite of “Marina”, both for the ugly exterior appearance and the interiors, typical of a ‘60/’70’s ferry which wasn’t converted as a “cruise-ferry”. After a spell serving only Rhodes, she started again serving also Patmos, Leros, Kos, Syros and Mykonos; it seems that for economic reasons the ferry maintains a cruise-speed of 18 knots. What a delusion…


TOWNSEND THORESEN F/B Spirit of Free Enterprise – Photo © Brian Fisher, Calais, March 1986 #3293


TOWNSEND THORESEN F/B Spirit of Free Enterprise – Photo © John Van Zijderveld, Channel sea


P&O FERRIES F/B Pride of Kent before lengthening work – Photo from Micke Asklander’s collection


P&O FERRIES F/B Pride of Kent before lengthening work – Photo © Brian Fisher, Dover, July 1990 #3296


P&O FERRIES F/B Pride of Kent, photo from Micke Asklander’s collection


P&O STENA F/B P&OSL Kent – Photo © Pieter Inpijn, Calais, 1999 #3297


G.A. FERRIES F/B Anthi Marina under refit – Photo © Stathis Livieratos, 26/08/03


Photo © Stathis Livieratos, Piraeus


Photo © Dominik Wagner, Piraeus, April 2004


Photo © Dominik Wagner,  Piraeus, April 2004


Photo © Dinos Lemonis, Sifnos #3008


Photo © Michele Lulurgas, Piraeus, 16/08/05 #2011


Photo © Michele Lulurgas, Piraeus, 16/08/05 #2014


Photo © Michele Lulurgas, Piraeus, 16/08/05 #2015


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