Photo © Per Jensen



Charm M(1995)


Building Spec.

1967 at ARNO, Dunkerque, France N° 16/108

Call Sign


IMO Number







134,63 x 21,24 x 4,82


2 De Bretagne - Pielstick 7.063 kW


17 knots







Lane Metres


Sister ships

Talya I

Registry Port

Piraeus as “Viscountess M”

Limassol as “Charm M”


Greek, then Cyprus

Former Owners

P&O Normandy Ferries 1967-86

P&O 1986-92

Former Names

Dragon 1967-86

Ionic Ferry 1986-92

Viscountess M 1992-94

New Owners

GESCO 1998-00 Access Ferries 2000-03

Scrapped in 2003

New names

Memed Abashidze 1998-00

Med 2000

Mega 2000

Millennium Express II 2000-03





Sister ship of “Countess M”, reached the Marlines fleet five years later, in 1992. Marlines had choosen a similar name to “Countess M” to underline the sistership, “Viscountess M”, although she didn’t look identical as the “Countess M” because of her little rebuilt, which made the “Countess M” far better of her. The “Viscountess M” was probably the only ship in Marlines ownership flying the Greek Flag, registered in Piraeus, although I can’t understand why she was Greek Flagged: probably Marlines aimed to enter the Greek domestic market. On 15/08/93 was used to evacuate 1.000 Greek citizens from the Abkazia city because of the Civil War. From 1992 to 1994 the ship was never employed in a timetable, being used in all the services according to the moment’s need; in summer 1994 substituted on Bari - Igoumenitsa - Patras - Cesme line substituting the “Baroness M” diverted to Ancona, remaining on that line also the following year, after being renamed “Charm M”, performing the Patras - Bari line via Igoumenitsa in 24 hours, a truly unbelievable timetable, probably the ever slowest on that line, linking Bari to Turkey only once a week arriving only at Patras on the other departure. On the last year of service for Marlines she served the Ancona - Turkey line, departing on Saturday from Ancona to Heraklion and Cesme and coming back from Turkey on Wednesday morning stopping also at Patras and performing another unbelievable timetable: departing from Patras at 03.00 in Friday, she arrived in Ancona Saturday at 13.00 without calling in any port! However, the most awful thing was another: everyone who travelled aboard Marlines (except for “Dame M”) never talked of these ships as the best ones in Adriatic, but when she was kept under arrest in Ancona on August 1996 all the things revealed by port authorities were unbelievable: all the ship was unclean and in the chaos, a bad smell came all around from the engine room (in 1993 the engines had a serious malfunction and the ship was laid up for four months), the malfunction of air conditioning, and also, the big problems to the toilets! Although Marlines has stated to sold for scrap the ship in 1997, she was acquired by the GESCO, the state-owned Georgian Company and renamed “Memed Abashidze”. Under Georgian ownership she linked Venice and Batumi, on Black Sea; the question is, considering the speed of the vessel, how many years were needed to sail between these two ports. In 2000 became the third ferry of Access Ferries: after the “Hermes” and “Millennium Express”, was named “Millennium Express II” and substituted the “Millennium Express” between Piraeus, Cyprus and Israel. After only a month of service was put on Brindisi - Cesme trade. From October 2000 was laid up at the Keratsini quay. Resumed on her Brindisi service for 2001; in 2002 was intended to link Bari with Durres in Albania, but, on her way from Keratsini to Bari, the ship was caught by fire when she was in front of Pylos, in Western Peloponnnese. No one was injured, howevewer it’s rather impossible that the “Millennium Express II” would come back in service; in fact the ship was sold to Aliaga breakers in April 2003. I have not any photo of her as “Viscountess M”: if anyone has it please E-Mail me.


NORMANDY FERRIES F/B Dragon photo from Pieter Inpijn’s collection


P&O FERRIES F/B Dragon photo from Pieter Inpijn’s collection


P&O F/B Ionic Ferry photo from Pieter Inpijn’s collection


Photo © Michele Lulurgas, Patras, 30/07/95


Photo © Daniele Miglio


The “Millennium Express II” at Keratsini, 08/10/00, photo © Michele Lulurgas


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