Photo © Spiridon E. Zervos, Patras, 1994 #1469



Ionian Star (1994)

Building Spec.

1992 at Van Der Giessen - De Noord yard, Krimpen, Holland N° 957 rebuilt at Perama yards, Greece, 1994

Call Sign


IMO Number







150,42 x 23,4 x 13,4


2 Zgoda-Sulzer, 11.528 kW


19,7 knots




260 in 85 cabins



Lane Metres


Sister ships

Espresso Catania

Espresso Ravenna



Via Adriatico

Via Tirreno

Registry Port

Palermo 1994-96

Piraeus 1996-99


Italian 1994-96;

Greek 1996-99

Former Owners

Finmare - Viamare 1992-94

Former Names

Via Ligure 1992-94

New Owners

Compagnie Meridionale Navigation 1999à

New Names

Scandola 1999à





Built in 1992 as a ro/ro ship, was part of a seven-ship order placed by the Italian Finmare group to Fincantieri and Van Der Giessen-De Noord yard of Krimpen, Holland, where this ship was built. This ship was the first to be delivered to the Italian group, having a lot of similitudes with the older family of ro/ros of Tirrenia, known as “staffettoni”, particularly the hull dimensions, the ship design, the engines and the speed. Two of these sisters were assigned to the most famous operator of Finmare Group, Tirrenia, the other five instead were bearing the new Viamare brand, a new company which aimed an impossible mission, to take the cargo traffic from Northern Italy to Southern Italy by sea and not by road. After only two years the ship was chartered to Strintzis Lines, which bought her two years later, with the proposal to rebuild her as a passenger - ship with camping aboard area like the “Erotokritos” of Minoan Lines, which was the only ship in Ancona - Greece service with these characteristics. Rebuilt at Perama, she still looks like her sisters, although she has been changed a lot at the stern. Surprisingly, is the only “viamare” class ferry to have been converted to passenger ferry, even if also Tirrenia planned to rebuild two of the six sisters in their hands. Launched on the Ancona - Igoumenitsa - Patras line in June 1994, was publicized as “Ionian Star II”, but was renamed only “Ionian Star”, retaining until 1996 both Italian flag and the majority of the crew Italian. She left Italy on Tuesday at 13.00 and Friday at 21.00, coming back from Patras on Wednesday at 23.50 and on Sunday at 13.00. On the following season was on a direct service Ancona - Patras (27 hours), with departures from Ancona on Tuesday and Friday at 13.00 and from Patras the following day at 22.00; on 1996 and 1997 started again sailing also to Igoumenitsa, departing same days at the same hours of 1995 from Ancona and from Patras on Wednesday and Sunday. in 1998 she served both Ancona and Venice ports passing also by Corfu and Igoumenitsa, sailing from Patras to Venice on Saturday at 22.30 (return on Monday at 17.00) and from Patras to Ancona on Wednesday at 23.00 (return on Friday at 12.00). In 1999 was sold to CMN for the line Marseille - Ajaccio. I travelled aboard “Ionian Star” twice, in 1994 and 1997: my impression was that she was the cruise-ferry anthitesis: the public areas aboard were only a big lounge in the middle of the ship: in the centre of the lounge was the self-service, the cinema and the casino were very small, no restaurant, no swimming-pool, no disco, neither air-type seats! Sailing aboard Ionian Star for 30 hours was very difficult!


VIAMARE Ro/Ro Via Ligure, photo Van Der Giessen-De Noord, by courtesy of Xavier Maillard


VIAMARE Ro/Ro Via Ligure, photo Van Der Giessen-De Noord, by courtesy of Xavier Maillard


Photo © Michele Lulurgas, Ancona port, 31/07/95


Photo © Michele Lulurgas , Patras sea, 18/06/96


CMN F/B Scandola photo © Jullien Eric


CMN F/B Scandola  - Photo © Francesco Bassano, Propriano, 18/06/05 #1636


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