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Ro/Ro AEGEAN HEAVEN

AEGEAN CARGO RoRo Aegean Heaven 04_Personale 05Ag10

Photo © Michele Lulurgas, Perama, 05/08/10 #9881

 

Ship

Aegean Heaven (2008)

Building Spec.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd,

Shimonoseki, Japan, 1999 – N°1093

Call Sign

9HKC9

IMO Number

9203605

GRT

23.503

DWT

5.618

Dimensions

199,5 x 24,5 x 6,91

Engines

2 NKK – SEMT Pielstick 18PC4-2B, 47660 kW

Speed

30 knots

Passengers

12

Beds

12 in 6 cabins

Cars

46 in lower hold

Lane Metres

2.700

Sister ships

Hokkaido Maru († 2014)

Registry Port

Valletta

Flag

Malta

Former Names/Own.

Sun Flower TomakomaiBlue Highway Line 1999-00

Sun Flower TomakomaiAdvanced Transport / Blue Line 2000-01

Sunflower TomakomaiMOL Ferry – Shosen Mitsui 2001-08

Chartered to Japanese Government 06/2002

New Names/Owners

Chartered to Acciona Trasmediterranea 07/2008-03/2010

AysheEKOL 08/2014à (charter)

Line

 

 

The shipping world at the end of 1990’s was surely in the “speed age” it should not surprise that these years Japanese operators were considering order a pure ro/ro capable of a 30 knots cruise-speed. This ferry was launched in 1999 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in their Shimonoseki shipyard, some months before her sister, and named “Sun Flower Tomakomai” for the owner Blue Highway Line. The ferry was designed to operate a speed of 30 knots at 75% MCR, but during trials was capable of 32 knots, a never seen speed on a pure freighter. This performance allowed her to cut the travel time between Tokyo and Tomakomai (Hokkaido) by 10 hours, completing the 548 nautical miles between the two ports in 20 hours rather than the 30 required by the former sisters engaged on the service, the older “Tokyo Maru” and “Tomakomai Maru”. These two sisters finally left Japan for Greece, being bought by Express Sea Trailers of Kostas Agapitos, while the “Sun Flower Tomakomai” was awarded “Ship of the Year 2000” by Japanese Naval architects and “Nihon Keizai Shimbun Award”, the award assigned to the fastest ro/ro cargo ferry in the world. When her fuel consumption of 182 tons every 24 hours started to become a problem, the ferry was often laid up; on June 2002 was also chartered to the Japanese Government, which intended to use her as a floating prison for the “hooligans” during 2002 Football World Cup, by anchoring the “Sunflower Tomakomai” (which received the artist name of “Fuurigan Maru – Good Ship Hooligan” for the event) off Hokkaido ready to offer a pleasant “cruise” to Tokyo and from there to Ushiku prison for up to 630 hooligans. Anyway the English supporters, which were the designed “guests” of the “cruise” didn’t had a particular negative behaviour, so the Japanese taxpayers were able to save a lot of money in fuel. Finally the ship was laid up in Yokohama from March 2007 awaiting a new buyer: this was found on December of the same year for 27 millions Euro: it was Kostas Agapitos of Aegean Cargo, the same shipowner which buyed the former TokyoTomakomai ferries in 1999 displaced by this one. The ferry started the trip to Greece as the “Aegean Heaven” and when arrived in Piraeus the afternoon of February 29th, had still the MOL Ferry – Shosen Mitsui livery displayed on her hull. After few days in the Main Port, the “Aegean Heaven” left for the Neo Molo DEH of Keratsini, where the conversion work on her started; in the meantime, many speculations were made over her future employment: Adriatic Sea, Domestic services or, instead, Greece – Cyprus – Israel line. The final result of her conversion is a very smart ro/ro: the stern starboard ramp was moved to stern and takes to the upper garage, while the starboard bow ramp leads to the main garage; this allow, if the ferry is moored properly, to load independently the two decks at the same time; anyway there is a tilting ramp between the main garage and the upper one. The ship retains also the lower deck for 46 cars, but the most interesting modify carried in Greece was the conversion of the weather deck in order to carry cargo by strengthening all the superstructure and building a fixed ramp between the upper garage and the weather deck, completed by a tilting door to be closed at sea. At the final stages of conversion the colours of Aegean Cargo appeared on her funnel, but only for a while: they were replaced by the red/white of Acciona Trasmediterranea, which chartered her for BarcelonaCadizTanger – Canarias line for a year, with an option for extending the charter to a second year. On this service, the “Aegean Heaven” made a record, as being the first ship to connect Canarias and Spain in less than 24 hours. At the end of the charter, in March 2010, was laid up, first at Perama, later in Eleusis bay, failing to find a charter also because of her high fuel consumption. I’s a big pity, this because she could have been converted as a ro/pax, and also because she could have been very competitive on routes such as Adriatic services or Piraeus – Limassol line, which could have been covered in about 22 hours with an average speed of 24 knots and about 18 hours at 30 knots average speed, being able to offer three sailings a-week from each port. During Summer 2014 she left her lay-up to be chartered to the Turkish operator EKOL, to be employed between Istanbul and Sete.

 

SUN FLOWER LINE RoRo Sunflower Tomakomai 01

SUN FLOWER LINE Ro/Ro Sunflower Tomakomai – official Sun Flower Line Photo #8747

 

AEGEAN CARGO RoRo Aegean Heaven 01_George Giannakis 29Fe08

Photo © George Giannakis, Piraeus, 29/02/08 #8414

 

AEGEAN CARGO RoRo Aegean Heaven 03_Personale 29Gi08

Photo © Michele Lulurgas, Neo Molo DEH (Keratsini), 29/06/08 #8748

 

TRASMEDITERRANEA RoRo Aegean Heaven 01_Apostolos Kaknis 18Lu08

ACCIONA TRASMEDITERRANEA Ro/Ro Aegean Heaven – Photo © Apostolos Kaknis, Neo Molo DEH (Keratsini), 18/07/08 #8749

 

TRASMEDITERRANEA RoRo Aegean Heaven 02_Apostolos Kaknis 18Lu08

ACCIONA TRASMEDITERRANEA Ro/Ro Aegean Heaven – Photo © Apostolos Kaknis, Neo Molo DEH (Keratsini), 18/07/08 #8750

 

TRASMEDITERRANEA RoRo Aegean Heaven 03_Apostolos Kaknis 08Se08

ACCIONA TRASMEDITERRANEA Ro/Ro Aegean Heaven – Photo © Apostolos Kaknis, Arrecife, 08/09/08 #8751

 

TRASMEDITERRANEA RoRo Aegean Heaven 04_Apostolos Kaknis 10Ot08

ACCIONA TRASMEDITERRANEA Ro/Ro Aegean Heaven – Photo © Apostolos Kaknis, Barcelona, 10/10/08 #8752

 

TRASMEDITERRANEA RoRo Aegean Heaven 05_Apostolos Kaknis 21Ot08

ACCIONA TRASMEDITERRANEA Ro/Ro Aegean Heaven – Photo © Apostolos Kaknis, Tenerife, 21/10/08 #8753

 

AEGEAN CARGO RoRo Aegean Heaven 06_Personale 08Ag10

Photo © Michele Lulurgas, Perama, 08/08/10 #10988

 

Photo © Michele Lulurgas, Perama, 28/06/2014 #14082

 

Photo © Michele Lulurgas, Perama, 28/06/2014 #14084

 

Photo © Michele Lulurgas, Perama, 28/06/2014 #14086

 

Photo © Michele Lulurgas, Perama, 30/06/2014 #14404

 

 

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