CenargoFerriesMerchant FerriesNorse Merchant FerriesP&O European FerriesPandoroPast and PresentRequests

MV Merchant Venture – Past and Present

MV Basem I

ex Shahpaa I, Sunlight Bey, Warsun, Merchant Venture, Merchant Isle, Argenta, Med Adriatico, Farman

 © Robbie Cox

Merchant Venture – © Robbie Cox

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1979 by Est. Nav.De Viana do Castelo S.A., Portugal (Yard No 103) as a RoRo Cargo ship

Technical Data

  • Length: 119.44 m (overall) 108.82 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 19.51 m
  • Depth: 10.72 m
  • Draught: 5.217 m
  • Tonnage: 2933 – 2955 – 6056 gross/1191 – 1112 net/3890 – 3671t deadweight
  • Engines: 2 Vee Oil 4SA 16-cylinder MAN-Sulzer diesels
  • Power: 6399 – 4414 kW/8700 bHP
  • Speed: 15.5 knots
  • Capacity: 12 passengers/12 cars/57 HGV
  • Call Sign: IBTT, GJMN, ….5VCX2
  • MMSI Number: 450527000
  • IMO Number: 7619525
  • Official Number: 987 (Med Adriatico) 386291 (Merchant Venture)
  • Port of Registry: Palermo/Italy, Douglas/Isle of Man (UK), Panama, Beirut/Lebanon, Togo

Current AIS Location

Please note that this specific vessels AIS position data may be over an hour old and that the vessels position will only be displayed when it is within range of the VesselFinder AIS system. The AIS transponder/ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and it is in no way related to the 'Safety of Navigation at Sea'. All the AIS ship position data featured within this article is provided by VesselFinder and we are therefore not responsible for its content or its accuracy.


April 4th 1978: Keel struck.

February 1st 1979: Launched.

August 31st 1979: Delivered to Societa Italiana di Armamenti (SIDERAMA), Venice, Italy.

September 1979: Chartered to GNMTC, Italy for services between Italy – North Africa.

1981: Laid up in Livorno.

1982: Sold to MedlinesS.p.A., Genoa, Italy and renamed MED ADRIATICO.

1982: Services Genoa – Livorno – Algeria.

1985: Sold to an unknown company and renamed ARGENTA.

1985: Chartered to SGMAT for services between Vado Ligure (Italy) – Messina.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (La Spezia, Italy, 23/09/1986)

1987: Sold to Proofband Ltd. (Registered to V. Ships (UK) Ltd., Douglas, Isle of Man) and renamed MERCHANT ISLE.

1987: Services for Merchant Ferries between Heysham – Warrenpoint.

1987: Registered owner; Cenargo Navigation Ltd. Manager; Crescent Shipping and renamed MERCHANT VENTURE.

© Aubrey Dale  © Aubrey Dale

© Aubrey Dale

© Aubrey Dale (All)

© Joe Canavan  © Joe Canavan

© Joe Canavan

© Joe Canavan

1991: Chartered to Pandoro Ltd., Fleetwood for three months operating services between Liverpool – Belfast.

© Robbie Cox

© Robbie Cox (Dublin, 09/08/1992)

November 1995: Services Heysham – Dublin.

September 1998: Chartered to East Coast Ferries, Hull for services Hull – Dunkerque.

Courtesy of PWR  Courtesy of PWR

Courtesy of PWR (Hull, 05/11/1998)

1998 – August 23rd 1999: Laid up in Birkenhead.

August 1999: Services Heysham – Belfast.

© Dave Rimmer

© Dave Rimmer

September 13th 1999 – December 24th 1999: Chartered to P&O European Ferries Irish Sea for services Fleetwood – Larne.

© Aubrey Dale

© Aubrey Dale

January 2004: Merchant Ferries services between Heysham – Belfast.

2001: Laid up in Birkenhead.

April 2002: Services for Norse Merchant Ferries.

September 3rd 2002: Norse Island Ferries between Aberdeen – Lerwick.

November 24th 2002: Laid up in Lerwick with engine problems.

March 18th 2003: Laid up in Birkenhead.

August 2003: Sold to Ivory Marine Lines SA, Dubai and renamed WARSUN.

December 2nd 2003: Left Birkenhead.

2007: Sold to Sunlight Shipping Co, Beirut, Lebanon and renamed SUNLIGHT BEY.


© Angel Luis Godar Moreira (Las Palmas, 28/05/2008)

2008: Rebuilt as a livestock carrier.

June 2014: Sold to unknown buyers in Lomé, Togo and renamed SHAHPAA 1.

September 1st 2016: Sold to Alia Shipping Co Ltd and renamed BASEM I

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Joe Canavan, Robbie Cox, Angel Luis Godar Moreira, PWR, Dave Rimmer, Simonwp and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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