Angleterre-Lorraine-Alsace (ALA)FerriesIsle of Man Steam Packet Company (IoMSPCo)Moby LinesPast and PresentSeajetsSealinkSociété Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF)

MV Sporades Star (Ex Saint Eloi) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 7207451

MV Sporades Star

ex Aqua Star, Azores Express, Aeolos, Moby Love, Moby Love 2, King Orry, Channel Entente, Saint Eloi

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw motor vessel built by Cantieri Navali di Pietra Ligure, Genoa. Italy (Yard No. 12) for the Societe Anonyme de Navigation Angleterre-Lorraine-Alsace (or A.L.A. for short) in 1972 as a multi-purpose passenger and roll-on roll-off ferry for cars, lorries and railway vehicles  

Technical Data

  • Length on Deck: 114.59m(375.9 ft) (overall)/107.88m (354 ft) (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth of Hull: 18.62m(61 ft) (extreme)
  • Depth: ¬†37.8 ft (moulded)
  • Draught: 4.11m(13.5 ft) (maximum)
  • Tonnage: ¬†4,649 – 5,435 gross/1,849 net/1,118 deadweight
  • Engines: Two 16-cylinder Atlantique/Pielstick four-stroke single-acting diesels
  • Power: 12652 kW
  • Speed:¬†21.8 knots
  • Capacity: 1,000 passengers and 160 cars; or 35 freight rail wagons; or 10 sleeping¬†coaches and 11 freight rail wagons.
  • Call Sign: FNKC, IBDB, SVAJ3
  • MMSI Number: 241584000
  • IMO Number: 7207451
  • Registry: Dunkerque/France ūüáęūüá∑, Nassau/Bahamas ūüáßūüáł, Douglas/Isle of Man ūüáģūüá≤, Livorno/Italy ūüáģūüáĻ, Naples/Italy ūüáģūüáĻ, Piraeus/Greece ūüá¨ūüá∑

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.


November 24th 1969: Ordered

January 24th 1969: Keel struck

February 26th 1972: Launched

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

1972: Expected delivery date of October, but owing to liquidation of her builders she was seized by creditors and delivery was severely delayed. Laid up in Genoa.

July 1st 1972: Work recommenced at builders after the Italian Government gave financial support. Delivery set for early 1975.

February 1975: Delivered to Angleterre Lorraine Alsace S.A. de Navigation (ALA), Dunkerque, France. She had only one lifeboat on her bridge deck: The second pair was added later.

March 1st 1975: Arrived in Dunkerque.

Nigel Thornton Collection Nigel Thornton Collection  

Nigel Thornton Collection Nigel Thornton Collection  

Nigel Thornton Collection

March 12th 1975: Commenced service between Dunkerque-Dover.

March 23rd 1977: Angleterre Lorraine Alsace S.A. de Navigation (ALA) became a French operated wholly owned subsidiary of British Rail.

© A G Jones © Bob Scott  

© A G Jones (Left) and © Bob Scott (Right)

© Mike Sartin © Mike Sartin  

© Mike Sartin

April 12th 1982: Holed whilst berthing at Dover. Proceeded straight to dry-dock and was back in service within 72 hours.

September 28th 1985: Commenced service as a freight ferry.

© Ken Larwood © Ken Larwood 

© Ken Larwood

May 27th 1986 – September 27th 1986: Chartered to SNCF. Operated between Calais – Dover western docks.

Courtesy of Jim Ashby Courtesy of Jim Ashby  

Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Onboard the St Eloi

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby

September 27th 1986: Operated as a freight ferry between Dover – Dunkerque.

© Fotoflite   

© Fotoflite (Left) and © Brian Fisher (Right)

May 1st 1987: Involved in a collision with the CAMBRIDGE FERRY 700 yards off Dover Breakwater as a result of which both vessels were badly damaged. Sent to Dunkerque for repairs.

© Ian Lillford © Ian Lillford © Ian Lillford © Ian Lillford

© Ian Lillford

© Mike Sartin © Mike Sartin  

© Mike Sartin © Mike Sartin  

© Mike Sartin

© Cédric Cassegrain © Cédric Cassegrain © Cédric Cassegrain © Cédric Cassegrain

© Cédric Cassegrain (@ Dunkerque)

© Deck 5

ūüÜē ¬© Deck 5

May 16th 1987: Back in service.

1987 (summer): Operated as cover Newhaven РDieppe.

Nigel Thornton Collection   

Nigel Thornton Collection (Left) and the Bernt Anderson Collection (Right)

1987: “Preliminary report on an investigation into modifications aimed at increasing the commercial vehicle capacity…….”. Never materialised.

bar002  Courtesy of Terry Conyberre

Courtesy of Terry Conyberre  Courtesy of Terry Conyberre

Courtesy of Terry Conyberre  Courtesy of Terry Conyberre

Courtesy of Terry Conyberre

Courtesy of Terry Conybeare

March 27th 1988: Introduced as a night freight service Folkestone РBoulogne.

April 24th 1988: Final day in service between Dover РDunkerque.

© Pieter Inpyn

© Pieter Inpyn (Dunkerque 01/05/1988)

May 27th 1988 РSeptember 1988: Operated between Calais РDover Western Docks.

© Fotoflite, Roy Thornton Collection © Fotoflite, Roy Thornton Collection  

© Fotoflite

July 23rd 1988: Collided with the breakwater in Dover, suffered a badly dented stem.

Ferry Publications Library

Ferry Publications Library

© Mike Sartin © Mike Sartin  

© Mike Sartin

© Nigel Thornton © Nigel Thornton  

© Nigel Thornton

January 8th 1989 – April 2nd 1989: Operated between Stranraer – Larne freight sailings

© Aubrey Dale

© Aubrey Dale

January 8th 1989 – April 2nd 1989: Operated between Stranraer – Larne freight sailings

April 3rd 1989 – April 28th 1989: Operated between Holyhead – Dun Laoghaire on passenger sailings, as relief for ST COLUMBA which went to Bremerhaven for overhaul.

Sealink Heritage

Courtesy of Sealink Heritage

May 20th 1989: Renamed CHANNEL ENTENTE.

Courtesy of Ed Connell Courtesy of Ed Connell  

Courtesy of Ed Connell

May 25th 1989: Commenced summer service between Calais РDover Western Docks.

© Nigel Thornton © Nigel Thornton  


© Nigel Thornton


© Brian Fisher (Left) and © Fotoflite (Right)

January 9th 1990: Left Dunkerque with Steam Packet crew

January 11th 1990: As CHANNEL ENTENTE made her first trip, for berthing trials, to Douglas, Isle Of Man.

© Ian Collard

ūüÜē ¬© Ian Collard (Trials in Douglas)

January 13th 1990: Conducted berthing trials at Heysham.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

February 5th 1990: Dry-docked and then moved into Bidston Dock, Birkenhead. Port of registry changed from Dunkerque to Nassau.

February 9th 1990: Sold to Vessel Holdings, Nassau, Bahamas.

February 14th 1990: Sold to the Isle Of Man Steam Packet, Nassau, Bahamas.

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

February 17th 1990: Public display of vessel in Douglas.

February 19th 1990: Commenced service between Douglas – Heysham.

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

September 27th 1990: Arrived at Wright & Beyer¬īs yard, Birkenhead for major refit. Given vehicle side loading doors (starboard quarter) and extra capacity; for up to 180 cars total. A second bow thrusters was added. The passenger accommodation was extended at the after end of the boat deck.

© Ian Collard

© Ian Collard

© Ian Collard

© Ian Collard (Bidston Dock)

December 8th 1990: Renamed KING ORRY.

© Ian Collard

© Ian Collard (Bidston Dock)

December 9th 1990: Commenced service between Douglas РHeysham/ Liverpool.

© Aubrey Dale © Aubrey Dale  

© Aubrey Dale (Belfast, 31/03/1991)

© Aubrey Dale

© Aubrey Dale (Donegall Quay, 19/4/1992)

1992: New stern doors to use the new links-span at Heysham and Belfast

November 14th 1992: Suffered at steering failure and grounded on the Taylors Bank. Refloated and towed to Liverpool for survey/repairs.

© Aubrey Dale © Aubrey Dale  

© Aubrey Dale (Donegall Quay, 03/04/1994)

  © A G Jones

© Glynn Jones (Both)

© Bernd Crause (Heysham, 1994)

February 1995: Registered in the Isle of Man, home port Douglas.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Heysham, 01/10/1995)

© Malcolm Cranfield

© Malcolm Cranfield (Heysham, 24/05/1996)

© Malcolm Cranfield © Malcolm Cranfield

© Malcolm Cranfield (Heysham, 27/05/1997 (Left) 05/07/1997 (Right)

1998: For her “Final Season” she appeared with a blue hull.

© Ian Boyle © Ian Boyle  

© Ian Boyle  © Ian Boyle

© Ian Boyle (Simplon Shipping Postcards) (Liverpool, 1988)(All)

Courtesy of Manx National Heritage


Courtesy of Manx National Heritage (All 1998)

1998: Spent time on Liverpool – Dublin service covering SUPERSEACAT TWO.

September 21st 1998: Final departure from Dublin in ballast.

September 28th 1998: Final day in service between Heysham – Douglas.

September 29th 1998: Sailed for lay up at Birkenhead pending sale.

© Ian Collard © Ian Collard

© Ian Collard (Arriving Alfred Dock, Birkenhead for lay-up)

October 21st 1998: Sold to Moby Lines S.r.l., Naples, Italy £2m) and renamed MOBY LOVE.

© Ian Collard

ūüÜē¬†¬© Ian Collard

October 23rd 1998: Left Birkenhead for Livorno.

October 29th 1998: Arrived at Livorno.

© Benoit Donne © Benoit Donne  

© Benoit Donne

1998: Renamed MOBY LOVE 2.

April 1999: Commenced service between Piombino – Portoferraio.

© Andreas Wörteler © Andreas Wörteler  

© Andreas Wörteler

2002: Renamed MOBY LOVE


© Carsten Dettmer (all)

2007: Remains in service Piombino – Portoferraio.

© Craig Nelson © Craig Nelson  

© Craig Nelson

2016: Still in service.

February 2017: News circulating that she has been sold to Greek company ( Portucalence previous owners of the EXPRESS SANTORINI), will be used in the connections to and from the Greek islands. Also rumoured that she will be renamed CHRYSA.

“Sources say that Portucalence, a Greek-backed ferry company which operates services in Portugal‚Äôs Azores islands, is in the process of finalising a deal to buy the 5,400-gross-ton (gt)¬†Moby Love (built 1975) and 5,700-gt Moby Baby (built 1966).

No official prices have been disclosed, but brokers say Moby has been marketing the pair for ‚ā¨1.5m ($1.67m)”.

March 22nd 2017: Left Piombino.

March 22nd 2017: Arrived Genoa and laid up.

© Carlo Martinelli

© Carlo Martinelli

June 28th 2017: Remains in Genoa.

October 7th 2017: Under tow, arrived in Drapetsona

© Dimitris Mentakis (Drapetsona 09/10/2017)

November 1st 2017: Renamed AEOLOS

© Dennis Mortimer © Dennis Mortimer © Dennis Mortimer © Dennis Mortimer

© Dennis Mortimer (Drapetsona 08/01/2018)

August 2018: Remains in Piraeus

© Dimitris Mentakis (Perama, 03/12/2018)(Left) (Perama, 19/12/2018)(Right)

December 3rd 2018: Remains in Perama, Piraeus where rebuild continues.

April 2019: According to the latest developments, the ship will be chartered in Atlantico Line and, from the summer, will operate in the Azores under the name of AZORES EXPRESS.

April 1st 2019: Renamed AZORES EXPRESS.

April 21st 2019: Towed by tug CHRISTOS XXII to Syros.

© Dennis Mortimer

© Dennis Mortimer



© Dimitris Mentakis (Perama, 13/05/2019)

May 17th 2019: Announcement made by Atlantico Line that, owing to incompletion of refit, introduction into service has been delayed.

© Dimitris Mentakis (03/06/2019)

June 8th 2019: Sea trials.

(AIS track 08/06/2019)

June 26th 2019: Still in Piraeus.

August 11th 2019: Arrived in Alexandroupoli (Greece).

August 15th 2019: Arrived in Perama.

June 2020: According to AIS she remains in Perama.

July 23rd 2021: Confirmed purchase by Seajets and will undergo remedial work (new livery etc) in Perama. To be renamed AQUA STAR.

© Pantelis Fyssas @ Pantelis Fyassas Shipsfuns Group

August 9th 2021: Left Perama, as AQUA STAR, for sea trials.

 Spyridon Roussos  (Facebook) 

August 9th 2021: Returned to Perama. 

August 12th 2021: Introduced temporarily on the Lavrio – Agios Efstratios – Lemnos ‚Äď Kavala service.¬†

September 20th 2021: Completed sailings Lavrio – Agios Efstratios – Lemnos ‚Äď Kavala and moored in Lavrio.

September 21st 2021: Towed by tug HECTOR (IMO 8417869) to Chalkis shipyard.

© Dennis Mortimer

© Dennis Mortimer

November 14th 2021: News circulating is that from the end of February 2022 she will commence Seajet services between the Northern Sporades and the port of Volos.

March 19th 2022: Chalkis Shipyard for mini-refit including the addition of upper-deck canopies

April 2nd 2022: Renamed SPORADES STAR and anticipated entry in Island services 1st week in April.

April 17th 2022: Trial voyage Alonissos – Skopolos – Skiathos – Volos.

April 19th 2022: Commenced service Northern Sporades, Volos  РSkiathos/Skopolos/Alonissos.

© Tony Davis

© Tony Davis

March 15th 2023: Came off service at Volos.

March 15th 2023: Departed from the port of Volos with destination  N.M. Drapetsona.

March 15th 2023: Arrived Lavrion Port.

March 20th 2023: Arrived Salamina Shipyard for refit and stern modifications.

May 11th 2023: Services Northern Sporades, Volos РSkiathos/Skopolos/Alonissos.

June 23rd 2023: Left for the Koros shipyard in Salamina .

July 1st 2023: As relief vessel, Lavrio – Mesta, Chios – Agios, Efstratios – Limnos – Kavala.

© Seajets

© Seajets

July 6th 2023: Left Lavrio for the Salamis Shipyard in Salamina.

July 6th 2023: Arrived Salamina.

© Stephen Brown

© Stephen Brown (Salamina Island, July 2023)

August 7th 2023: Maiden voyage to the Cyclades Islands (weekly itinerary : Syros-Kythnos-Kea-Lavrio-Kea-Kythnos-Syros-Paros-Serifos-Sifnos-Kimolos-Milos-Kimolos-Sifnos-Serifos-Paros-Syros-Serifos-Sifnos-Kimolos-Milos-Kimolos-Sifnos-Serifos-Syros-Tinos-Andros-Tinos-Syros-Kythnos-Kea-Lavrio-Kea-Kythnos-Syros-Paros-Naxos-Ios-Sikinos-Folegandros-Kimolos-Milos-Kimolos-Folegandros-Sikinos-Ios-Naxos-Paros-Syros-Paros-Serifos-Sifnos-Kimolos-Milos-Kimolos-Sifnos-Serifos-Paros-Syros)

August 9th 2023: ” Upon entering the port of Syros, collided with the bow section of a floating dock, which is located within the facilities of the shipbuilding and repair company.
A breach of approximately four meters and one meter in height was found in the outriggers of the forward left part above the bulbous bow.
The relevant Port Authority prohibited the ship from sailing, until a certificate of seaworthiness and maintenance of class is presented by the recognized organization that monitors the ship. Entered the dry-dock, while Seajets had already arranged to carry out today’s route to Serifos, Sifnos, Kimolos, Milos and return with the SUPERRUNNER JET

August 10th 2023: Resumed service completing her previous itinerary, from Syros to Tinos and then Andros.

August 23rd 2023: “Hit a reef just outside Azolimnos with 90 passengers on board, and suffered a leak. The crew decided to return to the port of Syros. Divers were at the scene to identify the damage. The passengers were transported to Milos, via Santorini.”.

© S. Predaris

© S. Predaris (Piraeus, 13/03/2024)

March 15th 2024: Took up services Piraeus – Kythera – Antikythera – Kissamos (Crete) .

May 13th 2024: Came off service at Piraeus and sailed to Perama.

May 13th 2024: Arrived Perama.

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: Ian Boyle, Stephen Brown, Cédric Cassegrain, Ed Connell, Malcolm Cranfield, Bernd Crause, Aubrey Dale, Tony Davis, Deck 5, Carsten Dettmer, Benoit Donne, Brian Fisher, Fotoflite, Pieter Inpyn, A G Jones, Ken Larwood, Ian Lillford, Carlo Martinelli, Dimitris Mentakis, Dennis Mortimer, Craig Nelson, Pantelis Fyassas Shipsfuns Group, S Predaris, Mike Sartin, Bob Scott, Seajets,  Sealink Heritage, Simonwp  and Andreas Wörteler.

Special thanks go to Jim Ashby, Ian Boyle (Simplon Shipping Postcards), Ian Collard, Terry Conybeare, Manx National Heritage and the World Ship Society (East Kent Branch).

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


  1. From the Current Position map it looks like she has been left a mile inland, parked on a road!

    Glad she is to be reused though, replacing Chartres.

  2. I have travelled recently on the Sporades Star, as she is now named, between the Cycladic Islands of Tinos and Syros. Seajets have done a remarkable renovation of the passenger areas. She is very comfortable to travel on. Being a cross-channel ferry she is also one of the most stable ships I have travelled on in Greece in moving seas (5Bf). Also, the engines are very smooth with little vibration going through the ship. She will be with us until the end of 2023 when the government contract finishes.

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