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

MV 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

Saint Eloi – 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 🇫🇷, Nassau/Bahamas 🇧🇸, Napoli/Italy 🇮🇹, Piraeus/Greece 🇬🇷

Location Data

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


November 24th 1969: Ordered

January 24th 1969: Keel struck

February 26th 1972: Launched

Saint Eloi –

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

Saint Eloi – 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

Saint Eloi – © A G Jones (left) and © Bob Scott (right)

© Mike Sartin  © Mike Sartin

Saint Eloi – © 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

Saint Eloi – © 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

Saint Eloi – 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

Saint Eloi – Courtesy of Jim Ashby

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

© Fotoflite  © Brian Fisher

Saint Eloi – © 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

Saint Eloi – © Ian Lillford

© Mike Sartin  © Mike Sartin

© Mike Sartin  © Mike Sartin

Saint Eloi – © Mike Sartin

May 16th 1987: Back in service.

1987 (summer): Operated as cover Newhaven – Dieppe.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Bernt Anderson Collection

Saint Eloi – 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

Saint Eloi – Courtesy of Terry Conybeare

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

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

© Pieter Inpyn

Saint Eloi – © Pieter Inpyn (Dunkerque 01/05/1988)

May 27th 1988 – September 1988: Operated between Calais – Dover Western Docks.

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

Saint Eloi – © Fotoflite, Roy Thornton Collection

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

Ferry Publications Library

Saint Eloi – Ferry Publications Library

© Mike Sartin  © Mike Sartin

Saint Eloi – © Mike Sartin

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

Saint Eloi – © Nigel Thornton

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

© Aubrey Dale

Saint Eloi – © 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

Saint Eloi – Courtesy of Sealink Heritage

May 20th 1989: Renamed CHANNEL ENTENTE.

Courtesy of Ed Connell  Courtesy of Ed Connell

Channel Entente – Courtesy of Ed Connell

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

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

Channel Entente – © Nigel Thornton

© Brian Fisher  © Fotoflite

Channel Entente – © 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.

January 13th 1990: Conducted berthing trials at Heysham.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Channel Entente – 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

Channel Entente – © Ken Larwood

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

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

© Ken Larwood

Channel Entente – © Ken Larwood

September 27th 1990: Arrived at Wright & Beyer´s yard, Birkenhead for major refit. Given vehicle side loading doors 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

Channel Entente – © Ian Collard

December 8th 1990: Renamed KING ORRY.

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

© Aubrey Dale  © Aubrey Dale

King Orry – © Aubrey Dale (Belfast, 31/03/1991)

© Aubrey Dale

King Orry – © 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

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

© A G Jones  © A G Jones

King Orry – © Glynn Jones (Both)


King Orry – © Bernd Crause (Heysham, 1994)

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

© Simonwp

King Orry – © Simonwp (Heysham, 01/10/1995)

© Malcolm Cranfield

King Orry – © Malcolm Cranfield (Heysham, 24/05/1996)

© Malcolm Cranfield © Malcolm Cranfield

King Orry – © 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

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

Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

Courtesy of Manx National Heritage  Courtesy of Manx National Heritage

King Orry – 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.

October 23rd 1998: Having been sold to Moby Lines S.r.l., Naples, Italy £2m), left Birkenhead for Naples.

October 21st 1998: Renamed MOBY LOVE.

October 23rd 1998: Left Birkenhead for Livorno.

October 29th 1998: Arrived at Livorno.

© Benoit Donne  © Benoit Donne

Moby Love – © Benoit Donne

1998: Renamed MOBY LOVE 2.

April 1999: Commenced service between Piombino – Portoferraio.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

Moby Love 2 – © Andreas Wörteler

2002: Renamed MOBY LOVE

© Carsten Dettmer  © Carsten Dettmer

© Carsten Dettmer

Moby Love – © Carsten Dettmer (all)

2007: Remains in service Piombino – Portoferraio.

© Craig Nelson  © Craig Nelson

Moby Love – © 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’s 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 €1.5m ($1.67m)”.

March 22nd 2017: Left Piombino.

March 22nd 2017: Arrived Genoa and laid up.

© Carlo Martinelli

Moby Love – © Carlo Martinelli

June 28th 2017: Remains in Genoa.

October 7th 2017: Under tow, arrived in Drapetsona

Moby Love – © Dimitris Mentakis (Drapetsona 09/10/2017)

November 1st 2017: Renamed AEOLOS

© Dennis Mortimer  © Dennis Mortimer

© Dennis Mortimer  © Dennis Mortimer

Aeoles – © Dennis Mortimer (Drapetsona 08/01/2018)


Aeoles –

August 2018: Remains in Piraeus


Aeoles – © 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


Azores Express – ©

Azores Express – © 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.


Azores Express -© Stratos Predaris (Shipspotting Album)(Left)© Dimitris Mentakis (03/06/2019)(Right)

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.

Aqua Star – © Pantelis Fyssas @ Pantelis Fyassas Shipsfuns Group

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

Aqua Star – Spyridon Roussos  (Facebook) 

August 9th 2021: Returned to Perama. 

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

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

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

© Dennis Mortimer

Hector – © 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.

Sporades Star – © ?

April 19th 2022: Commenced service Volos  – Skiathos/Skopolos/Alonissos.

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, Ed Connell, Malcolm Cranfield, Bernd Crause, Aubrey Dale, Carsten Dettmer, Benoit Donne, Brian Fisher, Pieter Inpyn, A G Jones, Ken Larwood, Ian Lillford, Carlo Martinelli, Dimitris Mentakis, Dennis Mortimer,  Craig Nelson, Pantelis Fyassas Shipsfuns Group, Mike Sartin, Bob Scott, 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.

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