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MV Star N (Ex Viking III) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 6511128

MV Star N

ex Red Star 1, Gabriel Scott, Sagafjord, Sandefjord, Fenno Star, Scandinavia, Terje Vigen, Viking III

© Malcolm Cranfield

© Malcolm Cranfield

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1965 by Orenstein-Koppel and Lubecker Mach A/G, Lubeck, Germany, (Yard No 618) for Otto Thoresen Shipping Co. A/S, Oslo, Norway, as a passenger and vehicle ferry.

Technical Data

  • Length: 99.512m (overall), 90.04m (between perpendiculars
  • Breadth: 18.32m (extreme)
  • Depth: 10.36m
  • Draught: 4.50m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 3,824 – 5,678 net/1,880 – 1,934 net/1,199 – 790 deadweight
  • Engines: Two 12-cylinder, Pielstick-Lindholmens 12PC2V 400 diesels
  • Power: 7503 kW/10200 bhp
  • Speed: 18.5 knot
  • Capacity:¬†940 passengers, 180 cars
  • Call Sign: OIBY, JWZP, LERU, LMEK, 3EJP5, T8A3624
  • IMO Number: 6511128
  • MMSI Number: 511100470
  • Official Number: 16231 (LR 1984 – 1985)
  • Port of Registry: Oslo/Norway 🇳🇴, Panama 🇵🇦, Sandefjord/Norway 🇳🇴, Uruguay , Marshall Islands 🇲🇭, Fredrikstad – Kristiansand/Norway 🇳🇴, Panama City/Panama 🇵🇦, Republic of Palau 🇵🇼
  • Sister-Ship: Viking I (158), Viking II (160)


“The third of a trio of vessels built for Otto Thoresen and, although similar to her previous two sisters, had certain modifications to her passenger accommodation. “.

March 10th 1965: Launched.

Dover Ferry Photos Library

Dover Ferry Photos Library

June 12th 1965: Trials.

June 23rd 1965: Delivered to Otto Thoresen Shipping Co A/S, Oslo, Norway.

June 25th 1965: Commenced service between Southampton – Cherbourg, also Le Havre – Southampton – Cherbourg.

Thoresen Postcard, Photo by Beken of Cowes

Thoresen Postcard, Photo by Beken of Cowes

September 19th 1966 – June 1st 1967: Chartered to Lion Ferry, Halmstad. Operated between Bremerhaven – Harwich.

June 1967 – September 1967: Operated between Southampton – Cherbourg/ Le Havre.

September 25th 1967 – June 13th 1968: Chartered to Lion Ferry, Halmstad. Operated between Bremerhaven – Harwich.

June 1968 – September 1968: Operated between Southampton – Cherbourg/ Le Havre.

1968: Registered to Thoresen Car Ferries A/S, Oslo. Chartered to Thoresen Car Ferries Ltd., Southampton for 20 years.

September 25th 1968 – May 31st 1969: Chartered to Lion Ferry, Halmstad. Operated between Bremerhaven – Harwich.

June 1969 – September 1969: Operated between Southampton – Cherbourg/ Le Havre.

© Gordon Dalzell

© Gordon Dalzell (Southampton, August 1969)

September 25th 1969 – May 31st 1970: Chartered to Lion Ferry, Halmstad. Operated between Bremerhaven – Harwich.

June 20th 1970: Commenced service between Southampton – Cherbourg.

September 26th 1970 – May 31st 1971: Chartered to Larvik-Frederikshavnferjen A/S, Larvik, Norway. Operated between Larvik – Frederikshavn.

June 15th 1971 – September 20th 1971: Operated between Southampton – Cherbourg/ Le Havre.

September 29th 1971 – May 29th 1972: Chartered to Larvik-Frederikshavnferjen A/S, Larvik, Norway. Operated between Larvik – Frederikshavn.

June 1972 – September 1972: Operated between Southampton – Cherbourg/ Le Havre.

© D R Longly

© D R Longly

September 29th 1972 – May 27th 1973: Chartered to Larvik-Frederikshavnferjen A/S, Larvik, Norway. Operated between Larvik – Frederikshavn.

June 1973: Commenced service between Southampton – Cherbourg/ Le Havre.

© Gordon Dalzell

© Gordon Dalzell (Southampton, August 1974)

September 14th 1974: Used as a tender to remove passengers from the liner FRANCE which had been seized by trade unionists in Le Havre and anchored the ship in the fairway as a protest against threatened loss of their jobs.

© Cees de Bijl

© Cees de Bijl

October 1975 – March 1976: Chartered to Fred Olsen, Kristiansand. Operated between Kristiansand – Hirtshals.

March 29th 1976 РApril 9th 1976: Chartered to Jydsk Færgefart A/S for services between Grenå РHundested.

April 1976 – April 1977: Operated between Le Havre – Southampton – Cherbourg.

Yvon postcard   

Yvon postcard (Left)

May 20th 1977 – December 19th 1977: Chartered to Larvik-Frederikshavnferjen A/S, Larvik, Norway. Introduced between Larvik – Frederikshavn.

March 9th 1978: Opened a new route between Felixstowe – Europoort.

© D R Longly  © Simonwp

© D R Longly (Left) and © Simonwp (Right)

© Wolfgang Fricke

© Wolfgang Fricke (Rotterdam, 01/08/1979)

October 25th 1979 – December 29th 1979: Operated between Leith – Kristiansand for Townsend Thoresen.

January 21st 1980 РFebruary 3rd 1980: Chartered to Jydsk Færgefart A/S, Juelsminde. Operated between Juelsminde РKalundborg.

February 4th 1980 РFebruary 26th 1980: Chartered to Jydsk Færgefart A/S. Operated between Grenå РHundested.

February 28th 1980 – March 31st 1980: Chartered to Sealink Manx Line. Operated between Douglas – Heysham.

May 13th 1980 – May 20th 1980: Chartered to Sealink. Operated between Portsmouth – Jersey – Guernsey.

May 23rd 1980: Planned charter to Kalmar Line Ab for their Kalmar РRönne didn’t materialise.

May 23rd 1980: Chartered to B&I Line, Dublin, Ireland. Operated between Rosslare – Pembroke Dock.

© A G Jones

© A G Jones

1980 (autumn): Chartered to Sealink Manx Line for services between Douglas – Heysham.

January 25th 1981 РFebruary 27th 1981: Chartered to Jydsk Færgefart A/S. Operated between Grenå РHundested.

May 13th 1981 – May 29th 1981: Chartered to Larvik-Frederikshavnferjen A/S, Larvik, Norway. Operated between Larvik – Frederikshavn.

June 1st 1981 – September 14th 1981: Chartered to Fred Olsen Lines, Kristiansand, Norway. Operated between Kristiansand – Hirtshals.

September 28th 1981 – October 15th 1981: Chartered to Sealink Manx Line. Operated between Heysham – Douglas.

October 1981: After completion of charter laid up in Göteborg awaiting sale.

1982: Sold to Da-No Linjen A/S Oslo, Norway. Renamed TERJE VIGEN. Operated between Frederikstad – Frederikshavn.

© Frank Heine © Frank Heine  

© Frank Heine (Frederikshavn, 07/1983)

© Urbain Ureel

1986: Sold to NoRederi Narko A/S, Askimrge. Renamed SCANDINAVIA.

May 20th 1986: Chartered to KG-LINE, Kaskö, Finland. Operated between Gävle РKaskö.

© Pieter Inpyn

© Pieter Inpyn

1990: Sold to Hangö Line, Hangö, Finland. And would have operated between Hangö РMariehamn РVisby, but the company went bankrupt and the route never opened.

February 1990: Sold to Europe Cruise Line A/S, Bergen, Norge.

February 1990: Chartered to Vasabåtarna, Vasa, Finland.

February 14th 1990: Renamed FENNO STAR.

April 1990: Operated between Vasa-√Ėrnsk√∂ldsvik.

June 1990: Introduced by Jakob Lines between Jakobstad РSkellefteå РKarleby.

August 1990: Introduced by Vasab√•tarna between Vasa – √Ėrnsk√∂ldsvik.

1990(winter): Laid up as a refugee ship in Helsingborg.

April 1991: Operated between Vasa – √Ėrnsk√∂ldsvik.

June 1991: Introduced by Jakob Lines between Jakobstad РSkellefteå РKarleby.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine(Skellefteå, 14/07/1001)

August 1991: Introduced by Vasab√•tarna between Vasa – √Ėrnsk√∂ldsvik.

September 1st 1991: Chartered to Polen Ferries for services between Karlskrona – Gdynia.

January 9th 1992: Polen Ferries went bankrupt and the vessel was laid up.

February 9th 1992 – April 1992: Chartered to Corona Line. Operated between Karlskrona – Gdynia.

April 1992: Sold to Koncern Værft A/S, Sandefjord, Norway. Renamed SANDEFJORD.

May 8th 1994: Introduced by Scandi Lines between Sandefjord РStrömstad.

© Capt Jan Melchers  © Pieter Inpyn

© Capt Jan Melchers (Left) Simplon Postcard and © Pieter Inpyn (Right).

1994: Registered to Larvik Scandi Line A/S, Sandefjord, Norway.

November 14th 1996: Ran aground outside Strömstad. Passengers evacuated without injury.

November 17th 1996: Re-floated and towed to Strömstad, then towed to Drammen for repairs.

January 14th 1997: Returned to commercial traffic.

1998: Rebuilt.

January 1st 1999: Registered to Color Line A/S, Oslo, Norway. Operated between Sandefjord РStrömstad.

June 2000: Taken out of service and laid up in Drammen as a relief vessel.

October 2000: Sold to Los Cipres S.A., Montevideo, Uruguay.

2001: Registered to Buquebus Marshall, Inc, Mahuro, Marshall Island.

February 28th 2003: Sold to Saga Linie, A/S, Fredrikstad, Norway. Renamed SAGAFJORD. Planned route between Moss – Skagen. However she ran aground and the Norwegian authorities demanded her condition be improved. She went for a major refit with estimated return to service later in the year.

September 20th 2003: Sea trials to Skagen.

September 2003: Refit with √ėrskov Yard, Frederikshavn, Denmark.

October 30th 2003: Arrived in Moss after refit.

December 2003: Departed from Moss to Remontowa, Poland for replacement of electrical circuitry.

March 30th 2004: Arrived in Moss.

May 15th 2004: Commenced service between Moss – Skagen.

© Bernd Crause  © Bernd Crause  

© Bernd Crause

October 1st 2004: Owners went bankrupt and she was taken out of service.

November 1st 2004: Laid up in Horten.

August 11th 2005: Sold to Gabriel Scott Rederi AS (Bernt and Frank Mykjåland), Norway.

October 2005: Renamed GABRIEL SCOTT.

October 26th 2005: Left Horten for Kristiansand.

October 26th 2005: Laid up in Kristiansand.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Kristiansand, 05/06/2006)

2007: Sold to North Bay Transportes Maritimos Ltd, Panama (Funchal, Madeira, management Gerveni Shipping).

February 29th 2007: Taken over by her new owners and renamed RED STAR I.

March 22nd 2007: Left Kristiansand for refit in Piraeus.

April 12th 2007: Arrived Perama, Greece.


© Aleksi Lindström

July 4th 2007: Left Perama for Durres.

August 2007: Commenced services for Star Ferries between Brindisi – Vlore.

© Frank Heine © Frank Heine  

© Frank Heine (Brindisi, 27/07/2009) (Left)(Brindisi, 28/07/2009)(Right) Note: the different lettering on port side of hull 

© Juanfra Monzón  © Juanfra Monzón  

© Juanfra Monzón

© Juanfra Monzón (Brindisi, 21/08/2010)

March 4th 2011: Arrived Valletta from Brindisi to assist in the evacuation of foreigners caught up in the Libyan Civil War.

March 6th 2011: Arrived in Valletta carrying 399 evacuees.

March 7th 2011 – March 9th 2011: Left Valletta for a round trip to Sirte.

March 10th 2011: Left Valletta for Vlore.

April 2011 – May 2011: Chartered to International Organisation for Migration (IOM) again to assit in the evacuation of foreigners from Libyan Civil War. Made a number of trips between Benghazi – Misurata/ Benghazi – Alexandria.

May 7th 2011: Arrived Brindisi for services between Brindisi – Vlore.

August 25th 2011: Again chartered to International Organisation for migration (IOM).

August 29th 2011 – September 1st 2011: Made a single trip between Benghazi – Tripoli.

September 1st 2011 – September 5th 2011: Left Benghazi for Brindisi.

© Godra

© Godra

July 8th 2012 – September 11th 2012: Services between Bari – Durres.

September 12th 2012: Laid up in Bari.

2013: Services between Brindisi – Vlore.

August 11th 2013 – September 8th 2013: Services between Brindisi – Durres.

September 2013 – December 9th 2013: Operated services Red Star Ferries/ European Ferries between Brindisi – Vlore.

© Godra  © Godra  

© Godra  © Godra  

© Godra

© Godra (Adriatic shipyard, Bijela, Boka Bay)

© Carsten Dettmer  © Carsten Dettmer  

© Carsten Dettmer

July – September 2015: Operated services between Brindisi – Paxos – Kefalonia – Ithaca – Zacynthos

October 3rd 2016: Resumed service Bridisi – Avelona

June 25th 2018: To Vrodotrogir Shipyard, Coatia for refit.

July 7th 2018: Returned to Brindisi.

September 10th 2018: After the summer season, laid up in Brindisi.

September 27th 2018: Services Brindisi – Avelona.

April 12th 2019: Laid up in Brindisi.

November 15th 2019: Left Brindisi for Piraeus and lay up.

September 9th 2020: Under tow, left Piraeus for shipyard in Salamina.

© Dimitris Mentakis (Ampelakia, Salamina 26/09/2020)

December 2020: Laid up in Piraeus.

© Dennis Mortimer

© Dennis Mortimer (Drapetsona Bay, Piraeus 03/04/2021)

April 10th 2021: Towed from Piraeus to Tuzla by tug CHRISTOS XXVII.

© Dimitris Mentakis (Drapetsona Bay, Piraeus 10/04/2021)

April 12th 2021: Arrived in Tuzla, Turkey. 

May 21st 2021: Sold to Sea Star Ferries Ltd, Odessa, Ukraine and renamed STAR N .

August 4th 2021: Left Tuzla for Chornomorsk (Ukraine)

August 2021: Services between Chornomorsk ‚Äď Poti (Georgia).

December 26th 2022: Arrived Tripoli and laid up.

February 12th 2023: Inaugural sailing of twice weekly service Tripoli – Zarzis (Tunisia).

March 16th 2023: Arrived Tripoli Anchorage.

March 17th 2023: Sailed from Tripoli Anchorage showing destination as Izmir, Turkey.

March 21st 2023: Anchored off Aliaga.

© Selim San

© Selim San

March 29th 2023: Beached.


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: Malcolm Cranfield, Bernd Crause, Gordon Dalzell, Carsten Dettmer, Fotoflite, Wolfgang Fricke, Godra, Frank Heine, A G Jones, Aleksi Lindström, D R Longly, Capt Jan Melchers, Dimitris Mentakis, Juanfra Monzón, Dennis Mortimer, Simonwp, Urbain Ureel and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

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

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