03 September 2010

Mega Express Three, 30 May 2009

Mega Express Three

IMO 9208083
Built 2001, Samsung Heavy Industries Koje, South Korea
Tonnage 26 995 GT
Length 212,00 m
Width 25,00 m
Draft 6,60 m
2 100 passengers
1 446 berths
680 cars
1 916 lane metres
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 50 424 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 28,5 knots

Mega Express Three is one of Corsica Ferries' five fast Mega Expresses. She was originally built for Minoan Lines as the Oceanus, the second ship in a series of three large, fast ferries built by Samsung for Minoan in 2001-2002. Around the time Minoan Lines were expanding heavily, taking delivery of four other large, fast ferries from Italian shipyards between 2000 and 2002. The Oceanus kept her initial name only for a brief time, as in 2002 she was renamed Ariadne Palace I (somewhat confusingly, her sister ship delivered in 2002 was named Ariadne Palace, without a number).

In early 2003, after less than two years in service with Minoan Lines, the Ariadne Palace I was sold to Corsica Ferries but chartered back to Minoan Lines. At this time her name was amended into Ariadne Palace One. In September 2003 the Ariadne Palace One was withdrawn from service with Minoan Lines and sailed to Nuovi Cantieri Apuania in Italy to be rebuilt with larger passenger capabilities and additional passenger beds. In 2004 she entered service as the Mega Express Three with Corsica Ferries.

Photographs below are of the Mega Express Three shortly after having departed Livorno (Leghorn) on the morning of 30 May 2009, photographed from onboard the MSC Sinfonia which was inbound to Livorno. Click on the image(s) to view full size.

You can't blame Corsica Ferries for not having an eyecathing livery.
Mountains emerging from the morning mists in the background, a sleek ship lit by the morning sun...
Unlike the Mega Express Four (ex-Superfast II, Spirit of Tasmania III), the Mega Expess Three's aft superstructure was not rebuilt to match the shape of the purpose-built Mega Express and Mega Express Two. And she's better off for it.

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