Official post card view of SPERO. Peter Knego collection.
Ellerman Line's 6,916 gt MV SPERO was built by Cammell Laird at Birkenhead in 1966 for the London to Gothenberg run. She had a modern, but well-balanced profile with a single midships funnel and could carry 408 passengers at a service speed of 18 knots.
The SPERO was fitted out with wonderful wood fittings and furniture, although she was built in the emerging "plastic age". Like many British built ships in the 1960s, she was a tad behind the times, which in retrospect made her all the more lovely. When she became NEL Line's SAPPHO for Piraeus to Lesvos ferry service in 1972, most of her interiors were kept intact. I recall seeing her on many occasions in Piraeus during the 1990s, her handsome black topped blue funnel (very reminiscent of Blue Funnel Lines livery) towering over an immaculately white hull.
She was sold for service between Kenya and Tanzania as the SANTORINI 3 in 2002, but ended up on the beach at Alang in January of 2004 as the SANTORI.
EMPRESS OF CANADA ENCHANTED ISLE EUGENIO C FEDOR SHALYAPIN FESTIVALE FIESTA MARINA FRANCONIA ISLANDBREEZE IVERNIA IVORY JEAN MERMOZ LURLINE MADAGASCAR MARDI GRAS MARGARITA L MARIANNA VI MARIANNA 9 MAYAN EMPRESS MERMOZ MONARCH STAR MONTEREY MS PHILIPPINES OLYMPIA OLYMPIC PRINCIPE PERFEITO PRINCESA VICTORIA REGAL EMPRESS RENAISSANCE RHAPSODY REGENT STAR S. A. VAAL SAPPHO SERENADE SHOTA RUSTAVELI SPERO STATENDAM STELLA MARIS II STELLA OCEANIS STELLA SOLARIS TAHITIEN THE BIG RED BOAT II