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MS Arrecife

Former names: Salamis Filoxenia, Van Gogh (Club Cruise), Odessa Sky, Gruziya (ferry)

MS Arrecife Review and Specifications

Specifications of MS Arrecife

Year built1975  /  Age : 44
Flag state Cyprus
BuilderWartsila Marine Perno Shipyard (Turku, Finland)
Building costUSD 25 million
OwnerSalamis Cruises (Cyprus)
OperatorPampa Cruises (Argentina)
Speed8 kn / 15 kph / 9 mph
Length (LOA)157 m / 515 ft
Beam (width)22 m / 72 ft
Gross Tonnage15402 gt
Decks with cabins5
Last Refurbishment2019
Sister-shipsDelphin, Azerbaihzan (Enchanted Capri), Kazakhstan (Sea Escape), Kareliya (Starry Metropolis)
Former namesSalamis Filoxenia, Van Gogh (Club Cruise), Odessa Sky, Gruziya (ferry)

Current position of MS Arrecife

Review of MS Arrecife

MS Arrecife cruise ship was built by Wartsila Marine Perno Shipyard (Turku, Finland) and launched in 1975 as "Gruziya" (Belorussiya-Class cruise ferry) for USSR's (Soviet Union's) Black Sea Shipping Company. The vessel is currently owned by the Cyprus based Salamis Cruises and operated under charter by the Argentina-based Pampa Cruises.

NEWS: In late-December 2018, the shipowner Salamis Tours announced that vessel's sale is terminated as the buyer failed to fulfil agreement's terms. Salamis also announced that Pampa's advance payment (USD 770,000) was "rightfully forfeited in favour of the company".

History - construction and ownership

During the 1980s, the ferry was rebuilt and converted into a cruise ship. In 1995, the vessel was renamed "Odessa Sky". In 1999, it was renamed twice - initially "Club 1" and later the same year to "MS Van Gogh". In 2009, the 800-passenger ship was acquired by the Cyprus-based Salamis Cruise Line and renamed "Salamis Filoxenia".

MS Arrecife cruise ship (Salamis Filoxenia)

The Argentina-based shipping company Pampa Cruises chartered Salamis Filoxenia in November 2018. The cruise liner was relocated from Port Perama (near Piraeus-Athens, Greece) to Brazil, arriving in Recife in late-December 2018. Pampa's inaugural cruise (maiden voyage) was scheduled for January 23, 2019 (3-day itinerary, departure at 6 pm from Recife to Natal and Cabedelo).

Following the drydock refurbishment in January 2019 (at EAS-Atlantico Sul shipyard in Suape Port, Pernambuco / near Recife), MS Arrecife will be re-flagged from Cyprus (MMSI 209167000) to Bahamas (MMSI TBA).

MS Arrecife cruise ship (Salamis Filoxenia)

Before starting its own cruise shipping operations, Pampa Cruises locally served as travel agency the companies Pullmantur and CVC (Agencia De Viagens CVC Tur - Brazil's largest cruise and tour agency).

Cruise itinerary program

MS Arrecife itinerary program is based on South America / Atlantic coastal cruises to ports in Brazil and Argentina, with roundtrip departures from homeport Recife Brazil. From Recife, for the inaugural season (January through June 2019) were scheduled 33 departures on 3- to 6-day long itineraries.

All voyages include an overnight visit to Fernando de Noronha - an archipelago of 21 islands (in Brazil's Pernambuco state) located approx 354 km (220 ml) from mainland Brazil. These islands are approx 360 km from Natal (Rio Grande del Norte) and approx 545 km from Recife (Pernambuco). Fernando de Noronha as destination features crystalline waters and perfect fine-sand beaches. Much of the archipelago is declared Marine Park.

Along with Fernando de Noronha, other call ports are Cabedelo, Maceio and Natal. All Pampa Cruises ports are unique in comparison to itineraries planned by other South America-based cruise tour operators.

During the inaugural season, the ship also offers a repositioning cruise itinerary (June 24 - July 4) from Recife to Buenos Aires, visiting in Brazil Salvador de Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Santos and Itajai. Buenos Aires is the second Pampa Cruises homeport - used for roundtrip departures during the summer season.


MS Arrecife has a total of 255 staterooms, all of which are on above waterline decks and quite spacious. Each stateroom is fully air-conditioned and has an en-suite bathroom (with WC, washbasin, bathtub or shower), flat LCD TV, direct-dial phone, wardrobe, electronic safe box (in the closet), hairdryer. The three Suite categories are spacious, with stylish living area (with comfortable seating), separate dining area, Queen-sized double bed or two twin beds, mirrored dressing table/writing desk with chair. Daily housekeeping and evening turndown services are provided.

Arrecife ship's stateroom categories include:

  • A-Inside (Deck 3) and B-Inside (Deck 4) cabins are sized 13 m2 (140 ft2) and have 2 lower beds plus additional bunk beds (for 3rd-4th passenger).
  • C-Inside (Deck 5) is sized 11-15 m2 (120-160 ft2) and has 2 lower beds plus bunk beds (for 3rd-4th passenger).
  • D-Oceanview (Decks 4-5) are sized 10-12 m2 (110-130 ft2) and have a double bed.
  • E-Oceanview (Deck 4) are sized 12-15 m2 (130-160 ft2) and have 2 beds plus additional 3rd-4th Pullman bed.
  • F-Oceanview (Deck 5) are sized 11-14 m2 (120-150 ft2) and have 2 beds plus additional 3rd-4th Pullman bed.
  • G-Oceanview (Decks 7-8) are sized 14-16 m2 (150-170 ft2) and have 1 double bed or 2 single beds, some with additional bunk bed (for 3rd passenger).
  • H-Deluxe Oceanview (Decks 7-8) are sized 14-18 m2 (150-195 ft2) and have a double bed plus single or double sofabed.
  • I-Junior Suite (Deck 7) is sized 27 m2 (290 ft2) with 2 beds and double sofa bed, refrigerator with complimentary mini-bar set-up
  • J-Suites (Decks 7-8) are sized 30-40 m2 (325-430 ft2) and have a double bed plus double sofabed and refrigerator (complimentary mini-bar drinks).
  • K-Grand Suites (Decks 7-8) are sized 47-48 m2 (505-515 ft2) and have a double bed, double sofabed, refrigerator (complimentary mini-bar drinks).

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

The Grand Dining Room (Symposium) offers local and international cuisine with locally sourced, fresh ingredients. Occasionally set menus and rich theme buffets meet all dietary needs. Guests on special diets like lactose-free, salt-free, gluten-free, must inform their booking agent at the time of reservation.

MS Arrecife cruise ship (Salamis Filoxenia)

A La Carte menu is offered in all shipboard bars and includes light and casual dishes. The separate kids' menu offers speciality dishes for children and is available at the restaurant and all bars.

At select hours daily, Lido Deck's Pool Bar opens a kebab kiosk for casual bites and sweets (including ice cream scoops and combinations of waffles and toppings.

Also at select hours during the day, the Sky Bar opens a sushi boutique where are freshly prepared speciality Sushi, Maki and California rolls platters. Sky Bar also doubles as Disco Nightclub, providing late-night entertainment with a resident DJ programming.

The ship provides 24-hour room service with light and casual dishes and beverages. Most dietary needs are catered for.

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

The cruise liner has two heated swimming pools available for both adults and kids. The Cinema is with amphitheatric seating and also used for daily lectures and seminars by cruise company's enrichment program. The Casino is served by its own Bar and has Roulette tables, Black Jack tables, numerous slot machines. A resident pianist provides live entertainment nightly at Captain's Club (cocktail bar lounge). Captain's Club has a designated for the smoking enclosed area. Live performances in Club Live Show Lounge also include international show productions.

MS Arrecife cruise ship (Van Gogh)

Ship's Activities Program for kids is offered on all voyages. The program is offered at the dedicated Kids Club and served by well trained and certified child attendants. For children are also provided board games, puzzles, video games, books and movies. Babysitting services are upon request, subject to availability and at extra charge.

Ship's fully-equipped Fitness Center is open during select hours daily. A Wellness-Spa area is dedicated to beauty treatments and massages. Beauty Salon provides hairdresser-barber services.

At the Infirmary (ship hospital), a qualified doctor and crew nurse are available on 24-hour duty (when the cruise ship is at sea) and also on specific hours when it is docked in port. Medical services are free of charge, but charges apply for specific treatments and most medicines.

The cruise line offers a pre-purchasing special occasion and gift packages for an anniversary, birthday and honeymoon celebrations. Wi-Fi is available at extra charge in all public areas. Onboard bar payments can be made both in cash and cashless (via credit card). Cash-only spending is for duty-free shopping and Casino gaming. Upon embarkation, all passengers must provide a valid credit card or deposit cash (at Reception Desk) in order to open an onboard account per booking.

Shipboard facilities include:

  • (Deck 1) Machinery Rooms (engines, propulsion), staff and crew cabins
  • (Deck 2) Refrigeration (drink and food storage) Rooms, Gym, crew areas (mess hall, bar lounge, dining room), Cargo Hold (storage)
  • (Deck 3) Cinema, Disco Nightclub, Outside and Inside cabins
  • (Deck 4) Cinema Balcony, Outside and Inside cabins
  • (Deck 5) Infirmary (ship hospital), Hotel MGR, Lobby Area with Reception Desk, PhotoShop, Tours Desk, Outside and Inside cabins
  • (Deck 6) Salamina Club Live Show Lounge, Grand Dining Room and Bar, Messogios Bar, Captain's Club Lounge, Internet Center & Library Lounge, Duty-Free Shop, Casino
  • (Deck 7) Lido Bar, Buffet restaurant, Swimming Pools, Sauna, Hair & Beauty Salon, Sundeck, Suites, Outside cabins
  • (Deck 8) Children's Club (indoor playground for kids), Teen's Club, Sundeck, Service boats, Suites and Outside cabins
  • (Deck 9) Navigation Bridge, Sports Deck, Sky Bar, Sundeck

MS Arrecife wiki

During its service, the vessel was operated under the names Gruziya ferry (1975-1995, by Black Sea Shipping Company USSR), Odessa Sky (1995-1999, by Blasco UK), Van Gogh (1999-2009, by Club Cruise), Salamis Filoxenia (2009-2018, by Salamis Lines) and MS Arrecife (since 2019 by Pampa Cruises).

As cruise ferry, the liner had two garage decks (3-4) with capacity for 50-70 cars. Sisterships (from the same Belorussiya-class ferries) are the liners Belorussiya (now Delphin), Azerbaijan (now Enchanted Capri), Kazakhstan (scrapped as Sea Escape in 2011) and Kareliya (now Starry Metropolis).

Salamis Filoxenia ship cruises

Salamis Filoxenia ship was operated on short-break cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean, leaving roundtrip from homeport Limassol (Cyprus).

2-day "Holy Land" itinerary visited Israel (Haifa).

2-day cruise visited Lebanon (Beirut overnight).

3-day to Rhodes Island (overnight stay), also with Symi Island

3-day to Mykonos Island (overnight stay)

4-day to Mykonos (overnight stay), Astypalaia, Kastellorizo

4-day to Kalymnos, Souda-Chania (Crete), Rhodes

4-day to Kalymnos, Lesbos, Chios, Rhodes

5-day to Patmos, Spetses, Heraklion (Crete), Kastellorizo

5-day to Rhodes, Kalamata, Milos, Symi

5-day to Rhodes, Syros, Mykonos (overnight), Astypalaia, Kastellorizo

5-day to Sitia (Crete), Skiathos, Samos, Symi

5-day to Kos, Nafplio, Piraeus-Athens, Symi

5-day to Rhodes, Monemvasia, Heraklion (Crete) Symi

5-day to the islands Patmos, Skiathos, Paros, Symi

6-day to Patmos, Volos (overnight), Euboea (Aidipsos), Piraeus, Symi

6-day to Rhodes, Skiathos, Thessaloniki, Chios, Symi

7-day to Rhodes, Zakynthos, Corfu, Patras, Ithaca, Milos, Kastellorizo

7-day to Sitia (Crete), Skiathos, Thessaloniki, Euboea (Aidipsos), Syros, Kastellorizo

8-day to Patmos, Lesbos, Alexandroupolis (overnight), Kavala, Limnos, Kastellorizo

On most voyages, the ship was leaving Limassol at 1:30 pm, arriving back in port at 8:30 am.

Salamis Filoxenia cruise prices (per person per voyage, inclusive of port taxes) vary by itinerary length and cabin category. On 2-day cruises, cabin pricing per day was around EUR 150-170 pp (Cat A-B-C-D), EUR 200-220 (Cat E-F-G-H) and EUR 350-370 (Suites). On 8-day cruises, cabin pricing per day was around EUR 120 pp (Cat A-B-C-D), EUR 140 (Cat E-F-G-H) and EUR 180 (Suites).

Supplement for 3rd or 4th adult in Inside Cabin was around EUR 100 per day.

Supplement for 3rd or 4th adult in Outside Cabin was around EUR 120 per day.

Supplement for kids 2-12 yo (sharing with at least 2 adults) Cabin was around EUR 60 per day.

Travel Insurance cost extra - EUR 10-15-20 pp per voyage.

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