Salamis Filoxenia

Former names: MS Arrecife, Van Gogh (Club Cruise), Odessa Sky, Gruziya (ferry)

Specifications of Salamis Filoxenia

Year of build1975  /  Age: 47
BuilderWartsila Marine Perno Shipyard (Turku, STX Finland)
Building costUSD 25 million
Engines (power)Wartsila (13.24 MW / 17755 hp)
Speed22 kn / 41 km/h / 25 mph
Length (LOA)156 m / 512 ft
Beam (width)22 m / 72 ft
Gross Tonnage15402 gt
Decks with cabins5
Last Refurbishment2019, Gadani-scrapped in 2022
Sister-shipsDelphin, Azerbaihzan (Enchanted Capri), Kazakhstan (Sea Escape), Kareliya (Starry Metropolis)
Former namesMS Arrecife, Van Gogh (Club Cruise), Odessa Sky, Gruziya (ferry)
OwnerSalamis Lines Ltd (via Mana Shipping Co Ltd)
OperatorSalamis Cruise Lines (Cyprus)

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The 1975-built MS Salamis Filoxenia cruise ship was constructed by Wartsila Marine Perno Shipyard (Turku, Finland) and launched under the name "Gruziya" (Belorussiya-Class cruiseferry) for the USSR's/Soviet Union's Black Sea Shipping Company. The last shipowner was the Cyprus-based company via Mana Shipping Co Ltd (subsidiary of Salamis Lines Ltd). The boat was operated via the subsidiary (and travel brand) Salamis Cruise Lines.

The vessel (IMO number 7359400) was last Cyprus-flagged (MMSI 209167000) and registered in Limassol. Its AIS transmitted for the last time on March 15, 2022.

In April 2022, the 47-year-old ship was beached at Gadani Ship Breaking Yard in Pakistan for dismantling and recycling. Since then, the boat is one of CruiseMapper's Scrapped Cruise Ships.

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 Salamis Filoxenia cruise ship

The Argentina-based shipping company Pampa Cruises was supposed to purchase the vessel (or operate it under charter) starting operations in November 2018. The renamed cruise liner (MS Arrecife) was to be 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 was to be re-flagged from Cyprus (MMSI 209167000) to Bahamas (new MMSI number starting with 31). Before starting its own passenger 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).

MS Salamis Filoxenia cruise ship

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

Decks and Cabins

MS Salamis Filoxenia staterooms (255 total) are all 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), 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.

Cabin 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).

The boat has 9 decks, of which 8 are passenger-accessible and 5 with cabins.

One elevator (midship-portside located passenger lift) interconnects decks 3 thru 8. Deck 2 is accessed only via indoor stairs (aft), as well as Deck 9 (forward indoor, and aft outdoor staircases).

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.

A La Carte menu is offered in all shipboard bars and includes light and casual dishes. The separate kids' menu offers specialty 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 Sushi, Maki and California rolls platters. Sky Bar also doubles as Disco Nightclub, providing late-night entertainment with 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 the cruise company's onboard 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 Salamis Filoxenia cruise ship

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

The 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 company offers for pre-purchasing special occasions and gift packages (anniversaries, birthdays, honeymoon celebrations, family reunions).

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 Salamis Filoxenia itinerary program was based on short breaks in the Eastern Mediterranean, leaving roundtrip from homeport Limassol (Cyprus).

On October 19, 2019, was visited (for the first time since 2009) Port Alexandria (Egypt). The voyage followed a January 2019-signed agreement between Alexandria City's Governor (Abdel Aziz Qansouh) and Paphos City's Mayor (Phedonas Phedonos). According to the agreement, Salamis Filoxenia visited Port Alexandria twice weekly and (following a half-year period / since April 2020) both cities are interlinked via regularly scheduled low-cost airline flights.

Salamis Cruise Line's prices (per person per voyage, inclusive of port taxes) varied by itinerary length and cabin category. On 2-day cruises, cabin pricing per day was ~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 ~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 is ~EUR 100 per day.
  • Supplement for 3rd or 4th adult in Outside Cabin is ~EUR 120 per day.
  • Supplement for kids 2-12 yo (sharing with at least 2 adults) Cabin is ~EUR 60 per day.
  • Travel Insurance costs extra - EUR 10-15-20 pp per voyage.

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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).

MS Salamis Filoxenia cruise ship (Van Gogh)

As cruiseferry, the vessel (Turku shipyard/hull number 1213) 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, IMO 7347536), Azerbaijan (now Enchanted Capri, IMO 7359474), Kazakhstan (scrapped as Sea Escape in 2011) and Kareliya (now Starry Metropolis, IMO 7359498).

The ship was powered by Wartsila marine diesel engines (model 18PC2) with total power output 13,24 MW.

MS Arrecife itineraries (Pampa Cruises Argentina)

MS Arrecife itinerary program was planned as South America and Atlantic coastal cruises to ports in Brazil and Argentina, with roundtrips from homeport Recife Brazil. For the inaugural season (January through June 2019) were scheduled 33x departures on 3- to 6-day long itineraries.

All voyages included 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 included call ports were Cabedelo, Maceio and Natal. All Pampa Cruises ports were unique in comparison to itineraries planned by other South America-based cruisetour operators.

During the inaugural season, the ship also had planned 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 was intended as the second Pampa Cruises homeport - to be used for roundtrip departures during the summer season.