Adriatica Line - from  MS Dan Giorgio to MV Royal Star & Ocean Mist

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With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer, Author & Maritime Lecturer

Please Note: All ssMaritime and other related maritime/cruise sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any shipping or cruise companies or any travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! Although the author has been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960, although is now retired but having completed around 680 Classic Liners and Cargo-Passengers Ships features I trust these will continue to provide classic ship enthusiasts the information the are seeking, but above all a great deal of pleasure! Reuben Goossens.

Adriatica Line

“Adriatica” S.p.A. di Navigazione

MS San Giorgio

Later: City of Andros, Ocean Islander, Royal Star

Her last name being; PV Ocean Mist


Including her original ‘Adriatica’ sister: MS San Marco


Adriatica Lines MS San Giorgio seen in 1957

Author’s private collection


Please Note: Images on this page are from either from the author’s private collection, as provided by the African Safari Club or as provided by other sources.

We already have the delightful Adriatica Lines Ausonia featured on ssMaritime, I felt to add several of the earlier (Post War) ships built by the company. However, this feature will highlight the delightful MS San Giorgio, which was until recently operated by the Swiss-owned African Safari Club under the name Royal Star. The ship’s current profile is quiet deceptive, for she certainly does not look her age. Since built, her three holds as well as her forward and aft A frame masts were removed with a new signal mast added atop her Bridge and a stylish mast aft of her funnel. In addition, her Promenade Deck was extended both forward and aft, making her an attractive modern looking ship indeed.


PV Ocean Mist in Port Mombasa returning from a cruise to Kenya

Provided by & © 2010 PV Ocean Mist Cruises Mombasa


Looking back in History

Adriatica Lines first Post War Ships

MS Esperia seen in Venice

Author’s private collection

After the war, Adriatica Line ordered the 9,314 GRT (Gross Registered Tons) liner MS Esperia, which was completed in 1949. As built she accommodated 472 passengers. She enjoyed a long career and was finally scrapped in 1973. Next to be built were sister ships, MS Enotria and Messapia in 1951 and 1952. They were of a similar design, but were smaller at 5,200 GRT, accommodating just 268 passengers. These three ships operated on different routes, covering services from Italy to Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.

Adriatica Lines official post card of the MS Esperia

Author’s private collection


 Adriatica Lines official post card of MS Enotria and Messapia

Author’s private collection

MS San Marco and San Giorgio

With the success of the company, Adriatica Line ordered two further ships, which incorporated exiting new design standards for small Italian Liners. Built by Cant. Riuniti dell’ Adriatico Trieste, the 4,755 GRT, MS San Marco and San Giorgio were completed in 1956. San Marco and San Giorgio were the first Italian ships to be fitted with Denny-Brown stabilizers. Another first was a pair of A framed, raked Bipod masts, which gave these small Liners an exciting new look.

During building a design change was made, which would give these ships yet another look. Instead of a smallish funnel with projecting fins, a well balanced funnel with rounded top was fitted. All these features combined with a sharply raked bow gave these ships a well balanced look.

Post card of Adriatica’s attractive new liner, MS San Giorgio

Author’s private collection

San Marco and San Giorgio were built to operate on the Italy, Greece, Turkey service, visiting up to nine ports. Although being rather small ships, they were designed as three class ships accommodating 92 in first, 45 in second and 66 in tourist class. However, the ships were fully air-conditioned.

MS San Marco

From the author’s private collection

First Class public rooms occupied all of Promenade Deck. Lounges exuded an Italian flair, which gave all public spaces on board a sense of light and space. First Class offered both single and two berth cabins, all having private facilities. Second Class public rooms were located one deck lower, located amidships to just aft. Cabins accommodated 2, 3 or 4 berths, all with shared facilities. Tourist Class public rooms were located right aft and offered either 4 or 6 berth cabins, again all having shared facilities.

MS San Giorgio continued sailing between Italy, Greece and Turkey until loadings began to plummet. With cruising gaining popularity, she began operating cruises between Trieste and Genoa.

A new life for the two sisters

However, after 20 years of service San Giorgio was sold in 1976, to Andreas and George Kyrtatas of Piraeus, who gave her a complete refit and converted her into a full time cruise ship. She was renamed City of Andros and she commenced a new service of three and four day mini cruises from Piraeus which was very popular and continued for the next six years.

The superb looking MS City of Andros, ex San Giorgio

Photograph by Jim-McFaul – Sent in by Alexandros Papayannis

Due to the early success of the City of Andros, her sister the San Marco was also obtained by Kyrtatas Brothers and she was renamed City of Mykonos for the voyage from Venice to Greece. She received a more extensive refit with her decks extended further aft and a new lounge built aft of her funnel. Upon completion she was renamed City of Myconos with a “C’ after the y).

City of Mykonos seen in Venice, ex San Marco – after her refit to be renamed City of Myconos

Photograph sent in by Alexandros Papayannis


MV City of Myconos looking simply superb and she is clearly showing her aft extensions

Photograph sent in by Alexandros Papayannis

Although the City of Andros was sold in 1984, the City of Myconos was eventually laid-up in 1991 due to financial and operational problems experienced by Cycladic Cruises (Kyrtatas Bros). However after a five years lay-up at Eleusis Bay Greece she sadly deteriorated badly and was listing. On December 29, 1996 a severe storm hit and she broke free from her anchorage and she drifted, capsized and sank. This was the end of what was a beautiful small ship!

Today the City of Myconos, ex San Marco remains at the bottom of the bay and there is talk that they may raise her along with other sunken ships in the Piraeus area as they are a hazard to navigation. 

Adriatica Lines ships laid up in Greece

Photograph by Steffan Weirauch

Above: Here we see three fine original Adriatica Lines ships laid up in Greece in October 1980. Many ships that cruise the Mediterranean are lain up during autumn, winter and early spring and only cruise during the warmer months. Starting from the left: First is the 1956 built 4,408 ton MS Stelvio. Next to her (in the middle) is the MS City of Andros, ex MS San Giorgio. The ship next to the City of Andros is said to be her sister the MS City of Myconos, ex San Marco.

Thank you Alexandros Papayannis for your kind assistance and providing information regarding the days these two ships were owned and operated by Andreas and George Kyrtatas of Piraeus.

A New Venture and Look for the City of Andros

After her extensive refit and a few external changes Ocean Islander became an attractive looking ship indeed!

*Photographer unknown – See Photo notes at bottom of page

MS City of Andros, ex San Giorgio was sold in 1984 to Ocean Cruise Lines being a new cruise operation. She was refitted into a luxury cruise ship and was renamed Ocean Islander. The rebuilding saw her aft mast and all holds removed and a small mast added aft of her funnel. In addition, her Promenade Deck was extended aft as well lounge aft on boat deck. Her two aft lifeboats were replaced by enclosed motorised tenders. Ocean Islander joined the companies other ship, Ocean Princess. In summer Ocean Islander sailed along the Dalmatian coast from Venice, and in winter she headed for the Caribbean cruising out of Barbados.

MS Ocean Islander

Ocean Cruise Lines promotional image

In 1990, Ocean Cruise Lines was purchased by Accor SA and Chargeurs SA, a company who also owned Paquet Cruises. However, Ocean Islander was not part of the sale and she was sold to the Swiss-owned African Safari Club. She was renamed Royal Star and was placed on a new operation, which would see her cruise from Mombasa to the “Paradise Islands” in the Indian Ocean.

Between 1990 and 2005, she received additional refurbishments, which saw many further improvements made throughout this fine ship. In addition, changes were made to cabin layouts, lowering her passenger capacity to just 200 passengers, all served by 130 officers and crew. All cabins have private facilities, telephone, music, a safe and adequate storage space. The majority are outside with either a port hole or a window. Some suites have two bathrooms, mini bar, hair dryer and TV with videos.

MS Royal Star seen berthed at night

Provided by African Safari Club

Although the Royal Star looks as modern as tomorrow, she is a genuine classic Liner having acres of teak decks and rich interiors of polished wood and gleaming brass. In 2006 she celebrated her 50th year at sea.

Royal Star has become famed for her intimate atmosphere and she is more akin to a private yacht compared to today’s rather large cruise ships. For this reason, passengers get to know their fellow travellers. Royal Star is fully stabilised and air-conditioned throughout and is ideal for cruising close to shore, visiting intriguing ports, which are inaccessible to larger ships. More importantly, with only a few passengers on board there is no danger of overwhelming the character and often delicate ecosystem of the ports visited, thus preserving the experience sought after.

5,600 GRT - MS Royal Star seen at anchor

Provided by African Safari Club

On board facilities include … Marco Polo Lounge, Piano Bar, Explorer Bar, Lido Bar. Belvedere Restaurant, Library, Tourist Office, Casino, Fitness Room, Swimming Pool, Pool Bar, Sauna, Medical Centre, Beauty Salon and a Boutique.

Sadly in 2007 & 08 the company commenced suffering some financial difficulties and a dispute with the ships owners. Her future considering SOLAS 2010 is nearing is somewhat uncertain! However in 2009 she was purchased and she will sail on from Mombasa in 2010. Apparently there was some reported damage to her propeller shaft according to her brokers when she was placed at auction and was sold I June 2009.

He final Stand as the PV Ocean Mist

Built as the famed MS San Giorgio, today she is the elegant PV Ocean Mist

Author’s private collection

She was obtained by Mr. Alnoor Jiwan, the owner of the Alba Petroleum Group. MV Ocean Mist is currently in Mombasa being refurbished at the African Marine General Engineering Company. Apart from some repairs to be made there will be no major changes made to the ship, except for a great deal of interior décor work to be done as well as new carpets laid throughout the ship. In addition to having been renamed PV Ocean Mist she has also been reregistered in Phnom Phen.

Ocean Mist seen during her sea trails

Photograph © provided by Prakash Rodrigues of “PV Ocean Mist Cruises”

The new company that would operate her went by the name of “PV Ocean Mist Cruises” considering her new name of PV Ocean Mist and with her repairs and refit having been completed by the end of 2009, she undertook her deep sea trails, which proved to be a great success. With the Ocean Mist having already had extended shakedown cruise she was ready for her maiden commercial cruise at the end of April 2010.

Previous News Updates regarding PV Ocean Mist:

The Ocean Mist has just returned from another return voyage from Port Mombasa to Zanzibar and the cruise was most successful as one passengers wrote “I went with my family and we had few family friends with us, and it was an amazing trip and we really enjoyed the ship and the whole experience.” Thus she was what seemed to be successful, but would she be profitable in Kenya?

MV Ocean Mist is seen here without her lifeboats and tenders and her new funnel markings

Photograph © provided by Prakash Rodrigues of “PV Ocean Mist Cruises”


MV Ocean Mist seen during her refurbishment and refit in Mombasa

Photograph © provided by Prakash Rodrigues of “PV Ocean Mist Cruises”


This fine classic, yet modern cruise ship will soon be ready to cruise again!

Photograph © provided by Prakash Rodrigues of “PV Ocean Mist Cruises”

Sadly the Ocean Mist did not prove to be a great success, certainly the booking office was terrible and service there was hopeless! Agents did not wish to book with them for there was no assistance, and the ship did not have regular departures for often she would just remain in port for wealthy functions for Kenya’s very rick, which made big money for the ship! Also night deck parties were popular, thus the company was not sure if they required a floating restaurant, function and party chip or a genuine cruise ship. Well due to their miss management everything went wrong and she was sold to the breakers in March 2012, and by May her breaking up was almost completed up on an Alang beach.


Page 1           MS San Giorgio                               Her history as well as that of her sister MS San Marco

.                                                                       to her end as the PV Ocean Mist

Page 2           Royal Star Photo Page               A series of photographs of San Giorgio’s later incarnation

                                                                        As the Royal Star, including her Deck Plan

Page 3…           Royal Star’s Final Crew List Provided by The African Safari crew members

Page 4….          Royal Star Photos                     Provided by David Harrison


“Blue Water Liners sailing to the distant shores.
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.”



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Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are either by the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images and photographs that have been provided by Shipping Companies or private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors, however, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer or owner concerned. Therefore, I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address can be found at the bottom of the page on, in order that due credit may be given.

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