Friday, October 14, 2016

the 'Istra'

Istra was built in 1965 by Brodogradiliste Uljanik in Yugoslavia (now Croatia) for Jadranska Linijska Plovidba (the Yugoslav state shipping company Jadrolinija). A sister ship was Dalmacija, The sisters operated a long route from Venice calling at numerous Yugoslav, Greek, Lebanese and Egyptian ports, including Piraeus and Dubrovnik in both directions. They were the first large trans-Mediterranean passenger ships to be built in Yugoslavia, and were fitted with enclosed swimming pools. First class cabins all had private facilities and were on the promenade, upper and main decks. The sisters carried 165 first class passengers and 52 tourist class. Twin-screws driven by Sulzer diesels of 7500 bhp gave a speed of 18 knots, and stabilisers were fitted from new. They were measured at 5465 grt and were 384 ft (117 metres) long

Istra sailed as Astra from 1991, becoming Astra I in 1997. She remained under the Yugoslav flag and operated on charter to German owners, before eventual purchase by Arcalia shipping of Lisbon in 1999, who renamed her Arion. In 2007, passenger capacity was listed as 312 in 141 cabins, and tonnage was 5888 grt.


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