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M/S ARV 1 is a car/passenger ferry owned by the Singapore-based oil service company Equinox Offshore Accommodation, under conversion into an Accommodation and Repair Vessel thus also known as (ARV). She was built in 1979 by Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany as M/S Diana II av Slite for Rederi AB Slite for use in Viking Line's traffic. She has also sailed under the names M/S Diana II, M/S Mare Balticum and M/S Meloodia.


Tonnage war in the Baltic

Rederi AB Slite had great success with their first generation of car and passenger ferries servicing between Sweden and Finland and by the late 1970s the growing market demanded larger ships. Slite's first route within the Viking Line marketing company had been that between Kapellskär and Naantali but this route had since been clogged with Viking Line ships and received competition from Silja Line's similar service between Norrtälje and Turku.

As a first step to find new markets, Rederi AB Slite had sold their merely six years old M/S Apollo in 1976 and replaced her with the older S/S Apollo III, making 24 hour cruises between Stockholm and Mariehamn. The company still served the Kapellskär—Naantali route with their other ship, the 1972-built M/S Diana. But with four other Viking Line ships competing for the same cars and passengers on that route, Slite still needed to break new grounds to keep themselves profitable.

In 1974, the two other Viking Line parters started operating the Stockholm—Turku route which proved...
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