The ship was 60.00 metres (196 ft 10 in) long, with a beam of 11.40 metres (37 ft 5 in). She was assessed at 836 Gross Registered Tonnage, 663 NRT, 225 Deadweight Tonnage. The ship was propelled by two Poyaud 12VUD25 diesel engines, of 1,560 horsepower (1,160 kW).
Built in 1967 as Marianna for an unknown owner, she was later sold to Thelogos P Naftiliaki, Piraeus, Greece. In 1988, Marianna was sold to Apostolos Shipping and renamed Apostolos P. She was later sold to Saronikos Ferries and placed in service on the Piraeus - Aegina - Angistri route.
In 2005, Apostolos P was registered to Hellenic Seaways. In 2007, she was sold to Makame Hasnuu, Zanzibar, Tanzania. and renamed Spice Islander I.
On 25 September 2007, Spice Islander I was off the coast of Somalia when she experienced engine problems due to contaminated fuel. After the alarm had been raised via Kenya, USS Stout from Combined Task Force 150 was sent to her aid. The ship was on a voyage from Oman to Tanzania and was not carrying any passengers. USS James E. Williams also responded. Stout provide the ship with 7,800 US gallons (30,000 l; 6,500 imp gal) of fuel and supplied the ten crew with food and water. After her engines were restarted, she resumed her voyage to Tanzania.
On 10 September 2011, she sank with large loss of life.
At 21:00 local time (19:00 UTC) Spice Islander I sailed from Unguja for Pemba Island. She was reported to have been carrying in excess of 800 passengers. Her capacity was 45 crew and 645 passengers. At around 01:00, (local time) on 10 September Spice Islander I sank between Zanzibar and Pemba. Of those on board, 612 were rescued, with 40 of them suffering serious injuries. At least 200 people were killed.
Name: Marianna (1967–88)
Apostolos P (1988–2007)
Spice Islander I (2007–11)
Owner: unknown owner
Apostolos Shipping (1988- )
Saronikos Ferries ( –2005)
Hellenic Seaways (2005-07)
Makame Hasnuu (2007–11)
Port of registry: Greece Piraeus, Greece (1967–2007)
Honduras San Lorenzo, Honduras (2007– )
Tanzania Zanzibar, Tanzania ( –2011)
Out of service: 10 September 2011 (sank)
Identification: IMO number: 8329907
Call sign HQWZ7
Class and type: Ferry
Tonnage: 836 GRT
Length: 60.00 metres (196.85 ft)
Beam: 18.40 metres (60.4 ft)
Installed power: 2 Poyaud 12VUD25 diesel enines
Propulsion: Screw propeller
Capacity: 645 passengers
Crew: 45 crew