Page dedicated to Captain Vassilis Giannakis, hystorical Master of this ship under Agapitos ownership from 1990 till the sale

Photo © George Giannakis, 16/09/95 #6156



Golden Vergina (1988)


Building Spec.

Chantiers de l’Atlantique,

St. Nazaire, France, 1966 – N° F23

Call Sign


IMO Number







115 x 18,1 x 4,36


2 AtlantiquePielstick 16PC2-V400, 10.944 kW


21 knots




256 in 79 cabins



Lane Metres


Sister ships

Express Naias (Scrapped in 2003)

Registry Port




Former Names/Own.

Corse – Compagnie Generale Transatlantique 1966

Corse – Compagnie Generale Transmediterraneenne 1966-76

Corse – S.N.C.M. Societe Nationale Corse Mediterranee 1976-82

Golden Vergina – Stability Maritime 1982-88

New Names/Owners

Express Samina – Minoan Flying Dolphins / Hellas Ferries 2000

Sunk near Portes reef (Paros island) on 26/09/00




“Corse” was a product of French’s Atlantic yards, which were, together with Leroux and Le Havre, the main suppliers of French State-ownerd ferry companies until the most recent newbuildings “Danielle Casanova” and “Pascal Paoli”, respectively built by Fincantieri Ancona and last ferry of Dutch yard Van der Giessen – De Noord. She stayed under French flag for 16 years, sailing out of Marseille, Toulon and Nice to Corsica, Algeria and Tunisia, being replaced then by the first generation of French “Superferries”. She was bought in 1982 by Stability Maritime and was not much altered by the refit, carried before her deployment on BrindisiPiraeus - Haifa. Her career between Italy and Israel came to an end in 1988, and the ferry was soon sold to Agapitos Bros, which deploued her on Piraeus - Paros - Ikaria - Samos route without changing her name. When Agapitos relatives decided to separate their ways, this ferry remained on her route under Agapitos Lines brands, involving also Naxos and Syros between her ports of call in the last period of service. In winter 1999 was sold to Minoan Flying Dolphins and named “Express Samina”, entering the Hellas Ferries fleet to serve the same line of Agapitos Lines. On 26/09/00, sailing on the same route Piraeus - Paros - Naxos - Ikaria - Fourni - Samos - Patmos - Lipsi, the ship hit a reef three kilometres far of Paros Port and sank, causing the death or missing of 80 passengers. I’ll surely talk of the sinking when updating Hellas Ferries webpages, anyway here I would like to spend some words for the man whose this page is dedicated to, Captain Vassilis Giannakis. As already said, “Kaptan Vassilis” held the Master place from 1990 till the sale to Minoan Flying Dolphins, and then, after a short spell as Master of “Express Olympia” he was again on duty on “Express Samina” till the tragic September 26, 2000. I’ve already said that I’ll talk later about the accident, but it seems to me that the responsibility of Vassilis Giannakis in this tragedy is very low, while not directly only objective. It is very important, anyway, to remember that Greece is a country formed by a great number of islands, so the Sea, the ships and those who’re working on ships are the starring players on everyday’s live, playing a very important role. This role was played by master Giannakis excellently, from the first to the last day of his unlucky career. The “Golden Vergina” always sailed and always arrived, with safety and punctuality, in every weather condition, and master Giannakis made it possibile with courage, competence and skill. And I think it’s important to remember a thing which is unknown or forgotten by many people, that being the master of a passenger ferry is not easy, forcing to hard work, with strange working hours, living far from home and their own families, proving to be usually far harder than any common work, so I don’t think is right accusing a man which was asleep at the moment of the crash, relaxing himself before manoeuvring the ferry into Paros harbour, as he did hundreds of times. Hadn’t him the right to rest? And is he guilt if those who had to watch the ship’s course during his rest, didn’t it? Before writing these words I asked myself if my thoughts about these facts were influenced by my personal situation. The answer was “no”, because many persons, which are not involved in any way in this worse history described “Kaptan Vassilis” to me as one of the best, if not absolutely better among Greek captains, and I think there is no matter of discussion about the skill of Hellenic captains, and didn’t hesitate to describe him as being not responsible of what happened. Considering all these facts, I think that it would be a reasonable choice to give him a mercy provision, hoping that it will happen in a reasonable time. After long years in jail, now Vassilis Giannakis is again free, but I would like to dedicate him this page, even if I know he is remembered most for her excellent work throughout the years.


C.G.T. COMPAGNIE GENERALE TRANSATLANTIQUE F/B Corse – Photo from Commis’s collection #6940


STABILITY MARITIME F/B Golden Vergina – Photo © Fleet File Rotterdam


AGAPITOS BROS F/B Golden Vergina – Photo © George Giannakis #6150


Photo © Michele Lulurgas, Piraeus Port, 02/09/94 #59


Photo © George Giannakis, Vathi (Samos Island), 31/12/94 #6154


Photo © George Giannakis, Vathi (Samos Island), 31/12/94 #6155


Photo © Gunnar Menzer


Photo from George Giannakis’s collection #6957


Photo © Antonios Lazaris, Piraeus #8186


Docking at Piraeus – Photo © Antonios Lazaris, Piraeus #8187


M.F.D. HELLAS FERRIES F/B Express Samina – Foto © Aleksi Lindstrom


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