After the spreading of locally-owned shipping companies in Greece during Seventies, also the population of Dodecanese archipelago, after those of Chania, Heraklion, Lesvos, Naxos, Mykonos, Samos and Ikaria, decided to establish its ferry line, among the last communities to do it, aiming to improve the link between the islands of Rhodes, Kos, Kalymnos, Leros and Patmos and the main Greek port, Piraeus. The name chosen for the company was the obvious D.A.N.E. (Dodekanissiaki Anonimi Naftiliaki Etareia, The Shipping Company of Dodecanese), which later was changed for commercial purposes in Dane Sea Line. The first two vessels acquired to serve the islands were two excellent Finnish-built sisters, the “Kamiros”, bought in 1980, and the “Ialyssos”, bought in 1982. In 1985 a third ship joined the fleet, the ro-ro, “Lindos”, connecting Piraeus and Rhodes also to Cyprus. In 1989 and 1991 two more ferries reached Dane’s fleet, the fabulous cruise-ferries “Rodos” e “Patmos”, which launched a new direct connection to Kos and Rhodes (not calling at Patmos, Leros and Kalymnos) cutting the crossing-time of six hours, plus two new services: a new Thessaloniki - Kos – Rhodes line, stopping also at Samos, and a passenger link to Cyprus, Limassol, from Piraeus, Kos and Rhodes. Being unaffected by the financial crisis which hit many locally-owned companies in the mid of 80’s, also because of its “monopoly” on Dodecanese line, in 1995 the company sold the “Lindos”, probably also to finance the purchase of a ship together with G.A. Ferries, the “Ionian Sea”, which joined the fleet in 1997 named “Leros”. Then the company has a very bad period: strong rumours of a near financial bankruptcy due to bad operations by the former chairman led the stoke values to the bottom and the company was near to had a financial collapse; the ships were arrested by the Ministry (as the Ventouris Sea Lines ferries in 1996), arrest revoked only against “Ialyssos” and “Rodos” to collect money to pay debts. Moreover the “Leros” had a fire when in Piraeus, without casualties. The company was near to close when ANEK saved it; particularly the Crete-based company bought the 45% of stake in the local Dodecanese operator and chartered the “Candia” in 1999 and the “Preveli” in 2000 to replace the “Leros”. On 2001 season there was an important change in DANE’s fleet: the “Ialyssos” after 19 years of service left service cause the reached 35 years age limit and the “Diagoras” entered service on September 2001 from Japan. In the meantime, during 2001 Summer ANEK attempted to restructure the company, in order to get out from debts, but without achieving any significant result. DANE remained with a three-ship service and often in Winter periods the service was performed by only two ferries, because of the charter of “Diagoras” to Anek Lines for their Piraeus – Heraklion service, but this reduction in services brought back many financial difficulties to the Dodecanese-based company; in 2002 the ferries were arrested due to unpaid debts to the companies which rebuilt the “Diagoras” and unpaid wages to “Patmos” and “Rodos” crews, having the ferries released only after new investors entered the company. Since the first months of 2004 the older ferries “Patmos” and “Rodos” were laid up at Keratsini due to some mechanical problems, however Dane Sea Line lacked the funds to repair them; the service is performed only by the “Diagoras”. On August 2004 the Greek Seafarers Provision Fund requested the arrest of the ferries and their sale in order to raise the contributions which weren’t paid by the company. The first auction to sell the ferries was in October 2004, and later in December of the same year, but the interesting parties, rumoured to be Blue Star Ferries, NEL Lines and Hellenic Seaways, didn’t made adequate offers. On Summer 2005 it seemed that the “Diagoras” could have been back in service under Dane Sea Lines colours, when the Rhodes-based company won a tender to operate twice-weekly the Thessaloniki – Samos – Kos – Rhodes line. The granted subsidy from the Greek Government to operate on that line anyway wasn’t enough for Greek Seamen’s Pension Fund to lift back the arrest they had obtained on the ferry, and the “Diagoras” remained laid-up in Piraeus; by the way, the Thessaloniki – Rhodes line was finally awarded to Agoudimos Lines. The company finally came to an end on July 5th, 2006, when Blue Star Ferries paid the debts to Seamen’s Pension Fund, for 4,5 million Euros, and 15,4 million Euros to buy the three vessels of the company, some real estates in Rhodes and the company’s van, a Mercedes MB100D (the “father” of the most-known Mercedes Vito) which was kept in the main garage of the “Diagoras”. The other offers were of Hellenic Seaways (15,28 millions) and of a consortium headed by ANEK’s CEO Ioannis Vardinogiannis (13,6 millions). On September 2004, there was a rumour about Blue Star Ferries interested in buying the “Diagoras” for 15 millions Euro; wonder if this would have happened, if DANE were still an alive company nowadays...




F/B Candia (1999)

F/B Diagoras (2001-06)

F/B Ialyssos (1982-01)

F/B Kamiros (1980-97)

F/B Leros (1997-98)

Ro/Ro Lindos (1985-95)

M/N Lindos (2000)

F/B Patmos (1991-06)

F/B Rodos (1989-06)






Dane Sea Line – Funnel of “Diagoras”, Piraeus, 05/08/05

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