NorTH Adriatic


On 1987, we don’t find many new facts on North Adriatic ports. So there still were the “Espresso Egitto” on her trip to Piraeus, Heraklion and Alexandria and, back from her winter charter, the “Orient Express” on the cruise/ferry link to Piraeus, Istambul, Kusadasi, Patmos and Katakolon. Then, HCML added also another ferry to the sisters “Europa” and “Europa II” already operating out of Trieste, the “Valentino”, even if these vessels were operating only freight services.









Instead of what happened on Northern Adriatic ports, the 1987 at Ancona was a year full of interesting news; the Doric port started seeing even bigger and luxurious ferries, new companies continued to strengthen their position on the market and good old “lions” continue to lose their importance. Among these, we can see obviously Karageorgis, which continues to use their two obsolescent sisters on the direct AnconaPatras link. Anyway, all the three competitors answered to the hystorical operator using their muscles. The one which showed less strength was Strintzis Lines, which added to the two ships already operating at Ancona a third ferry, the new flagship “Ionian Sun”. The ferry recall very much the “Ionian Star”, of which she’s only a bit larger and with a few higher passenger capacity. She sailed in the place of “Ionian Glory” on the same timetable of the previous year; anyway the first French ro/ro passenger ferry remained in the “blue” fleet: she was deployed in a new timetable which provided a round-trip between Ancona, Corfu, Igoumenitsa and Patras and, above all, three round-trips on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from Ancona to Split, leaving from Ancona at 23.00 and coming back the following day at 12.00 with the arrival on late afternoon. Instead Minoan Lines that year introduced the bigger ferry ever in service from Ancona, the “Fedra”. The ferry, purchased the year before from the German TT Line, was capable of 1.800 passengers, of which 910 with cabin accommodation, even if many of the cabins were very small and located under the car deck. The car deck was typically of Nordic origins, with only a level equipped with mobile platforms. The ferry was placed on the same service of the “El Greco”, doubling the sailings from Ancona. The last company introducing new ferries was Marlines, with two new introductions, the “Countess M” ad the “Queen M”. The first one was originally owned by P&O and sailed between Northwestern France and Portsmouth, once arrived in Greece was extensively rebuilt with accommodation at stern  plus a strange balcony at bow, where a swimming pool was fitted. She doubled the frequency at Ancona sailing in pair with the “Princess M”. The wonderful flagship “Queen M” instead was rerouted on a long service from Ancona to Izmir via Igoumenitsa and Patras, after a refit, even if more “light” than the one did on the “Countess M”.








The growth in ferry capacity which characterized the 1987 year in Ancona invested also the port of Bari, even if Ventouris Ferries remained the only operator sailing from Bari. The “new entry” in the fleet was the first ferry which started to build the company’s fame as the “mother of Greek ro-paxes”, the “Athens Express”. The ferry, formerly known in Australian seas as “Brisbane Trader” and “Bass Trader”, was refitted in Greece with the addiction of passenger accommodation; anyway the ship lacks of the services already available on her fleet mates. The ferry replaced by “Athens Express” was the “Patra Express”, rerouted to an overnight service Bari – Corfu – Igoumenitsa on alternate days sailing in pair with “Athens Express”, which jumped her calls in Corfu and Igoumenitsa sailing from Bari. In 1987 Ventouris bought also the sisters “Norwawe” and “Norwind” from North Sea Ferries. The second one was delivered to the company in late autumn, and we’ll speak of her on “the next year”; the first one, instead, renamed “Italia Express”, was collected in July, even if I’ve not any notice of her employment in service that year. La crescita che investe Ancona colpisce anche Bari, dove comunque resiste in splendido isolamento Ventouris Ferries.



BRINDISI - Otranto


On 1987 we’ve not any new introduction at Brindisi, and the operators were offering again the same services of past year: Adriatica with “Appia” and “Espresso Grecia”, HML with “Castalia”, “Egnatia” and “Lydia II”, Fragline sailing with “Eolos” and “Ouranos”.


Photos in this page are courtesy of Matteo Fasce, Pieter Inpijn, Fleet File Rotterdam, Brian Fisher, Michele Lulurgas, Per Jensen plus some official shots.


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