North Adriatic


This year in Venice Adriatica remained the only operator; in fact Sealink abandoned its interesting cruise/ferry service, the same year when Adriatica decided to market his service as a cruise. For this reason the “Espresso Egitto” was heavily rebuilt at INMA yards of La Spezia, from where she returned back to service in June under the new name of “Egitto Express”. The ferry gained a most interesting external appearance plus a major number of cabins, anyway with a very particolar external appearance, that we can say as at mid-way between the nice work carried out on the “Val De Loire” of Brittany Ferries, the not wonderful rebuilding of “Strade Romane” class ferries of Tirrenia and far better of the ugly work carried on “Poeta” vessel series of the same company. Adriatica started again his service substituting the call at Dubrovnik with Bari, and calling at Patras instead of Piraeus on the way to Egypt, anchoring at Piraeus only on the return trip from Alexandria. After the disappearance of two “Orient” ferries finally we can see new facts in Trieste, where Anek Lines introduced a ro/pax service with the “Kydon”, a ferry with a simplier accommodation than the other international fleet-mates. The line sailing from Trieste called at Igoumenitsa before ending in Patras.







ANCONA - Ortona


Anek Lines didn’t make any change in its fleet, sailing from Ancona with “Lato” and “Lissos”, the same as obviously Karageorgis did with “Mediterranean Sea” and “Mediterranean Sky”. Instead the other three operators sailing out of Ancona made some changes in their activities; Strintzis Lines, due to the unstable situation of Jugoslavia decided to close its services to Dubrovnik and Split, offering the twins “Ionian Harmony” and “Ionian Fantasy” for sale. The 1991 season so should have been composed by four sailings per week each way with “Ionian Galaxy” and “Ionian Island”, anyway as long as the “Ionian Harmony” was soon sold, the “Ionian Fantasy” remained in Strintzis hands until summer, so the company decided to rename her as “Ionian Sea” deploying her at Ancona as the third ferry of the line. It’s interesting to notice that the noon departure was effected from Ancona and not from Patras. Instead of Strintzis, Minoan Lines decided to add another ferry to her four vessels already serving Ancona, the “Daedalus”, a Japanese-built cruise-ferry which is very similar to “El Greco”, the ferry replaced by her on AnconaIgoumenitsa – Corfu – Patras line, along the other two vessels operating that service, the “Fedra” and the bigger “King Minos”. The “El Greco” was instead put on a new link between Ancona – Corfu – CephaloniaPiraeusParosHeraklion, establishing this way a direct link between Ancona and Crete. On the similar line Ancona – Corfu – CephaloniaPiraeus, ParosSamosKusadasi the “Ariadne” continued to perform the service after a refurbishment which raised her standard sto the new ones of Minoan, gaining more cabins and the swimming pool at stern. Marlines in their services from Ancona lost a ferry, sailing only with two vessels instead of three of 1990; the first was the “Countess M” on AnconaIgoumenitsaPatras, the second is a new entry, the “Crown M”, an interesting ferry with a career between Fred Olsen and Norway line, with excellent finishings and 23 knots of speed, which were used for running between Ancona, Igoumenitsa, Patras, Heraklion, Rhodes and Limassol, leaving Ancona every Friday at 22.00. The last new fact of 1991 is  the introduction of a new service to Corfu, Igoumenitsa and Patras from Ortona, a small centre south of Pescara, a port chosen by Hellenic Mediterranean Lines to relaunch the challenge to be so important as it was years ago. The ferry chosen was the “Lydia”, a ferry which is quite fast, but the transit times were more or less the same of those effected by the ferries sailing from Ancona, which was about 110 nautical miles north than Ortona.






A small battle at Bari can be sight in 1991, when Adriatica started its services with “Egitto Express”; anyway the best operator on that service was Ventouris Ferries with “Athens Express” and “Venus” as the main ferries of Bari – Corfu – IgoumenitsaPatras line, the “Saturnus” on the faster link and the pair “Grecia Express” and “Vega” on the evening sailing to and from Corfu/Igoumenitsa.




BRINDISI - Otranto


For Adriatica this year at Brindisi we can’t find any new fact, continuing to serve its classical three routes with “Espresso Venezia”, “Espresso Grecia” and “Tiepolo”. HML chartered the “Neptunia” to replace the “Lydia”, which passed to Ortona line; anyway the company continued to serve with her other four ferries “Egnatia”, “Corinthia” “Apollonia II” and “Poseidonia”. As long as Mediterranean Lines with its “Raffaello” and “Valentino” and Fragline with “Eolos” and “Ouranos” didn’t made any ch’ange in their timetables, we can see a new operator appearing on Brindisi scene. We’re speaking of Marlines, which started a BrindisiCorfuIgoumenitsaPatras service with her smaller ferries “Baroness M” and “Duchess M”.


Photos in this page are courtesy of Matteo Fasce, Pieter Inpijn, Fleet File Rotterdam, Kurth Warth, Emilio Barenghi, Michele Lulurgas, Stefanos Antoniadis,  plus some official shots.


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