NorTH Adriatic


The starring port of this scenery this year is Venice, for many years main departure port to Greece. The operator which comes back to Venice after many years is an unexpected joint-venture between Minoan Lines and Strintzis Lines, which signed an agreement to cooperate for 1995 and 1996 season. The agreement stated the establishment of a new North-Adriatic ferry service: the initially-chosen port was Trieste, with daily departures operated by seven ships, five of Minoan ( “Ariadne”, “Fedra”, “Daedalus” on Saturday, “Festos”, “El Greco”) and two of Strintzis Lines (“Ionian Galaxy” and “Ionian Island”). Anyway, the final destination is Venice, with a daily service leaving at 18.00 operated by four ferries, the “El Greco”, the “Fedra”, the “Ionian Island” and the “Daedalus”, coming back from Patras daily at 22.00, under the classical Minoan timetable scheme. Anek Lines instead operated at Ancona only the “El. Venizelos”, on Wednesday at 12.30, and on Saturday, by the way omitting the call at Ancona and leaving Trieste at 19.00 instead of 13.30.






This year starts the ferry revolution between Italy and Greece, having its main scenery at Ancona, which is the main port from some years now. The starring operator of this revolution is Superfast Ferries, a newly-established operator, owned by the former owner of Royal Cruise Line. The company introduces on Ancona – Patras direct link two sister ships, the “Superfast I” and the “Superfast II”, crossing the Adriatic in only 20 hours due to the remarkable cruise-speed of 25 knots. The ferries, designed and built in Germany, had a great space for trailers, with two drive-through decks, but were extremely rationalized in their internal spaces, which were extremely simple. Anyway they had two super-modern ferries, which had a fantastic success; the other operators struggled as they could do it. We know that Minoan Lines and Strintzis Lines made a joint-venture, which initially stated for Ancona a timetable with seven ferries sailing daily, alternating calls at Italian ports of Trieste and Ancona, with “Ionian Galaxy” sailing on Saturday, “Ionian Island”, “El Greco”, “Daedalus”, “Ariadne”, “Fedra” and “Festos”. Anyway the joint-venture deployed at Ancona only three traditional ferries, the “Ionian Galaxy”, the “Ariadne” and the “Festos”. The three ferries sailed six times a-week from each port; the two Minoan ships made the afternoon sailings on weekend from Patras, the “Ionian Galaxy” made two noon sailings instead of the one required, leaving always on Wednesday and Saturday from Ancona. The two companies anyway didn’t stopped here their program from Ancona: plus of the “classic line”, they offered also the “direct line”, serviced by the two ro-pax “Ionian Star” and “Erotokritos”, plus the first newbuilding of Minoan Lines’s history, the “Aretousa”. The ferry was very similar to the Superfast pair for many aspects, and her maximum speed was 25,8 knots, anyway her cruise-speed was about 23 knots and the company decided to operate her under the same timetable of the “Erotokritos”, crossing the Adriatic in 24 hours with five weekly sailings from Ancona on Monday at 14.00, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 20.00, then from Patras on tuesdat, Thursday and Friday at 18.00, Saturday and Sunday at 23.50. Also the “Ionian Star” was engaged on direct sailings, anyway, being very slower than the Minoan vessels, had a particolar timetable, sailing from Ancona on Tuesday and Friday at 13.00, arriving in Patras the following day at 17.00, leaving at 22.00 to arrive in Ancona again the day after at 23.50.  Anek Lines answered the new competition with two well-known ferries: the first one, the “Lato”, was leaving Ancona on Saturday at 14.00, back from Patras on Sunday evening, then on Tuesday at 21.00 from Ancona and on Thursday at 23.00 from Patras, making a part of the trip along the “El. Venizelos”. The second ferry was the “Talos”, which in fact was the former “Kydon” after a renovation of passenger spaces, which was employed on the former timetable of the “Lato”, omitting the call at Corfu. Also Marlines did an interesting timetable, deploying at Ancona the best of its fleet that time, the “Dame M”, the “Crown M” and the “Countess M”. The first two vessels, considerably faster than the other one, were leaving Ancona four times a-week, on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday to Igoumenitsa and Patras, calling at Corfu on Monday and Saturday departures, finally docking in Patras at late night; on Monday and Tuesday departures, when the ferry stayer overnight in Patras, the company offered the free-overnight accommodation to the passengers. The third ferry, the “Countess M” sailed on Saturday evening to Patras, Heraklion and Cesme, continuing to offer a direct sailing to Crete on one hand, and attracting the Turkish workers going home for summer holidays. The last ferry calling at Ancona was the “Carlo R”, chartered by Egnatia Ferries, sailing on the same timetable of the former year from Ancona to Patras, Heraklion, Cesme and Igoumenitsa.







This year Ventouris Ferries, the leader at Bari, had a very important flow on their services, as long as all the other operators. Particularly, the Patras services decreased a lot, while the Corfu – Igoumenitsa ones were still quite a lot. Ventouris Ferries decreased its presence from six vessels to five: “Polaris” and “Venus” were engaged on Patras line, then on Igoumenitsa line the “Athens Express”, the “Vega” plus the “Pegasus”, a new entry acquired from the Tirrenia group. Anek Lines reduced their services to one ship, the “Kriti”, sailing on Bari – Igoumenitsa – Patras line, as did Poseidon Lines, deploying the “Sea Serenade” on the same line. Arkadia Lines instead maintained the two ship service, performed with the “Dimitrios Express” and the “Megistanas”, the new name chosen for the old “Silver Paloma”, reflagged from Greece to Malta. Even Marlines cut away from its timetable the daily sailing for Patras, leaving the historical Southern Italy duo “Duchess M” and “Baroness M” to link Bari with Corfu and Igoumenitsa; calling at Patras was the duty of “Charm M”, the new name chosen for “Viscountess M”, on her way to Cesme, calling sometimes on Igoumenitsa. Anyway the ferry distinguished herself for her slow timetables, performing the itineraries in a very long time.




BRINDISI – Otranto


Even Brindisi in 1995 unveiled many news. Only Adriatica confirmed unaltered its service, performed with “Laurana”, “Sansovino” and “Egitto Express”; also the “Ionian Sun” was still on its service, even if under the Minoan Lines – Strintzis Lines joint venture. After the sale of the “Corinthia”, HML put on the evening sailing the “Media II” and the “Egnatia”, which completed the Ionian destinations of its service calling also at Lefkada; the “Poseidonia” was on the other departure to Patras, while “Lydia” and “Apollonia II” stayed on the shorter routes to Corfu, Igoumenitsa and Paxi. A.K. Ventouris instead showed its potential with two other ferries operating along the “Anna V.” and the “Arion”, the “Igoumenitsa Express” and the “Agios Vassilios”, these latter sailing only to Igoumenitsa and Corfu.  The “Agios Vassilios” in fact was a well-known presence at Brindisi port, being the former “Eolos” of Fragline, which after many years decided to operate to Brindisi with only a ferry, the “Ouranos”. The well-known brand of Mediterranean Lines disappeared from Brindisi, leaving the scene to Vergina Ferries, which operated the former ferries of Mediterranean Lines, the “Valentino” and the “Brindisi” the new name of the former “Raffaello”, reflagged to Malta. Med Link Lines added to “Afrodite II” and “Poseidon” a third ferry, the “Agios Andreas”, which releaved the “Poseidon” when this ferry was redeployed to Brindisi – Cesme line. The last Brindisi operator was Ventouris Ferries, which served Corfu and Igoumenitsa with the ro/pax “Saturnus”.


Le foto in questa pagina sono gentile concessione di Matteo Fasce, Pieter Inpijn, Fleet File Rotterdam, Egidio Ferrighi, Kurth Warth, Emilio Barenghi, Gunnar Menzer, Michele Lulurgas, Stefanos Antoniadis,  oltre a cartoline e fotografie ufficiali.


ί1994           HISTORY

             HOME          1996ΰ