Saturday, October 23rd, 2021
Following the special features that had to do with the past summer, now we're going back to the usual commentary mode. Only problem is, there's nothing much to comment on, the last couple of weeks have been rather quiet. Apart from the ever appearing rumours about the future of ANEK-Attica and the involvement of Grimaldi that is. It seems however that there are so many people circulating these, mixed with their own wishful thinking, that I really don't think it's worth commenting upon. Let's see what actually happens and then we can write an essay.
- From a sentimental point of view, I guess the biggest event of the last few weeks was the "finished with engines" of the Superferry II. She served the Rafina - Andros - Tinos - Mykonos route for 28 years in a row which in today's environment is remarkable. Now she has been renamed Superstar and is laid up in Rafina, awaiting to be reactivated by Seajets, presumably in one of their subsidised routes. If she gets half the TLC she's been receiving so far in her life also from Seajets, she'll be around for a few more years.
- Speaking of ferries that may be with us for the next few years, our members insist the Aqua Myth/Al Salmy 4/Express Santorini/Chartres will soon be officially delivered to Seajets and sail back to Greece. What sounded like an April's Fool joke may actually become true. If Seajets had a sense of humour, they would rename her Aqua Lazarus.
- Quick peek at the location where the grounding of the Flyingcat 3 took place this last summer. I think you can see for yourselves the shallows of that part of Mykonos and why the easiest way would have been to sail around this area, with minimal loss of time. A very silly way of taking chances with one's passengers. And what is infuriating is that the Greek version of the MAIB(Marine Accident Investigation Branch) is not even looking into the incident, it's as if it never happened. The Coast Guard Officers who lead that service have once again made their employers proud. Why am I surprised though, we are talking about the same service which never investigated the near wreck of the Blue Star Patmos a few years ago in Ios. You get the picture of what happens in our banana republic.
- A measure of how the season has gone so far in terms of traffic is that the Superexpress is still sailing in the schedules of the Superferry who actually replaced the Superferry II. And at the same time, the Champion Jet 2 will be there throughout the month of November apparently, sailing between Piraeus - Syros - Mykonos - Naxos and Santorini. In both cases we're talking about either daily sailings or 6 times a week.
- Last but not least, something which has caused a bit of a stir here in Greece is that Attica have announced yet more increases in ticket prices, citing the recent increases in fuel prices as the reason. That's nice and dandy, however in a few months from now when the prices settle down again, we won't see those increases go away, will we? Again here you see the shining absense of any sort of government control over what increases are imposed, in which way and how these are calculated. The argument of course is that this is a free market which regulates itself. Well no, it's not a free market. From the moment the ferry companies are being subsidised by the State, it's a distorted market thus the State ought to be able to intervene when it sees fit. That's in European countries of course, I forgot.
- And from our video gallery, the final departure of the Superferry II from Tinos.
Well, the ship could be plug-and-play in a number of routes, I think their decision will have to do a lot with whatever subsidised services they end up with for next year. Something tells me they have not made their mind up 100pct right now.