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Queries in English for our non-Greek speaking members.


ShipofTurkey

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I've seen mention that there is a ΠΕΝΕΝ strike on Thursday 24th September; can anyone advise how widespread this is likely to be? I've got a booking with the Aqua Blue from Kavala to Lavrio that day and would prefer to know what is happening before going to Kavala!

 

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  • 1 month later...

Sir, I would really like to know what has happened to Theofilos. I read some months ago that she had been sold to ANEN lines. Has this fallen through? I used to love reading your Round up page, but we have seen nothing since July. I have a great fondness for Penelope A, when she worked on the the cross channel route fro Dover to Boulogne I often travelled on her, and was delighted to travel on her again for many years in Greek waters.

Thank you for all your work at Shipfriends.

Seasparrow (Steve)

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Dear Steve,

 

We thank you for your kind words and the sad truth is that the update of the Roundup is something we need to do a much better job of. But of course the daily toil and our jobs don't always leave us with the time and energy necessary for this. Point taken on board though, we will make a better effort going ahead.

 

As for the Theofilos, the situation is rather foggy. The ship has indeed been bought by ANEN, however we have seen no movement in terms of them doing something with her, either on a positive(repairs) or negative(scrapping) note. At the same time, the Ministry of Mercantile Marine is taking advantage of this inaction by part of her owners and has gone ahead to auction the removal of the ship as a hazard to safety. And that's the last we've heard of her, rumour from Turkey in the summer was that she was going to be scrapped there, this did not materialise though.

 

As for the Penelope A, which is a personal favourite of mine as well,  I'm afraid the only possible destination is the scrapyard.

 

Cheers and take care, Nikos

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Billy,

 

I have no knowledge specifically about her status within their fleet but I think traditionally she was last in the pecking order, I still remember her being laid up during summer 2009 while the rest of the fleet was active. If memory serves she's seen considerable periods of lay up. She's now 23, the traffic volumes are low, it's not a surprise if they're actively shopping her.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Nikos can I just say thank you so much for doing this weekly roundup - yes I've been vainly trying to translate Greek to English on here for many years but I know a lot of the nuance isn't ever quite picked up. This will aid knowledge and understanding so much for those of us who love the Greek shipping scene :)

 

Not sure if you want to keep this thread clean just for your posts or if I should post on the Queries in English thread but I do have a couple of queries on the above -

It's great that Arkoumanis are continuing through the winter. The Golden Bridge is a good ship and hopefully can stand up to Grimaldi (whose ships, service standards and company culture I do not like). What have ANEK-Superfast done that suggests they are "waiving the white flag" any more than usual?

Sadly it looks like Ventouris are reducing their Bari-Corfu-Igoumenitsa route to just one ship next summer, albeit an impressive one. That makes me wonder if they don't have at least one ship too many in their fleet...

On the Ariadne I think there will need to be a ship which covers the Ariadne's routes for Moby - there was some dispute as to whether the subsidies for the Palermo-Cagliari route would continue but I would be surprised if this service was allowed to cease. Apart from Moby Dada which would not be suitable all the other Moby/Tirrenia ships are already allocated for the summer so unless they change something else they will need to charter a ship in and Ariadne has been quite effective on the route from what I can tell.

Lastly, is there any news on European Star and Red Star I?

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Hey Matt, indeed I should have done this a long time ago, like I used to do in the Yahoo Groups once upon a time. But I knew I could not keep up with the regular updates so I always postponed it. Anyway, let's see what happens from now on.

 

Arkoumanis and the Golden Bridge was one of the very few, if not the only, pleasant surprise of the year. And from the looks of it the traffic is there even against Grimaldi, which in my eyes proves the executives of all the Greek companies in the Adriatic, wrong. For a number of years we've been hearing that there's just not enough traffic to justify any investment in tonnage etc. They are pretty settled with playing second fiddle to Grimaldi, they have not dared as much as changing timetables in the existing services just to try something new and perhaps get some extra traffic. And now you have Arkoumanis making an effort, the ship is allegedly filling up and at the same time 2 of the roro behemoths of Grimaldi now being built in China, are destined for the Adriatic. So you know what, the traffic is there if you know how to get it and if you're daring enough to try something different. Grimaldi is confident in the market, that's pretty clear.

 

ANEK/Superfast are on death row and the sad thing is they're unwilling or unable to do anything to fight it. To be fair to them though, who's not fighting rearguard action against Grimaldi in Europe? If he decided for example to make a move in the Irish Sea, would he not be able to buy Seatruck for example? Or would P&O put up a fight if he were to place 2 Finnlines ships in Liverpool - Dublin? When the Finnlines newbuilding programme is completed, what would happen if he put 2 of the older units in the Sweden - Poland routes? It's not like Polferries, Unity and Stena have a creme de la creme fleet there. I'm fully with you on the on board service and ship interior of Grimaldi, I hate it just as much. But at the same time, he knows how to build and operate energy efficient, economical, innovative and profitable ships and he realises the importance of offering a complete service to his freight customers and listening to their needs. Greek companies are light years behind, especially in the customer front. And if you look at Greek shipping historically, regardless of the sector, they have been at their best whenever they were daring and innovative, not when they are beging for State subsidies.

 

Ventouris is a chapter and a name which means a lot to the older generation of ferry enthusiasts in Greece and you'll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't want to see them succeed. But this year they did not make money(or at least that's what they're saying) and my impression is that they're very sceptical about the future. For me they're missing out on oportunities. Arkoumanis is an example, the Durres - Ancona route is another one, they had rejected this route as it was only making money in July/August according to them, at the same time Adria Ferries keep it alive all year round and in the summer months they even have a daily service. If they are making money, I don't see why Ventouris could not have, they probably have the cheapest operating cost in the Adriatic along with Arkoumanis.

 

On the Ariadne, indeed Tirrenia could make use of her yet again although until the point when the deal with the creditors and bondholers is done, I don't think they can make a move. There was a rumour also about GNV looking at the ship a few weeks ago, that's another realistic possibility. The information I have(which is 2 months old by the way) is that if she were to come back, she would sail to Chios and Mytilene, releasing the Diagoras  for relief service in various other routes where Attica cannot cope with the summer demand. At the same time, if a buyer came knocking, Attica would take the money and run. So anything can happen with her.

 

European Star and Red Star I, no clue. I think in a way it's too early to tell. If the pandemic situation becomes better as we approach the summer and the vaccination process brings the desired results, the ferry companies might still offer more sailings on a spot basis. So who knows. But both these are indeed a temptation to travel on, for sure.

 

Cheers, Nikos

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nikos thanks as ever for your weekly updates :)

The ANEK/Attica news is both encouraging and sad - at least it solidifies Attica's proposition but the loss of a  historic and famous company like ANEK would be very sad. If they sold the Elyros that would give Attica both current Chania ships - surely ANEK wouldn't surrender their presence on that line like though?

Edited by hhvferry
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Elyros is the last to be considered, for the time being, as a vessel to be sold from Anek Lines, and this is due to more than one reason.

The only scenario that is undergoing currently is the two Fossen vessels of Anek Lines to be sold to Attica. Personally, though, I know about only one, not both.

Anek Lines has survived all these years, and this will happen even now, that the things seem to be discouraging for the company.

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The situation with ANEK does remind me of the Greek predicament: As a result of your own mistakes and inaction, you have ended up at the mercy of others for your survival as a country. So to answer your question, yes, normally ANEK would fight tooth and nail for their Cretan stronghold. But it's too late, the door has been left open long time ago on one hand, and on the other the banks are calling the shots.

 

The above sales are still on speculation level, remains to be seen what will exactly happen and whether the Elyros will be a part of this process. Or whether there will be a sale at all. But that was exactly the point of my earlier commentary: both for Attica and ANEK a possible sale of one or more assets between them, does not change their strategic position or their future outlook. The bigger picture remains the same, in my mind at least.

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Your last comment is totally correct Nikos. Regarding Elyros, I have to say that maybe is not an asset to be sold as it is still under the loan of buy/conversion. That was the reason why Anek Lines was chartering Elyros, their best vessel (built especially for Chania route), to Algerie ferries. The amount of yhe charter was big enough and, I don't know how exactly it works, it was like a term for paying back the loan, that means that Elyros should not be at laid up condition except necessary repairs and inspection periods.

These informations are dated back to early 2019, and I don't know if it is still under the same conditions or if the info that I accessed that time are completely correct or the truth is just a part of the real situation. I state that only for reference without any prejudice. 

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Is there any update on the future of the Olympus and Express Pegasus?

I'd planned to catch up with both ships when I came to Greece last September but, alas, they both came out of service just before I arrived :( Is there any prospect of them returning in 2021?

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Coming back to Cruise Bonaria, on her way to Greece at this time:

Marinetraffic shows her for Piraeus... Imaginable, that we see her changing with the new Knossos Palace (Olympia Palace) a second time - which would make a lot of sense in view of garage capacities, at least? Think, CRUISE BONARIA's garage is significantly smaller than all the candidates of the Grimaldi fleet (1500 vs +/-2000 lm's). I doubt, that this will be enough for Ancona, even in combination with two other vessels...

 

Edited by Solomoslove
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Dear Shipfriends from Greece!
I'm a local history researcher and journalist from Gdansk, Poland. Now I'm trying to write an article about fate of our small passenger ships from Zegluga Gdanska (Gdansk Cruise Line). Some of them were sold to Greece in the beginning of 1990's. Interesting is that I found nothing in this group of threads in your forum:
https://www.shipfriends.gr/forum/forum/47-μικρά-επιβατηγά-και-τουριστικά-πλοία/

So there are two vessels called Joanna and Salomea, which were sold to Afroessa Cruises Ltd. in 1991, renamed Bilis and Demetra respectively. Before selling they were rebuilt extensively, lenghtened which allowed to carry some cars in ferry style. I attach two photos but dunno if their look was/is similar because of rebuilding. They cruised between Greece, Egypt and Israel.
Another small ship is Justyna about which I don't know to whom in Greece she was sold. I only know that she was taken to Greece by bigger ship in 1992.
09_Justyna-1.jpg
More photos of this type's vessels in this article:
https://www.naszbaltyk.com/sylwetki-statkow/901-fafiki-portowe-promy-pasazerskie-pp-120.html

I hope you can help me :)
Greetings from Sopot near Gdans, Poland!

b6d2edb14ec5bef0ff96d648efa5.webp 7c3dba6b4da8abb4e87d35e3d817.webp

Edited by Στάνισλαβ
small letter mistake
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Dear Stan,

 

Thanks for your detailed message, I do hope someone can help you with your query. I'm afraid the shape of these ships doesn't look even remotely familiar to me. But Greece has a huge coastline so they might just be out there.

 

What I can perhaps add to your quest is the following: Actually the Afroessa Cruises entity you are mentioning, appears to be not a Greek but a Cypriot concern. The company was incorporated in July 1990 in Nicosia and appears to belong to a former owner called Trohidis or Trohides. This chap was active indeed back in the day but ended up bankrupt.

 

Also, the fact that you're mentioning they cruised between Greece, Cyprus and Israel, also doesn't add up to me. They are just too small to sail regularly in the open seas. My guess is that you'll find them doing local, daily cruises in one of these countries or even Turkey.

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