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3: A Brief History of Minoan Lines
- This page
is one of three devoted to Minoans Lines, and gives a brief history
of the company. The early fleet history is shown on Minoan Lines
whilst the new purpose-built fast ferries are shown on Minoan Lines
- Associated Pages:-
Lines Page 1 - Fleet History Part 1
Lines Page 2 - this page!
Lines Page 3 - Brief Company History
- Blue Star Ferries
- Strintzis Lines
Postcards Home Page
- www.minoan.gr - Official Minoan
Lines Website (includes current fleet lists)
Brief History of Minoan Lines
- 1972: On May 25th, MINOAN
LINES is legally established.
- 1974: In May, the MINOS
is purchased and on July 5th begins to serve the Piraeus - Heraklion
route under the flag of MINOAN LINES.
- 1976: A second ship, the ARIADNE
(ex-Tor Hollandia), is added to the Piraeus - Heraklion route,
linking Crete with mainland Greece on a daily basis.
- 1978: KNOSSOS joins
the Piraeus - Heraklion route, while the MINOS inaugurates
the Piraeus - Chania connection, the second link with Crete.
- 1981: With the addition of
EL GRECO, MINOAN LINES enters the international market,
offering service between Patras - Ancona in the Adriatic Sea
- 1985: MINOS is replaced
by the FESTOS in the Cretan route.
- 1986: MINOAN LINES acquires
Ro-Ro AGIA GALINI for exclusive use in transporting trucks,
trailers and special cargo.
- 1987: FEDRA, a modern
TT-Linie ferry is added to the fleet to cover the increasing
demand in the Patras - Ancona route.
- 1988: A third ship, the luxurious
KING MINOS, is added to the Patras - Ancona line.
- 1990: MINOAN LINES introduce
an Italy - Greece - Turkey route, when ARIADNE links Western
Europe with the Greek islands and the Turkish coast. The same
year, the newly acquired N. KAZANTZAKIS upgrades the services
on the Piraeus - Heraklion route.
- 1991: The new DAEDALUS
establishes a new standard in comfort and luxury on the Patras
- Ancona route. The newly refurbished EL GRECO links,
for the first time, Crete and Ancona directly.
- 1992: EROTOKRITOS offers
an express service linking Ancona and Patras in 24 hours. It
also inaugurated the 'Camping on Board' concept, offering a new
service for those passengers travelling in their campers and
- 1995: The ARETOUSA, built
in Norway, begins service on the Patras - Ancona route, offering
an express crossing of just 22 hours.
- 1996: MINOAN LINES orders
two more high-speed ferries IKARUS and PASIPHAE.
- 1997: IKARUS is launched
on May 5th in Brucess shipyard in Landskrona, Sweden. IKARUS
was delivered in December 1997 according to schedule, while its
sister ship PASIPHAE was delivered in June 1998. In July,
a new company, MINOAN LINES Highspeed, is added to the activities
of MINOAN LINES, with its new catamaran Highspeed 1 built
entirely of aluminium. The Highspeed 1 was built in 1996
at the Royal Schelde dockyards of Holland.
- 1998: MINOAN LINES announces
an agreement with the Italian shipyards FINCANTIERI to build
two new, highspeed conventional ferries, for the line PIRAEUS
- HERAKLION. These ships will reduce in half the travelling time
on the PIRAEUS - HERAKLION, to about 6 hours instead of 12 hours
- On Friday
November 20th, Minoan Lines signed, a shipbuilding contract for
two new Ro-Pax ferries with SAMSUNG HEAVY INDUSTRIES Co. Ltd.
The first ferry is to be delivered at the end of the second half
of 2000, while the second ferry at the end of the first half
of 2001. The first two Ro-Pax Highspeed Ferries will achieve
a service speed of 28.5 knots.
- The foundation
of MINOAN FLYING DOLPHINS was announced to the public, in December
1998. MINOAN FLYING DOLPHINS was established by merging CERES
HYDROFOILS with MINOAN LINES HIGHSPEED FERRIES and MINOAN LINES.
- 1999: On October 12th 1999,
it is announced the order of one more highspeed vessel, which
is the third of the High Speed Ferries currently under construction
at the SAMSUNG Shipyard. The new highspeed vessel is going to
serve the Piraeus - Chania route on May 2001 and the travelling
time will be 5 hours only. MINOAN LINES continues its fleet renewal
by increasing the orders for new highspeed ferries from 5 to
7 at the Italian FINCANTIERI shipyard. On October 1999, MINOAN
LINES announces its agreement with the Italian FINCANTIERI shipyards,
for the building of two new Highspeed ferries. On November 1999,
the foundation of a new subsidiary, HELLAS FERRIES is announced.
This company's fleet will be made up of all the older technology
vessels of MINOAN FLYING DOLPHINS.
- 2001: First of the purpose-built
fast ferries, Aretousa of 1995, sold to CMN.
Minoan Lines Route Map
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