What will be the future of Hellenic Coastal Shipping? This question is currently under discussion in Greece by the executives of the ferry sector, as the Ferry companies’ turnover is reduced by €300 million, compared to 2019, while their losses reach €100 million.
Minoan To Launch A New Connection Between Patras, Igoumenitsa And Venice
From next June 4, and until the end of the summer season, Grimaldi Group will link Italy and Greece with a new ropax service calling at the ports of Patras, Igoumenitsa and Venice (Marghera).
This new service was revealed by some media in Greece and already on the website of Grimaldi Group-controlled Minoan Lines.
The Visentini ropax VENICE (former CIUDAD DE CADIZ) will be deployed on the route and the frequency will be twice a week, thus competing with the Greek ferry company Anek Lines.
Grimaldi has been serving the line between Venice, Bari and Patras since 2015 bust just for cargo shipments and currently there are two ro-ro ships serving this line (EUROCARGO GENOVA and EUROCARGO ALESSANDRIA).
The Hellenic Government decided on 15 March:
- Interruption of passenger sea transport to and from Italy. The transport of goods and freights continues.
- Ban on cruise liners and sailboats calls in the Greek ports.
All Greek ferry operators that serve the Patras-Ancona and Bari runs announced a conversion-cancellation of tickets on the Adriatic Sea due to the Corona Virus. This policy will be valid until April 3, 2020 and will apply for tickets that have a travel date up to April 30. This policy will be revised if necessary.
Α legislative initiative –with immediate appliance- is expected by the Hellenic Ministry of Shipping which will contain measures that will tackle with the problems encountered mainly in Hellenic Coastal Shipping, in order to maintain the necessary connection of the islands with the inland country as well as the smooth operation of ships flying the Greek flag. Among the measures that are examined are:
- Allow only permanent island residents to travel
- Citizens who are not permanent island residents, must prove their necessity to travel to the islands
- The obligation of passengers to notify -with an official statement- if they come from abroad and from which country.
- Decontamination of all the ferries’ public areas/spaces on regular basis
- Maintain the ferry lines given the reduced passenger traffic. The state consider even to subsidy the ferry operators because of the emergency situation
- Revision of the current sea transport network if it becomes necessary
- The Hellenic Ministry of Shipping estimates that the crisis is severe and some shipping companies may face a sustainability problem.
It should be noted that according to Michalis Sakellis, president of the Association of Passenger Maritime Enterprises, passenger traffic in the upcoming summer season in Greece is expected to be worse than the winter season which is 20% lower than last year.
A Greek Ferry Operator seems to be the buyer of the Nankai Ferry’s FERRY TSURUGI. Today the ship plies on the Wakayama-Tokushima run and she will be replaced by the newbuilding FERRY AI, expected to be delivered on January 2020.
FERRY TSURUGI: Built in 1997 / GT 2,604 / Passengers 470 / Cars 78
The Greek Shipowners Association for Passenger Ships (SEEN) called for the Pan-Hellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO) to reconsider its 24-hour strike announced for 3 September, as it is expected to cause severe disruption to ferry transport in Greece.
In a letter to PNO, the association underlined that some 180,000 passengers, 50,000 vehicles and 3,000 trucks are expected to travel that Monday.
Minoan Lines has reportedly submitted at least six applications to commence routes connecting the Greek mainland with the Cyclades islands and the port city of Chania on Crete, according to Tornos News.