Minoan Lines’ HSC Santorini Palace was renamed Santorini Jet

By | 2024 newsletter week 12 | No Comments

HSC Santorini Jet is the new name of HSC Santorini Palace following her bare boat chartering by Seajets. The ship is currently at the Spanopoulos Group facilities changing her livery and undergoing a refit.

Seajets has already announced its intention to introduce her on the Piraeus-Syros-Mykonos-Evdilos (Ikaria) – Karlovasi (Samos) run from June 1st until September 30, 2024.

Photo: Kostas Papadopoulos

Seajets charter Minoan Lines’ HSC SANTORINI PALACE

By | 2024 Newsletter week 03 | No Comments

On January 12, 2024, and according to reliable information, Seajets proceeded with the chartering of Minoan Lines’ HSC SANTORINI PALACE. The ship is in service during the summer period on the Heraklion – Santorini – Naxos – Mykonos – Syros – Piraeus route, while the information suggests a bareboat chartering arrangement.

HSC SANTORINI PALACE was built in Australia (Austal) in 2005. In 2015, it underwent extensive upgrades at Trieste (Fincantieri Shipyards) to increase its passenger capacity. It can accommodate up to 1,160 passengers and 117 cars.

Photo: Mike Louagie

Photo: Mike Louagie

KYDON PALACE is temporary leaving the Piraeus-Chania route

By | 2023 Newsletter week 7 | No Comments

Minoan Lines has made a request to the Hellenic Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy to temporarily reassign its cruise ferry KYDON PALACE from the Piraeus-Chania route until October 31, 2023.

The ship will be operated by Minoan Lines with Greek flag and Greek crews on the Adriatic service. Minoan Lines emphasizes that the request is temporary and they have no intention of abandoning the Piraeus-Chania route.

The reason for this request is due to the increased needs in the Adriatic Service, where the KYDON PALACE is more urgently required.

Minoan Lines – Fast Ferries cooperation on the Piraeus-Heraklion line

By | 2023 Newsletter week 3 | No Comments

Minoan Lines and Fast Ferries agreed to cooperate on the Piraeus – Heraklion (Crete) line as from Spring 2023 in order to offer high quality services and further transport development to the islands they will serve.

For this purpose, high-speed crafts THUNDER and SANTORINI PALACE, will run combined routes from Piraeus and Heraklion respectively, providing regular, fast and safe connection of the Cyclades islands with Piraeus and Heraklion as well as between them. The sailings itinerary is expected to come out in March 2023.

Minoan Lines’ icon Mr Antonis Maniadakis decides to leave his position of Managing Director

By | 2022 Newsletter week 12 | No Comments

Minoan Lines, a Grimaldi Group Company, announced the decision of Mr Antonis Maniadakis to terminate his mandate of Managing Director of the Cretan company.

In a spirit of continuity, Mr. Maniadakis will be replaced by Deputy Managing Director Mr Lucas Sigalas.

Mr Sigalas will take service at the conclusion of the Annual Shareholders Meeting of Minoan Lines which will take place next 31st of May in Heraklion. Mr Maniadakis will continue in his role until this date.


By | 2021 Newsletter week 3 | No Comments


Bergen-based photographer Tom Gulbrandsen captured LNG-powered ferry FANAFJORD, on her way to Stavanger. During spring she will start to operate in the greater Hamburg area for ElbFerry.

Old and New

This picture courtesy of Rosslare Europort shows two generations of Stena Line ferries: the brand new STENA EMBLA (2020) and the veteran STENA EUROPE (1981). Look at the difference in size!

FESTOS PALACE in Malta for Repairs and Drydocking

Minoan Lines’ FESTOS PALACE is at the Palumbo Shipyards (Malta) since 15 January, undergoing scheduled repairs and dry docking (dock no 4). The ship is expected to be back on Piraeus-Heraklion as from 15 February.

Photo: Emmanuel L. Stafrace (Malta)


By | 2020 Newsletter week 31 | No Comments

Baleària Converts 85,000 Plastic Bottles into Furniture

In a circular economy project, Baleària has reused the plastic equivalent of more than 85,000 bottles to build the furniture for the exterior decks of the ferries BAHAMA MAMA (Dénia-Ibiza-Palma), and ABEL MATUTES (Barcelona, ​​Alcúdia and Ciutadella).

Web Check In / E-Ticket for Blue Star Ferries and Hellenic Seaways

Attica Group introduced the e-ticket/boarding pass application on domestic routes, building the new digital age in Greek ferry services.

The goal of this new app is to improve services, make transactions more convenient for passengers, and simplify boarding and travel procedures. Visitors from all over the world, as well as island residents, who travel frequently by ferry, will now have the possibility to make their reservations much easier and receive and store their tickets and/or boarding passes.

Minoan Lines’ KYDON PALACE Introduced on the Piraeus-Chania Line

On July 24, Minoan Lines’ ‘cruise’ ferry KYDON PALACE was introduced on the Piraeus-Chania line, after an inauguration ceremony that took place in the port of Piraeus. She is the fastest, newest and most luxurious ship of the line, while she is also the first ship of the Cretan service to undergo scrubber conversion.

KYDON PALACE will depart, from the port of Piraeus, in July and August, at 16:00 and from the port of Souda at 23:59.

Every Saturday and Sunday she will depart from the port Piraeus at 11:00 and from the port of Souda at 22:30.

Her carrying capacity is for 2.500 passengers (758 beds) and 700 private cars or 113 trucks and 100 cars while she can run at a speed of maximum 31.50 knots.


By | 2020 Newsletter week 7 | No Comments


Eventually, Minoan Lines’ new restructuring plan in Crete is coming into force.

FESTOS PALACE has been renamed KYDON PALACE and from 17 February 2020 she will be introduced on the Piraeus – Chania line.

The rest of this ambitious plan is that KNOSSOS PALACE will be introduced -under the Grimaldi colours- on the Civitavecchia – Olbia line.

CRUISE BONARIA (ex. OLYMPIA PALACE) will be renamed either FESTOS or KNOSSOS PALACE, sport the Minoan Lines livery and serve the Piraeus – Heraklion run along with her sister MYKONOS PALACE, which will be renamed FESTOS or KNOSSOS PALACE.

That fleet reshuffling at Heraklion port mainly reveals Minoan Lines intention to offer more lane meters and less hotel services as the twins that are going to replace the classic Heraklion pair offer more freight space and less interior amenities.


By | 2020 Newsletter week 7 | No Comments

About Last Week in Italy

Last week I was in Civitavecchia and Livorno on two different cruise assignments. These jobs are always good to combine with ferry photography. Especially with ISPS it has been increasingly difficult to see and photograph ferries. A cruise ship is a nice alternative.

Let’s start with Civitavecchia. The pictures shows (from left to right) CRUISE BARCELONA, MOBY DADA and MOBY TOMMY.

Don’t you expect a cappuccino in Italy? No, it was CAPUCINE showing up. This CLdN vessel has been chartered by the Italian MoD.

A fantastic sunrise asks for a FANTASTIC ship, like the one from GNV.

I visited Livorno with SEVEN SEAS SPLENDOR on Tuesday 4 February 2020.

The first ferry I saw leaving was the ELIANA MARINO. Only later on I realised she was the former PORTO EXPRESS / LOUISE RUSS.

Although the sky was blue the weather was extremely windy. After a while all ferries in and out needed tugs.

Low season means a few ferries are not in service or are in reduced service. Some are in Livorno for maintenance.

Moby is currently not covering the connection between Santa Teresa di Gallura, in Sardinia, and Bonifacio, in Corsica, after the ferry GIRAGLIA grounded and suffered an 8-metre hole in hull. Moby is now looking to charter a small ferry. It is likely that the sistership BASTIA (currently in dry dock in Livorno, see on the picture on the right) will be deployed on the line as soon as possible.