An image of the ship undergoing rebuild earlier this year in Italy can be seen here. Any further details of either of the Ersai ships’ current whereabouts or progress on the work are welcome!
Meanwhile the Vitsentzos Kornaros (ex-Viking Viscount/Pride of Winchester) has returned Rethymno on Crete to mainstream ferry service. On a weekly schedule which takes passengers to some delightful smaller towns and islands, the ship calls at the Cretan port on Saturdays and Sundays, restoring a direct link to Piraeus. One of the islands she calls at is Antikythira (year round population 45) and a striking image of the ship there can be found here. The restoration of conventional Piraeus-Rethymno operation by LANE Lines was the cause of much debate – a local press report stated that, if the link continues, “the company is considering seriously the possibility of perhaps changing to another modern ship, aged about 10 years, speed over 20 knots, modern hotel amenities and sailing between Rethymno and Piraeus three times a week.”
Reference is made to the ship’s mast being ‘snipped’ to ensure clearance beneath the Ã„lvsborg Bridge when she visited Gothenburg for urgent repairs following her near-sinking in 2004, which calls to mind the legend that Stena bought the sister ships only to discover they could not fit under the bridge which is upriver of the terminals at their home port. This is one company which is not averse to ship surgery however, so it seems unlikely that this is the real reason neither have ever seen operation out of Gothenburg, but it remains a great story of Stena’s fallibility and certainly precluded the ships from operating there as cover for the permanent vessels.