Posts tagged: durres

2018 in images. Part 2 – Southern Europe

Benchijigua Express, Los Cristianos

Benchijigua Express, Los Cristianos

The second part of the 2018 photo review, this time favourite images taken in Southern Europe during the year.

Vitsentzos Kornaros (ex-Viking Viscount), Salamina

Vitsentzos Kornaros (ex-Viking Viscount), Salamina

On board Don Peppino (ex-Malmo)

On board Don Peppino (ex-Malmo)

Rigel II (ex-Visby, Stena Felicity)

Rigel II (ex-Visby, Stena Felicity)

Hellenic Spirit & Asterion II at Igoumenitsa

Hellenic Spirit & Asterion II at Igoumenitsa

Bari (ex-St Anselm, Stena Cambria) at Igoumenitsa

Bari (ex-St Anselm, Stena Cambria) at Igoumenitsa

AF Francesca, Bari

AF Francesca, Bari

Al Andalus Express (ex-Nord pas-de-Calais) at Puerto del Rosario

Al Andalus Express (ex-Nord pas-de-Calais) at Puerto del Rosario

Knossos Palace, Piraeus

Knossos Palace, Piraeus

Nuraghes & Rhapsody (ex-Napoleon Bonaparte), Genoa

Nuraghes & Rhapsody (ex-Napoleon Bonaparte), Genoa

Phivos at Aegina

Phivos at Aegina

Cruise Barcelona, Porto Torres

Cruise Barcelona, Porto Torres

Benchijigua Express, Volcan de Taburiente & Aurora at San Sebastian de La Gomera

Benchijigua Express, Volcan de Taburiente & Aurora at San Sebastian de La Gomera

Flying Dolphin Athina & Nissos Samos (ex-New Akashia, Ionian Queen) at Piraeus

Flying Dolphin Athina & Nissos Samos (ex-New Akashia, Ionian Queen) at Piraeus

Korcula, Split

Korcula, Split

Sardinia Vera, Bastia

Sardinia Vera, Bastia

Kriti I

Kriti I

Moby Dada (ex-Finlandia, Queen of Scandinavia)

Moby Dada (ex-Finlandia, Queen of Scandinavia)

Isola del Giglio (ex-Stavanger) & Giuseppe Rum, Giglio

Isola del Giglio (ex-Stavanger) & Giuseppe Rum, Giglio

St Damian (ex-Viking 3, Roslagen)

St Damian (ex-Viking 3, Roslagen)

Fauno off Capo Miseno

Fauno off Capo Miseno

Zadar (ex-Ibn Battouta 2), Split

Zadar (ex-Ibn Battouta 2), Split

Petar Hektorovic (ex-Langeland III) at Vis

Petar Hektorovic (ex-Langeland III) at Vis

Volcan de Taburiente

Volcan de Taburiente

Moby Corse (ex-Dana Anglia, Pont l'Abbe), Bastia

Moby Corse (ex-Dana Anglia, Pont l’Abbe), Bastia

St Damian (ex-Viking 3, Roslagen), Vlore

St Damian (ex-Viking 3, Roslagen), Vlore

Rhapsody, Porto Torres

Rhapsody, Porto Torres

Bentago Express, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Bentago Express, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Asterion II, Igoumenitsa

Asterion II, Igoumenitsa

Quirino, Ischia

Quirino, Ischia

Eurocargo Roma & Eurocargo Ravenna, Salerno

Eurocargo Roma & Eurocargo Ravenna, Salerno

Moby Zaza (ex-Olau Britannia) at Bastia

Moby Zaza (ex-Olau Britannia) at Bastia

GNV Azzurra (ex-Gotland, Peter Wessel) & Rigel II (ex-Visby, Stena Felicity)

GNV Azzurra (ex-Gotland, Peter Wessel) & Rigel II (ex-Visby, Stena Felicity), Durres

Rigel I (ex-Bore I), Igoumenitsa

Rigel I (ex-Bore I), Igoumenitsa

More on the Senlac

Nigel Best has come to the rescue to complete our update of the current status of the ‘H Boats’ with recent images, from owners European Seaways, of the Senlac, now the Apollon, operating between Bari and Durres.

The Apollon at Bari.

The Apollon at Bari.


The Apollon's bridge.

The Apollon's bridge.

Starboard side lounge.

Starboard side lounge.

The Franta Belsky 'Senlac' mural at Boat Deck level.

The Franta Belsky 'Senlac' mural at Boat Deck level.

Mention was previously made of the volume of competition on this route, with perhaps the most competing ships on any overnight crossing in the world. In full, to the best of my knowledge, the complete line up is as follows:

  • European Seaways: the Apollon & Ionis
  • Ventouris Ferries: Rigel, Siren & Athens
  • AGEMAR/Halkydon: Arberia, Grecia, Venezia (also sailing to Trieste but the ships rotate between the two routes)
  • Adria Ferries: Riviera Adriatica. The Riviera del Conero (ex-Egitto Express) appears to be remaining exclusively on the company’s original route between Durres and Ancona this Summer.
  • Tirrenia Divisione Adriatica : refurbished Strade Romana class Domiziana & Flaminia
  • G Lines: Santa Maria I (although the company’s website makes no mention of it, the ship is also making some sailings Barletta-Durres)
  • Lastly the sole fast ferry on the route, Virtu Ferries/Venezia Lines‘ San Gwann
  • Not operating to Durres, but on an optimistic new route from Bari to Shengjin in Albania’s north are Azzurra Line and their peripatetic Azzurra.

    Down the coast on the parallel Brindisi-Vlore route the demise of the Kapetan Alexandros A has done little to change the nature of operations with Medglory Shipping’s Veronica Line and Red Stars‘ Red Star I competing with the Agoudimos replacement the Ionian Spirit. Although Red Star seem to be Skenderbeg Lines reborn, the latter’s name has joined Palmier Ferries, Rainbow Lines, Prosperity Navigation etc in defunct operators on this route. The Europa I remains in Brindisi, where she has been laid up now for more than a year after the failure of last year’s Otranto-Vlore operation.

    The most notable names missing from the list of Albanian operators are Marlines and their Duchess M, the former Breizh-Izel of Brittany Ferries. Marlines’ final years were a cruel betrayal of their glory days (pre-Superfast), but they seemed to have found a niche in a market more akin to the Greece-Italy routes of that halcyon era. The company has not, however, returned for 2009 and so one must wonder if this is to be the end of another of the Adriatic’s most famous names, with HML and, to all intents and purposes, Adriatica already gone. The Duchess M, for now, remains laid up in Elefsis.

    The future for the ex-Senlac is almost as uncertain. The Arkoumanis-controlled European Seaways have boldly expanded into the Durres market, from their first sailing less than ten months ago to now having a two-ship rolling schedule. Whether this has been a success or not time will tell, but for now the Apollon, the most original but also the most mechanically tender of the three Sealink sisters, continues to provide valuable service to one of the Adriatic market’s bottom feeders.

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