Posts tagged: st anselm

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

May Day in Denia

I spent twelve successive childhood Summers in Javea (Xàbia), on Spain’s Costa Blanca, a resort town separated from nearby Denia by the looming presence of Montgó, a 2,470-foot mountain which dominates the landscape of both towns and whose “totemic presence” is the subject of an article in the current Balearia+ Magazine.

We did have friends whose villa was in Denia but, having become something of a Javean, I viewed the town over on Montgó’s shady side with a degree of doubt. For Denia didn’t have Javea’s Arenal beach, or its massive selection of restaurants, or its Parador hotel. What it did have however were transport links: the railway line south to Benidorm via Gata and Altea upon which the ‘Limón Express’ used to trundle and a port with ferry services to the Balearic islands.

Back in the ‘80s, a company called FLEBASA Lines, a subsidiary of ISNASA, provided a service from Denia to San Antonio on Ibiza, using the sister ships Baleares and Isla de Mallorca. FLEBASA effectively broke Trasmediterranea’s Balearics monopoly but ultimately ran into difficulties in the 1990s, specifically in relation to payment for their new flagship the Manuel Azaña; however some crew members from the company set up a new operator and thus FLEBASA begat Balearia, the company which we know well today as one of Spain’s foremost ferry operators.

Balearia remain based in Denia, and on 1 May 2009 the port was a hive of activity with four Balearia ships in lay-up or refit (the Bahia de Malaga, Patricia Olivia, Jaume III (ex-Diamant) and Nixe) together with the Isla de Botofoc (ex-St Anselm, Stena Cambria) and Federico García Lorca maintaining the service to Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca. Also present was the Balearia tug the Sea Nostromo Cuarto.

Denia remains Balearia's Headquarters.

Denia remains Balearia's Headquarters.


Denia's Southern breakwater with Montgó looming in the background.

Denia's Southern breakwater with Montgó looming in the background.


The Nixe, back from charter to Armas in the Canaries, on the slipway at the new Denia shipyard.

The Nixe, back from charter to Armas in the Canaries, on the slipway at the new Denia shipyard.


Balearia have expanded in part by acquisition, with a takeover of UMAFISA being completed in 2003 and, more recently, the Gibralter Straits operation of Buquebus. The Patricia Olivia was acquired in the latter transaction and was moved for the Summer of 2008 to Balearic operations. In recent months, during her Winter lay-up, she has been used for a variety of local community events including the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of Radio Denia.

Balearia have expanded in part by acquisition, with a takeover of UMAFISA being completed in 2003 and, more recently, the Gibralter Straits operation of Buquebus. The Patricia Olivia was acquired in the latter transaction and was moved for the Summer of 2008 to Balearic operations. In recent months, during her Winter lay-up, she has been used for a variety of local community events including the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of Radio Denia.

The laid-up Bahia de Malaga. Ever since her failed sale to Transmaçor in 2006 there has been a question mark over this ship's future.

The laid-up Bahia de Malaga. Ever since her failed sale to Transmaçor in 2006 there has been a question mark over this ship's future.

The Jaume III (ex-Diamant).

The Jaume III (ex-Diamant).

The tug Sea Nostromo Cuarto, dating from 1961.

The tug Sea Nostromo Cuarto, dating from 1961.

Another view of the Bahia de Malaga.

Another view of the Bahia de Malaga.

The Nixe. The new shipyard facility was opened in 2008 and is primarily intended for use by yachts calling at the nearby marina.

The Nixe. The new shipyard facility was opened in 2008 and is primarily intended for use by yachts calling at the nearby marina.

The Jaume III, with the marina beyond.

The Jaume III, with the marina beyond.

The Patricia Olivia.

The Patricia Olivia.

The Isla de Botofoc (ex-St Anselm, Stena Cambria) on her berth prior to an evening departure for Ibiza and Palma.

The Isla de Botofoc (ex-St Anselm, Stena Cambria) on her berth prior to an evening departure for Ibiza and Palma.

Montgó and the Patricia Olivia.

Montgó and the Patricia Olivia.

Sunset in Denia: the Jaume III from the Isla de Botofoc.

Sunset in Denia: the Jaume III from the Isla de Botofoc.

Balearia’s newbuilding program continues apace and following the delivery last year of the trendy Martin I Soler, three further vessels are on order from the Barreras shipyard in Vigo. The first is the recently-launched SF Alhucemas (previously intended to be Ciudad de Alhucemas), whose name suggests it will end up with the Balearia-Nautas Al Maghreb North African service. However local rumours indicate it will instead be the Isla de Botofoc’s replacement. The second vessel is a small (800-passenger) day ferry for Formentera, which one assumes will replace the erstwhile Arlequin Rojo (ex-Saint Gildas) from Ibiza although it may also make Denia sailings. Last is another large ship, which in Balearia’s magazine is pictured as being similar to a stretched ‘Soler’ in appearance but which the shipyard’s website shows as rather different, a ro-pax with 2,300 lane metres, perhaps a replacement for one of the Borja sisters.

Balearia’s aggressive expansion has had an impact on their rivals – whilst Trasmed continue the battle on several routes, low-cost operator ISCOMAR has abandoned, for now, the Denia-Ibiza-Palma route which was for several years the preserve of the Carmen Del Mar. The ISCOMAR terminal in Denia is now closed with a notice in the window saying there would be no sailings from January until the end of April. Bookings were being taken for May, however these were subsequently cancelled and, according to the ISCOMAR agent in Ibiza, “maybe” sailings will restart in June/July. The ‘Carmen’s replacement, the Begoña Del Mar, was last seen in Piraeus Roads in January, heading back to her Ukrainian owners.

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