One of the largest passenger ferry companies in Europe, and one of the dominant passenger ferry companies in Greece is the MINOAN LINES.
The company was founded in May 1972. During January 2008, Sea Star Capital (ANEK LINES owners) signed an agreement with Grimaldi’s Compagnia di Navigazione SpA to sell its 26.7 percent stake in Minoan. In October, Compagnia di Navigazione SpA, parent company of the Grimaldi Group, raised its stake above the limit of one third of shared capital and voting rights, which triggered a mandatory bid for the rest of the shares. The offer was launched at the end of October and lasted until the end of November. During this period, Grimaldi acquired an additional 47.9% stake in Minoan Lines, raising its total stake to about 85%.
On 10th December 2010 the Fincantieri 2009 built ropax CRUISE EUROPA entered Valletta bound to Palumbo Malta Shipyard Drydock 4 sporting Minoan Lines livery.
During the Libyan Uprising that started on 17th February 2011 Minoan Lines ferries were charted by the Chinese Government to evacuate Chinese workers of which by 0200 GMT Monday 28th February, some 29,000 Chinese nationals had been pulled out of Libya, among whom about 2,500 had returned to China, and some 23,000 and 3,400 were respectively taking shelter at and heading for other countries, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Chinese aviation authorities said that in the coming days, they would greatly increase the number of chartered flights to Greece, Malta and Tunisia in order to airlift the Chinese evacuees back home as soon as possible.
In fact on Monday 28th February around 0100 hrs the Fincantieri 2000 built ropax KNOSSOS PALACE entered Valletta berthing at Valletta Cruise Port Pinto 4 and 5 wharves with Chinese Evacuees.
The Port Authorities including the shipping agent and the Chinese Ambassador were all waiting for the vessel and were welcomed onboard.
Later on during the day the evacuees were transported to the Airport escorted by Malta Police to fly to China to their respective families.
Then again back to November 2017 the CRUISE EUROPA was at Palumbo Malta Shipyard Ltd again this time wearing another livery.
In preparation for the upcoming global sulphur cap, set to enter into force in January 2020, many owners opted to install exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) on their vessels to attain compliance. In fact Minoan Lines started sending her vessels to Palumbo Malta Shipyard Ltd so scrubbers will be installed of which the Fincantieri 2002 built ropax MYKONOS PALACE was the first one.
Then last 7th April, 2019 we saw the departure of KNOSSOS PALACE with installed scrubbers from Palumbo Malta Shipyard Ltd.
MINOAN LINES is represented in Malta by Sullivan Maritime Ltd – www.sullivanmaritime.com
Photos by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com