• Alexandros Vrailas

AGGELIS F Tribute and Moments of Trip

Trip: 3 August 2019. From Perama to Salamina, with the AGGELIS F of Filiagkos NE.

The double-ended ferry AGGELIS F was ordered in late 2017 by the Salamina-based company Filiagkos NE. She was completed in 2019 in Greece and she was deployed on the Perama-Salamina line. She operates under the Agios Nikolaos Lines joint venture. She became the first-ever double-ended ferry to be deployed for the Filiagkos family, which also owns the small passenger boat ELENA F, a ship that operates under Elena F Shipping on the Piraeus-Salamina line since she was built for that company in 1998. The Filiagkos family has been operating in Salamina since 1967, the year during which they initially deployed the then-newly-built sister ships (which were part of the numerous 'Koulouriotika' sister ships that were built in the 1960s and 1970s) ELENI F and DIMITRIOS F on the Piraeus-Salamina line. The former operated for Elena F Shipping until 1981, when she was sold to Panou Shipping for service as the MOSCHOS EXPRESS on the Piraeus-Aegina-Agistri line on the Saronic Gulf, where she remained for 20 years until being sold to Mitsoulis Cruises in 2001. She still operates for them, as the IONIAN DOLPHIN, as she performs daily cruises on the Syvota-Antipaxoi-Paxoi-Corfu line on the Ionian Sea. As for the DIMITRIOS F, she operated on the Piraeus-Salamina line until 1998, when she was replaced by the then-newly-built ELENA F, which was a much larger, modern and faster ship. The DIMITRIOS F was retired, and was withdrawn from all registries in 2002.

This is therefore a quick historical overview of the ship and her company, which has been a regular presence in Salamina for more than five decades. It is also noteworthy to state that the family is not related to the Filiagkos family that trades as Thassos Link. Indeed, the latter previously owned double-ended ferries on the Perama-Salamina line during the 2000s and early 2010s, but has been operating in Thassos since 2014. It currently owns the landing craft AGIOS ATHANASIOS and NIKITIS, and has also chartered the double-ended ferry PANAGIA KOIMISIS of Galaga Shipping Company for the 2020 season.

Less than a week after traveling to Salamina in order to see the various passenger ships that serve the island, I decided to have a look at them again on 3 August 2019, just for my own pleasure and in order to take more pictures to add to the website. As you have seen it previously, I had traveled from Perama to Salamina on 28 July 2019 with the newly-built GLYKOFILOUSA VIII of Panagia Glykofilousa NE, and headed back to Perama with the veteran double-ended ferry DIMITRIOS P of Dimitrios P NE just a few hours later. After having gone to Rafina in the early morning of 3 August with my father in order to witness the various ships departing the latter for the Cyclades and the Northeast Aegean Sea, I then had all the afternoon free in order to head to Salamina. As the passenger boats operating from Piraeus had already stopped their services for the day, I thus headed to Perama in order to take one of the many ferries that serve the Perama-Salamina line. There, I saw the AGGELIS F waiting for me, as she was the ship that was due to depart for Salamina right upon my arrival in the port of Perama.

The AGGELIS F seen docked in Perama, shortly before I embarked onboard her. Unlike the ELENA F which has a white and light blue livery, she instead carries a distinctive red livery, similar to that of Tsokos Lines.

Next to the AGGELIS F was the small passenger boat PANAGIA of Panagia Thalassini NE, which is one of the many small passenger ships that also operate on the Perama-Salamina line.

After boarding the ship, I could clearly see her wide open garage, which passes under her accommodation superstructure. She also has side ramps which allow the passengers to take the staircases that lead to the accommodation superstructure. Right above her garage area, one can see her name, written in Greek letters in a red stripe.

A view of the ship's accommodation superstructure, as well as one of the staircases that lead to it.

The first deck of the accommodation superstructure features an indoor lounge area, which features many modern lounges aligned in parallels. Next to the windows, one can see some individual seats as well. Her ceiling also has a stripe featuring lights under a very nice shade of purple. This indoor lounge area is clearly far more modern than the ones found in other double-ended ferries, something that is justified by the fact that this was the ship's first-ever summer of service.

Right above the first deck of the accommodation superstructure were two additional decks. The second deck features an outdoor area for passengers as well as the crew's cabins, while the third and final deck consists of the ship's bridge. All decks are separated by red stripes.

The outdoor area found in the second deck of the accommodation superstructure. Just like it is the case with most Greek double-ended ferries, it features multiple seats available for passengers during the trip. In the case of the AGGELIS F, there were many white chairs, as well as some life-rafts.

Another view of the seats and the life-rafts located in the outdoor area of the second deck of the ship's accommodation superstructure.

Next to the seats was also the ship's primary lifeboat, which was attached to a red lifting crane.

The front section of the ship's garage was already completely full of cars and motorcycles. It clearly shows why the Perama-Salamina line is one of the Greek coastal service's busiest lines, as there are departures from both ports every five minutes during the peak hours of the summer season.

As I began to look towards Salamina, I spotted a familiar face. Indeed, it was the veteran water tanker AEGINA II of Hydrousa Maritime Company, which was on her way towards Aspropyrgos, in order to receive her usual water supply so that she could bring it to Aegina. Unfortunately, earlier this year, following the construction of a water pipeline linking Athens with Aegina, the ship, which therefore no longer had a role as a water tanker, was sold for scrap to Turkey, These news were very sad for me, as it was a ship that marked my childhood since she would always be docked in the port of Aegina during the evening, when I would usually go to spot the various ships arriving in and leaving the island.

A view of the PANAGIA, which has so far spent her entire career on the Perama-Salamina line. She was built in 1996, and is actually the oldest small passenger ship operating on the line, along with the SALAMIS EXPRESS I of Salamis Express, which was also built in 1996.

Another view of the PANAGIA in the port of Perama. While she is tied with the SALAMIS EXPRESS I as the oldest small passenger ship operating on the Perama-Salamina line, she is actually the one which has been operating there for the longest period of time, as she has continuously been operating on the line since 1996. The SALAMIS EXPRESS I, on the other hand, has also operated on the Piraeus-Salamina line from 1996 to 2000, and then during the summer seasons of 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Next to the AGGELIS F was the double-ended ferry SPYRIDON S of Dimitrios NE. She was built in 2016 and was spending her second consecutive summer on the Perama-Salamina line, and third overall. In 2017 she was operating on the Rion-Antirrion line, a service on which she returned this year.

Another view of the SPYRIDON S, which is one of the two ships owned by Dimitrios NE, the other one being the DIMITRIOS S.

While the AGGELIS F departed the port of Perama at 14:30, I also got to spot the double-ended ferry THEOLOGOS V II of Evia Ferries, which was docked right next to the SPYRIDON S.

The THEOLOGOS V II seen in Perama. Built in late 2018, she was spending the first summer of her career on the Perama-Salamina line, just like the AGGELIS F.

The THEOLOGOS V II and the SPYRIDON S seen resting together in Perama.

As the AGGELIS F began to head towards Salamina, I got to spot the other aforementioned veteran small passenger ship of the Perama-Salamina line. Indeed, it was the SALAMIS EXPRESS I of Salamis Express.

The SALAMIS EXPRESS I seen heading towards Perama. The 2019 season was her first full summer back on the Perama-Salamina line since 2015. During the summers of 2016, 2017 and a part of 2018, she instead operated on the Piraeus-Salamina line, having taken over the service which had previously been covered by the small passenger boat BOB SFOUGKARAKIS of Kavouris Shipping Company, which is now also operating on the Perama-Salamina line.

The SALAMIS EXPRESS I seen heading towards the port of Perama, from which the AGGELIS F had just departed.

One last view of the SALAMIS EXPRESS I as she is seen heading towards the port of Perama.

Shortly after seeing the SALAMIS EXPRESS I, I saw the double-ended ferry KONSTANTINOS K of Salaminia Ferries-K Star also heading from Salamina to Perama.

The KONSTANTINOS K seen heading towards Perama, after having departed Salamina. She was built in 2009, hence ten years before the AGGELIS F. She has since been an integral member of the group of double-ended ferries operating on the Perama-Salamina line, which she has served for all but two years of her career so far. Indeed, she operated on the Arkitsa-Aidipsos line on the North Evoian Gulf in 2015, while she was then inserted on the Rion-Antirrion line in 2016. She returned to the Perama-Salamina line in 2017, and has since been remaining there.

The beautiful KONSTANTINOS K seen heading from Salamina to Perama.

Passing by the KONSTANTINOS K as she is seen sailing towards Perama.

Another view of the KONSTANTINOS K while she is seen en route towards Perama.

As the ship began approaching the port of Paloukia in Salamina, I spotted the Salamina Naval Base, which is the largest naval base of the Hellenic Navy. Many frigates, fast boats and submarines can be spotted there.

On the port side of the ship was the small Salaminian town of Kamatero, which features the well-known Church of Koimisis tis Theotokou, whose name stands for the Assumption of Mary into Heaven.

The next ship that followed the KONSTANTINOS K was a double-ended ferry that used to have the name KONSTANTINOS as well. Indeed, it was the ALEXANDROS M of Boufis Shipping Company.

The ALEXANDROS M seen heading towards Perama. Built in 2000, she was initially known as the KONSTANTINOS of now-defunct company Konstantinos ANE. She operated on the Perama-Salamina line from 2000 to 2002 and then from 2004 to 2010, with the 2003 season seeing her operating on the Rion-Antirrion line. After the completion of the 2010 season, Konstantinos ANE experienced financial difficulties and had to cease operations. As a result, the ship was sold to Boufis Shipping Company (based in Spetses) in 2011 and was renamed ALEXANDROS M, becoming the second ship in the history of the company to bear that name.

Despite her current owners being based in Spetses, the ship continued to operate on the Perama-Salamina line, and actually only operates on the company's traditional service, the Kosta-Spetses line, whenever her fleetmate, the landing craft KATERINA STAR which serves the line, undergoes her annual refit. She also spent the 2016 season on the Rion-Antirrion line, before heading back to the Perama-Salamina line the following year.

The ALEXANDROS M on her way towards Perama. By photographing her, I had now taken pictures of all the ships owned by Boufis Shipping Company as of 2019. Indeed, just six days before seeing the ALEXANDROS M, I headed to Spetses during the morning of 28 July 2019, and there I managed take pictures of the KATERINA STAR, as well as of the small passenger ships SPETSES EXPRESS I and SPETSES EXPRESS II.

The ALEXANDROS M seen sailing towards Perama. This was her eighteenth overall season on the Perama-Salamina line, where she has spent the bulk of her career. The sole exceptions were in 2003 and in 2016, when she operated on the Rion-Antirrion line.

Passing by the ALEXANDROS M as she heads towards Perama.

One last view of the ALEXANDROS M.

As the AGGELIS F passed by the port of Kamatero in Salamina, I got to see the landing craft POSEIDONAS of Farmakoris-Villiotis NE. Built in 2010, she operated on the Arkitsa-Aidipsos line during that same year, and from 2012 to 2018, while in 2011 she operated on the Rion-Antirrion line. After being replaced by her newly-built fleetmate, the ALKYON, on the Arkitsa-Aidipsos line for the 2019 season, she was sent for lay-up in Salamina. However, she is due to return to service soon, as she is currently being converted in Perama following her purchase by the Saronic Ferries joint venture, for whom she is due to operate on the Saronic Gulf as the ANTIGONI.

Shortly after passing by the POSEIDONAS (now known as the ANTIGONI), I saw the small passenger boat ARTEMIS of Artemis SNE heading towards Perama as well.

The ARTEMIS having just departed Salamina for Perama. She was built in 2003 and has operated on the Perama-Salamina line throughout her entire career, except between 2015 and 2018, a period during which she was laid-up in Salamina at all. A sale to Thessaloniki Waterbus for service on the Thermaic Gulf did not materialise in 2017, and the ship instead returned to service under Artemis SNE in 2018, following a three-year-long lay-up in Salamina.

Right behind her, I could see the double-ended ferry IOANNIS SOPHIA K of Karnesis-Lalousis NE departing Salamina.

The ARTEMIS seen heading towards Perama.

The IOANNIS SOPHIA K seen following the ARTEMIS after having departed the port of Paloukia in Salamina. She is the flagship of Karnesis-Lalousis NE, having been built for them in 2016. She was deployed on the Perama-Salamina line that year, and was joined by her sister ship, the THEOCHARIS MARIA L, in 2017. She was deployed on the Rion-Antirrion line in 2018, before returning to the Perama-Salamina line the following year.

Another view of the impressive Salamina Naval Base.

The IOANNIS SOPHIA K leaving Salamina for Perama, during her first season on the Perama-Salamina line since 2017.

The IOANNIS SOPHIA K now heading towards Perama.

One last view of the IOANNIS SOPHIA K as she heads towards the port of Perama.

At around 14:45, the port of Paloukia in Salamina could clearly be seen, featuring dozens of double-ended ferries operating on the Perama-Salamina line.

Among the countless number of double-ended ferries, I could spot the THEOMITOR of Athinais Lines, the newly-built PROTOPOROS XI of Tsokos Lines, the STAVROS N of Nikolaïdis NE, the SALAMINOMACHOS of Salaminomachos Lines, the PROTOPOROS X of Tsokos Lines and the GEORGIOS of Georgios Lines.

On the other side of the pier were four other double-ended ferries, namely the AGIOS ELEFTHERIOS IV of Feidias NE, the sister ships GLYKOFILOUSA V and the GLYKOFILOUSA IV of Panagia Glykofilousa NE and the TELAMON of Dimitrios P NE.

The AGGELIS F was preparing to dock next to the GEORGIOS, which was resting in Salamina alongside several other double-ended ferries.

The GEORGIOS seen resting in Salamina. Built in 2009 for Georgios Lines, she operated on the Perama-Salamina line from 2009 to 2011, in 2013, from 2016 to 2017, and in 2019. In 2012, from 2014 to 2015, in 2018 and since 2020 she has been operating on the Rion-Antirrion line.

Not far from them was the ANNA MARIA of Gavanozis Shipping, which was operating on the Perama-Salamina line in 2019. I had previously traveled with her on 21 July 2018, while heading from Oropos to Eretria via the South Evoian Gulf.

Next to the ANNA MARIA was the small passenger boat GEORGIOS BROUFAS II of Broufas Vessels, which operates on the Piraeus-Salamina line.

The AGIOS ELEFTHERIOS IV seen resting in Salamina.

The GEORGIOS seen resting in Salamina as well.

The GEORGIOS seen in Salamina, during her first summer on the Perama-Salamina line since 2017. She then headed back to the Rion-Antirrion line, where she currently operates.

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS II seen resting in Salamina. Built in 1998, she has so far spent her entire career on the Piraeus-Salamina line. I traveled with her for the first time in my life exactly one year and one month before taking this picture, back in 3 July 2018, when I headed with her from Piraeus to Salamina and back.

One last view of the GEORGIOS as the AGGELIS F prepares to dock in Salamina.

As well as one final view of the AGIOS ELEFTHERIOS IV. The AGGELIS F docked in Salamina and immediately began to unload all the passengers and the vehicles that had traveled onboard her during that trip.

And this therefore marked the end of the very nice trip that I had with the newly-built AGGELIS F. Just like it was the case with the GLYKOFILOUSA VIII, it was a very pleasant trip onboard a very modern ship, which featured very comfortable amenities for passengers. She clearly displays the tradition of the Filiagkos family as well as their will to adapt to the current demand and to operate newer and more efficient ships. Furthermore, just like the week before this trip, I managed to see several ships operating on the Perama-Salamina line, as well as others that were docked in Salamina for other purposes. Overall, I was very satisfied to make yet another trip on this very busy line with yet another nice and modern ferry.

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