GEORGIOS BROUFAS II Tribute and Moments of Trip
Trip: 3 July 2018. From Piraeus to Salamina, with the GEORGIOS BROUFAS II of Broufas Vessels.
The GEORGIOS BROUFAS II was built in Greece in 1998 for her namesake owner, Broufas Vessels, for service on the Piraeus-Salamina line (serving the ports of Kamatero and Paloukia). She was the second ship to be delivered to her owner, as the latter had also deployed her sister ship and fleetmate, the GEORGIOS BROUFAS, in 1997. Both ships have since been central figures of the connection between Piraeus and the Saronic Gulf island, which is the one located the closest to Athens. In the summer, she makes a few crossings between Megalo Pefko (which is near Megara, located in the Elefsina Bay) and Salamina, though in this case she serves the port of Faneromeni.
The little GEORGIOS BROUFAS II seen arriving in Piraeus, shortly before performing my trip with her.
More than two-and-a-half years after writing a blog post which was dedicated to the ships that connect Piraeus with Salamina, I finally found myself performing a trip with one of them. Indeed, while I was having an internship in Piraeus, I had a day off during the week and decided to take advantage of it by traveling to Salamina for the afternoon. A trip from Piraeus to Salamina might sound like a quick ride without any highlights, but it is actually, from a shipping enthusiast's point of view, an ideal journey. In fact, one can see dozens on ships as we head from the main port of Piraeus to Drapetsona, Keratsini, Perama, which include all repair zones and the laid-up ships in the area. Finally, while almost reaching Salamina and the port of Paloukia, several double-ended ferries operating on the Perama-Salamina line and small passenger boats also operating on that same line can be spotted. In other words, this trip is the true definition of paradise for shipping enthusiasts like me.
From a personal point of view, this trip marked my second-ever visit to the island of Salamina. The first one had been done 18 years prior, back in 2000, just a few days before my sister was born. Therefore, as I was just 17 months old back then, I do not have much memories about my first time in the historic island. Whether I went there by boat from Piraeus back then is uncertain, but this trip on 3 July 2018 was the first one that I would remember. It was certainly my first trip with the GEORGIOS BROUFAS II and with a ship owned by Broufas Vessels.
I arrived in Piraeus just a few minutes before 14:00. There, I spotted several ships, including the BLUE GALAXY of Blue Star Ferries, which operates on the Piraeus-Chania line.
In the E8 gate, where my departure point was located, I saw several other ships, with one of them being the catamaran FLYINGCAT 3 of Hellenic Seaways, which operates on the Saronic Gulf, serving the Piraeus-Poros-Hydra-Ermioni-Spetses-Porto Cheli line.
Next to the FLYINGCAT 3, I spotted two other Hellenic Seaways high speed craft operating on the Saronic Gulf. These were the sister ships hydrofoils FLYING DOLPHIN XVIII and FLYING DOLPHIN XVII. Both were built in 1984 for Ceres Flying Dolphins. The FLYING DOLPHIN XVII was inserted on the Piraeus-Aegina-Agistri-Poros-Hydra-Ermioni-Spetses-Porto Cheli line on the Saronic Gulf, which is were she has spent her entire career so far. The FLYING DOLPHIN XVIII was instead deployed on the Sporades, and remained there until 2005, when she joined her sister ship on the Saronic Gulf.
The veteran hydrofoil FLYING DOLPHIN XVIII seen resting in Piraeus.
And her sister ship, the FLYING DOLPHIN XVII, seen right behind her.
The FLYINGCAT 3 awaiting to load passengers. The 2018 season was her third season operating on the Saronic Gulf on a full-time basis. She had also operated in 2015 on the Piraeus-Hydra-Spetses line, providing extra service in addition to her operations on the Piraeus-Serifos-Sifnos-Koufonisi line where she was mainly based that summer.
Next to the high speed craft, I could spot yet another ship operating on the Saronic Gulf: the ferry PHIVOS of Nova Ferries, which operates on the Piraeus-Aegina-Methana-Poros line.
The FLYINGCAT 3 seen again in Piraeus. 2018 marked 20 years since her entry to service. Within these two decades, she has operated for Goutos Lines (1998-1999), Minoan Flying Dolphins/Hellas Flying Dolphins (1999-2005) and the latter's successor, Hellenic Seaways (since 2005).
The FLYINGCAT 3 having loaded most of her passengers.
The great PHIVOS of Nova Ferries. Four days after my trip with the GEORGIOS BROUFAS II, I would end up traveling with her, as I spent a weekend in Aegina with my brother and two other friends.
Another view of the PHIVOS. This was her fourteenth summer in Greece, with all of them spent on the Saronic Gulf under Nova Ferries. In all these years, no other ship in the region has matched her in terms of comfort, speed and overall service efficiency.
The FLYING DOLPHIN XVIII seen again in Piraeus.
While looking towards the port's exit, I noticed three other ships, two of which were headed for docking at the E8 gate: the hydrofoil FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX of Hellenic Seaways, the ferry POSIDON HELLAS of 2way Ferries and the ferry NISSOS RODOS of Hellenic Seaways. The POSIDON HLLAS also used to operate for Hellenic Seaways, before her sale to her current owners in 2015.
The POSIDON HELLAS seen approaching the E8 gate in Piraeus.
The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX, Hellenic Seaways' third hydrofoil, seen approaching the E8 gate as well.
The POSIDON HELLAS, which was built in the same year as the GEORGIOS BROUFAS II. She has also spent her entire career on the Saronic Gulf, having operated under Poseidon Consortium Shipping (1998-1999), Minoan Flying Dolphins/Hellas Flying Dolphins under the Saronikos Ferries division (1999-2005), Hellenic Seaways (2005-2015) and 2way Ferries (since 2015). The latter is owned by the Papaïoannidis family, which also owned her under her Poseidon Consortium Shipping tenure.
The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX, which has also spent her entire career on the Saronic Gulf. She is the youngest hydrofoil operating in the Greek coastal service.
The POSIDON HELLAS ready to maneuver in Piraeus.
The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX preparing to dock as well.
Two Hellenic Seaways fleetmates, the FLYINGCAT 3 and the FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX, seen together in Piraeus.
The POSIDON HELLAS maneuvering in Piraeus.
Four Hellenic Seaways high speed craft seen together in Piraeus: the FLYING DOLPHIN XVIII, the FLYING DOLPHIN XVII, the FLYINGCAT 3 and the FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX.
The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX preparing to dock in Piraeus.
The POSIDON HELLAS seen maneuvering in Piraeus.
The impressive POSIDON HELLAS preparing to dock in Piraeus.
The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX docking in Piraeus.
Another view of the FLYINGCAT 3.
The POSIDON HELLAS docking in Piraeus, while our main focus for the day, the GEORGIOS BROUFAS II, is also seen approaching the port.
The POSIDON HELLAS docking next to the PHIVOS.
The GEORGIOS BROUFAS II also heading towards the E8 gate.
The GEORGIOS BROUFAS II preparing to maneuver in Piraeus.
The GEORGIOS BROUFAS II quickly maneuvering in Piraeus. Besides her original appearance, she also notably has a bulbous bow, as does her sister ship. No other small passenger ships serving Salamina have one.
The GEORGIOS BROUFAS II maneuvering in Piraeus.
The GEORGIOS BROUFAS II having finished her maneuvering procedure and now heading towards the dock of Piraeus.
The POSIDON HELLAS docking in Piraeus.
It was finally time to board the ship. This is what her indoor area looks like, and it is located on the first of the two decks the ship has. The lower deck features the indoor lounge area, while the upper deck features the bridge and the outdoor seats where passengers can stay throughout the trip.
The upper deck, which features a sun deck at the stern section of the ship.
The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen again, while docking in Piraeus.
The FLYING DOLPHIN XVIII resting in Piraeus.
The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen yet again.
The two hydrofoils FLYING DOLPHIN XVIII and FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen together in Piraeus, while the GEORGIOS BROUFAS II prepares to leave the port.
The FLYINGCAT 3 resting in Piraeus. Formerly a Cyclades-based catamaran, she has now been operating on the Saronic Gulf since 2015-2016.
We have now departed Piraeus. Here is the POSIDON HELLAS, which had successfully docked next to us.
Four high speed craft owned by Hellenic Seaways: the FLYING DOLPHIN XVIII, the FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX, the FLYING DOLPHIN XVII and the FLYINGCAT 3.
The PHIVOS and the POSIDON HELLAS. Since 2014, they turned their former rivalry into a partnership, as their owners joined the Saronic Ferries joint venture.
The Saronic Gulf veteran PHIVOS resting in Piraeus.
As we began to leave the E8 gate, I then spotted the ferry KRITI II of ANEK Lines, which operates on the Piraeus-Heraklion line.
The PHIVOS and the POSIDON HELLAS seen together in Piraeus.
The BLUE GALAXY resting in Piraeus. She has been operating on the Piraeus-Chania line since 2015.
The KRITI II and the BLUE GALAXY seen in Piraeus. Formerly fleetmates (as the BLUE GALAXY was previously owned by ANEK Lines, from 1999 to 2015) and both built in Japan, they operate under the ANEK-Attica Group joint venture.
As soon as she had docked, the FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX departed Piraeus in order to head towards Aegina.
In front of the BLUE GALAXY and the KRITI II, I was able to see one of their fiercest competitors: the FESTOS PALACE of Minoan Lines, which operates on the Piraeus-Milos-Heraklion line.
The impressive FESTOS PALACE, which was operating for the eighteenth straight summer on the Piraeus-Heraklion line. That summer however marked her first one on the Piraeus-Milos-Heraklion line, as the beautiful Cyclades island was added to her itinerary by Minoan Lines prior to the 2018 season.
I then passed by the NISSOS RODOS. Considering how small the GEORGIOS BROUFAS II is, I was forced to see the gigantic ferry while looking upwards.
The NISSOS RODOS seen in Piraeus. The 2018 season marked her first operating solely on the Piraeus-Chios-Mytilene line. Before that, if charters overseas are excluded, she has had experience on the Corinth-Venice line (two different stints), on the Piraeus-Paros-Kos-Rhodes line (on the Cyclades and the Dodecanese) and on the Northeast Aegean Sea lifeline, where she also made stops in several Cyclades islands (Syros and Mykonos, or Paros and Naxos) and in Patmos.
Besides the NSISOS RODOS, I was thrilled to see a well-known ferry for the first time in more than three years: it was the fantastic DIAGORAS of Blue Star Ferries, which had returned to Greece following two years under Africa Morocco Link (a subsidiary of Attica Group). Previously operating on the Dodecanese lifeline, she entered service in 2018 on the Piraeus-Mykonos-Patmos-Ikaria-Fournoi-Samos-Chios-Mytilene-Limnos-Kavala lifeline, replacing the NISSOS RODOS.
The DIAGORAS, a ship that very few people thought they would be seeing operating in Greece for the second time in her career. Yet she made it back and had a good first season on her new duties, which she shared with Hellenic Seaways, which was acquired by Attica Group in early 2018.
The Japanese bow of the NISSOS RODOS. She arrived in Greece in 2005. Before that, she was owned by Japanese company Taiheiyo Ferry. Her sister ship, the KITAKAMI, was still operating for the latter as of 2018, but due to a newly-built ferry replacing her, she has been sold for scrap, being only 30 years old (and two years younger than the NISSOS RODOS).
A view of the DIAGORAS and the NISSOS RODOS. Both ships were built in Japan, both ships' names are related with the island of Rhodes (Diagoras was a well-known Ancient Rhodian athlete), both had past experience on the Dodecanese and both now operate on the Northeast Aegean Sea. The DIAGORAS actually took over the lifeline on which the NISSOS RODOS was operating from 2015 to 2017. Between both ships, the floating museum HELLAS LIBERTY, a Liberty ship, can be seen.
As we start exiting the port, I saw another ship with experience on the Northeast Aegean Sea and the Dodecanese, and also with a stint overseas before making a comeback to Greek waters, just like both the NISSOS RODOS and the DIAGORAS did. This time, the description corresponded to that of the NISSOS CHIOS, also owned by Hellenic Seaways.
The DIAGORAS seen resting in Piraeus, in her first summer back in Greece.
The NISSOS CHIOS also resting in Piraeus. Just like the DIAGORAS, she also returned to Greece in 2018 after previously operating on the Western Mediterranean Sea. Indeed, between the summers of 2014 and 2017, she had been chartered to Spanish company Baleària, and her service under the latter was a massive success. But, fortunately, she is now back to the country where she was built and where she successfully began her career: Greece.
Another view of the DIAGORAS.
The NISSOS CHIOS seen in Piraeus. Before her charter to Baleària, she operated for Hellenic Seaways mainly on the Piraeus-Chios-Mytilene line. In 2018, she initially was deployed on the Piraeus-Paros-Naxos-Ios-Santorini line, replacing the very successful service covered by her fleetmate, the NISSOS SAMOS, the previous summer. However, after Hellenic Seaways was taken over by Attica Group, the latter controversially terminated this line and deployed the NISSOS CHIOS on the Dodecanese lifeline (instead of the returning DIAGORAS which operated there for many years in the past). Her service for 2018 was spent on the Piraeus-Paros-Naxos-Ikaria-Fournoi-Astypalaia-Patmos-Leipsoi-Leros-Kalymnos-Kos-Nisyros-Tilos-Symi-Rhodes-Karpathos-Castellorizon line. Additionally, every Saturday she operated on the Piraeus-Chios-Mytilene line, a line very familiar for this great ferry.
The NISSOS CHIOS resting in Piraeus, in what was an extremely busy summer for her and her crew.
The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX, a fleetmate of the NISSOS CHIOS, seen exiting Piraeus alongside the GEORGIOS BROUFAS II.
The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX beginning to activate her engines at full-speed as she prepares to exit Piraeus.
The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX now at full-speed at she exits Piraeus.
The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX having left Piraeus and now heading towards Aegina.
While the FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX was heading towards the Saronic Gulf and the wider Aegean Sea, the GEORGIOS BROUFAS II in the meantime began to head towards Salamina, which can only be accessed by the small passageway leading ships near the island of Psyttaleia, and the suburban neighborhoods of Drapetsona, Keratsini and Perama. Drapetsona can be spotted as soon as a ship heads West of the Piraeus exit pier. There, a large pier features various ships of all types, with some undergoing a refit while other remaining out of service. One of these ships was one that I knew quite well: the ZAKYNTHOS 1 of Kefalonian Lines. She suffered an engine failure prior to the summer 2018 season, which was never repaired and she missed the whole season (being replaced by the company's new acquisition, the ALEXANDRA L). Her future is now even further in doubt, as recent news stated that Kefalonian Lines ceased operations on the Ionian Sea and sold their flagship, the NISSOS KEFALONIA, to rivals Levante Ferries. The fates of the ZAKYNTHOS 1 and of the ALEXANDRA L are now uncertain. Kefalonian Lines stated that they plan to operate outside of the Ionian Sea, although this seems like a really long shot.
Next to her was the high speed craft PAROS JET of Sea Jets. Unlike the ZAKYNTHOS 1, she was not permanently laid-up, instead she was just waiting to cover the service left by one her fleetmates in case she would suffer an engine failure. Generally, the PAROS JET was a spare ship used by Sea Jets in all their areas of operations. She was also deployed on the Sporades and on the Piraeus-Chania line when ships owned by other companies and operating on these areas also went on to experience technical issues.
In the meantime, the FLYING DOLPHIN XVII had also left Piraeus and was also heading towards Aegina.
Next to the PAROS JET, I spotted the ferry PRINCE, a ship which had been recently acquired by European Seaways (or A-Ships Management), a company owned by the Arkoumanis family and which has been present on the Adriatic Sea since 1990. The ship was formerly known as the WIND AMBITION of C-Bed Floating Hotels, and has had several spells in Northern Europe (and also served on the Adriatic Sea as the ÇEŞME under Turkish company Marmara Lines from 2002 to 2010). She was undergoing the last stages of preparation in Drapetsona, before sailing a few days after my trip to Igoumenitsa, where she spent her debut season under A-Ships Management on the Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Brindisi line.
Right next to Drapetsona is the port and neighborhood of Keratsini, which features the containership terminal of Piraeus. It is now administered by Chinese company COSCO, which has made several significant investments for the development and modernisation of the port and of the region.
Next to the containership terminal is the Ro-Ro carrier terminal, used by ships transporting masses of vehicles from their countries of production to Greece. Here, we can see a vehicle carrier owned by Italian giants Grimaldi Lines (left) and one owned by Greek company Neptune Lines, both of which are among the leading companies on that shipping sector.
At the opposite of Drapetsona and Keratsini, the ships pass by the small island of Psyttaleia. Though uninhabited, it hosts the largest sewage treatment plant in Europe, and is used daily by employees working on the island.
And as I was passing by Psyttaleia, it was impossible for me to avoid seeing and photographing the well-known landing craft operating on the island: the PSYTTALEIA II of Psyttaleia Shipping.
The PSYTTALEIA II was built in 1999 and has spent her entire career on the Drapetsona-Psyttaleia line. That summer marked her twentieth on the line. She transports employees and necessary vehicles from Drapetsona to Psyttaleia on a daily basis, thus making her an essential ship for the island's operations.
The PSYTTALEIA II now seen resting in her namesake island.
Another view of the PSYTTALEIA II seen in Psyttaleia.
The impressive containership terminal in Keratsini.
After passing by Psyttaleia, I spotted the fleetmate of the GEORGIOS BROUFAS II, which was traveling in the opposite direction. It was her sister ship, the GEORGIOS BROUFAS.
The GEORGIOS BROUFAS seen heading from Salamina to Piraeus. She was built in 1997, hence a year before the GEORGIOS BROUFAS II. Like the latter, she has operated on the Piraeus-Salamina line for all her career, though there was only one exception. Indeed, in 2016, she was deployed on the Cyclades, operating on the Ios-Sikinos-Folegandros line in order to improve the overall connection of the latter two islands with the rest of the Aegean Sea. This service lasted only one season though, and the ship returned to her usual service on the Piraeus-Salamina line before the 2017 season, and has remained there ever since.
The GEORGIOS BROUFAS, the well-known sister ship of the GEORGIOS BROUFAS II, seen heading towards Piraeus.
The elegant GEORGIOS BROUFAS on her way to Piraeus.
After a few minutes, we were approaching Perama, a neighborhood known for its various shipyards and which also hosts several ships that remain laid-up for a considerable amount of time. The first shipyard that I saw, the Psarros Shipyard, featured a number of yachts as well as a familiar ship: the one-day cruise ship ANNA MARU of Hydraïki Cruises. Built in 1993 in Greece, she has been operating on the Saronic Gulf since 1994 and for Hydraïki Cruises since 2003. She performed successful cruises under the latter on the Piraeus-Poros-Hydra-Aegina line from 2003 to 2009, and I therefore remember her berthing in Aegina several times during my childhood. After the 2010 summer season where she was operating on the Sporades, she has been deemed to surplus requirements by her company, and was laid-up in Elefsina in 2011 and then in Perama (at the Psarros Shipyard) from 2012 to 2016. She returned to service in 2016 on the Floisbos-Hydra-Poros-Aegina line in order to replace her fleetmate, the PLATYTERA TON OURANON, which was undergoing her own refit, before being laid-up again in 2017 after the latter was inserted back to service. However, in late 2018, the ANNA MARU returned to the Floisbos-Hydra-Poros-Aegina line, again replacing the PLATYTERA TON OURANON, and will likely spend the 2019 summer season there.
A bit more further to the left, I spotted the Tsangarinos Shipyard, where several ships are laid-up. One of them was the EUROPEAN EXPRESS of the now-defunct company NEL Lines, which has been laid-up there since 2016 (and inactive since late 2014).
The impressive EUROPEAN EXPRESS, now completely rusty and abandoned. She is currently being prepared to sail to Turkey in order to be scrapped, with her departure due in 3-5 days. She has already been renamed EXPRESS, which will be the name she will bear while heading to the scrapyards. Built in 1974 in Japan, she was bought by Greek-Cypriot company Access Ferries in 1999 and was extensively converted in Perama, beginning service on the Piraeus-Limassol-Haïfa line in 2000. After an unassuming spell there, she spent most of the 2000s being chartered to various companies, notably operating on the Western Mediterranean Sea and also on the Caribbean Sea. After a two-year-long lay-up in Elefsina from 2008 to 2010, she was transferred to NEL Lines and operated on various lines on the Northeast Aegean Sea. Though she did experience some success, NEL Lines began to suffer from severe economic difficulties due to unexpected and non-understandable business decisions (such as chartering several ships for limited use and operating on lines where competitors were already established), which eventually led to both the company and the ship's downfall.
Another view of the EUROPEAN EXPRESS, alongside another ferry which was laid-up in Perama since 2016. It was the CARIBBEAN GALAXY of Dominican company Atlantic Blue Seaways. This ship was also built in Japan, and had an extremely successful spell in Greece, as she was previously the legendary DAEDALUS of Minoan Lines, operating from 1989 to 2005 initially on the Adriatic Sea and later on the Aegean Sea (having a notable service on the line which connected Thessaloniki with the Sporades, the Cyclades and Heraklion). After spending the next 11 years on the Adriatic Sea under Italian company Adria Ferries, she was sold in 2016 to Atlantic Blue Seaways, and was planned to operate on the Caribbean Sea. However, her company never began operations and she ended up being laid-up in Perama, until departing the latter for Turkey last month. She is currently being scrapped. Hence, this photo showed two ferries in the last summer they spent alive, as they both have recently been sold for scrap after spending more than two years under lay-up in Perama.
Next up was the Kanellos Shipyard in Perama, where I saw the double-ended ferry PROTOPOROS XII of Tsokos Lines being under construction. She was undergoing the final stages of her preparation prior to her launching ceremony. She was completed in early August 2018 and began operations on the Perama-Salamina line. However, just a few days after she began service, she was sold to Tanzanian company Zan Fast Ferries. She recently left Perama in order to head to her new area of operations, having been renamed SEA STAR I. She is due to operate on the Dar Es Salaam-Zanzibar line.
Perama has three floating drydocks, which are owned and managed by the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP). Here, this picture shows the second one out of the three, named PIRAEUS II and featuring a yacht. Th PIRAEUS II Drydock is known as the Small Perama Drydock as it is the smallest one out of the three.
Another view of the Tsangarinos Shipyard, where I saw another laid-up ship: the high speed craft KALLI P of Idomeneas Lines. This ship previously had experience in Greece as the PANAGIA THALASSINI of C-Link Ferries (2004-2007) and of NEL Lines (2007-2012). She was chartered by the latter to Moroccan company Inter Shipping in 2012 and operated on the Algeciras-Tangier Med line, but by 2013 she was laid-up in Tangier Med due to both NEL Lines and Inter Shipping experiencing financial issues. She was then rumoured to make a comeback to Greece as she was bought by Panagiotopoulos Shipping (which was rebranded Idomeneas Lines) in 2015. Despite being renamed and converted for service on the Heraklion-Santorini line, she never began operations due to the outstanding debts carried by the doomed NEL Lines. Hence, the ship has remained in that spot for the past three-four years.
The EUROPEAN EXPRESS in Perama. This is certainly my last ever picture of this ship. A Farewell Tribute Post will appear on the Blog as soon as she heads to Turkey for scrap. It will feature her service history in much more detail.
We were now approaching Salamina. There, the Ambelakia peninsula can be seen ahead. There, one can spot another large amount of laid-up ships. Another familiar face that I got to see was the ferry VITSENTZOS KORNAROS of LANE Sea Lines, which has been laid-up there since 2017.
The VITSENTZOS KORNAROS in Salamina. Having been in Greece since 1994 (all of her career on the country has been spent under LANE Sea Lines), she had tremendously successful spells on the Lasithi-Kasos-Karpathos lifeline, on the Alexandroupolis-Northeast Aegean Sea-Dodecanese lifeline and lastly but most importantly on the Peloponnese-Kythira-Antikythira lifeline, where she was operating from 2009 to 2017. That year, just before the summer season began, she suffered a severe engine failure which was never repaired. As a result, the lifeline was not served by any ship and LANE Sea Lines were expelled from it by the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy. The ship has since been replaced by the IONIS of Triton Ferries. She has seen remained in Salamina, and her future does not seem that hopeful.
The VITSENTZOS KORNAROS in Salamina, awaiting her fate.
The third major Perama drydock. It is the newly-built PIRAEUS III, which was delivered to OLP in early 2018. Much bigger than the previous two, she is known as the Main Perama Drydock.
A ship seen in the Ocean Freedom Shipyard: the double-ended ferry OCEANOS I of Italian company Bluferries. She was built in Greece, having been ordered by the Sicily-based company. She was later renamed TRINACRIA, and is due to begin service on the Villa San Giovanni-Messina line on the Messina Strait in the next few days.
I subsequently began to see the well-known double-ended ferries that operate on the Perama-Salamina line. Despite it being one of the shortest routes in the Greek coastal service, it is by far the busiest in terms of ships operating (more than 35 in 2018!) and in terms of departure times (one ferry every five minutes from both ports). The first ship I saw was the THEOCHARIS MARIA L of Karnesis-Lalousis NE, which was heading towards Salamina.
The THEOCHARIS MARIA L heading from Perama to Salamina. She was ordered by her company in late 2016, and her construction was finished in Greece in 2017. So far, she has spent both her first seasons of service on the Perama-Salamina line.
Another view of the PIRAEUS III floating drydock. Next to her is the PIRAEUS I Drydock, formerly known as the Main Perama Drydock. Since the arrival of the new and larger PIRAEUS III Drydock, she is known as the Medium Perama Drydock.
Another view of the THEOCHARIS MARIA L. She has one sister ship, the IOANNIS SOPHIA K, which is also owned by Karnesis-Lalousis NE. Built in 2016, she spent her first seasons on the Perama-Salamina line as well. During the 2018 season, she was deployed on the Rion-Antirrion line.
The Perama-Salamina line mainly has ferries operating, but it also has small passenger boats which make the crossing at a much faster speed. The first ship operating on the line that I spotted was the AGIOS ELEFTHERIOS of Kotsomoiris-Karvela Shipping.
The ferry terminal in Perama, from which the ships depart for Salamina. There, I saw the ALEXANDROS M of Boufis Shipping Company, the ATHINA P of Athinais Lines and the FANEROMENI of Panagia Faneromeni.
The THEOCHARIS MARIA L seen again heading towards Salamina.
The ALEXANDROS M (owned by Spetses-based company Boufis Shipping Company) and the ATHINA P seen resting in Perama.
The THEOCHARIS MARIA L seen yet again.
An infamous ship seen laid-up at the Spanopoulos Shipyard, next to Ambelakia in Salamina. It was the tanker AGIA ZONI II of Fos Petroleum, which controversially sank on 10 September 2017 in the middle of the Saronic Gulf, causing a major oil spill in the area. She was refloated a month later and towed to Spanopoulos Shipyard, where she remains to date. Not a really exciting photo, but still historically important.
Next to the Perama ferry terminal, I spotted another ship: the high speed craft SUPERCAT of Golden Star Ferries. She was bought by the Andros-based company in early 2018, having previously operated as the KAROLIN of Linda Line on the Tallinn-Helsinki line on the Baltic Sea. She was being prepared in order to enter service in 2019 on the Cyclades.
Next to the SUPERCAT, I saw the small port where the passenger boats that serve the Perama-Salamina line berth while being in Perama. There, I saw the THERMAÏKOS I of Salamina Waterways resting there. Soon after the 2018 summer season ended, she was sold to Thessaloniki Waterways (which was later renamed Poseidon Waterways), and is now known as the POSEIDON.
The small ship AGIOS ELEFTHERIOS seen heading towards Salamina.
I then saw the double-ended ferry AIAKOS of Evangelos NE heading towards Perama.
The AIAKOS heading from Salamina to Perama. Built in Greece, she has so far spent her entire career on the Perama-Salamina line.
The AIAKOS was being followed by the small passenger boat BOB SFOUGKARAKIS of Kavouris Shipping Company, which was also heading towards Perama.
The AIAKOS en route towards Perama.
And the BOB SFOUGKARAKIS is seen following her. From 2008 to 2015, she was operating on the Piraeus-Salamina line, before moving to the Perama-Salamina line in 2016.
The BOB SFOUGKARAKIS heading towards Perama.
As we kept approaching Salamina, I then saw another double-ended ferry: the STAVROS N of Nikolaïdis NE, also heading towards Perama.
The STAVROS N was built in 2017, replacing the ferries AGIOS LAVRENTIOS II and MICHAIL N, which had been sold to companies in Chile and Turkey, respectively.
The STAVROS N heading towards Perama. She has so far spent her first two seasons on the Perama-Salamina line.
The THEOCHARIS MARIA L approaching the port of Paloukia in Salamina.
The impressive port of Paloukia in Salamina, which features dozens of docked double-ended ferries.
The STAVROS N seen heading towards Perama.
Another view of the port of Paloukia in Salamina. It is the base of more than 35 double-ended ferries. It is without a doubt the port that fits the most ships in the Greek coastal service, behind Piraeus.
Another view of the STAVROS N.
After 38 minutes of traveling, we stopped in Kamatero, a small port in Salamina located between Ambelakia and Paloukia. Only a few passengers left the ship, and within ten seconds we began to head towards the final destination: Paloukia, which is only two minutes away from Kamatero by boat.
The FANEROMENI seen heading towards Salamina, while the STAVROS N goes in the opposite direction.
The FANEROMENI and the STAVROS N seen between Salamina and Perama.
The FANEROMENI on her way to Salamina. Before beginning to operate for Panagia Faneromeni, she was on the Oropos-Eretria line on the South Evoian Gulf, having been the first-ever ship built and owned by Tsokos Lines, which was a newly-established company at the time. She was therefore the original PROTOPOROS. Since 2004, 12 ships have been built for the company, with two more under construction and to be delivered during 2019.
I then spotted one of the most impressive ships operating on the Perama-Salamina line: the GLYKOFILOUSA IV of Panagia Glykofilousa NE, built just a year before my trip with the GEORGIOS BROUFAS II.
The GLYKOFILOUSA IV seen in Salamina alongside the veteran double-ended ferry PROKOPIOS M of Dimitrios P NE.
The GLYKOFILOUSA IV seen resting in Salamina.
The FANEROMENI approaching Salamina.
The PROKOPIOS M, built in Greece in 2003, resting in Salamina as well.
As we began to approach the port of Paloukia in Salamina, I kept on seeing several ships for the first time in my life. Another one that followed was the IOANNIS THIRESIA of Theotokos NE.
Besides the IOANNIS THIRESIA, there was also the THEOCHARIS MARIA L which had just docked in Salamina, alongside the DIMITRIOS S of Dimitrios NE.
The PROKOPIOS M seen in Salamina.
As the GEORGIOS BROUFAS II began to maneuver in the passenger boat pier (located between the two piers where the double-ended ferries dock), I saw yet another small passenger boat: this time it was the ARTEMIS of Artemis SNE, which was back in service on the Perama-Salamina line after three years of lay-up.
The AGIOS ELEFTHERIOS seen resting in Salamina as well.
Another view of the IOANNIS THIRESIA.
The DIMITRIOS S and the THEOCHARIS MARIA L seen together in Salamina.
The impressive port of Paloukia in Salamina, featuring dozens of docked double-ended ferries.
Right next to the passenger boat pier, I saw the double-ended ferry THEOMITOR, also owned by Athinais Lines. Despite having a different livery than the ATHINA P and the company's other ferry, the APOSTOLOS M, she is a fleetmate of both latter ferries.
The THEOMITOR seen resting in Salamina.
At 14:40, we finally docked in Salamina. We were right next to the small ARTEMIS.
And on the other side of the pier, I saw a familiar face: the ELENA F of Elena F Shipping, which also operates on the Piraeus-Salamina line, alongside both the GEORGIOS BROUFAS and the GEORGIOS BROUFAS II.
The GEORGIOS BROUFAS II seen leaving Salamina 15 minutes after our arrival.
And hence the ship on which I just had a fantastic trip was leaving Salamina, heading back to Piraeus.
And so this marks the end of my trip with the small GEORGIOS BROUFAS II of Broufas Vessels. It was truly a unique journey, as I got to see so many ships in just under an hour, ranging from the standard ferries and high speed craft in Piraeus to the laid-up ferries in Perama and in Salamina, up to the well-known double-ended ferries serving the Perama-Salamina line. I went to the island for the first time in 18 years and got to see areas such as Drapetsona, Keratsini and Perama (alongside various shipyards) for the first time in my life. It was really one of the most memorable trips I have ever done. Now I know how to take advantage of my free time during my summer stay in Greece: just take the boat from Piraeus to Salamina and back. For a shipping enthusiast like me, I will never be disappointed as I would be seeing dozens of ships throughout the journey.
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