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  • Writer's pictureAlexandros Vrailas

Piraeus Visit on 10 September 2021-Part I

Just like it was the case on 21 September 2020, my final interaction with the Greek coastal service for the 2021 summer season happened to be one last visit in the port of Piraeus, whereupon I could see several ferries, high speed craft and small passenger boats for one last time before heading back to the United Kingdom in order to begin my postgraduate studies in London. As the large majority of the ships that I saw that day consisted of ships that I got to see very often throughout my trips during the summer of 2021, it was an opportunity to bid farewell to them for the time coming, until my return to Greece for the summer of 2022. However, there were some notable events during that day, as I went on to see some ships under their ownership for the last time, as they were acquired by other companies ahead of the 2022 season. Due to the fact that I took a huge numbers of pictures that day, I decided that it was best to divide them into two separate posts, with the second one due to be published next week.


Overall, my final week in Greece during the summer of 2021 proved to be extremely prolific in terms of photographing and traveling, as I visited the port of Lavrion on 6 September 2021, headed two days later to Patras and performed a trip from Rion to Antirrion and then back, before spending the following day spotting various ships in the island of Poros and then heading back to Piraeus with the high speed ferry SPEED CAT I of Alpha Lines that very same evening. My final visit to Piraeus also proved to very entertaining, as I spent the entire afternoon witnessing several ships departing the port or returning back from their services on the Aegean Sea. Without further ado, here is the first part featuring the many pictures that I took that day, as part of my last visit to the port of Piraeus for 2021.

I arrived in Piraeus at 15:15, and I proceeded to the E7 gate, from which most ships serving the Cyclades dock. From there, I saw the veteran cruiseferry PREVELIS of ANEK Lines, which has been operating on the demanding Kasos-Karpathos lifeline since 2009.

A view of the PREVELIS as she is seen docked in Piraeus. Built in 1980 in Japan, she has been operating for ANEK Lines since 2000. She currently serves the Piraeus-Milos-Santorini-Anafi-Heraklion-Siteia-Kasos-Karpathos-Chalki-Rhodes lifeline.

The PREVELIS seen docked in Piraeus, resting before her evening departure for Milos. She has been the only ship of ANEK Lines serving the Cyclades and the Dodecanese since 2012.

The PREVELIS seen as she is resting in the port of Piraeus.

The PREVELIS was seen alongside the BLUE GALAXY of Blue Star Ferries, which was also built in Japan and also used to operate for ANEK Lines, as she was previously the LEFKA ORI from 1999 to 2012.

In front of the BLUE GALAXY was her fleetmate, namely the BLUE HORIZON, which has been deployed on the Piraeus-Heraklion line since 2014.

The BLUE GALAXY and the PREVELIS seen together in the port of Piraeus. Both ships began their stints under ANEK Lines during the summer of 2000. Indeed, the BLUE GALAXY (then known as the LEFKA ORI) had started operating on the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Trieste line on the Adriatic Sea after having spent a year being converted in Perama following her acquisition from the Japanese company Higashi Nihon Ferry in 1999. The PREVELIS had already been operating in Greece since 1995, as the PREVELI for the now-defunct company Cretan Ferries on the Piraeus-Rethymnon line. After the latter was absorbed by ANEK Lines in 2000, the ship continued to serve the Piraeus-Rethymnon line until the service was discontinued in 2007, and was renamed PREVELIS in 2001.

At the same time that I had arrived, I saw the BLUE STAR CHIOS of Blue Star Ferries departing the port.

The BLUE STAR CHIOS seen leaving the port of Piraeus. At the time, she was operating on the Northeast Aegean Sea, being deployed on the Piraeus-Syros-Mykonos-Ikaria-Fournoi-Samos-Chios-Mytilene-Limnos-Kavala lifeline. She was temporarily replacing her fleetmate and sister ship, the BLUE STAR MYCONOS, which was undergoing a brief refit in Perama. The ship spent one week out of service before eventually resuming her regular operations on the Northeast Aegean Sea.

A view of the very modern funnel of the BLUE STAR CHIOS, which has been in its current form since 2020, after the ship joined Blue Star Ferries, after having spent the first 13 years of her career as the NISSOS CHIOS under Hellenic Seaways from 2007 to 2020. Indeed, she and the NISSOS MYKONOS joined Blue Star Ferries and were renamed BLUE STAR CHIOS and BLUE STAR MYCONOS, respectively.

The BLUE STAR CHIOS seen as she leaves Piraeus in order to head to Syros, during her temporary stint on the Northeast Aegean Sea lifeline. During the summer of 2021, she operated on the Dodecanese lifeline, serving the Piraeus-Ikaria-Fournoi-Astypalaia-Patmos-Leipsoi-Leros-Kalymnos-Kos-Nisyros-Tilos-Symi-Rhodes-Kasos-Karpathos-Castellorizon line as well as the Piraeus-Mykonos-Chios-Sigri line (on Saturdays only). She has been performing such services since 2018, back when she was still operating under Hellenic Seaways.

The departing BLUE STAR CHIOS was seen alongside the high speed ferry SPEEDRUNNER III of Aegean Speed Lines, which was also due to leave Piraeus in order to perform an afternoon trip on the Western Cyclades.

The BLUE HORIZON seen docked in the port of Piraeus. She was built in 1987 in Japan, and has been in Greece since 1998. She was bought by Strintzis Lines that year, and began service on the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Ancona-Venice line on the Adriatic Sea as the SUPERFERRY HELLAS in 1999. In 2000 Strintzis Lines was taken over by Attica Group, and this resulted in the establishment of Blue Star Ferries. The ship was renamed BLUE HORIZON and continued to operate on the Adriatic Sea under the Blue Ferries division, before the latter was eventually merged under Blue Star Ferries.

The BLUE GALAXY seen docked in Piraeus. She was built in Japan in 1992, and she has been operating for Blue Star Ferries since 2015, with all her seasons under the company having been so far spent on the Piraeus-Chania line.

The PREVELIS seen resting in the port of Piraeus, during what was her twenty-second season with ANEK Lines, and her thirteenth consecutive season on the Kasos-Karpathos lifeline.

The stern of the BLUE STAR CHIOS, seen as she leaves the port of Piraeus in order to head to Syros.

At the other side of the port, I spotted two notable high speed ferries. These were the TERA JET of Sea Jets and the HELLENIC HIGHSPEED of Hellenic Seaways. At the time that I took this picture, neither ship was sailing as they were both performing their annual winter refits in Piraeus.

The TERA JET seen docked in Piraeus. She was built in Italy in 1999, and she has been owned by Sea Jets since 2014. She did not perform any sailings during the 2021 season, for the second consecutive summer, as her company did not have her as part of their plans during these two years.

While looking towards the E8 gate, I got to see the conventional double-ended ferry POSIDON HELLAS of 2way Ferries, which operates on the Piraeus-Aegina-Agistri-Methana-Poros line on the Saronic Gulf.

I also got to see the high speed catamaran FLYINGCAT 5 of Hellenic Seaways, which also operates on the Saronic Gulf.

Another view of the BLUE STAR CHIOS as she leaves the port of Piraeus. She was built in Greece in 2007, two years after her sister ship. She is largely considered to be one of the best ships of the Greek coastal service, and she has been praised for her impeccable career, which she has primarily spent on the Northeast Aegean Sea, before becoming a major player on the Dodecanese since 2018.

The BLUE STAR CHIOS seen leaving the port of Piraeus. From 2007 to 2014 she operated under Hellenic Seaways on the Piraeus-Chios-Mytilene line, while also serving Tinos in 2008 as well as Syros and Mykonos in 2009. From 2014 to 2017 she was chartered to the Spanish company Baleària, for whom she operated with much success. She returned to Greece in 2018 and she was initially deployed on the Piraeus-Paros-Naxos-Ios-Santorini line on the Cyclades. However, after Hellenic Seaways was taken over by Attica Group during that same year, the ship was instead assigned on the Dodecanese lifeline.

The BLUE STAR CHIOS seen about to pass by her former fleetmate, namely the NISSOS SAMOS of Hellenic Seaways.

A view of the NISSOS SAMOS in Piraeus. Owned by Hellenic Seaways since late 2015, she has been operating on the Piraeus-Psara-Oinousses-Chios-Mytilene line on the Northeast Aegean Sea since 2018.

The BLUE STAR CHIOS seen leaving the port of Piraeus and heading next to her former Hellenic Seaways fleetmate. The NISSOS SAMOS was the ship initially serving the Cyclades before the BLUE STAR CHIOS (then known as the NISSOS CHIOS), having had a successful season on the Piraeus-Paros-Naxos-Santorini line in 2017. While the ex-NISSOS CHIOS succeeded her in this service, she eventually moved to the Dodecanese following the takeover of Hellenic Seaways by Attica Group and the subsequent fleet reshuffle that was performed.

Another view of the BLUE STAR CHIOS as she heads towards the exit of the port of Piraeus, during her second season under Blue Star Ferries.

A view of the HELLENIC HIGHSPEED in Piraeus. She had just completed her summer season on the Piraeus-Mykonos-Ikaria-Fournoi-Patmos-Leros-Kalymnos-Kos-Symi-Rhodes line.

After seeing the HELLENIC HIGHSPEED, I spotted another high speed craft, namely the SPEED CAT I of Alpha Lines. Built in 2002 in France, she was spending her debut season under her company, serving the Piraeus-Poros-Hydra-Spetses line on the Saronic Gulf.

A view of the TERA JET as she is seen docked in the port of Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 5 seen in Piraeus as well. She was spending her second season on the Piraeus-Aegina-Agistri-Poros-Hydra-Ermioni-Spetses-Porto Cheli line, and her fourth season overall on the Saronic Gulf, as she also operated there in 2014 and in 2017.

One final view of the BLUE STAR CHIOS, as she passes by the NISSOS SAMOS.

The HELLENIC HIGHSPEED seen docked in Piraeus. She was built in Italy in 1997, and had an unstable career in Northern Europe before she was acquired by Hellenic Seaways in 2009. Initially known as the HELLENIC WIND, she did not operate for the company during her first six years under their ownership, being instead chartered every summer to the Azores-based company Atlântico Line for service on the Azores Archipelago. She only began operating for Hellenic Seaways in 2016, after having been renamed HELLENIC HIGHSPEED. She was deployed on the Cyclades with much success, spending the 2016 season on the Rafina-Tinos-Mykonos-Paros-Ios-Santorini line, before spending the following two seasons on the Piraeus-Sifnos-Ios-Santorini line. She then operated under charter to Fast Ferries on the Rafina-Tinos-Mykonos-Naxos line during the 2019 season, as a replacement for the conventional ferry EKATERINI P which missed the entire summer due to an engine failure. The HELLENIC HIGHSPEED returned to Hellenic Seaways in 2020, and was deployed on the Siteia-Kasos-Karpathos-Chalki-Rhodes line on the Dodecanese. This service was taken over by the PAROS JET of Sea Jets during the 2021 season.

A closer view of the SPEEDRUNNER III, which happens to be one of the three sister ships of the HELLENIC HIGHSPEED. She was spending her fifth consecutive season on the Western Cyclades, and her third summer in a row on the Piraeus-Serifos-Sifnos-Milos line.

Another view of the BLUE HORIZON as she is seen resting in Piraeus.

The BLUE GALAXY seen docked in Piraeus as well. I have traveled with her once, back in 2006, when she was still known as the LEFKA ORI. Indeed, she was the ship onboard which I sailed in order to head from Patras to Venice.

The PREVELIS seen in Piraeus as well. She was one of the three ships owned by ANEK Lines that operated on the Aegean Sea in 2021, along with the ELYROS and the KRITI I.

In front of the BLUE HORIZON was the cruiseferry FESTOS PALACE of Minoan Lines, which was spending her second consecutive season on the Piraeus-Milos-Heraklion line.

The BLUE HORIZON, the BLUE GALAXY and the PREVELIS seen docked together in Piraeus.

Another view of the SPEEDRUNNER III as she is seen loading passengers and vehicles in Piraeus.

Another ship that I got to see was the BLUE STAR NAXOS of Blue Star Ferries, which has been a vital ship serving the Cyclades.

The SPEEDRUNNER III seen in Piraeus. She has been owned by Aegean Speed Lines since 2009, and has been the company's longest-serving ship.

The BLUE STAR NAXOS seen docked in Piraeus. She has been operating on the Piraeus-Syros-Paros-Naxos-Irakleia-Schoinousa-Koufonisi-Donousa-Amorgos-Santorini-Astypalaia line since 2018, while having also been in this service while additionally operating in Tinos and Mykonos from 2015 to 2017.

The SPEEDRUNNER III seen once again in Piraeus.

While I was having a look at the SPEEDRUNNER III, I managed to see a familiar face for the first time in many weeks. Indeed, this was the conventional ferry AGIOS NEKTARIOS AEGINAS of ANES Ferries, which was leaving the port of Piraeus in order to sail to Aegina.

The SPEEDRUNNER III seen alongside the AGIOS NEKTARIOS AEGINAS, which I got to see for the first time since early July 2021. Indeed, even though I performed numerous trips between Piraeus and Aegina during that summer, the ship was unusually missing from the Saronic Gulf, as she was unexpectedly sent to the Sporades for the remainder of the high season in order to replace her fleetmate, the SYMI, which suffered a major engine failure that kept her out of service for the rest of the summer. As such, the service of the AGIOS NEKTARIOS AEGINAS on the Piraeus-Aegina was taken over by the landing craft ELENI of Kerkyra Seaways, which temporarily left her usual operations on the Igoumenitsa-Corfu line on the Ionian Sea.

The AGIOS NEKTARIOS AEGINAS seen as I had managed to have a brief reunion with her on the very last day that I saw ships of the Greek coastal service in 2021. After having completed the summer season on the Sporades, she returned to her usual service on the Piraeus-Aegina line, while the ELENI returned to the Ionian Sea.

The AGIOS NEKTARIOS AEGINAS seen leaving Piraeus in order to head to Aegina. During her stint on the Sporades, which happened to be her first time serving the area since 2001, she operated on the Agios Konstantinos-Glyfa-Skiathos-Skopelos-Alonissos line. Her fleetmate, the SYMI, has since been repaired and is today returning to service on the Sporades, on the Agios Konstantinos-Glyfa-Skiathos-Skopelos line.

The AGIOS NEKTARIOS AEGINAS seen in Piraeus, during her fifteenth season under ANES Ferries. As stated previously, she was sent to operate on the Sporades for the first time in 20 years during the summer of 2021. Indeed, she had spent the first two years of her career there, as the PANAGIA SKIATHOU of the Northern Sporades and Evoia Shipping Company, from 1999 to 2001. That same year, she was renamed AGIOS NEKTARIOS AEGINAS and was deployed on the Piraeus-Aegina line, where she operated for 20 years in a row. In 2007 she was sold to ANES Ferries.

A view of the AGIOS NEKTARIOS AEGINAS, during my short-lived reunion with her as she was leaving the port of Piraeus. Her service on the Sporades seems to have satisfied her company, as she is due to return there in July and August in order to serve the Volos-Skiathos-Skopelos line, with no ship replacing her on the Piraeus-Aegina line. With this move, ANES Ferries will have three ferries on the Sporades, as the ship will join the SYMI and the PROTEUS.

The AGIOS NEKTARIOS AEGINAS seen leaving the port of Piraeus. Even though I did not see her a lot during the 2021, I still managed to travel onboard her, as I headed from Piraeus to Aegina with her on 4 July 2021.

Another view of the veteran ferry PREVELIS, which was also set for a late afternoon departure.

My final picture of the AGIOS NEKTARIOS AEGINAS, during what proved to be my short-lived reunion with the ship in Piraeus for 2021. Depending on how long I will stay in Greece during the summer of 2022, I hope to see her in some way or another, even though she will once again be missed on the Piraeus-Aegina line, which her company has controversially decided not to cover during her absence.

The BLUE STAR NAXOS seen receiving bunkers in Piraeus. As the high season had ended, the ship reverted to her winter schedules, whereupon her departure from Piraeus takes place during the afternoon, as opposed to the early morning during the summer.

The SPEEDRUNNER III seen in Piraeus shortly before her afternoon departure.

The FESTOS PALACE seen in the E3 gate in Piraeus. This was her second season on the Piraeus-Milos-Heraklion line and under her current name. Before that, she was known as the MYKONOS PALACE, and had operated on the Piraeus-Chania line in 2018 and in 2019. In 2020, following the fleet reshuffle undertaken by Minoan Lines, she became the new FESTOS PALACE and moved to her current service, whereas the original FESTOS PALACE was renamed KYDON PALACE and was placed on the Piraeus-Chania line instead.

The SPEEDRUNNER III seen once again in Piraeus. I traveled with her twice during the 2021 season, first on 23 June from Piraeus to Milos, and then from Milos back to Piraeus on 1 July. Before these trips, I had also traveled with her from Sifnos to Piraeus on 29 July 2017.

The BLUE STAR NAXOS seen resting in Piraeus, just before her own afternoon departure.

The TERA JET seen docked in Piraeus. Regardless of the fact that she did not sail for Sea Jets in 2020 and in 2021, she still remains the company's flagship, as well as the largest high speed ferry in the Greek coastal service.

The HELLENIC HIGHSPEED spotted in the port of Piraeus, with her summer season having been completed earlier in September 2021.

The SPEEDRUNNER III is seen departing the port of Piraeus.

The SPEEDRUNNER III departs and passes in front of the TERA JET. Both ships were built in 1999 in Italy, and they have both been operating on the Cyclades since their arrival in Greece.

The SPEEDRUNNER III seen leaving the port of Piraeus. Formerly the SUPERSEACAT THREE of Sea Containers (under the SuperSeaCat brandname), she joined Aegean Speed Lines together with her sister ship, the SUPERSEACAT FOUR (which became the SPEEDRUNNER IV), during the 2009 season. She was deployed on the Piraeus-Syros-Tinos-Mykonos line, with her service being extended to the Piraeus-Syros-Tinos-Mykonos-Paros-Naxos line in 2010. She was then laid-up during the 2012 season as the Greek financial crisis impacted her company, which was forced to reduce its services on the Cyclades. She returned the following year on the Piraeus-Serifos-Sifnos-Milos line, where she also remained in 2014. With the SPEEDRUNNER IV returning to this service in 2015, she was chartered to the Moroccan company Navline in order to operate on the Algeciras-Tangier Med line on the Gibraltar Strait. In 2016 she was chartered to Levante Ferries and was deployed on the Patras-Kefalonia-Ithaca line on the Ionian Sea. Following the sale of the SPEEDRUNNER IV to Golden Star Ferries later in that same year, the SPEEDRUNNER III returned to Aegean Speed Lines ahead of the 2017 season.

The SPEEDRUNNER III seen as she leaves the port of Piraeus. During her comeback season under Aegean Speed Lines, she served the Piraeus-Serifos-Sifnos-Milos-Kimolos-Folegandros-Sikinos line. The following year she only served the Piraeus-Serifos-Sifnos-Milos-Kimolos line, before seeing her services shortened to the Piraeus-Serifos-Sifnos-Milos line since 2019.

The SPEEDRUNNER III seen leaving the port of Piraeus and passing in front of her sister ship, the HELLENIC HIGHSPEED. The latter was built in 1997 (two years before the SPEEDRUNNER III), and was known as the SUPERSEACAT TWO under Sea Containers (1997-2003) and later under the Isle of Mann Steam Packet Company (2003-2008). The two ships have been operating in Greece along with another one of their sister ships, namely the ex-SPEEDRUNNER IV, which operated as the SUPERRUNNER under Golden Star Ferries from 2017 to 2021, before being acquired by Sea Jets during that same year and beginning operations as the SUPERRUNNER JET. Furthermore, the three high speed ferries will see the arrival of their elder sister ship, the ex-SUPERSEACAT ONE, in Greece. Indeed, the ship, which has been known as the ALMUDAINA DOS of the Spanish company Trasmediterránea since 2006, is due to begin operations on the Cyclades, having been bought by the newly-established company Panellenic Lines. She is planned to serve the Heraklion-Santorini line as the SANTA IRINI.

The SPEEDRUNNER III seen once again as she leaves the port of Piraeus, during her fifth consecutive season under Aegean Speed Lines, after she returned to the company during the 2017 season.

The SPEEDRUNNER III seen leaving Piraeus in order to perform her additional summer afternoon and evening services on the Western Cyclades.

The BLUE STAR NAXOS seen docked in Piraeus. Ever since she began her career back in 2002, together with her sister ship, the BLUE STAR PAROS, she has become one of the most successful day ferries of the Cyclades and of the Greek coastal service altogether.

The SPEEDRUNNER III seen heading towards the exit of the port of Piraeus.

Another view of the SPEEDRUNNER III as she is spotted leaving the port of Piraeus.

The SPEEDRUNNER III seen in what proved to be final individual picture of the ship under her name and her livery. Indeed, it was confirmed last month that she will be joining Sea Jets, after Aegean Speed Lines decided to sell her and cease operations in the Greek coastal service. This comes after many difficult years for the company, which, despite providing excellent service on the Western Cyclades, could not resist the fast-growing competitor and its tactics. Indeed, Sea Jets deployed the CHAMPION JET 2 with a very competitive timetable, and they sought to further expand their services on the Western Cyclades this year by bringing in the TERA JET. With Aegean Speed Lines already facing economic problems and being impacted by the low passenger traffic in 2020 and 2021, they eventually decided to sell the ship and leave the high speed ferry market. The SPEEDRUNNER III will most likely be renamed SPEEDRUNNER JET. Her service under her new owners has yet to be determined.

The SPEEDRUNNER III having passed by the HELLENIC HIGHSPEED. With her sale to Sea Jets, this will mean that two out of the four sister ships of the MDV 1200-class will now be operating under Sea Jets. Indeed, the SPEEDRUNNER III will reunite with her former fleetmate, the ex-SPEEDRUNNER IV, which was bought by Sea Jets in 2021, after four years with Golden Star Ferries. She has been known as the SUPERRUNNER JET, and spent the 2021 season operating in various services of Sea Jets on the Northeast Aegean Sea and later on the Cyclades.

A picture that went on to become historic for me, as it features the SPEEDRUNNER III under the livery of Aegean Speed Lines for the last time. She is seen passing by the HELLENIC HIGHSPEED, which will also not feature the livery of Hellenic Seaways this year. Indeed, she will be chartered to Africa Morocco Link (a subsidiary of Attica Group) in order to operate on the Algeciras-Tangier Med line (which the SPEEDRUNNER III served during the 2015 back when she was chartered to Navline) on the Gibraltar Strait during the summer.

Another view of the TERA JET in Piraeus. As indicated previously, she will return to service this summer, as she will be deployed on the Piraeus-Serifos-Sifnos-Milos line on the Western Cyclades. She will perform this service along with the SUPERRUNNER JET, which will return to the Western Cyclades for the first time since 2016, which was her last year under Aegean Speed Lines.

The HELLENIC HIGHSPEED seen docked in the E11 gate in Piraeus, where she spent the majority of the winter this year.

Another view of the TERA JET in Piraeus. When she began her career under Sea Jets, she was deployed on the Heraklion-Santorini line during the 2014 season. Her service on a rapidly-growing line proved to be a major success, and her service was extended on the Heralion-Santorini-Ios-Naxos-Mykonos line in 2015. After serving the Piraeus-Chios-Mytilene line for the most part of 2016, in order to transport refugees from the Northeast Aegean Sea to Piraeus, she returned to the Cyclades in 2017 in spectacular fashion, as she was deployed on the Rafina-Tinos-Mykonos-Paros-Naxos line. Her service there was a massive success, and she engaged in a fierce duel against the SUPERRUNNER of Golden Star Ferries, which is today her fleetmate. Sea Jets and Golden Star Ferries competed very heavily against each other on the Rafina-Cyclades service, and engaged in a notable price war. After two seasons in Rafina, in 2019 the TERA JET moved to the Piraeus-Paros-Ios-Santorini line, where she also had a successful service. She was then laid-up due her high operating costs at a time during which passenger traffic hit very low numbers due to the pandemic, and she was deemed to surplus requirements by Sea Jets. This year, as the lockdowns have ceased and passenger numbers hav returned to high levels, the ship will make her long-awaited comeback on the Cyclades.

The FLYNGCAT 5 was seen alongside the PHIVOS of Nova Ferries and the POSIDON HELLAS. The PHIVOS had just arrived in Piraeus.

The SPEED CAT I and the TERA JET seen together in the port of Piraeus.

Five different ships of the Greek coastal service spotted together in Piraeus. These included the FLYINGCAT 5, the PHIVOS, the POSIDON HELLAS, the SPEED CAT I and the TERA JET. With the exception of the latter, all of them were serving the Saronic Gulf during the 2021 season.

A view of the FESTOS PALACE in Piraeus. She was built in 2002 in Italy, and initially served Minoan Lines as the EUROPA PALACE on the Adriatic Sea, first on the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Ancona line (2002-2010) and then on the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Venice line (2010-2011). After the latter was discontinued by Minoan Lines, she was chartered to the Italian company Tirrenia Di Navigazione in 2012, along with her sister ship, the OLYMPIA PALACE (which is today known as the KNOSSOS PALACE). During her six years of operations with that company, the ship operated as the AMSICORA. She returned to Minoan Lines in 2018, was renamed MYKONOS PALACE, and was introduced on the Piraeus-Chania line. Since 2020 she has been operating on the Piraeus-Milos-Heraklion line.

At about 16:40, I saw the hydrofoil FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX of Hellenic Seaways having entered the port of Piraeus, after having returned from Aegina.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen having just returned to the port of Piraeus.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen heading towards her docking spot in Piraeus. She was built in 1993 in Georgia, and she has spent her entire career on the Saronic Gulf, on the Piraeus-Aegina-Agistri-Poros-Hydra-Ermioni-Spetses-Porto Cheli line.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen having arrived in Piraeus. When she was built in 1993, she joined the famed company Ceres Flying Dolphins, which had been the first company to introduce hydrofoils in the Greek coastal service back in 1975. She became the twenty-eighth and final small hydrofoil to join the company (they did not have a ship named FLYING DOLPHIN XIII for superstitious reasons), and she remained with them until 1999, when they were acquired by Minoan Flying Dolphins. The latter was renamed Hellas Flying Dolphins in 2002, before being rebranded as Hellenic Seaways in 2005.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen in Piraeus. She is one of the the three remaining active hydrofoils of Hellenic Seaways, as well as the youngest active hydrofoil in the Greek coastal service.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen heading to her docking spot in Piraeus, after having returned from Aegina.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen in Piraeus, having just returned to the port.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen in Piraeus, as she heads towards her docking spot in the E8 gate. I have traveled with her just once in my life, back when I headed from Piraeus to Aegina with her on 20 August 2017.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen as she heads towards her docking spot in the port of Piraeus.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen in Piraeus. In spite of the different changes in ownership that she experienced during her career, she has nevertheless remained a permanent staple of the Saronic Gulf, being one of the most experienced high speed craft in the area.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen once again in Piraeus, as she heads to her docking spot.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen in Piraeus as she is about to pass by her fleetmate, the HELLENIC HIGHSPEED.

Another view of the FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX as she makes her way towards her docking spot in Piraeus.

Immediately after seeing the FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX, I saw the small passenger boat GEORGIOS BROUFAS of Broufas Vessels having returned to Piraeus as well. Built in 1997 in Greece, she serves the Piraeus-Salamina line.

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS seen having returned to the port of Piraeus from Salamina.

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS seen having entered the port of Piraeus.

Another view of the GEORGIOS BROUAS as she is seen heading towards her docking spot in Piraeus. She has spent almost her entire career on the Piraeus-Salamina line, serving the ports of Kamatero and Paloukia. The only time in which she did not serve Salamina was during the 2016 season, when she operated on the Ios-Sikinos-Folegandros line on the Cyclades.

Another view of the GEORGIOS BROUFAS, during what was her fifth consecutive season on the Piraeus-Salamina, following her lone season on the Cyclades in 2016.

Another view of the GEORGIOS BROUFAS as she makes her way towards her docking spot in Piraeus.

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS seen heading towards her docking spot in Piraeus. I traveled with her for the first time during the 2020 season, back when I headed from Piraeus to Salamina on 14 August 2020. Since then, I had the opportunity to travel with her two more times-both during the 2021 season-on 5 August 2021 and on 3 September 2021.

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS seen making her way towards her docking spot in Piraeus, after having completed yet another trip from Salamina.

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS seen in Piraeus. Her sister ship and fleetmate, the GEORGIOS BROUFAS II, was missed in Piraeus this year, as she was sent on a long-term charter to the Hellenic Army in order to transport soldiers on the Northeast Aegean Sea and on the Dodecanese, following the conclusion of the 2020 season.

Another view of the GEORGIOS BROUFAS as she heads towards her docking spot in Piraeus.

As I looked towards the exit of the port of Piraeus, I had the chance to see the BLUE STAR 2 of Blue Star Ferries, which serves the Cyclades and the Dodecanese. Indeed, since 2020 she has been serving the Piraeus-Syros-Amorgos-Patmos-Leros-Kalymnos-Kos-Rhodes line.

The BLUE STAR 2 seen resting in the port of Piraeus. She was built in The Netherlands in 2000, and she has spent the bulk of her career on the Dodecanese. She is regarded as one of the best ships to have ever operated in the Greek coastal service.

The BLUE STAR 2 seen resting in Piraeus. She spent the first three seasons of her career on the Adriatic Sea, first on the Patras-Brindisi-Ancona line in 2000, and then on the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Ancona line in 2001 and in 2002. She then moved to the Piraeus-Chania line in 2003, and remained there for two seasons, before heading to the Dodecanese in 2005. She has since remained there, operating with much success and cementing her company's presence in the area.

A few minutes after the GEORGIOS BROUFAS had arrived in Piraeus, I spotted yet another ship having made her return to Piraeus. Indeed, it was the high speed catamaran FLYINGCAT 4 of Hellenic Seaways, which had returned from Poros.

The FLYINGCAT 4 having returned to the port of Piraeus from Poros. Built in 1999 in the United Kingdom, she has spent her entire career in Greece, and she has been serving the Piraeus-Poros-Hydra-Ermioni-Spetses-Porto Cheli line on the Saronic Gulf since 2019.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen having arrived in the port of Piraeus. Just like the FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX, her career has seen her operating initially under Minoan Flying Dolphins after joining the latter in 1999 (after having failed to operate for her initial owners, Agapitos Lines, as the SEA SPEED 1). She served the core Minoan Flying Dolphins division on the Cyclades, even as the company was renamed Hellas Flying Dolphins in 2002, before being rebranded as Hellenic Seaways in 2005.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen in Piraeus during her third consecutive season on the Saronic Gulf.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen in Piraeus, while she heads towards her docking spot.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen making her way towards her docking spot in Piraeus. She was one of the three 'Flyingcats' that operated on the Saronic Gulf during the 2021 season, together with the FLYINGCAT 5 and the FLYINGCAT 6.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen as she heads towards her docking spot in the port of Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen once again following her arrival in Piraeus. Just one day before taking this picture, I had the chance to witness her departure from Poros to Hydra via the Troizinia Strait.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen in Piraeus, towards the end of her third season on the Saronic Gulf. She is once again due to operate there during the 2022 season, together with the FLYINGCAT 5.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen as she heads towards her docking spot in the E8 gate in Piraeus.

Another view of the impressive FLYINGCAT 4 in Piraeus. Out of the four 'Flyingcats' that continue to operate for Hellenic Seaways, she is certainly the most successful one, as she has experienced great success on the Cyclades, on the Sporades, and more recently on the Saronic Gulf.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen once again in the port of Piraeus. For a significant part of the 2021 season, the ship also operated on the Cyclades. Indeed, she operated for most of June and July on the Rafina-Tinos-Mykonos-Naxos line, in order to replace her fleetmate, the FLYINGCAT 3, which was normally operating there. The latter had a major engine failure in June, followed by a a grounding off near Mykonos in July. As such, the FLYINGCAT 4 had to leave the Saronic Gulf due to these events. After the FLYINGCAT 3 was eventually repaired, the FLYINGCAT 4 returned to the Piraeus-Poros-Hydra-Ermioni-Spetses-Porto Cheli line.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen heading towards her docking spot in Piraeus, while facing the TERA JET. Due to her temporary deployment on the Cyclades, I was able to also see her in the port of Tinos in late July 2021.

One last view of the FLYINGCAT 4 as she heads towards her docking spot in Piraeus.

Just moments after the FLYINGCAT 4 had docked in Piraeus, the FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX was spotted on the move once again. This time, she was leaving the port in order to head to Aegina.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen again, this time as she departs the port of Piraeus.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen as she leaves the port of Piraeus in order to head to Aegina.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen as she leaves Piraeus.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX preparing to head towards the Saronic Gulf at full-speed.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen as she leaves the port of Piraeus. As things currently stand, she continues to operate on the Saronic Gulf, while Hellenic Seaways awaits to have three newly-built state-of-the-art aero high speed catamarans delivered to them later this summer. These three ships are due to enter service on the Saronic Gulf in order to replace the company's aging hydrofoils. Built in Norway, they are expected to arrive in Greece in August 2022. The fate of the three hydrofoils remains unknown, and Hellenic Seaways has not yet indicated whether they will continue to operate for the company hereafter.

The FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX seen once more, as she heads towards the exit of the port of Piraeus.

One more view of the FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX, as she is about to exit the port of Piraeus.

Another view of the area featuring the E8 gate and the E9 gate in Piraeus, with dozens of ships docked together. These included the FLYINGCAT 5, the PHIVOS, the POSIDON HELLAS, the GEORGIOS BROUFAS (which was seen departing the port), the FLYINGCAT 4, the SPEED CAT I and the TERA JET. Among all these ships, only the latter was not serving the Saronic Gulf.

Shortly after she had docked in Piraeus, the GEORGIOS BROUFAS departed the port in order to head back to Salamina.

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS seen leaving the port of Piraeus, performing one of her many daily trips to Salamina.

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS seen leaving the port of Piraeus, during the first season during which she was the sole ship of Broufas Vessels that was serving the Piraeus-Salamina line. The GEORGIOS BROUFAS II is set to continue her assignment to the Hellenic Army for this summer as well.

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS seen as she leaves the port of Piraeus for Salamina

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS seen as she heads towards the exit of the port of Piraeus.

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS seen once again, while she heads towards the exit of the port of Piraeus.

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS on her way towards the exit of the port of Piraeus.

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS seen once again, as she heads towards the exit of the port of Piraeus.

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS on her way towards the exit of the port of Piraeus.

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS passing in front of me, as she makes her way towards Salamina.

One last view of the GEORGIOS BROUFAS, shortly before she exited the port of Piraeus.

Barely two minutes after the GEORGIOS BROUFAS had left the port of Piraeus, the conventional ferry APOLLON HELLAS of 2way Ferries was seen having entered the port.

The APOLLON HELLAS seen having returned to Piraeus from Aegina. She has been serving the Piraeus-Aegina-Methana-Poros line since 2017, under the Saronic Ferries joint venture.

The APOLLON HELLAS seen as she makes her way towards the E8 gate in Piraeus.

The APOLLON HELLAS seen having arrived in Piraeus. Built in 1990 in Greece, she has spent the majority of her career on the Saronic Gulf. She was originally known as the GEORGIOS of Akouriki Shipping Company, and served the Piraeus-Aegina-Agistri-Methana-Poros-Hydra-Spetses line until she was sold to the South Korean company Wing Ferry Company, for whom she operated for two years as the SUN BEACH on the Nokdong-Jeju line on the Jeju Strait. She was laid-up in 1997, and made her comeback to Greece in 1999, after having been bought by Poseidon Consortium Shipping. She returned to the Saronic Gulf as the APOLLON HELLAS, being deployed on the Piraeus-Aegina-Methana-Poros-Hydra-Spetses line. Later during that same year, her company was taken over by Minoan Flying Dolphins (which was renamed Hellas Flying Dolphins in 2002), and the ship continued to operate on the Saronic Gulf under the Saronikos Ferries division. The company was rebranded as Hellenic Seaways in 2005, and the ship began serving the Piraeus-Aegina-Methana-Poros line from 2008 to 2013. She then spent her final two years with Hellenic Seaways on the Sporades, first on the Volos-Skiathos-Skopelos-Alonissos line in 2014, and then on the Agios Konstantinos-Skiathos-Skopelos-Alonissos line in 2015. In 2016 she was sold to 2way Ferries, and she remained on the Agios Konstantinos-Skiathos-Skopelos-Alonissos line, before making her second return to the Saronic Gulf in 2017.

The APOLLON HELLAS seen during what was her sixth season with 2way Ferries, and her fifth consecutive summer on the Saronic Gulf.

The APOLLON HELLAS seen heading towards her docking spot in Piraeus. She became the first non-double-ended ferry in the history of 2way Ferries, hence not really fitting the company's name. Regardless, the ship was known to the company's owners, as the Papaïoannidis family was in charge of Poseidon Consortium Shipping, which had brought the ferry back to Greece from South Korea in 1999, before being eventually absorbed by Minoan Flying Dolphins later in that same year. The family resumed operations in the Greek coastal service as 2way Ferries in 2001, whereupon they deployed the then-newly-built double-ended ferry ANO CHORA EXPRESS on the Rion-Antirrion line. That ship remained with the company until 2003, when she was sold to the Croatian company Jadrolinija, for whom she continues to operate today as the TIN UJEVIĆ.

The APOLLON HELLAS seen heading towards her docking spot in Piraeus.

The APOLLON HELLAS seen as she heads towards her docking spot in Piraeus.

Another view of the APOLLON HELLAS in Piraeus. She is one of the three ships owned by 2way Ferries that operate on the Saronic Gulf. In addition, the company operates on the Igoumenitsa-Corfu line on the Ionian Sea, with the double-ended ferry ANO CHORA II (since 2006), and also began serving the Agia Marina-Nea Styra line on the Petalioi Gulf during the summer of 2021, after having deployed the recently-refurbished landing craft KANARIS, which they had acquired in late 2020.

The APOLLON HELLAS seen once again, as she heads towards her docking spot in Piraeus. Since her return to the Saronic Gulf, she has been operating under the Saronic Ferries joint venture, which includes her company and Nova Ferries. It also included her former owners, Hellenic Seaways, until 2016, when they sold her to 2way Ferries.

The APOLLON HELLAS seen once more, as she continues to make her way towards her docking spot in Piraeus.

Another view of the APOLLON HELLAS following her arrival in Piraeus.

The APOLLON HELALS seen together with the TERA JET in the port of Piraeus.

The POSIDON HELLAS seen in Piraeus together with her former fleetmate, namely the FLYINGCAT 4.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen along with her new competitor on the Saronc Gulf for the 2021 season, namely the SPEED CAT I.

The APOLLON HELLAS seen as she begins to undergo her maneuvering procedure next to the FLYINGCAT 5. The PHIVOS and the POSIDON HELLAS are also seen docked in Piraeus.

The APOLLON HELLAS seen maneuvering in the port of Piraeus.

The APOLLON HELLAS seen having completed her maneuvering procedure and docking in the port of Piraeus.

Just moments after the APOLLON HELLAS had returned to Piraeus, yet another ship serving the Saronic Gulf had entered the port as well. This time, it was the high speed catamaran FLYINGCAT 6 of Hellenic Seaways.

The FLYINGCAT 6 seen having entered the port of Piraeus just moments after the APOLLON HELLAS had done so. Built in 1997 in Norway, she has been operating for Hellenic Seaways since the latter was established in 2005.

The FLYINGCAT 6 seen as she heads towards her docking spot in Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 6 seen making her way towards her docking spot in Piraeus. This was her fourth consecutive season on the Saronic Gulf, and her second consecutive summer on the Piraeus-Aegina-Agistri-Poros-Hydra-Ermioni-Spetses-Porto Cheli line.

The FLYINGCAT 6 seen in Piraeus. Just one day before taking this picture, I had traveled onboard the ship in order to head from Piraeus to Poros. This was my second-ever trip with her, with my first one having been on 28 July 2019, as I was returning from Spetses to Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 6 seen upon her return to Piraeus. She has been on the Saronic Gulf since 2018, and she has also operated there in 2013, in 2015 and in 2016. From 2005 to 2012, in 2014 and in 2017, she operated on the Sporades, with her first stint there being along with her sister ship, the FLYINGCAT 5.

Another view of the FLYINGCAT 6 as she makes her way towards her docking spot in Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 6 seen as she heads towards her docking spot in Piraeus. For this summer, she is due to make her return to the Sporades for the first time since 2017, as she will operate on the Volos-Skiathos-Skopelos-Alonissos line.

In the meantime, the APOLLON HELLAS was seen docking next to her fleetmate, the POSIDON HELLAS. The SPEED CAT I was also seen resting in the E8 gate.

The APOLLON HELLAS seen about to dock right next to the POSIDON HELLAS. Both ships have played a major role in serving the Saronic Gulf over the past two decades, and they have become beloved ferries in the region. Since the POSIDON HELLAS was built in 1998, the two ships have been fleetmates under three different ownerships for all but two seasons. These included the 1998 season (the debut season of the POSIDON HELLAS), as the APOLLON HELLAS was still in South Korea at the time (before she was purchased by Poseidon Consortium Shipping, which had ordered the POSIDON HELLAS), as well as the 2015 season, when the POSIDON HELLAS was sold by Hellenic Seaways to 2way Ferries. The APOLLON HELLAS continued to operate for Hellenic Seaways on the Sporades during that season, before eventually joining the POSIDON HELLAS the following year.

The FLYINGCAT 6 seen once more as she continues to maker her way towards her docking spot in Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 6 seen once more, as she heads towards the E8 gate in Piraeus.

The APOLLON HELLAS seen once more as she heads towards her docking spot, next to the POSIDON HELLAS.

The FLYINGCAT 6 seen as she heads to her docking spot in Piraeus. Ever since the FLYINGCAT 4 began serving the Saronic Gulf in 2019, Hellenic Seaways has been operating three 'Flyingcats' in the region, with the FLYINGCAT 6 having been present in all trios. This will however end this season, as she will return to the Sporades. Hellenic Seaways will only have the FLYINGCAT 4 and the FLYINGCAT 5 operating on the Saronic Gulf in during the summer of 2022.

The APOLLON HELLAS seen once more, as she is about to dock in Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 6 seen passing in front of the TERA JET as she heads towards the E8 gate in Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 6 seen joining her sister ship and fleetmate, the FLYINGCAT 5, as well as her former Hellenic Seaways fleetmates (the APOLLON HELLAS and the POSIDON HELLAS), in the E8 gate in Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 4 and the SPEED CAT I seen once again as they are docked in Piraeus.

The PHIVOS, the APOLLON HELLAS, the POSIDON HELLAS and the FLYINGCAT 4 seen all together in Piraeus.

A few minutes after the APOLLON HELLAS had docked in Piraeus, the PHIVOS herselft was seen departing the port, in order to head to Aegina.

The PHIVOS seen as she leaves Piraeus, with the FLYINGCAT 4 and the SPEED CAT I seen right behind her.

The PHIVOS, widely perceived as the best ferry operating on the Saronic Gulf for almost two decades, seen heading to Aegina.

The PHIVOS seen as she leaves Piraeus. Built in 1980 in Spain, she arrived in Greece in 2004, after having been bought by the then-newly-established company Nova Ferries. The latter was founded by the Aegina-based Lefakis family, which had previously operated two ferries on the Saronic Gulf from 1981 to 1999. These were the landing craft SARONIKOS (which later joined Minoan Flying Dolphins/Hellas Flying Dolphins and subsequently Hellenic Seaways and has been known as the GRAMVOUSA of Cretan Daily Cruises since 2007) and the passenger-only EFTYCHIA (which was later converted into a ferry in 1993, and is better known today as the SYMI of ANES Ferries). Both ships were transferred to Minoan Flying Dolphins in 1999, and the Lefakis family eventually made an independent comeback on the Saronic Gulf five years later. The PHIVOS, along with her sister ship, the ATHINA, entered service in 2005, following a conversion in Drapetsona. She began service on the Piraeus-Aegina-Methana-Poros-Hydra line. With the ATHINA being sold to the Portuguese company Transmaçor in 2006, the PHIVOS remained the sole ship of Nova Ferries, and her service was reduced to the Piraeus-Aegina line exclusively from 2007 to 2013. Following the establishment of the Saronic Ferries joint venture in 2014, the ship has since been serving the Piraeus-Aegina-Methana-Poros line.

The impressive PHIVOS seen as she heads towards the exit of the port of Piraeus. She has been my favourite ferry ever since I saw her for the first time in 2005, back when I was 6 years old. I have traveled with her on numerous occasions from Piraeus to Aegina and vice versa. For the 2021 season, I traveled with her twice, with the first trip being my first one of the summer altogether, back when I headed from Piraeus to Aegina on 21 June 2021. My second trip with her was exactly two months later, while heading from Aegina to Piraeus.

The PHIVOS seen upon her departure from Piraeus to Aegina, during her seventeenth consecutive season on the Saronic Gulf.

The PHIVOS seen leaving Piraeus. Despite being the oldest ship serving the Saronic Gulf from Piraeus, she is nevertheless the fastest conventional ferry, as well as the one that has the best passenger amenities onboard.

The PHIVOS seen as she leaves Piraeus. Ever since Nova Ferries began operations in 2005, she has been the sole continuous member of the company's fleet. They also operated another ferry on the Saronic Gulf from 2009 to 2010, namely the Greek-built PHEDRA, which served the Piraeus-Northern Aegina-Agistri line, serving the port of Souvala. She was sold in late 2010 to the Egyptian-Jordanian company Arab Bridge Maritime, for whom she has been operating as the AYLAH on the Gulf of Aqaba.

The PHIVOS seen once again, as she leaves the port of Piraeus.

The PHIVOS seen as she leaves Piraeus for Aegina. Since 2010, when I began recording all the trips that I have done during my summers in Greece, she has been the ship on which I have traveled the most times. Indeed, I have performed 15 trips with her, with all of them being between Piraeus and Aegina.

The PHIVOS seen heading towards the exit of the port of Piraeus, in order to perform yet another trip on the Saronic Gulf.

The PHIVOS seen heading towards the exit of the port of Piraeus. During the first part of her career, she operated as the PUNTA EUROPA on the Gibraltar Strait for the Spanish company Isnasa from 1980 to 1998. After the latter began to experience financial difficulties, the ship was chartered to Euroferrys for the 1998 season, followed by another charter to Umafisa of the Pitra shipping group for service on the Balearic Sea in 2000. She was then laid-up from 2001 to 2003, and, after an unsuccessful reactivation attempt in Italy under the company TRIS Traghetti Isole Sarde, the ship was eventually sold to Nova Ferries.

The PHIVOS spotted again as she leaves Piraeus and heads towards the exit of the port.

Another view of the PHIVOS while she leaves Piraeus.

My final picture of the much-appreciated PHIVOS for the 2021 season, as she is seen heading towards the exit of the port of Piraeus.

Shortly after the departure of the PHIVOS, yet another ship was making her return to Piraeus. This time, it was the high speed ferry WORLDCHAMPION JET of Sea Jets.

The WORLDCHAMPION JET seen having returned to Piraeus from the Cyclades, where she was operating for the third straight summer.

The WORLDCHAMPION JET seen as she heads towards her docking spot in Piraeus. During the 2021 season, she operated on the Piraeus-Syros-Mykonos-Naxos-Ios-Santorini line, where she once again proved to be extremely successful.

Another view of the WORLDCHAMPION JET, which is the fastest ship operating in the Greek coastal service ever since making her debut under Sea Jets in 2019. During her first season with the company, she was on the Piraeus-Syros-Mykonos-Naxos-Santorini line, while in 2020 she operated on the Piraeus-Syros-Mykonos-Paros-Naxos-Ios-Santorini line.

The WORLDCHAMPION JET seen heading towards her docking spot in Piraeus. When she began her career in 2000, as the VILLUM CLAUSEN of the Danish company Bornholms Traffiken (which became Bornholmer Færgen in 2010, before merging with Molslinjen in 2018), she was the fastest ferry in the world, appearing even on the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest speed ever recorded by a passenger vessel.

Another view of the WORLDCHAMPION JET, which has been the most prominent weapon of Sea Jets in their quest for dominance on the Aegean Sea, and most notably on the Cyclades.

The WORLDCHAMPION JET having completed yet another day of service on the Cyclades and now heading for rest in Piraeus.

The WORLDCHAMPION JET seen heading towards her docking spot in Piraeus, while facing the TERA JET.

The WORLDCHAMPION JET seen in Piraeus alongside the TERA JET and the HELLENIC HIGHSPEED.

Another view of the impressive WORLDCHAMPION JET. I had the chance to travel with her during the 2021 season, as she was the ship that I took in order to head from Piraeus to Ios on 22 July of that year. This was my third trip with the ship, having also used her in order to go from Piraeus to Syros and back on 20 September 2020.

The WORLDCHAMPION JET see heading towards the E9 gate in Piraeus. To further highlight the success of her services, she won the prestigious 'Ship of the Year' award given by Lloyd's List Greek Shipping Awards for 2019. She became the third Greek coastal service ship to win the much-coveted award, and the first one since 2007, back when the BLUE STAR CHIOS (then known as the NISSOS CHIOS of Hellenic Seaways) won it. The first Greek coastal service ship to have received this honour was the sister ship of the NISSOS CHIOS, namely the NISSOS MYKONOS of Hellenic Seaways (today the BLUE STAR MYCONOS of Blue Star Ferries).

Another view of the WORLDCHAMPION JET while she makes her way towards her docking spot in Piraeus.

The WORLDCHAMPION JET seen undergoing her quick maneuvering procedure in order to dock in Piraeus.

The WORLDCHAMPION JET having completed her maneuvering procedure and now seen docking in Piraeus.

The WORLDCHAMPION JET seen docking not far from her fleetmate, the TERA JET. Both high speed ferries are considered to best ships of Sea Jets.

The WORLDCHAMPION JET seen alongside the TERA JET in Piraeus, with the SPEED CAT I seen in between.

The WORLDCHAMPION JET having almost finished docking in Piraeus, with the SPEED CAT I seen right behind her.

Another view of the WORLDCHAMPION JET as she is about to dock in the E9 gate in Piraeus.

The WORLDCHAMPION JET seen having docked in Piraeus, with the TERA JET spotted right next to her. So far, the two ships have only seen one season of service together on the Cyclades, and that was during the debut season of the WORLDCHAMPION JET in 2019. Since then, the TERA JET has remained inactive. However, as she will return to service on the Piraeus-Serifos-Sifnos-Milos line this summer, the two ships will be seen operating together from Piraeus to the Cyclades.

At 17:35, just 35 minutes after having docked in Piraeus, the FLYINGCAT 4 was seen leaving the port once again in order to head to the ports of the Saronic Gulf that she serves.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen during her late afternoon from Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen leaving Piraeus for Poros.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen once more as she leaves the port of Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen during her departure from Piraeus. Since the establishment of Hellenic Seaways, she has been the only high speed craft of the company (excluding the hydrofoils) which has operated in every summer since 2005, with the other one being the HIGHSPEED 4. Moreover, she and the FLYINGCAT 3 are the only ships of the 'Flyingcats' that have been continuously present in Greece since the brandname was established upon the creation of Minoan Flying Dolphins in 1999. Indeed, both ships continue to operate under Hellenic Seaways, whereas the FLYINGCAT 1 was sold by the company in 2016 for service in Turkey as the İZNIK for Bursa Deniz Otobüsleri, while the FLYINGCAT 2 was sold in 2012 to the South Korean company Seaspovill, for whom she operates as the SEASTAR 3.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen upon her departure from Piraeus. As it was mentioned previously, she has spent the bulk of her career on the Cyclades. Indeed, during her debut season under Minoan Flying Dolphins in 2000, she operated on the Piraeus-Kythnos-Andros-Syros-Tinos-Mykonos-Paros-Naxos-Ios-Santorini line. After three seasons on the Sporades, she then spent nine consecutive seasons on the Heraklion-Santorini-Ios-Naxos-Paros-Mykonos line from 2004 to 2012. In 2013, after being replaced by the larger HIGHSPEED 5 (known as the SANTORINI PALACE of Minoan Lines since 2018), she was assigned on the Rafina-Tinos-Mykonos-Paros-Naxos-Koufonisi-Amorgos line, while in 2014 she was on the Rafina-Tinos-Mykonos-Paros-Naxos-Irakleia-Schoinousa line, followed by a successful stint on the Rafina-Tinos-Mykonos-Paros-Naxos-Ios-Santorini line in 2015. After returning to the Sporades in 2016 and in 2017, she returned to the Cyclades in 2018 when she was inserted on the Rafina-Tinos-Mykonos-Naxos-Ios-Folegandros-Sikinos line. Since 2019, she has operated on the Saronic Gulf, but she also spent some time last season on the Rafina-Tinos-Mykonos-Naxos line in order to replace the FLYINGCAT 3.

The impressive FLYINGCAT 4 seen as she leaves the port of Piraeus during the afternoon.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen once more, while making her way towards the exit of the port of Piraeus. Regarding her career on the Sporades, she operated on the Agios Konstantinos-Skiathos-Skopelos-Alonissos-Thessaloniki line from 2001 to 2003, and she returned to that same service 13 years later, during the 2016 season. In 2017 she solely operated on the Thessaloniki-Skiathos-Skopelos-Alonissos line. Despite her success there, Hellenic Seaways withdrew from the line and it was taken over in 2018 by the high speed trimaran SUPERSPEED of Golden Star Ferries.

The FLYINGCAT 4, one of the most reliable high speed craft of the Greek coastal service, seen leaving Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen passing in front of me while she heads towards the exit of the port of Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen passing in front of her fleetmate, the HELLENIC HIGHSPEED, while she leaves Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen once more, while she leaves Piraeus,

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen once again as she makes her way towards the exit of the port of Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 4 almost ready to start sailing at full-speed in order to head to Poros and all the ports of the Saronic Gulf that she serves.

Seeing the FLYINGCAT 4 leaving the port of Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 4, which is perhaps the best high speed craft currently operating on the Saronic Gulf, seen leaving the port of Piraeus.

The FLYINGCAT 4 seen for one last time in 2021 as she leaves Piraeus.


This therefore marks the end of the first part featuring the many ships that I got to see that day, just before my departure from Greece. The second part will be released next week, and will wrap-up the final moments and interactions that I had with the ships of the Greek coastal service during the 2021 season.