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  • Writer's pictureAlexandros Vrailas

SPEED CAT I Tribute and Moments of Trip

Trip: 9 September 2021. From Poros to Piraeus, with the SPEED CAT I of Alpha Lines.


The high speed craft SPEED CAT I was built in 2002 in France. She was one of six sister ships that were ordered by the Swiss government in order to perform an inland waterway service connecting three major Swiss lakes, namely Lake Neuchâtel, Lake Bienne and Lake Morat. They were all part of the Iris Catamaran-class built between 2000 and 2002. The ship began service as the LYON on the Neuchâtel-Bienne-Morat-Yverdon line, just before the start of the 2002 National Swiss Exposition. She remained in this service until 2008. In 2009 she was sold to the Croatian company Adriatic Lines, and was renamed ADRIATIC JET. She was introduced on the Venice-Umag-Poreč-Rovinj-Pula line, thus connecting Italy with Croatia via the Adriatic Sea. She remained in this service until 2020, when she was sold to the newly-established Greek company Alpha Lines. The latter was created by the well-known shipowner Antonios Agapitos, who was once the manager of the historic company Agapitos Lines, and his son, Vassilios. The company therefore served as a successor of the famed Agapitos family, which had been a major contributor to the development of the Greek coastal service from the late 1960s to the late 1990s, having had major success on the Cyclades, the Northeast Aegean Sea, the Dodecanese and the Ionian Sea. After Agapitos Lines was taken over by the then-newly-established giants Minoan Flying Dolphins (which then became Hellas Flying Dolphins before being rebranded as Hellenic Seaways in 2005) in 1999, Antonios Agapitos became one of the leaders of the new company, and served as the CEO of Hellenic Seaways from 2013 until 2018, when the company was acquired by Attica Group. Looking to continue his activities in the Greek coastal service with a fresh new company that would be managed by his son, Agapitos proceeded to launching Alpha Lines and buying the ADRIATIC JET as the company's first ship. The latter was renamed SPEED CAT I, and, following a conversion in Salamina, she was deployed on the Piraeus-Poros-Hydra-Spetses line on the Saronic Gulf in 2021.


The debut season of the SPEED CAT I proved to be a major success, as she was praised for her comfortable service and indoor areas. Despite her unusual aesthetic appearance which has polarised shipping enthusiasts, the ship was considered to be extremely reliable and was further appreciated due to the fact that she provided competition on a demanding line of the Saronic Gulf that had previously been dominated solely by Hellenic Seaways (the former employers of Antonios Agapitos himself). This was in spite of the fact that very few other companies managed to enter service on the Piraeus-Poros-Hydra-Spetses-Porto Cheli line in the past decade (such as Hydra Speed Lines, Aegean Flying Dolphins or Hellas Speed Cat) with no success. Additionally, Alpha Lines was noted for providing innovative features as part of the passengers' onboard experience. These included each passenger seat having a QR code from which passengers could order food and drinks from the ship's onboard bar, an online entertainment service displayed across digital screens that could be used by passengers during the trip, as well as providing luggage vouchers (passengers would give their luggage to the crew before the trip in exchange of a voucher code, which the crew would then keep in store in order to discharge the luggage themselves at the passengers' desired destination, hence saving them time and effort from looking for their belongings as the ship would undergo her docking procedure). All such features had never been seen before in the Greek coastal service. Finally, the ship notably had an outdoor deck area with dedicated aircraft-style seats that would enable passengers to remain outdoors throughout the whole duration of the trip-a rarity for a Greek high speed craft. All these factors were key in Alpha Lines ultimately being awarded the prestigious 'Passenger Line of the Year' award given by Lloyd's List Greek Shipping Awards for 2021, therefore became the first company to ever win the award in its debut season. With the arrival of the SPEED CAT I, Hellenic Seaways finally managed to encounter a serious and threatening competitor on the Saronic Gulf, and the anticipated arrival of the SPEED CAT I was another factor in the company deciding to order three newly-built aero high speed catamarans, which are due to arrive this summer so as to replace the aging hydrofoils. Therefore, the 2022 season, which is already forecasted to experience record numbers in passenger traffic on the Saronic Gulf, is undoubtedly going to be very promising and very exciting to watch.


After having spent the whole day of 9 September 2021 in the island of Poros, whereupon I saw several ships that frequently serve the island, it was now time for me to head back to Piraeus for the evening. I had arrived to the island in the morning with the FLYINGCAT 6 of Hellenic Seaways (with which I performed my second-ever trip, with the first one having been on 28 July 2019 from Spetses to Piraeus), I was now intending to perform the return leg to Piraeus with the SPEED CAT I. Besides this being my first trip with the ship and the company, it was also my first-ever trip on the Saronic Gulf onboard a high speed craft that was not owned by Hellenic Seaways or Aegean Flying Dolphins, and my first-ever trip on the Saronic Gulf onboard a high speed craft that was built during the 2000s and which was performing her debut season in Greece.

The SPEED CAT I seen arriving in the port of Poros, after passing by the Troizinia Strait. The pictures of the ship arriving in Poros from Hydra can also be seen in the previous Blog post that I wrote.

A view of the SPEED CAT I as she is arriving in Poros, during her debut season in Greece and under Alpha Lines.

The SPEED CAT I about to dock in Poros. Her aesthetic appearance has made her a distinguishable ship in Piraeus, and shipping enthusiasts and passengers have mixed opinions regarding the design. Regardless of this, the ship still provides an excellent service ever since her arrival in Greece.

The SPEED CAT I seen as she is about to dock in the port of Poros. Coincidentally, she became the first ship not owned by Hellenic Seaways to be deployed on the Piraeus-Poros-Hydra-Spetses line since the similarly-named SPEED CAT 1, also a high speed craft, which is owned by Hellas Speed Cat. Indeed, the latter ship, which was previously the PANORMITIS of ANES Ferries from 2001 to 2007, attempted to operate on the Saronic Gulf during the 2016 season. After being deployed there in March 2016, she unfortunately suffered a major engine failure after only a couple of weeks in service, and she was withdrawn from the line. She has never returned to service ever since, instead remaining laid-up in Salamina while awaiting her fate.

The SPEED CAT I seen passing in front of me in order to dock in the port of Poros.

A view of the SPEED CAT I as she is about to dock in the port of Poros. While she became the first ship of her class to successfully operate in Greece, she was actually not the first one to be deployed in Greek waters. Indeed, her sister ship, the IRIS JET (built in 2000), which had previously operated in Spain for the company Cape Balear (2000-2003) before having a stint in Turkey, had briefly been introduced for service during the 2017 season on the Dodecanese, under the management of the Greek tourist agency Travelway, based in Kos. She reportedly performed a few (if not any) excursions along the Rhodes-Symi-Kos-Kalymnos-Leros-Patmos line before experiencing a major engine failure in late July 2017. In fact, she was the mysterious ship that I had seen being towed to Perama while I was heading from Piraeus to Sifnos with the ADAMANTIOS KORAIS of Zante Ferries on 26 July 2017. Ultimately, while the ship was repaired in late 2017 and was due to resume service on the Dodecanese in 2018, she never did so, and has been remaining laid-up in İskenderun ever since. Two years later, her sister ship, the SPEED CAT I, would go on to be acquired by a Greek company, and she eventually entered service with much success.

The SPEED CAT I seen as she is docking in the port of Poros, just before I proceeded to embark onboard her.

The SPEED CAT I features indoor passenger areas across two decks, with the lower one having seats of the Economy Class while the upper one was dedicated to the Business Class. Here is a view of the aircraft-style seats of the Economy Class, which was decorated with impressive lighting over the ceiling.

Another view of the brown aircraft-style seats of the Economy Class.

A view of the aircraft-style seats of the Business Class, located in the ship's upper deck.

Another view of the Business Class indoor area towards the aft section, which features white and grey aircraft-style seats, all of which also have the logo of Alpha Lines printed on them.

After seeing the indoor areas of the ship, I proceeded to heading towards the upper outdoor deck, which features numerous white chairs assigned in rows. This outdoor area enabled to passengers to stay outside for the duration of the trip, something which is very uncommon for a Greek high speed craft. Having such an opportunity, I decided to stay outdoors for the whole trip.

A view of the outdoor area on the upper deck of the ship, which covers mostly the stern section.

In addition to the numerous seats one can find in the outdoor area, there is also additional storage for luggage, which is organised according to the islands in which passengers are due to disembark.

At 18:00, the SPEED CAT I began to leave the port of Poros in order to complete her return leg to Piraeus. As she was departing, I was able to spot the port of Galatas Troizinias, which is the departure port for ferries heading from the Peloponnese to Poros. There, I saw two ships owned by Troiziniaki NE, namely the landing craft NIKOLAKIS D and the double-ended ferry KYRIAKI.

The NIKOLAKIS D seen docked in Galatas Troizinias alongside her fleetmate, the KYRIAKI.

The KYRIAKI seen in the port of Galatas Troizinias. Built in 2000 for Troiziniaki NE, she has spent her entire career on the Galatas Troizinias-Poros line. She is notably the smallest double-ended ferry that operates in Greece.

The NIKOLAKIS D seen as she is departing the port of Galatas Troizinias in order to head to Poros. Built in 1994 in Greece, she began her career as the AGIOS SPYRIDON for the Elafonisos-based company Simos Star, operating on the Pounta-Elafonisos line until her sale to the Paros-based company Agia Marina I NE in 2003. Under the latter, she spent 13 years on the Paros-Antiparos line on the Cyclades. In 2016 she was bought by Troiziniaki NE, was renamed NIKOLAKIS D, and began service on the Galatas Troizinias-Poros line.

The NIKOLAKIS D seen undergoing her maneuvering procedure in order to leave Galatas Troizinias.

The NIKOLAKIS D seen completing her maneuvering procedure in order to make her way towards the port of Poros.

Another view of the KYRIAKI, as she is seen resting in Galatas Troizinias.

A wider view of the port of Galatas Troizinias, with the NIKOLAKIS D leaving for Poros while the KYRIAKI remains docked.

As the SPEED CAT I began to leave the port of Poros, I got to see two other landing craft that serve the Galatas Troizinias-Poros line, namely the NISSOS POROS of Poros Ferries and the IOANNIS II of VR Ferries.

One last view of the beautiful island of Poros, on which I got to spend a very memorable day and had the chance to see several ferries of the Greek coastal service.

The NIKOLAKIS D seen once again, as she makes her way towards the port of Poros.

The stern of the SPEED CAT I seen while she sails at full-speed on the Saronic Gulf, while heading back to Piraeus.

After only 70 minutes of sailing, the SPEED CAT I had arrived at the entrance of the port of Piraeus at 19:10. There, I spotted the small passenger boat GEORGIOS BROUFAS of Broufas Vessels having left the port in order to head towards Salamina.

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS seen having left Piraeus for Salamina. Built in 1997, 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 since her return from the Cyclades.

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS seen sailing while performing yet another trip from Piraeus to Salamina. 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 (hence 8 days before my trip with the SPEED CAT I).

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

The GEORGIOS BROUFAS seen right as she is about to exit the port of Piraeus.

One last view of the GEORGIOS BROUFAS as she heads towards the exit of the port of Piraeus.

As the SPEED CAT I began to head towards the E8 gate of the port of Piraeus, I had the chance to spot the large ferry NISSOS RODOS of Hellenic Seaways, which has been operating on the Piraeus-Chios-Mytilene line since 2018.

The NISSOS RODOS seen docked in the port of Piraeus. Built in 1987 in Japan, she was acquired in 2005 by Hellenic Seaways, shortly after the latter had been rebranded. Initially known as the OCEAN TRAILER (2005-2007) and then as the HELLENIC VOYAGER (2007-2010), her first years under her owner saw her alternating operations between serving the Corinth-Venice line on the Adriatic Sea as a Ro-Ro carrier or spending time on charter to Grimaldi Lines (for whim she operated for two years). She was extensively refurbished between 2009 and 2010 in order to be deployed as a passenger ferry on the Piraeus-Paros-Kos-Rhodes line on the Dodecanese in 2010, being renamed NISSOS RODOS in the process. Her service there was unsuccessful, however, and she remained inactive for the most part between 2011 and 2013, before returning to the Corinth-Igoumenitsa-Venice line in 2014. Since 2015, the ship has been an established ferry on the Northeast Aegean Sea, having served the latter's main lifeline from Piraeus between 2015 and 2017, before heading to her current service on the Piraeus-Chios-Mytilene line in 2018.

Passing by the NISSOS RODOS, which was due to depart the port of Piraeus during the evening.

As we continued to head towards the docking spot of the SPEED CAT I, I saw two prominent high speed craft of the Greek coastal service. Indeed, these were the high speed ferry SPEEDRUNNER III of Aegean Speed Lines and the high speed catamaran FLYINGCAT 4 of Hellenic Seaways.

I also got to see a high speed ferry that was docked in Piraeus as part of her annual winter lay-up. Indeed, that was the HELLENIC HIGHSPEED of Hellenic Seaways, which had just completed her summer season on the Piraeus-Mykonos-Ikaria-Fournoi-Patmos-Leros-Kalymnos-Kos-Symi-Rhodes line.

A bit further down, I went on to spot three high speed ferries owned by Sea Jets, which has undoubtedly become the leading operator of high speed craft in Greece, and one of the most dominant companies operating on the Cyclades. These high speed ferries happened to be three of the best ships owned by the company, namely the WORLDCHAMPION JET, the TERA JET and the CHAMPION JET 2.

The TERA JET seen docked in Piraeus alongside the CHAMPION JET 2. The former joined Sea Jets in 2014, whereas the latter was bought in 2015. Both ships played an integral role in the growth of the company during the late 2010s.

The HELLENIC HIGHSPEED seen docked in Piraeus after having ended her summer season. The summer of 2021 marked her second consecutive season back with Hellenic Seaways, after having spent the previous year on the Siteia-Kasos-Karpathos-Chalki-Rhodes line. Before that, she had spent the 2019 season under charter to Fast Ferries, for whom she operated on the Rafina-Tinos-Mykonos-Naxos line as a replacement for the conventional ferry EKATERINI P, which missed two years of service because of a major engine failure.

The HELLENIC HIGHSPEED was seen docked alongside the hydrofoil FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX of Hellenic Seaways, which also served the Saronic Gulf.

Another view of the WORLDCHAMPION JET alongside the TERA JET and the CHAMPION JET 2.

The WORLDCHAMPION JET and the TERA JET seen together in Piraeus. They are the two largest and fastest high speed craft of the company, and widely perceived as the two best ships of the company.

The CHAMPION JET 2 seen in Piraeus during what was her seventh consecutive season with Sea Jets, and her second consecutive summer on the Piraeus-Serifos-Sifnos-Milos line on the Western Cyclades. Her service there has been quite successful, and she notably performed two sailings a day from Piraeus during the summer of 2021.

The HELLENIC HIGHSPEED seen resting in the port of Piraeus. Unfortunately, the summer of 2022 will see her operating outside of Greece, as she will be chartered to Africa Morocco Link (which is part of Attica Group, of which Hellenic Seaways is also a subsidiary) in order to operate a seasonal high speed service on the Algeciras-Tangier Med line on the Gibraltar Strait. Her service on the Cyclades, the Northeast Aegean Sea and the Dodecanese will not be taken over by another ship of the company.

A view of the FLYING DOLPHIN XXIX as she is docked in the port of Piraeus. Built in 1993, she has spent her entire career on the Saronic Gulf, on the Piraeus-Aegina-Agistri-Poros-Hydra-Ermioni-Spetses-Porto Cheli line. She was therefore a notable competitor of the SPEED CAT I in 2021.

I also had the chance to see the cruiseferry KNOSSOS PALACE of Minoan Lines, which was serving the Piraeus-Milos-Heraklion line. Built in 2001, and formerly known as the OLYMPIA PALACE, she spent her first summer under Minoan Lines since 2011, after having previously operated on the Tyrrhenian Sea first as the BONARIA under charter to the Italian company Tirrenia Di Navigazione (2012-2018) and then as the CRUISE BONARIA for Grimaldi Lines (2018-2020). As part of the fleet reshuffle undertaken by Minoan Lines in 2020 and in 2021, she returned to her original owners in late 2020, as a replacement of the original KNOSSOS PALACE, which ended her 20-year-long career on the Piraeus-Heraklion line and joined Grimaldi Lines instead, becoming the new CRUISE BONARIA. The new KNOSSOS PALACE joined her sister ship, the FESTOS PALACE (previously the EUROPA PALACE and then the MYKONOS PALACE), which had been introduced on the Piraeus-Milos-Heraklion line in 2020.

Behind the KNOSSOS PALACE, I spotted the two ships of ANEK Lines that served Crete during the 2021 season. Indeed, these were the KRITI I and the ELYROS. The former served the Piraeus-Heraklion line, whereas the latter operates on the Piraeus-Chania line.

A view of the KNOSSOS PALACE in Piraeus, during her first season under Minoan Lines after a decade. During her first spell under the latter, she operated on the Adriatic Sea. She operated on the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Ancona from 2001 to 2009, before moving to the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Venice line in 2010. After the 2011 season, this service was discontinued, and, following a failed attempt by Minoan Lines to operate her and the EUROPA PALACE (today the FESTOS PALACE) on the Piraeus-Chania line in 2012, the two ferries service joined Tirrenia Di Navigazione under charter. Both ships eventually returned to Minoan Lines, with the ex-EUROPA PALACE joining them in 2018 as the MYKONOS PALACE in order to finally serve the Piraeus-Chania line. After two seasons she was renamed FESTOS PALACE in 2020, and the ex-OLYMPIA PALACE joined her on the Piraeus-Milos-Heraklion line in 2021.

The SPEEDRUNNER III seen docked in the port of Piraeus. Bought by Aegean Speed Lines in 2009, she was spending her third consecutive season on the Piraeus-Serifos-Sifnos-Milos line and her fifth consecutive summer on the Western Cyclades altogether. 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.

Not far from the SPEEDRUNNER III was the FLYINGCAT 6 of Hellenic Seaways, onboard which I had traveled earlier that day.

The SPEEDRUNNER III, the sole remaining ship of Aegean Speed Lines since 2017, seen resting in Piraeus.

A view of the veteran ferry KRITI I, which was spending her first summer under ANEK Lines since 2016, and her first season on the Piraeus-Heraklion line since 2014. Indeed, from 2017 to 2020 she was operating under charter to the Italian company Grandi Navi Veloci on the Civitavecchia-Termini Imerese line on the Tyrrhenian Sea. After returning to Greece in 2020, she was refurbished and replaced her sister ship and fleetmate, the KRITI II, ahead of the 2021 season. The latter ferry spent the entire summer under lay-up in Perama.

Another picture of the KNOSSOS PALACE, as she is seen docked in Piraeus.

As we almost headed towards the docking spot of the SPEED CAT I, I saw another high speed catamaran, namely the FLYINGCAT 4 of Hellenic Seaways. She has been the main competitor of the SPEED CAT I, as she is the largest and fastest ship of Hellenic Seaways operating on the Saronic Gulf. Even though her career is mostly associated with her successful operations on the Cyclades, since 2019 she has been serving the Piraeus-Poros-Hydra-Ermioni-Spetses-Porto Cheli line.

The FLYINGCAT 6 seen docked in Piraeus. Along with the FLYINGCAT 4 and the FLYINGCAT 5, she is one of the three 'Flyingcats' of Hellenic Seaways that served the Saronic Gulf during the 2021 season, something which they also did in 2020. She has been operating on the Saronic Gulf since 2018, and has been assigned on the Piraeus-Aegina-Agistri-Poros-Hydra-Ermioni-Spetses-Porto Cheli line since 2020.

A view of the impressive WORLDCHAMPION JET, which was spending her third season with Sea Jets. The summer of 2021 saw her operating on the Piraeus-Syros-Mykonos-Naxos-Ios-Santorini line, which she served with considerable success.

A view of the FLYINGCAT 4 alongside the FLYINGCAT 6 in Piraeus. As both ships serve the Saronic Gulf, they were two major competitors of the SPEED CAT I.

Another view of the SPEEDRUNNER III as she is seen docked in Piraeus.

As we began to approach the docking area of the E8 gate, I had the chance to see additional ferries serving the Saronic Gulf. One of them was the PHIVOS of Nova Ferries, which served the Piraeus-Aegina-Methana-Poros line as part of the Saronic Ferries joint venture.

The PHIVOS was seen alongside the conventional double-ended ferry POSIDON HELLAS of 2way Ferries, which serves the Piraeus-Aegina-Agistri-Methana-Poros line, also under the Saronic Ferries joint venture.

The POSIDON HELLAS seen docked in Piraeus. She was built in 1998 in Greece, and became the first double-ended ferry in the history of the Greek coastal service. She has spent her entire career on the Saronic Gulf, and originally operated for Poseidon Consortium Shipping from 1998 to 1999, when she was acquired by Minoan Flying Dolphins and joined the Saronikos Ferries division. Her company was renamed Hellas Flying Dolphins in 2002, before being rebranded as Hellenic Seaways in 2005. In 2015 the ship was sold to 2way Ferries, for whom she has continued to operate on the Saronic Gulf.

The PHIVOS seen docked in Piraeus next to the POSIDON HELLAS. She has been operating in Greece and on the Saronic Gulf since 2005, after having spent a year being converted following her acquisition by the then-newly-established company Nova Ferries. Her first two seasons were spent on the Piraeus-Aegina-Methana-Poros-Hydra line, before she operated exclusively on the Piraeus-Aegina line from 2007 to 2013. Following the establishment of the Saronic Ferries joint venture in 2014, the ship has been serving the Piraeus-Aegina-Methana-Poros line.

The FLYINGCAT 6 seen docked in Piraeus during what was her fourth consecutive season on the Saronic Gulf, and her seventh season overall. Indeed, she also operated there in 2013, in 2015 and in 2016. Besides these years, she spent her Greek career on the Sporades (from 2005 to 2012, in 2014 and in 2017). She is due to return there this year, being deployed on the Volos-Skiathos-Skopelos-Alonissos line for the first time in five years.

Another view of the SPEEDRUNNER III in Piraeus. The ship has been in the news quite frequently these past few weeks, as it was announced that she had been sold to Sea Jets. She is due to join the company later this month, presumably as the SPEEDRUNNER JET. Her sale ultimately marks the end of the existence of Aegean Speed Lines, which had been a notable company of the Greek coastal service for 17 years, being particularly successful on the Western Cyclades. Unfortunately, strong competition provided by Sea Jets and uncertainties regarding the current geopolitical and economic conditions and their impact in the ferry industry led the company in divesting from operating high speed craft. With this move, the SPEEDRUNNER III is set to reunite with her sister ship and former fleetmate, the ex-SPEEDRUNNER IV, which has been known as the SUPERRUNNER JET since joining Sea Jets in 2021 (after having previously operated for four years as the SUPERRUNNER for Golden Star Ferries).

Another view of the TERA JET in Piraeus. After spending the 2020 season and the 2021 season under lay-up, the ship will be reactivated by her company in order to begin service on the Piraeus-Serifos-Sifnos-Milos line. She will therefore replace the CHAMPION JET 2 on the Western Cyclades, with the latter being planned for service on the Piraeus-Paros-Naxos-Ios-Santorini line.

Passing by the impressive WORLDCHAMPION JET, which has become one of the most successful high speed ferries to have been introduced in Greece. This largely thanks to her unrivaled speed, as she is able to sail at an average of 44 knots during the high season. She also features impressive and comfortable indoor areas, and she serves several popular islands of the Cyclades, which has therefore made her a favourite amongst tourists. She notably received the prestigious 'Ship of the Year' given by Lloyd's List Greek Shipping Awards for 2019. She became the first Greek high speed craft to win the award, as well as the third passenger ship to do so, following the NISSOS MYKONOS of Hellenic Seaways (today the BLUE STAR MYCONOS of Blue Star Ferries) in 2006 and the BLUE STAR CHIOS of Hellenic Seaways (today the BLUE STAR CHIOS of Blue Star Ferries) in 2007.

Another view of the WORLDCHAMPION JET, during her third season in Greek waters. Built in 2000 in Australia, she spent the first 18 years of her career on the Rønne-Ystad line on the Baltic Sea, as the VILLUM CLAUSEN of the Danish company Bornholms Traffiken, which has been known as Bornholmer Færgen since 2010. She was subsequently sold to Sea Jets in late 2018, and began service for them on the Cyclades during the 2019 season.

The PHIVOS and the POSIDON HELLAS seen resting together in Piraeus, as the SPEED CAT I prepares to dock next to them.

The PHIVOS and the POSIDON HELLAS, two beloved ferries of the Saronic Gulf, seen docked together in the port of Piraeus.

Another view of the POSIDON HELLAS, during what was her seventh consecutive season under 2way Ferries.

Next to the docking spot of the SPEED CAT I was the hydrofoil FLYING DOLPHIN XVII of Hellenic Seaways. Built in 1984, she has also spent her entire career on the Piraeus-Aegina-Agistri-Poros-Hydra-Ermioni-Spetses-Porto Cheli line on the Saronic Gulf.

A view of the FLYING DOLPHIN XVII as she is seen resting in the port of Piraeus. I traveled with her three times during the 2021 season, on all occasions from Piraeus to Aegina. Indeed, I performed trips with her on 19 July 2021, 1 August 2021 and 1 September 2021. I had also traveled with her from Aegina to Piraeus back on 7 August 2019.

The SPEED CAT I seen docking next to the POSIDON HELLAS, while the latter is resting in the port of Piraeus.

A broader view of the port of Piraeus during the evening, featuring the KNOSSOS PALACE, the SPEEDRUNNER III and the FLYINGCAT 6.

Another view of the KNOSSOS PALACE in Piraeus.

The POSIDON HELLAS seen once again in Piraeus. She is one of the three ships owned by 2way Ferries that operate on the Saronic Gulf, together with the ACHAEOS and the APOLLON HELLAS.

Another picture featuring the FLYINGCAT 6 and the FLYINGCAT 4 together in Piraeus.

The KNOSSOS PALACE seen in Piraeus alongside the SPEEDRUNNER III, the FLYINGCAT 6 and the FLYINGCAT 4, with the KRITI I and the ELYROS in the background.

One last view of the POSIDON HELLAS in Piraeus, just as the SPEED CAT I has completed her docking procedure, therefore marking the end of my trip with her.

I proceeded to disembark from the SPEED CAT I as soon as we arrived in Piraeus. Here is a picture of her together with the much larger WORLDCHAMPION JET.

The SPEED CAT I seen in the port of Piraeus, shortly after disembarkation. The office headquarters of Alpha Lines happen to be right at the opposite side of the road passing by the E8 gate where the ship docks.

A view of the PHIVOS, which has been my all-time favourite ship of the Greek coastal service, and a major part of my childhood in Greece.

Another view of the TERA JET, still considered to be the flagship of Sea Jets despite having been inactive for the past two years. Since joining the company, she has seen much success, first on the Heraklion-Cyclades service from 2014 to 2015, before garnering much acclaim when she entered service on the Rafina-Tinos-Mykonos-Paros-Naxos line in 2017. After two seasons based in Rafina and a spell on the Piraeus-Paros-Ios-Santorini line in 2019, the ship was deemed too costly to operate and was therefore laid-up from 2020 to 2022. She is finally set to make her comeback under Sea Jets on the Western Cyclades.

Another view of the PHIVOS, which, despite being 42 years old and the oldest conventional ferry of the Saronic Gulf, still maintains high-quality services and continues to be appreciated by the local passengers.

Another view of the WORLDCHAMPION JET, which is set to spend a second consecutive season on the Piraeus-Syros-Mykonos-Naxos-Ios-Santorini line.

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

One last view of the great PHIVOS, with which I had the chance to travel twice during the 2021 season, including on 21 June 2021, which marked my first trip in Greece that year. My last one would turn out to be the one that I did with the SPEED CAT I, almost three months later.

The SPEED CAT I seen together with the WORLDCHAMPION JET in Piraeus. Both ships have played a vital role for their companies since their arrivals in Greece, regardless of the different destinations that they serve.

One final view of the SPEED CAT I, right after having completed my first-ever trip with her.


This therefore marks the end of the Blog post, which covered what eventually proved to be the final trip that I did with a ship of the Greek coastal service for the 2021 season. And this season will hardly be one to forget, as I performed a total of 41 different trips during the summer, a record that easily stands in front of the previous one that I held (26 trips in 2018). It was a pleasure to end this incredible run with a high-quality trip onboard a very nice high speed craft. The SPEED CAT I is a very reliable ferry, and her outdoor area which is accessible to passengers was without a doubt the main highlight of my trip from Poros to Piraeus. The journey was very smooth and comfortable, and I was further impressed with the ship's indoor areas. It was a great way for me to end this special day, which I spent in a beautiful island of the Saronic Gulf. Altogether, it was nice to see a newly-established company entering a market that had previously been dominated by just one main company, and already experiencing success from its first year of operations. Not only does competition improve the Greek coastal service, but it is also great to see the famed Agapitos name continuing to make its mark on the Aegean Sea, with the new generation also ready to give us exciting prospects for the future. These are the families that the Greek coastal service needs in order to thrive, just like it did from the 1970s to the late 1990s.


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