Minoan Lines

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Minoan Lines
Founded 1972
Headquarters Heraklion, Greece
Area served Adriatic Sea
Aegean Sea
Key people Emanuele Grimaldi, Chairman
Konstantinos Mamalakis, Vice-Chairman
Antonis Maniadakis, CEO
Services Passenger transportation
Freight transportation
Parent Grimaldi Group
Website www.minoan.gr

Minoan Lines is one of the dominant passenger ferry companies in Greece, sailing between Piraeus and Crete and in the Adriatic Sea, between Patras and various Italian ports. The company was founded in May 1972. Since 2008 Grimaldi's Compagnia di Navigazione SpA owns and controls 85% of the stock of Minoan Lines.

Its logo is derived from The Lily Prince fresco of Knossos



  • The cooperation between Minoan and Grimaldi is already ended, only the MS Oceanus was deployed on the Italy-Tunisia route.
  • The MS Oceanus, already renamed Ariadne Palace I is sold to Corsica Ferries.
  • MS Prometheus is sold to Caronte shipping, an Italian shipping company.


  • Minoan decides to focus solely on the shipping sector and sells its stake in Aegean Airlines.


  • Attica Group acquires 10.23% of the share capital of Minoan, reaching an 11.61% stake in the company.
  • Minoan sells its 18% stake in Forthnet to Intracom.


  • The MS Ariadne Palace is sold to Moby Lines which operates in Italian waters. All three vessels from the Samsung shipyard are sold to other companies.
  • Minoan Lines is Passenger Line of the Year according to Lloyd's List


  • In February, Attica Group increases its stake in Minoan Lines.
  • In June, Attica Group sells its entire stake in Minoan (22.2%) to Access Maritime SA, which is controlled by Mr. Laskarides.
  • In December, Sea Star Capital, owner of ANEK Lines, acquires a 26.05% stake in Minoan Lines from Access Maritime in a privately negotiated transaction.


  • In January, Sea Star Capital, signs an agreement with Grimaldi's Compagnia di Navigazione SpA to sell its 26.7 percent stake in Minoan.
  • In October, Compagnia di Navigazione SpA, mother company of the Grimaldi Group, raises its stake above the limit of one third of shared capital and voting rights, which triggers a mandatory bid for the rest of the shares. The offer is launched at the end of October and lasts until the end of November. During this period, Grimaldi acquires an additional 47.9% stake in Minoan Lines, raising its total stake to about 85%.


  • In January, MS Pasiphae Palace is sold to SNCM, and became the Jean Nicoli ship. The replacement on the Venice - Igoumenitsa - Patras-Route is the MS Eurostar Barcelona, on loan from the mother company Grimaldi,[1] formerly already operated by Minoan under the name of MS Prometheus. Eurostar Barcelona was renamed Zeus Palace. Also, Ikarus Palace begun operating on charter with Grimaldi Group on the Line Livorno - Barcelona - Tangier. In October 2009, the new MS Cruise Europa was delivered, to be followed by the sister-ship MS Cruise Olympia in the early summer 2010.


  • In January 2011 Minoan Lines cancelled the sale of its 33,35% stake in Hellenic Seaways to ANEK and try to find a new buyer for it.[2]


  • The year 2012 begins with a huge loss for the company, the closing line of Venice. The fate of the ships that operated on this line is uncertain and remains so until the end of July 2012, when Europa Palace initially went back on the Ancona route, working as a third ship together with Cruise Europa and Cruise Olympia, while the Olympia Palace was laid up in Perama , waiting to find a new job. It was rumored reopening the connection Piraeus - Chania, but instead ships are chartered to CIN , owner of the recently privatized Tirrenia di Navigazione . The twins head to Messina, where they run a partial refit and where they substitute the Greek flag and Heraklion as port of registry with the Italian flag and Cagliari as port of registry. Also, changed their name: Europe Palace to Amsicora and Olympia Palace to Bonaria and take service on the route Cagliari - Arbatax - Civitavecchia .
  • At the end of 2012 to the Ancona route is added a new port of call: Trieste, thus changing the line to Trieste - Ancona - Igoumenitsa - Patras, with three weekly connections to Trieste, while those are daily to Ancona. Vessels operating this new route is Cruise Europa and Cruise Olympia and in addition there is a new ship in order to give greater load capacity of the line and is from Finnlines company, which is part of the Grimaldi Group. The ship is the Europalink who left the Swedish flag in favor of the Italian and has been used in cooperation with Grimaldi ("Minoan Grimaldi Lines"). However, Europalink, after a month of service, in January 5, 2013 had a failure during traveling, and was forced to make an emergency stop in the port of Brindisi. Passengers and vehicles were disembarked safely and continued the journey with Grimaldi Group's Florencia. The ship was then brought from Brindisi to Messina yards for repair.


Current fleet [3][edit]

Ship name Flag Built IMO Callsign Tonnage Length Width Passengers Vessels Knots
Knossos Palace Greece 2000 9204063 SYQO 24.003 214 m 26 m 2.500 700 31,6
Festos Palace Greece 2001 9204568 SYNR 24.003 214 m 26 m 2.500 700 31,6

On charter from Grimaldi Group[edit]

Ship name Flag Built IMO Callsign Tonnage Length Width Passengers Vessels Knots
Cruise Europa Italy 2009 9351490 IBEV 54.310 225 m 30 m 2.850 963 27,5
Cruise Olympia Italy 2010 9351505 IBEY 54.310 225 m 30 m 2.850 963 27,5
On charter from Finnlines[edit]
Ship name Flag Built IMO Callsign Tonnage Length Width Passengers Vessels Knots
Europalink Italy 2007 9319454 ICUO 45.923 218,7 m 30,5 m 730 1.320 25

On charter to other companies[edit]

Ship name Flag Built IMO Callsign Tonnage Length Width Passengers Vessels Knots
Ikarus Palace Greece 1998 9144811 SWEW 29.968 200 m 25,8 m 1.528 819 27
Olympia Palace Italy 2001 9220330 ICUS 36.825 214 m 26 m 1.922 821 31,5
Europa Palace Italy 2002 9220342 ICUK 36.825 214 m 26 m 1.922 821 31,5
Ikarus Palace


Former ships[edit]

  • F/B Minos 1974-1984 (scrapped)
  • F/B Ariadne 1976-1999 (scrapped)
  • F/B Festos 1984-1998 (scrapped)
  • F/B Agia Galini 1986-2002 (scrapped)
  • F/B Fedra 1987-2000 (today MS Ouzoud with Comanav)
  • F/B Daedalus 1989-2005 (today MS Riviera Adriatica with Adria Ferries)
  • FB Knossos 1978-1998 (scraped)
  • F/B El Greco 1979-2002 (scrapped)
  • F/B N. Kazantzakis 1989-2001 (today sailing for Pacific Cruises)
  • F/B King Minos 1987-2002 (today MS Mawaddah with Namma Lines)
  • F/B Erotokritos 1991-2002 (became MS Erotokritos T with Endeavor Lines, now scrapped)
  • H/S/F Aretousa 1995-2001 (today MS Girolata with CMN)
  • H/S/F Prometheus 2001-2004 (today Zeus Palace with Grimaldi lines)
  • H/S/F Oceanus 2001-2002 (renamed Ariadne Palace 12002-2003) (Today MS Mega Express Three with Corsica Ferries)
  • H/S/F Ariadne Palace 2002-2006 (today MS Moby Tommy with Moby Lines)
  • H/S/F Pasiphae Palace 1998-2010 (today MS Jean Nicoli with SNCM)



Companies that are affiliates of Minoan Lines (larger than 10%) are outlined below.


External links[edit]