Minoan Lines

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Minoan Lines
HeadquartersHeraklion, Greece
Area served
Aegean Sea
Key people
Emanuele Grimaldi (Chairman)

Loukas Sigalas (CEO)
ServicesPassenger transportation
Freight transportation
Revenue€57.45 million (2020)[1]
€(14.60) million (2020)[1]
€(15.39) million (2020)[1]
Total assets€280.62 million (2020)[1]
Total equity€255.17 million (2020)[1]
OwnerGrimaldi Group (100%)[2]
Number of employees
415 (2020)[1]

Minoan Lines is one of the largest passenger ferry companies in Europe, and 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 95.9 of the stock of Minoan Lines.

Its logo is derived from The Lily Prince fresco of Knossos.



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


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


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



  • In February, Attica Group increased its stake in Minoan Lines.
  • In June, Attica Group sold 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, acquired a 26.05% stake in Minoan Lines from Access Maritime in a privately negotiated transaction.


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



  • In January 2011 Minoan Lines cancelled the sale of its 33.35% stake in Hellenic Seaways to ANEK and tried to find a new buyer for it.[4]


  • The year began with a significant loss for the company - the closure of the Venice route. The fate of the ships that operated on this line remained uncertain until the end of July 2012, when Europa Palace joined Cruise Europa and Cruise Olympia on the Ancona route. Meanwhile, Olympia Palace was laid up in Perama. Despite the rumored reopening of the Piraeus - Chania route, both ships were then chartered to CIN, owner of the recently privatized Tirrenia di Navigazione, and used on the Cagliari - Arbatax - Civitavecchia route. Europe Palace was renamed Amsicora, and "Olympia Palace" became Bonaria. Both ships underwent a partial refit at Messina, and changed their ports of registry from Heraklion to Cagliari, and their flags from Greek to Italian.
  • At the end of 2012 the daily Ancona - Igoumenitsa - Patras route was extended to call at Trieste thrice weekly. The route was operated by Cruise Europa and Cruise Olympia. A third ship, Europalink, was also added to the route in order to increase load capacity. The ship was previously operated by another Grimaldi Group company, Finnlines, but was changed flags from Swedish to Italian and operated in cooperation with Grimaldi.


  • On January 5, Europalink experience a failure and was forced to make an emergency stop in the port of Brindisi.[5] 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.


  • On September 21, Europalink struck rocks off Peristeres island, north east of Corfu, Greece. All 70 crew and 692 passengers were evacuated. It was later refloated and taken in to Kerkyra, Greece for repairs. Europalink was on a voyage from Patras, Greece to Ancona.[6][7]


  • Starting with January the Adriatic line again called at the ferry port of Venice twice weekly, arriving and departing during the night hours.


  • Europa Palace, which was chartered to Tirrenia di Navigazione as Amsicora, returns to Minoan Lines as Mykonos Palace on the Piraeus-Chania line.
  • Minoan Lines also acquires Santorini Palace, previously operated as Highspeed 7 by Hellenic Seaways, and starts serving the Heraklion-Santorini-Ios-Par

os-Mykonos route.


  • Minoan Lines puts to her ships scrubbers Knossos Palace, Festos Palace, Mykonos Palace, Cruise Olympia, Cruise Europa and with that Minoan lines became the first company in Greece with scrubbers
  • Mykonos Palace replace the ships Cruise Olympia, Cruise Europa in Patras-Igoymenitsa-Ancona route because the two Cruises put scrubbers in Malta [Piombino Shipyards]
  • Festos Palace on February renamed Kydon Palace and sails Piraeus-Chania route
  • Kydon Palace on 13th of February replaced Mykonos Palace
  • Mykonos Palace on the 15th of February was renamed Festos Palace


  • Cruise Europa & Cruise Olympia were returned to Grimaldi Group.
  • Cruise Bonaria replaced temporarily Cruise Olympia in the Line Patra-Ancona after the former's departure from the fleet.
  • Cruise Olbia will be transferred in late February from Grimaldi Group to Grimaldi Minoan Lines and will be renamed Europa Palace and will replace Cruise Europa in the line Patra-Ancona.
  • Zeus Palace was transferred in April from Grimaldi Group to Grimaldi Minoan Lines and replaced Cruise Bonaria in the line Patra-Ancona.


Conventional ferries[8][edit]

Ship name Flag Built IMO Callsign Tonnage Length Width Passengers Cars Knots Photo
Kydon Palace Greece 2001 9204568 SYNR 37.482 214 m 26,4 m 2.500 700 31,5
Knossos Palace Greece 2001 9220330 SVDJ4 36.894 214 m 26,4 m 2.184 821 31,5
Festos Palace Greece 2002 9220342 ICUK 36.894 214 m 26,4 m 2.184 821 31,5

Highspeed Ferries[edit]

Ship name Flag Built IMO Callsign Tonnage Length Width Passengers Cars Knots Photo
Santorini Palace Greece 2005 9329095 SYDM 4.913 GT 85 m 21,2 m 1,160 105 40

Former fleet[edit]




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

Former affiliates[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f ΜΙΝΩΙΚΕΣ ΓΡΑΜΜΕΣ Α.Ν.Ε. Ετήσια Χρηματοοικονομική Έκθεση για την οικονομική χρήση 2020 (1/1 – 31/12/2020) [MINOAN LINES N.E. Annual Financial Report for the financial year 2020 (1/1 – 31/12/2020)] (PDF) (Report) (in Greek). 30 March 2021.
  2. ^ http://www.4-traders.com/MINOAN-LINES-S-A-1408780/company/
  3. ^ "Lloyd's List Home Page". Lloyd's List. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Minoan Lines (Economy Column)". ekathimerini newspaper. 4 January 2011.
  5. ^ "Falla sul traghetto. Europa Link Grimaldi sbarca 280 passeggeri a Brindisi - Blitz quotidiano". www.blitzquotidiano.it. 5 January 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Captain and Chief Officer of Grounded Ferry Arrested". World Maritime News. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  7. ^ ""Our Fleet": Minoan Lines ship presentation". Retrieved 2010-11-21.

External links[edit]