20 December 2014

Artemis in Piraeus, 10 November 2013

We again return to Greece a year ago for today's entry. Whenever I think of a ship named Artemis, the first thing that comes to mind is the former P&O cruise ship with that name, today sailing as the Artania. Today's ship is, however, a different - and arguably better-looking - ship with the same name, build in Greece in 1997.


IMO 8966951
Name history: Georgios 2, Artemis
Built 1997, Salamis Shipyards, Greece
Tonnage 1 612 GT
Length 89,46 m
Width 14,00 m
Draught 3,50 m
1 250 passengers
85 cars
4 Alpha-B&W diesels, combined 5 678 kW
2 propellers
1 bow thruster
Speed 18 knots

The Artemis was built in 1997 at the Salamis Shipyards in, you guessed it, Salamis, Greece. Originally named Georgios 2, her original owners was Hydra Ferries, who used her on a service linking Piraeus and Spetses via Aigina, Methana, Poros and Hydra. In late 1999, Minoan Flying Dolphins took over several smaller Greek ferry operators, including Hydra Ferries. The overtaken operators came to be marketed as Saronikos Ferries, and as such the Georgios 2 also became a member of the Saronikos Ferries fleet.

A further merger came in January 2005, when Minoan Flying Dolphins, Saronikos Ferries and Hellas Ferries merged to form Hellenic Seaways. Subsequently the Georgios 2 was renamed Artemis, and repainted in Hellenic Seaways' attractive black-hulled livery. Precise information on the routes she sailed on hard to come by. She may have continued to sail on the Piraeus-Spetses service for the duration, but at some point during her career this seems to have been altered to Piraeus-Poros via Aegina, Agistri and Methana. Regardless of her precise route in Hellenic Seaways service, in 2009 she was chartered to ANEK Lines for services around the Cyclades for the summer season. In late 2012 she was laid up, but reactivated for the 2013 summer season, sailing on the Volos-Skiatos-Skopelos-Alonissos -line. After this she was again laid up, apparently as a reserve vessel, but reactivated very briefly in November 2013 for Piraeus-Aegina -service. I seem to have managed to photograph her during the few days she sailed on that service.

Information on the Artemis' current owner and operator are conflicting. Although several websites list her as having passed under the ownership of a reformed Saronic Ferries this year, a little internet sleuthing reveals that she remains in Hellec Seaways service, operating currently on the Cyclades.

The photographs below show the Artemis departing from Piraeus for Aegina on the afternoon on 10 November 2013, photographed from onboard the Rotterdam. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

Yes, there are craploads of ferries in Piraeus at any given time. Seen here in the background are Hellenic Seaways' Flyingcat 4 and Flyingcat 6, alongside their larger fleetmate Highspeed 5. Behind them is Blue Star Ferries' Blue Star Naxos (I think, it's hard to be certain from this distance), and in the foreground on the light the tug Alexander 5, coming to assist us (the Rotterdam) out of the harbour.
The same set of fast ferries as before, plus the Speedrunner III and Highspeed 4 on the left.
I'd really like to know who designed the Artemis' exterior; she is really quite pleasantly sleek - although a part of that comes from the very nice Hellenic Seaways livery, she doesn't look nearly as nice in older photos with a while hull.
More familiar background ferries: Knossos Palace, Olympic Champion and Lato.
Big and small Greek ferries.
Sailing towards the open sea. On the right edge of the image you can just see the funnel of the museum ship Hellas Liberty, which, as the name suggests, is a preserved World War 2 -era liberty ship.

Next time: Louis Aura.

09 December 2014

Olympic Champion & Lato in Piraeus, 10 November 2013

After the break caused by my visit to Japan and it's aftermath, we return to the advertised programming, with more images from Greece in Autumn 2013.

Olympic Champion

IMO number 9216028
Built 2000, Bruce Shipyard Landskrona, Sweden (hull)
Fosen Mekaniske Verksted Rissa, Norway (outfitting)
Tonnage 32 694 GT
Length 204,65 m
Width 26,12 m
Draught 6,75 m
1 850 passengers
808 cabin berths
654 cars
2 200 lane metres
4 Wärtsilä-NSD diesels, combined 50 400 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 27,5 knots


IMO number 7394759
Name history: Daisetsu, Varuna, Lato
Built 1975, Naikai Zosen Yards Setoda, Japan
Tonnage 15 404 GT
Length 188,40 m
Width 23,98 m
Draught 7,20 m
1 564 passengers
846 cabin berths
850 cars
1 200 lane metres
2 MAN-Mitsubishi diesels, combined 20 594 kW
2 propellers
Speed 21,5 knots

Today's ships are the ANEK pair Lato and Olympic Champion, two ships of very different ages and stories behind them.

The Lato was built in 1975 for Taiheiyo Enkai Zosen as the Daisetsu, and placed on a service linking Nagoya to Tomokamei via Sendai. Already in 1980 she was lengthened by 12,5 metres. In 1985 she was sold to the Higashi Nihon Ferry, who renamed her Varuna. Two years later she was sold again, but now a bit further away to Anonymos Naftiliaki Eteria Kritis (ANEK) in Greece. She was renamed Lato and subjected to a two-year-long rebuilding. She re-emerged from the refit in 1989, sailing with ANEK on the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Ancona route. After the delivery of new second-hand tonnage from Japan in 1997, the Lato moved to the Piraeus-Chania service, on which she appears to have remained to this day, apart from short charters to Algerie Ferries in 2007 and to an unknown operator in the Adriatic in 2012.

The Olympic Champion is quite a different story from the Lato. She was built in 2000 by Fosen in Norway (with the hull subcontracted to Bruce's yeard in Landskrona, Sweden). Originally to be named Kriti III, she was the first-ever newbuilding delivered to ANEK. The name Olympic Champion was presumably chosen in honour of the 2000 Olympic Games held in Athens - although I'm surprised the Olympic Committee didn't object (especially as they apparently did with the sister ship, which was originally to be named Kriti IV, then changed to Olympic Spirit, but finally delivered as the Hellenic Spirit). The Olympic Champion was placed on the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Ancona -service on delivery, but also sailed on the Piraeus-Chania line. In 2011 the ship, alongside her sister, made two evacuation voyages to Libya. Soon after the Olympic Champion was moved to the Piraeus-Heraklion route, where she remains to this day.

The photographs below show the Olympic Champion and Lato at the port of Piraeus on the afternoon of 10 November 2013. Photographed from onboard the Rotterdam. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

A teensy bit of difference in design of the two ships...
More of the cityscape and mountains to complement the ships.
Next time: Artemis.