Minoan Lines withdraws from Adriatic Sea

Minoan Lines on Tuesday announced it was withdrawing from the Adriatic Sea shipping lines after 35 years to focus on the domestic coastal shipping lines and said they will operate as general sales agent for the parent company Grimaldi.

The Italian group, that owns Minoan Lines, decided to withdraw the company from the Adriatic Sea, where Minoan Lines is operating since 1981, while the two ships (Cruise Europa and Cruise Olympia) operating in the Patra-Igoumenitsa-Ancona-Venice sea line will be operated by Grimaldi Euromed SpA, a subsidiary of Grimaldi Group.

Minoan Lines will operate two vessels (Knossos Palace and Festos Palace) in the Piraeus-Heraclio line. Minoan operates a fleet of four vessels (Festor Palace, Knossos Palace, Europa Palace and Olympia Palace), with the latter two leased to Grimaldi Group. It also owns a 48.4 pct equity stake in Hellenic Seaways.

Antonis Maniadakis, CEO in Minoan Lines, in an announcement said that the company “over the last few months, after assessing the change in operating conditions, decided to focus in the development and upgrading of Greek sea routes”. He added that a significant decline in passenger traffic, the opening of Balkan roads and an increase in fuel prices combined with a depreciation of the euro/US dollar exchange rate, will largely affect profitability and contributed in the decision to focus on Greek sea routes. Maniadakis said Minoan Lines’ goal remained to acquire a majority stake in Hellenic Seaways, planning its expansion in new lines of small and medium destinations and introducing new vessels to upgrade its services.