Minoan Lines

Minoan Lines is one of the dominant passenger ferry companies in Greece, sailing between Piraeus and Crete and in the Adriatic Sea.

Its logo is derived from Knossos the prince of lillies.jpg fresco of Knossos




  • Minoan Lines becomes one of the competitors in the marine sector. F/B Minos, a converted tanker, is purchased the same year and deployed on Heraklion - Piraeus route, on July 5.


  • The second ship of Minoan Lines, the F/B Ariadne becomes the flagship of Minoan Lines.


  • F/B Knossos is deployed on Heraklion - Piraeus route,
  • F/B Minos is deployed on Piraeus - Chania route. The two major ports of Crete are linked daily to the mainland of Greece


  • Minoan Lines enters the international competition. F/B El Greco inaugurates the company's services to Ancona (Italy) from the Greek port of Patras.


  • Minoan Lines decides to renew its fleet. This starts with the replacement of F/B Minos by F/B Festos.


  • Ro-Ro Agia Galini is acquired for the Heraklion - Piraeus route for the safe and secure transport of long vehicles, trucks, and tank-tracks carrying all kinds of load.


  • One more ship is added to the Patras - Ancona route. In response to the increasing demands for this particular service, Minoan Lines deploys the modern, within the European standards, F/B Fedra on the Patras - Ancona route.


  • Minoan Lines deploys a third ship, F/B King Minos, on the Patras - Ancona route.


  • Minoan Lines starts to connect Italy with Turkey, the F/B Ariadne is deployed on the route Ancona-Patras-Kusadesi, thus joining the coast of Ionia with Greece and Europe.
  • By deploying F/B Kazantzakis on the Heraklion-Piraeus route, Minoan Lines establishes it services.


  • F/B Daedalus is deployed on the Patra - Ancona route.
  • Minoan Lines links Crete with Ancona and Western Europe with the refurbishment of F/B El Greco.


  • Minoan Lines is the first with a service performance to Italy in just 24 hours. The F/B Erotokritos offers a new service -- Camping On Board -- passengers can sleep and stay during the journey in there camper, caravan and car.


  • An ambitious investment plan for the company is started. The chain of High Speed Ferries starts with the H/S/F Aretousa.


  • A national heritage building in the city of Heraklion, property of the National Bank of Greece, is purchased by Minoan Lines and refurbished to function as the company's Headquarters. The building had suffered considerable damage during World War II.


  • With the delivery of H/S/F Aretousa the first new build vesselof Minoan lines, the company now owns eleven ships. The service from Patras to Ancona is now cut down to 22 hours. Minoan Lines stays the fastest.


  • The ambitious investment plan of Minoan Lines continuous, by ordering H/S/F Ikarus and H/S/F Pasiphae the company's investment capital rises to 56 billion Greek Drachmas.



  • Minoan Lines sets a new mile stone with its listing on the Athens Stock Exchange. The company is inspired for a more ambitious investment plans.
  • The third high speed Ferry, H/S/F Pasiphae, is delivered. Along with H/S/F Ikarus and H/S/F Aretousa, the total investment value of the company is now in the range of 80 billion Greek Drachmas, the greatest ever in the Greek maritime sector.
  • The building of two more H/S/Fs, Knossos Palace and Festos Palace in Italy. Their speed enables them to cover the distance from Heraklion to Piraeus in just 6 hours.
  • Two more high speed ferries are ordered to Italian shipyards for scheduled service in the Adriatic Sea.
  • The investment project of Minoan Lines includes two more high speed ferries (Ro-Pax). These were commissioned to Samsung shipyards of South Korea and are designed with an operational capability of 28.5knots.


  • The F/B Knossos is sold to a Belize company.
  • F/B Festos is also sold to the same company.


  • Hellas Flying Dolphins emerges from the joint venture of Ceres Hydrophils, Minoan Lines Highspeed Ferries and Minoan Lines.
  • Air Greece and Aegean Airlines pull their forces together to create the biggest air carrier in Greece. Minoan Lines becomes one of the major shareholders in Aegean Airlines due to the merger. Minoan Lines is offering combined services to the public.
  • One more Highspeed Ferry is on order with Samsung shipyards and two more on Ficantieri (Italian shipyards), thus raising the cost of company's investments to 1 billion USD since 1995.
  • F/B Ariadne is sold


  • The company is certified per ISO 9002 by Germanischer Lloyd.
  • H/S/F Prometheus is launched at Samsung shipyards and deployed on the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Venedig route.
  • H/S/F Knossos Palace, is delivered by the Italian shipbuilder Ficantieri and deployed on Pireaus-Iraklio.


  • F/B Kazantzakis, which was deployed on the Heraklion - Piraeus route was sold. By selling older vessels, the company is renewing its fleet.
  • H/S/F Festos Palace, a sister ferry to H/S/F Knossos Palace, is delivered from Ficantieri shipyards. Both are deployed on the Heraklion - Piraeus route reducing the travel time tro 6h.
  • Minoan Lines announces its cooperation with the leading Italian Maritime Shipping Group Grimaldi. This cooperation provides new opportunities for Minoan Lines, linking Italy (port of Genoa) with Tunisia and Malta, followed by a further expansion into the French port of Marseille.
  • The delivery of H/S/F Oceanus from Samsung shipyards is a fact. This ferry is deployed on the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Venice route.
  • The first High Speed Ferry of Minoan, H/S/F Aretousa is sold to the french company CMN (La Meridionale)


  • The delivery of H/S/F EUROPA PALACE on Friday, May 10, 2002 from the Italian shipyards of Ficantieri.
  • The H/S/F EUROPA PALACE, the sister vessel of the H/S/F OLYMPIA PALACE, is the fourth and last passenger ferry from the Italian shipyards of Fincantieri. The vessel is deployed on the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Ancona sea route on May 14.
  • The deployment of H/S/F ARIADNE PALACE 1. (ex. H/S/F OCEANUS) on the new sea route Genoa - Malta - Tunis, on May 31, opens the West Mediterranean market, with the strategic cooperation with the Italian Grimaldi group.
  • Older vessels are sold, F/B Erotokritos, F/B King Minos and F/B Agia Galini are sold.


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


  • The H/S/F 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


Current fleet

  • H/S/F Ikarus Palace (1998)
  • H/S/F Pasiphae Palace (1998)
  • H/S/F Knossos Palace (2000)
  • H/S/F Festos Palace (2001)
  • H/S/F Olympia Palace (2000)
  • H/S/F Europa Palace (2001)

Historical fleet

  • F/B Minos (Today demolished)
  • F/B Ariadne (Today F/B Captain Zaman Mesline, Panama)
  • F/B Festos (Today demolished)
  • F/B Agia Galini (Today demolished)
  • F/B Fedra (Today F/B Ouzoud COMANAV, Marocco)
  • F/B Daedalus (Today F/B Diamond Fashion tv-F Lines, Malta)
  • F/B Knossos (Today F/B Ancona Blue Line, Panama)
  • F/B El Greco (Today F/B Riviera Adriatica Adria Ferries, Irland)
  • F/B N. Kazantzakis (Today Pacific Cruises (Hainan ltd) Hong Kong)
  • F/B King Minos (Today F/B Mawaddah, Namma Lines, Egypt)
  • F/B Erotokritos (Today F/B Erotokritos T Endeavour Lines, Pireus)
  • H/S/F Aretousa (Today F/B Girolata, CMN France)
  • H/S/F Prometheus (Today F/B Eurostar Barcellona, Grimaldi Ferries, Italy)
  • H/S/F Oceanus (Ariadne Palace 1) (Today F/B Mega Express Three, Corsica ferries, France)
  • H/S/F Ariadne Palace (Today F/B Moby Tommy, Moby Lines, Italy)



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

External links

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