Source: Grimaldi Group, 2021-02-08
The latest great news from the Grimaldi Group involves the transport services for passengers and freight between Italy and Greece. In the coming weeks, the daily Ancona-Igoumenitsa-Patras connection currently operated by the Neapolitan company will be further enhanced, with two services from the Doric port dedicated respectively to Igoumenitsa and Patras.
Four vessels will be deployed – twice as many as those operated so far – thus ensuring even more frequent services between the two shores of the Adriatic. Two ships will be dedicated to the Ancona-Patras connection which will operate six times a week, with afternoon and evening departures and arrival in the port of destination after approximately 22 hours. The units deployed on this line will be the Europa Palace (formerly Cruise Olbia) and the Cruise Bonaria, the latter to be replaced by the Zeus Palace at the end of March.
The cruise ferry Europa Palace is 204 metres long and can reach a service speed of 25 knots. The ship can accommodate 1,600 passengers and 270 cars, as well as 135 trailers. The Zeus Palace, which is 211 metres long and has a service speed of 25 knots, can carry 1,380 passengers, 100 cars and about 120 trailers.
Two ships will also be deployed on the Ancona-Igoumenitsa daily line, namely the Florencia and the Corfù; they will guarantee departures from Ancona at 7:30 pm with arrival in Igoumenitsa the following day at 5:00 pm, while the departure from Greece is scheduled at 9:30 pm with arrival in the Doric port the next day, again at 5:00 pm.
Both the Florencia and the Corfu are 186 metres long, can reach a speed of 23 knots and can accommodate about 950 passengers, as well as 160 cars and about 135 trailers.
All the vessels to be deployed on the connections between the port of Ancona and Greece fly the Italian flag. For passenger accommodation there are cabins of various types (internal, external and superior-class), all with air conditioning and en suite facilities, some equipped for passengers with reduced mobility and for pets travelling in tow. The various services offered on board also contribute to making the journey enjoyable: these include, depending on the ship, self-service and à la carte restaurants, cafeterias, play areas for children, shops, video game room, swimming pool, disco.
''Betting on the port of Ancona, by doubling the lines, is a recognition by one of the main global operators of the motorways of the sea of the continuous overall improvement work carried out by the Port Authority in synergy with the institutions of the port system and with the professionalism of the companies that work in the port every day and that have ensured its full operation even during the pandemic,'' said Rodolfo Giampieri, President of the Port System Authority of the Central Adriatic Sea. ''The enhancement of the connections with Greece is an important signal for the ferry sector, which has always been a strategic vocation for Ancona, confirming the role of the port as a crucial hub for connecting Northern and Central European markets with the South-Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the main hub for maritime connections for passengers in the Adriatic-Ionian macro-region. We will continue to work to be a central point of reference for the development and job creation in the Marche region and the whole Central Italy.''
"Thanks to the deployment of two more ships, as from the coming weeks we will be able to offer more frequent departures and greater capacity to our customers who travel or transport goods between Italy and Greece," stated Emanuele Grimaldi, Managing Director of the Neapolitan group. "Thereby, we will widen our offer of services dedicated to transport companies, while sending out at the same time a further signal of confidence to passengers who in the coming months, and in particular in the next summer season, will resume travelling on board our ships to the most beautiful destinations in the Mediterranean."
In addition to the Ancona-Igoumenitsa and Ancona-Patras lines, the Grimaldi Group also offers a daily connection for the transport of freight and passengers between the ports of Brindisi and Igoumenitsa, as well as a Venice-Bari-Patras freight only service operating three times a week. From the coming weeks, as many as seven ships will thus be deployed by the Grimaldi Group on the Adriatic routes between Italy and Greece.