Minoan Lines

Minoan Lines logo

Minoan Lines is 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 85% of the stock of Minoan Lines.

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



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


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


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


  • The MS 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


  • In February, Attica Group increases its stake in Minoan Lines.
  • In June, Attica Group sells 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, acquires a 26.05% stake in Minoan Lines from Access Maritime in a privately negotiated transaction.


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


  • In January, MS Pasiphae Palace is sold to SNCM, and became the Jean Nicoli ship. The replacement on the Venice - Igoumenitsa - Patras-Route is the MS Eurostar Barcelona, on loan from the mother company Grimaldi,[1] formerly already operated by Minoan under the name of MS Prometheus. Eurostar Barcelona was renamed Zeus Palace. In October 2009, the new MS Cruise Europe was delivered, to be followed by the sister-ship MS Cruise Olympia in the early summer 2010.


  • In January 2011 Minoan Lines cancelled the sale of its 33,35% stake in Hellenic Seaways to ANEK and try to find a new buyer for it.[2]
  • Minoan Lines Current Fleet

    Ship name Flag Year IMO callsign tonnage PAX
    MS Ikarus Palace   Greece 1998 9144811 SWEW 29970 1528
    MS Knossos Palace   Greece 2000 9204063 SYQO 24000 2500
    MS Festos Palace   Greece 2001 9204568 SYNR 24000 2500
    MS Olympia Palace   Greece 2000 9220330 SYHI 36800 1912
    MS Europa Palace   Greece 2001 9220342 SZMI 36800 1912
    MS Cruise Europa   Italy 2009 9351490 IBEV 54310 2850
    MS Cruise Olympia   Italy 2010 9351505 IBEY 54310 2850

    Minoan Lines Current Routes[2]

    Piraeus - Heraklio
    Greece - Italy
    Patras - Igoumenitsa - Ancona
    Patras - Igoumenitsa - Corfu - Venice

    Former ships

  • FB Minos 1974-1984 (scrapped)
  • FB Ariadne 1976-1999 (scrapped)
  • FB Festos 1984-1998 (scrapped)
  • Ro/Ro Agia Galini 1986-2002 (scrapped)
  • FB Fedra 1987-2000 (Today MS Ouzoud with COMANAV)
  • FB Daedalus 1989-2009 (Today MS Riviera Adriatica with Adria Ferries)
  • FB Knossos 1978-1998 (scraped)
  • FB El Greco 1979-2002 (scrapped)
  • FB N. Kazantzakis 1989-2001 (Today sailing for Pacific Cruises)
  • FB King Minos 1987-2002 (Today MS Mawaddah with Namma Lines)
  • FB Erotokritos 1991-2002 (Today MS Erotokritos T with Endeavour Lines)
  • HSF Aretousa 1995-2001 (Today MS Girolata with CMN)
  • HSF Prometheus 2001-2004 (Today Eurostar Barcelona with Grimaldi lines)
  • HSF Oceanus 2001-2002 (renamed Ariadne Palace 12002-2003) (Today MS Mega Express Three with Corsica Ferries)
  • HSF Ariadne Palace 2002-2006 (Today MS Moby Tommy with Moby Lines)
  • HSF Pasiphae Palace 1998-2010 (Today MS Jean Nicoli with SNCM)
  • HSF Icarus Palace 1998-
  • Affiliates

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

  • Minoan Agencies S.r.l. 95,00%
  • Cretan Filoxenia S.A. 99,99%
  • Minoan Cruises S.A. 80,28%
  • Hellenic Seaways 33,31%[1]
  • M/S Festos Palace

    Photo's: M/S Festos Palace photographed operating out of Athens 2011

    M/S Festos Palace


  • Name: M/S Festos Palace
  • Owner: Maritime Company of Lesvos S.A.[1]
  • Operator: Minoan Lines
  • Port of registry: Greece
  • Laid down: 2001
  • Status: In Service
  • General characteristics

  • Type: Ro-ro/passenger Ship
  • IMO: 9204568[2]
  • Callsign: SYNR
  • Lenght: 214 m
  • Width: 26.40 m
  • GRT: 24,000 tons[2]
  • Speed: 31.6 knots
  • Capacity: 2200 passengers 600 cars 758 cabins
  • Crew: ?
  • Web: http://www.minoan.gr
  • References:

    1. Minoan Lines Flottenübersicht auf www.faktaomfartyg.nu
    2. Official Website of Minoan Lines Ferries http://www.minoan.gr

    Web References:
    Nel Lines Ferries - http://www.minoan.gr
    Ship Spotting - http://www.shipspotting.com/
    Wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minoan_Lines


     Port of Piraeus, Athens, Greece Map

    This webpage was updated 27th January 2020