January 14, 2020 – After a three-day voyage from Greece, and under the command of Captain Sandro Rundic, the ‘Faros’ ferry arrived in Croatia on Monday. The newest ferry in Jadrolinija’s fleet should primarily connect Split and Stari Grad on Hvar before Easter this year.
Slobodna Dalmacija reports that the ‘Faros’ boasts a capacity of 600 passengers and 160 vehicles, was built ten years ago in Greece under the name “Stelios Filiagkos”, and the state-owned shipping company purchased it from Agios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas) from Salamina for just over HRK 63 million or EUR 8.5 million.
The Faros thus became the 52nd member of Jadrolinia’s fleet. It is 104.9 meters long and 17.5 meters wide, and two Caterpillar machines with a total of 2000 horsepower provide a speed of 14 knots. The ferry is named after the ancient name of Stari Grad, the first Greek colony on the Adriatic.
The deal on the ferry, which was offered to the market five years ago, was concluded this fall, but the handover to the Croatian crew was made only ten days ago at the port of Kavala on the eastern Aegean coast, some 100 kilometers from Thessaloniki. The ship was then inspected by inspectors of the Croatian Register of Ships, who found no deficiencies and issued provisional certificates for navigation to the Adriatic.
Until recently, Stelios Filiagkos sailed from Kavala on a regular line to the island of Thassos, about 13 nautical miles away. The distance is twice as long to the main ferry port on the island of Hvar, which will be a real test for yet another Jadrolinia acquisition from Greece.
“I am extremely proud that we are connecting the Jadrolinija fleet with a ship which, by its capacity and speed, will significantly contribute to improving the quality of passenger transport service, especially in the summer months. The ferry will be at the Kraljevica Shipyard for the necessary equipment and preparation for the season, and we expect it to run from the spring. We believe that this offering in the fleet will satisfy the growing demands for passenger and vehicle transportation services in the Split area,” said David Sopta, President of Jadrolinija’s Management Board.
“This is another step in modernizing our fleet, all to successfully fulfill the concession contract obligations with the state. In addition, this investment also achieves optimization of technical maintenance costs and long-term business stability. The ferry ‘Faros’ is primarily intended for navigation on the line Split – Stari Grad, but if necessary, it can be used for other lines concessioned by our company. With its large garage and passenger lounge capacity, it will make a significant contribution to improving the quality of service, especially during the summer months,” said the management of the Croatian company.
At the end of November, contracts were signed between Jadrolinia and a Russian company to buy two second-hand ferries, worth almost HRK 38.5 million, which also have Greek roots. However, since negotiations are still underway on conditions, handovers are expected in late January or early February.
These ships have long sailed on lines across the Kerch Strait, at the “junction” of the Black and Azov Seas. Still, since Russia has linked its territory with the occupied Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea by bridge, maritime connections are slowly losing their significance.
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