07 August 2014

Knossos Palace in Piraeus, 10 November 2013

And now for something completely different. I'll be leaving for Barcelona this Friday and I'm naturally hoping to photograph some ships there that I won't normally see here. Anticipating this, the photos I've taken in Helsinki over the summer suddenly seem rather boring... so I'm digging through the archives and giving you, for the first time, images taken during my Eastern Mediterranean cruise last November on HAL's Rotterdam.

Knossos Palace

IMO 9204063
Built 2000, Fincantieri Sestri Ponente Genoa, Italy
Tonnage 37 482 GT
Length 214 m
Width 26,40 m
Draught 7,10 m
2 320 passengers
758 berths
660 cars
1 550 lanemeters
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 67 200 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Maximum speed 31,6 knots

The Knossos Palace was completed in 2000 as the first ship in Minoan Lines' ambitious early-2000s newbuilding programme, which consisted of no less than seven ships delivered by two shipyards in the span of four years. The Knossos Palace and her sister Festos Palace were delivered by Fincantieri in 2000 and 2001, followed by the second, slightly different pair Olympia Palace and Europa Palace also from Fincantieri in 2001 and 2002. At the same time Samsung delivered three further units in 2001-2002: the Prometheus, Oceanus and Ariadne Palace.

All seven ships, designed before the price of fuel skyrocketed during the 2000s, were built with very high service speeds in mind. The Knossos Palace's envisioned service speed was a whopping 29,5 knots, which meant cutting the crossing time on the intra-Greece service from Piraeus to Heraklion on the island of Crete from ten to just six hours. Such speeds are no longer economical to maintain however, and today the Knossos Palace appears to make the crossing in nine hours.

While the other Minoan Lines newbuildings of the early 2000s, delivered for use on the  trans-Adriatic routes from Patras to Ancona and Venice, have since left the company fleet, being either sold or chartered out, the Knossos Palace and her sisters appear to be successful and enduring investments, continuing service on the Pierus-Heraklion route to this day.

The photographs below show the Knossos Palace in the port of Piraeus on 10 November 2013, photographed from onboard Holland America Line's Rotterdam. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

The flagstaff on the left is a bit annoying, but this photo had the nicest light on the side of the ship. Personally I really preferred Minoan's earlier livery, where the sides of the funnel were red but the rest was dark green (as were the company hull markings).
Lovely clouds here set the tone of a photo of the Knossos Palace with her rival, ANEK's Olympic Champion (how the latter's name got past the Olympic Committee is beyond me).
Once more, with feeling!
As a final note, since I will be leaving for Barcelona on Friday (so technically tomorrow, as it's past midnight as I type this), and will later on continue from Barcelona almost direct to the Åland Islands, this might easily be the last update for the next two weeks or so.

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