09 December 2014

Olympic Champion & Lato in Piraeus, 10 November 2013

After the break caused by my visit to Japan and it's aftermath, we return to the advertised programming, with more images from Greece in Autumn 2013.

Olympic Champion

IMO number 9216028
Built 2000, Bruce Shipyard Landskrona, Sweden (hull)
Fosen Mekaniske Verksted Rissa, Norway (outfitting)
Tonnage 32 694 GT
Length 204,65 m
Width 26,12 m
Draught 6,75 m
1 850 passengers
808 cabin berths
654 cars
2 200 lane metres
4 Wärtsilä-NSD diesels, combined 50 400 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 27,5 knots


IMO number 7394759
Name history: Daisetsu, Varuna, Lato
Built 1975, Naikai Zosen Yards Setoda, Japan
Tonnage 15 404 GT
Length 188,40 m
Width 23,98 m
Draught 7,20 m
1 564 passengers
846 cabin berths
850 cars
1 200 lane metres
2 MAN-Mitsubishi diesels, combined 20 594 kW
2 propellers
Speed 21,5 knots

Today's ships are the ANEK pair Lato and Olympic Champion, two ships of very different ages and stories behind them.

The Lato was built in 1975 for Taiheiyo Enkai Zosen as the Daisetsu, and placed on a service linking Nagoya to Tomokamei via Sendai. Already in 1980 she was lengthened by 12,5 metres. In 1985 she was sold to the Higashi Nihon Ferry, who renamed her Varuna. Two years later she was sold again, but now a bit further away to Anonymos Naftiliaki Eteria Kritis (ANEK) in Greece. She was renamed Lato and subjected to a two-year-long rebuilding. She re-emerged from the refit in 1989, sailing with ANEK on the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Ancona route. After the delivery of new second-hand tonnage from Japan in 1997, the Lato moved to the Piraeus-Chania service, on which she appears to have remained to this day, apart from short charters to Algerie Ferries in 2007 and to an unknown operator in the Adriatic in 2012.

The Olympic Champion is quite a different story from the Lato. She was built in 2000 by Fosen in Norway (with the hull subcontracted to Bruce's yeard in Landskrona, Sweden). Originally to be named Kriti III, she was the first-ever newbuilding delivered to ANEK. The name Olympic Champion was presumably chosen in honour of the 2000 Olympic Games held in Athens - although I'm surprised the Olympic Committee didn't object (especially as they apparently did with the sister ship, which was originally to be named Kriti IV, then changed to Olympic Spirit, but finally delivered as the Hellenic Spirit). The Olympic Champion was placed on the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Ancona -service on delivery, but also sailed on the Piraeus-Chania line. In 2011 the ship, alongside her sister, made two evacuation voyages to Libya. Soon after the Olympic Champion was moved to the Piraeus-Heraklion route, where she remains to this day.

The photographs below show the Olympic Champion and Lato at the port of Piraeus on the afternoon of 10 November 2013. Photographed from onboard the Rotterdam. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

A teensy bit of difference in design of the two ships...
More of the cityscape and mountains to complement the ships.
Next time: Artemis.

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