Piraeus-based Blue Star Ferries now runs a ferry route from Piraeus to Chania, Crete, with its newbuild Blue Star 2. The journey takes a mere five hours and 45 minutes. The vessel, built in 2000, plies the route at a speed of 28 miles an hour and carries up to 1,900 passengers and 700 vehicles. Blue Star 2 leaves Piraeus daily at 16:00 and leaves Chania daily at 23:30.
The Blue Star 2 boasts an a-la-carte restaurant as well as as self-service one. Passengers can also enjoy the vessel’s nightclub, bars or even go shopping in one of the many boutiques on board. And while Mom and Dad enjoy the huge lounge area, the children can romp around in Blue Star’s playground.
Following the inauguration ceremonies in early March, Gerasimos Strintzis, chairman of Blue Star Ferries, told reporters that the company was interested in strengthening its fleet with yet more new vessels that would be ready in 2005. “We are looking at numerous routes, but first we must see what movements our competition make,” he said.
He said routes to Crete are very interesting but we can’t say at the moment if we will place another vessel here or perhaps on the Chios-Mytilini or Samos routes, which we also find interesting.
Recent reports in the Greek press say that Blue Star is just a step from signing an agreement with shipyards in Korea for the construction of two new vessels similar to the Blue Star Naxos and Blue Star Paros. Construction costs are estimated to reach some 60 million euros.
Blue Star now has five new vessels on routes to the Cyclades Islands, the Dodecanissos Islands and Crete. Its new Piraeus-Chania route proved very successful in its first month of operation. During the month of March, passenger traffic on the route increased by some 45% when compared with the same month last year when only two ANEK vessels plied the route. In March, Blue Star 2 carried 27,798 passengers, 2,099 cars and 313 transport trucks.
Earlier this year, as part of Blue Star’s program to renew its entire fleet, the company sold one of its older vessels, built in 1972, the Blue Galaxy.