Hellenic Seaways (HSW) not only launched the newly built ferry boat, Nissos Chios, last month, but also purchased a relatively new large ferry boat. Both ships are part of HSW’s 200 million euro investment strategy to expand and modernize its fleet and improve the services the company offers to its customers.
At the launching ceremony for the Nissos Chios, Gerasimos Strintzis, the company’s managing director, stressed that HSW is the only Greek company to have constructed two ships at Greek shipyards in the past years.
HSW President, Kostandinos Klironomos announced the company’s purchase of the Japanese ship, Himouka, constructed in 1996. The total investment for this ship is 50 million euros, including the purchase price and renovation costs. Mr. Klironomos added that the company’s financial results for the first nine months profits reached 20 million euros and will amount to nine or ten million at the year’s end.
Minister of Merchant Marine, Manolis Kefalogiannis, spoke about the government’s continued efforts to liberalize coastal shipping and also said that the ministry is holding discussions with the EU on subsidies for hotel accommodations on new ships.
Nikos Tavoularis, president of the Elefsina Shipyards where the Nissos Chios was constructed, pointed out “this is an important day for Greece since this is the first large commercial ship constructed at our shipyards, and the second ship constructed in the country, after a period of 20 years.” The Nissos Chios’ sister ship, Nissos Mykonos, was built at Skaramanga Shipyards.
The Nissos Chios, measuring 141 meters long, can carry 1,800 passengers and 418 cars at a speed of 26 knots. Constructed using the latest technology, the ship has 272 beds in luxury cabins, 640 airplane-style seats, a restaurant self-service cafeteria, and four cafe bars. The ship will be placed on the Chios Mytilini line, in place of the Nissos Mykonos, beginning June 2007.
The Nissos Chios is the second Greek ship to receive the Green Star certificate for environmental protection from the Italian register Rina. The first went to Nissos Mykonos.
The newly purchased, Himouka, measures 195 meters long and can carry 1,700 passengers, 700 cars and 120 trucks. The ship will fly a Greek flag and once it is fully renovated will either be placed in service domestically or internationally.