Photo:Aegean Sea Dec 2009

Aegean Sea Dec 2009

Photo:Approaching kos island harbour. Dec. 2009

Approaching kos island harbour. Dec. 2009

Photo:Sailing from Piraeus Port. Dec 2009.

Sailing from Piraeus Port. Dec 2009.

Photo:Disembarking pax and cars. Pta Delgada-Azores.Summer 2009.

Disembarking pax and cars. Pta Delgada-Azores.Summer 2009.

Photo:Sailing from Pta Delgada-Azores.Summer 2009.

Sailing from Pta Delgada-Azores.Summer 2009.

Now Express Santorini

By Stefanos Papadopoulos

I was surfing in the net, and accidentally found your site. While I was checking your subjects, I found out that Express Santorini, ex Chartres, is one of the ships commented on quite often. As it happens, I know this ship very well and I thought that you would be interested to know that this beautiful ferry is still in operation and actually in very-very good condition, as you can see from the pictures I am attaching here.

Just to let you know, the ship is operating between the Greek islands for the winter season and in Azores every summer season for the last three years and for the one that is coming. Although she is 36 years old, she still can make easily 19,0 knots, max 20,3 knots, and she passed a special survey last year. She is a very popular ship in Greece and I have the feeling that she is in the Azores too. I believe it’s not by luck that she is chosen for the 4th consecutively season, and for a 5th or a  6th one maybe, by the Azorian local shipping company.

Proudly her Master,

Cpt Stefanos Papadopoulos.

Update: Captain Papadopulos has given us the following link for more photos and videos of Chartres/Express Santorini as she is now. It is in Greek, but it's definitely well worth a look. Andy-Editor  

This page was added by Stefanos Papadopoulos on 04/03/2012.
Comments about this page

Thank you for the photos Captain. She does look in fine shape. I'm glad Hellenic Seaways have gone back to more traditional colours. There are several pages featuring Chartres on Our Newhaven, including my page on how she was nearly lost twice in one horrendous crossing from Newhaven to Dieppe. Do you ever see her running-mate, the former British ferry Senlac, now European Seaways' Apollon?

By Andy Gilbert
On 12/03/2010

Dear Andy, I had the luck to serve as a chief mate on Senlac, at that time named Express Apollon, (2001) and nowadays Apollon. At the moment she is berthed at Drapetsona port, next to Piraeus port, for repairs. I saw her yesterday morning, three years after she was sold to European Seaways. She still looks in good condition, but I couldn't go closer for a better look. I'll try to do it during the next few days and if I have the chance to get some pictures, I'll put them here too. Nice to know that there are still people who like the old fashion built ships.

By Stefanos Papadopoulos
On 15/03/2010

I was pleased to see the Express Santorini earlier this year sailing to Patitiri harbour Alonnisos where I live now. It did look in good shape and was a popular ferry here on the route to Volos on the mainland. Perhaps it will be back this winter.

By Chester Smith
On 04/09/2010

My son and I travelled on Chartres in the 1980's- we travelled by train to Dover, en route by train to the family house in South of France- the train showed a good stretch of the sea at one point, and the white horses made sevaral passengers groan aloud, and break open the ''Kwells''  [a bit too sickness meds work much better if they have a chance to get well into the bloodstream before the onset of choppy weather.

Chartres was a small ferry by some standards, and the crossing wasn't too bad, compared to some we have had, the top deck in the bright sun and wind was quite refreshing.

Glad to see the Chartres is still going strong- but the changing of ships' names..I thought this was not done, due to 'superstition'?

Yet many of the ferries have a name change when sold on.

The Greek Islands does seem to be a place where Channel ships go to-She looks in good order in these pics, much better than in the 1980's when her white and blue paint was rust streaked.

By Catherine Mackenzie
On 22/04/2016

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