The sole remaining ship of the once large Epirotiki/Royal Olympic cruise fleet has been sold to Turkish scrappers. Hermes (1978/2,174gt) was laid up in Piraeus in 2006 after nearly 30 years operating day cruises to the islands of Hydra, Poros and Aegina, and sailed for Aliaga on 21 February. Built as Jugoslaviya at the former Yugoslav shipyard at Brodogradiliste, Split, she was one of three passenger ships designed for coastal service in the Adriatic. In 1971 she passed into French hands as Messager, and in 1976 was acquired by the Piraeus-based Potamianos family, whose Epirotiki Line was the largest cruise operator in the Mediterranean, operating around a dozen cruise ships in the region. Following the collapse of Royal Olympic Cruises in 2004, of which Epirotiki was a major component, Hermes continued sailing for Olympic Short Cruises and Hydraiki Naval Company in a joint venture.
ROYAL OLYMPIC: Last Epirotiki ship for scrap