We did have some concerns about the Ancona-Igoumenitsa ferry we caught in 2013, but it wasn’t disorganised.
Are we really going to be allowed to stand here?!
The gargantuan 55,000t Minoan Lines Cruise Olympia edged backwards towards the Ancona quayside like an elephant reversing into a telephone box.
Meanwhile passengers watched the action at very close quarters, not just on the rearmost edges of Olympia’s ten decks, but actually from the flat quayside itself, a few feet away.
We stood right there throughout the impressive manoeuvring expecting the call to clear out of the way at any moment but it never came.
You surely wouldn’t ever be allowed to get that close in the UK.
After that it seemed a bit silly that only the driver was allowed to board the ferry in the car.
All other passengers had to board via a gangway.
Otherwise, the procedure at Ancona – and at Igoumenitsa in Greece at the other end – was exactly the same, just as efficient, practiced and well-organised as the tens of other ferry trips we’ve taken around the Continent, with one other possibly important exception: passengers were allowed on the car deck during the trip, a strict no-no on all other boats we’ve been on.
It’s that alone which raises eyebrows @DriveEurope when reading reports on the fire on the Anek Superfast boat at the weekend. Reportedly it started on the car deck.
We can’t comment on Norman Atlantic or Anek – Minoan’s close rival on the Ancona-Igoumenitsa-Patras, Italy-Greece route – except to say when we looked into it the two operators were priced within a few euros of each other and departed and arrived at the respective destinations only a few minutes apart.
The Anek boat which left Igoumenitsa as we arrived looked just as slick and well presented as the Minoan boat we were on.
As it stands we would have no reservation about using this route again, in fact we look forward to it.
It’s just too handy to be able to get your car to the Greek mainland within 48 hours of leaving the UK.