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kenw

Europe's longest ferry trip?

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Posted (edited)

Just watching an interesting video from Just Ferries! of Color Line's Kiel-Oslo service on YouTube

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUecd-a2iOQ

The trip is about 20hrs each way.

From memory, Finnlines' service Travemunde-Helsinki was about 30hrs and of course BF takes us Portsmouth-Santander in about 24hrs  – or 30+hrs for the Sunday [?] sailing to Bilbao.

Which prompts me to ask: what's the longest ferry trip in Europe?

TIA

Ken

 

Edited by kenw
mis-edit in original

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Southern Ferries “Eagle” used to take the best part of 48 hours to cross from Southampton to Lisbon.

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Hirtshals in Denmark to Iceland looks like three days to me , but the timetable is complex. Someone will know ! 

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Denmark to the Faroes is certainly 36 hours at the very least but I don't know if there is a direct sailing to Iceland or not. Ed. 

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No, Ed, there isn’t.  All sailings are to and from Thorshavn in the Faroes, so Hirtshshals to Seydisfjordur is not possible as a direct passage (which is what I assume the OP is asking about).

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Do both ports have to be in Europe? If just one, then there is a ferry from Ancona in Italy to Cesme in Turkey which takes over two days I believe. Ed. 

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And can we include freight sailings?  Borg line runs a 2-ship service that essentially links Harwich and Terneuzen with Haraholmen at the top of the Gulf of Bothnia.  The southbound trip routes via Bremen, which makes Haraholmen to Bremen a direct passage.  And the northbound trip routes via Sodertalje (just south of Stockholm), which makes Terneuzen to Sodertalje a direct passage. I don’t know the exact timetable, but I think both of those passages pretty much take 3 days.  The ships usually (but not exclusively) tend to route around the top of Jutland (rather than go through the Kiel canal), and take a week to do either the northbound or southbound trip in its entirety.  I think the Harwich call may have been dropped in recent years.

I have no idea whether there is any passenger carrying facility on this route, but I suspect not.  As far as I know, the ships carry timber and paper-related products from the North Sweden forests when heading south, and take new cars to Sweden when heading north.

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Posted (edited)

I remember watching the first series of “Race across the world” and there was a week long ferry journey in some European country that I think finished in Asia if I recall correctly not sure if it’s scheduled @hhvferry  unsurprisingly knew of it.

Edited by neilcvx

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9 hours ago, neilcvx said:

I remember watching the first series of “Race across the world” and there was a week long ferry journey in some European country that I think finished in Asia if I recall correctly not sure if it’s scheduled @hhvferry  unsurprisingly knew of it.

That was Baku to Kuryk - one for the brave hearted but technically can be done in less than 24 hours unless you get stuck at sea.

I think the contenders for this would need to be two nighters,of which there aren't many nowadays - I can think of the Cap Finistere's sailings via Roscoff, Sete-Barcelona-Nador, Sete-Barcelona-Tangier, Genoa-Barcelona-Tangier (all GNV) and Livorno-Barcelona-Tangier (Grimaldi). The Sete crossings nowadays use the ex-P&O Olaus.

Not sure if there's anything in northern Europe other than freighters which takes two nights now apart from the Cap - and Hurtigruten which probably wins if you're looking at end to end transit time being 7 days.

Pure car ferries it's probably one of the Italy-Tangier routes which even though they use fast ships like the Majestic and Cruise Smeralda take about 50 hours (via Barcelona)

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Cadiz to Gran Canaria is around 36 hours and it's still officialy within Europe and without any stopovers. Ed. 

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10 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

Do both ports have to be in Europe? If just one, then there is a ferry from Ancona in Italy to Cesme in Turkey which takes over two days I believe. Ed. 

Sadly this finished a few years back - it was a good 48 hours even in summer, longer in winter when they didn't want to pay the Corinth Canal charges so went the long way round. The Cesme (ex-Venus of the North Shields-Bergen route amongst many other guises) is the only ferry I've been on with a cut-throat gents barber helpfully located just adjacent to the show lounge -

img176_2020_04_05_dd.jpgIMG_1599.jpg

 

@Gareth is right on the Eagle - she took well over 40 hours to get to Lisbon . But then for a while she continued on to Tangier for which you could add the best part of another day -

img181_2020_04_05_dd.jpg

Before the Eagle was brought in the Dragon and Leopard went on to Casablanca during the winter which must have been even longer - can't find a timetable for that but here's a Normandy Ferries route map with it on and some entertaining national sterotypes.

img183_2020_04_05_dd.jpg

More recently the longest route in Europe, or touching Europe, would have been Adriatica's Venice to Alexandria route which included a four night Friday evening to Tuesday morning leg in winter (albeit with a long layover in Piraeus). She stopped doing this in 1993 and Michael Palin sailed on her in 1988.

img177.jpgimg179_2020_04_05_dd.jpg

Lastly making it BF related, when the Dubrovnik ex-Duchesse Anne did the Croatian coastal route until 2003 you could board her in Bari on a Monday evening and sail up to Rijeka arriving Wednesday morning (this is the '05 timetable after she'd moved routes).

img178_2020_04_05_dd.jpg

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Coming back to the Cesme service, my understanding was that the destruction of Yugoslavia's infrastructure in the civil war in the 90s made the car ferry an attractive proposition for Turkish Gastarbeiter returning home from western Europe.  The restoration of the road infrastructure through the Balkans spelt the end for the service.  Oh, and no one's mentioned the service from Barcelona to Civitavecchia - that's 24 hours plus, isn't it ?

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Let's mention BF's Rosslare to Bilbao, it's about 28 hours..
In terms of freight, CLdN appear to be sailing between Rotterdam and Dublin, with a journey time of about 40 hours.

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20 hours ago, Pegpilot said:

Coming back to the Cesme service, my understanding was that the destruction of Yugoslavia's infrastructure in the civil war in the 90s made the car ferry an attractive proposition for Turkish Gastarbeiter returning home from western Europe.  The restoration of the road infrastructure through the Balkans spelt the end for the service.  Oh, and no one's mentioned the service from Barcelona to Civitavecchia - that's 24 hours plus, isn't it ?

Yes I think the Yugoslav wars really helped the Italy to Turkish runs - from the mid-90s to the mid-00s there were dozens of ships sailing and you could have spent a fortnight just indulging yourself in vintage ferries with the likes of the ex-Penn-ar-Bed and Reine Mathilde, Earl William, Koningin Fabiola, the ex-Leopard and Dragon (this is a lovely image of them together at Corinth from Nigel's website), Ulster Prince, Innisfallen, Surrey, City of Exeter, Swedish Lloyd's Saga, the wannabe Oliver Twist; even the old Rangatira hauled herself out of lay up to do a turn on that run. When she was new Sea Containers were going to deploy the SuperSeaCat Four on a Brindisi-Cesme operation which would have taken about 20 hours before someone realised it wasn't for the best.

I think what really did for this crossing, and to a degree sailings down to Patras, was the completion of the Egnatia highway from the port of Igoumenitsa all the way beyond Alexandroupolis to the Turkish border. So now you can make the short hop across the Adriatic from Italy to Igoumenitsa and drive the rest of the way in much less time than the ferry took. In turn where once summertime Brindisi was full of young north Europeans queuing round the block at the ticket offices of HML and Adriatica for their inter-rail concession fares to Greece the town is quiet nowadays except for up at the new port where amongst the lorries can be found queues of Turkish families heading home in their camper vans. Many Turkish passengers prefer, or can only afford, to travel by deck class so there is at least some continuity of the old traditions there.

Mention of Igoumenitsa reminds me of a two nighter I forgot, and which is genuinely in Europe: the Patras to Northern Italy routes - Trieste has fallen off the ferry map again now but ANEK's lovely Asterion II and whatever rusty Visentini Minoan-Grimaldi use take about 36 hours running Patras-Igoumenitsa-Fusina.

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Posted (edited)

I have driven some of the Egnatia highway from near the coast to Ioannia. It is an amazing road to travel on. In 2014 it was virtually empty sometimes there wasn't another vehicle for a mile in either direction.

We have another holiday booked in the region for September but I rather doubt if it will happen now.

Edited by cvabishop
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13 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

I have driven some of the Egnatia highway from near the coast to Ioannia. It is an amazing road to travel on. In 2014 it was virtually empty sometimes there wasn't another vehicle for a mile in either direction.

We have another holiday booked in the region for September but I rather doubt if it will happen now.

I've not travelled more than the first few kilometres on it, up to where it links into to the new Ioannina-Patras motorway but these two projects combined are amazing feats of construction, like our own M62. The mountains and gorges they sythe through are spectacular, the Patras end terminating in the Rio-Antirrio bridge which did for a few more ferries when it was built but which provides a great backdrop when the Ventouris ferries sail under it en-route to their winter layups.

As an indication of how these motorways have affected the ferries, in 2018 we photographed the Asterion II calling in at Igoumenitsa en-route from Venice to Patras, drove down the motorway, crossed over to Rio by ferry rather than the bridge, returned the hire car, had a long and fulsome dinner in Patras and were still sitting in Patras ferry terminal killing time long before the Asterion II eventually got there ahead of our northbound sailing.

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Quote

Rio-Antirrio bridge which did for a few more ferries when it was built

There is still a big fleet of ferries across the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth, some of them quite large. The bridge tolls are so high thar a lot of traffic still uses the very much cheaper ferry which carries foot passengers for free. We took advantage of this fron the north side last year.

IMG_1706 (Copy).JPG

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4 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

There is still a big fleet of ferries across the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth, some of them quite large. The bridge tolls are so high thar a lot of traffic still uses the very much cheaper ferry which carries foot passengers for free. We took advantage of this fron the north side last year.

IMG_1706 (Copy).JPG

Ah the Protoporos XIV - that was our ship when we did the crossing, she was brand new with plastic sheeting across all the furniture in her lounge.

Shippax did a fascinating story on the operators of these ferries, the same/similar family operators to those who run the Salamina-Perama ferry. Essentially they get local yards to build them a never-ending series of double ended ferries which they put into great pools of ships (there always seem to be three or four times as many ships than the traffic could justify). They might just about cover their operating costs but they are essentially waiting for an overseas buyer to come along to whom they can sell their nearly-new ship at a handsome profit.

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52 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

I have driven some of the Egnatia highway from near the coast to Ioannia. It is an amazing road to travel on. In 2014 it was virtually empty sometimes there wasn't another vehicle for a mile in either direction.

Hi all,

I was a child in one of those Turkish families going back to visit family during the summer. Almost every year from 1992 to 2007, we were taking a ferry from Brindisi/Bari to Igoumenitsa and then crossing the whole Greece on what was just a normal road, not yet the huge impressive motorway. We could see from the old road the huge pillars and tunnels being built. All that for nothing, because when the Egnatia Motorway was finished, there was no traffic on it anymore. In 2007, my last trip, the motorway was empty, and even the ferries from Italy to Greece were becoming rare: what killed it is in my opinion 2 distinct factors : there were no Turkish families anymore because plane became much more attractive (cheaper, easier, less tiring) ; and freight did not want to bother anymore driving along Greece, when the brand new UND Roros (now DFDS !) were linking everyday Trieste to Istanbul. (And from all these trips across the adriatic came my interest in ferries :-) )

Now to be back to the question initially asked of the longest ferry crossing, Maybe we can consider Hurtigruten in Norwegian Coast. From Bergen to Kirkenes, it seems to take about 6 days, with all the stops of course. Technically, even if they don't look like it, they do have a small car capacity !

 

 

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I found this video on YouTube of Denmark to The Faroes which says it takes 38 hours (although there may be a newer ship on the route now which is quicker) and shows the most interesting parts of the trip. It passes very close to the northern-most point of the Shetlands before continuing. The second leg to Iceland passes through the various islands and is spectacular. 

Ed

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11 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

@Cabin-boy I got their brochure definitely on my wish list of trips to take.

Smyril

Mine too but I think a direct (or indirect) flight might be easier to actually get there. It's shame the ship doesn't call in at Lerwick on the way past but I suppose if it did them the non-stop record time would be lost. Ed. 

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11 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

Mine too but I think a direct (or indirect) flight might be easier to actually get there. It's shame the ship doesn't call in at Lerwick on the way past but I suppose if it did them the non-stop record time would be lost. Ed. 

It used to stop, but I guess not enough takers.

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