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Chandris Lines (Shipping company, Greece)

Last modified: 2007-03-10 by ivan sache
Keywords: chandris lines | letter: x (white) |
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[Chandris house flag]

House flag of Chandris - Image by Jarig Bakker, 12 November 2005

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Presentation of Chandris

Chandris was founded by John D. Chandris, from the island of Chios, who bought his first vessel, the sailing ship Dimitrios in 1915. After the First World War, he purchased his three first steamers, Dimitrios II, Vlassios and Eugenia, trading around the Greek islands. Chandris entered passenger shipping in 1922 with the steamer Chimara, which ran a coastal service between Piraeus and Corinth. In 1936, he bought his largest ship to date, the 1,306-ton Corte II, built in 1911 for the French company Fraissinet in Newcastle, and renamed her Patris. Carrying 161 all one-class passengers, she operated a combination passenger-cruise service out of Venice to other Adriatic ports, the Greek islands and Piraeus, and as far as the Holy Land. Under British flag, the Patris was sunk by bombing in Piraeus on 16 April 1941.

John Chandris died at the end of the Second World War. His two sons, Anthony and Dimitri, then living in London, redeveloped the company as the largest Greek passenger shipping firm. In 1961, the Britanis began her service from Piraeus to Australian ports. In 1963, the famous Ellinis began the the Chandris around-the-world service Greece-Suez (later South Africa)-Australia-Panama-Greece. Purchasing and modernizing second-hand ships, Chandris developed a fleet dedicated to cruise services; in 1976, the company had the largest passenger-cruise fleet in the world, operating 13 ships: Australis, Britanis, Ellinis, Patris, Victoria, Amerikanis, Romanza, Regina Prima, Bon Vivant, Fiorita, Romantica, Fiesta and Radiosa. They were carrying 500,000 passengers a year in ships with a total gross tonnage of over 185, 000. In 1973, Chandris turned to Greek hotels on shore and began to strengthen their American cruise operations. A partnership called Chandris-Fantasy Cruises started in the early 1980s and later was divided into two separate arms of the Chandris Group, Fantasy-Cruises and then the more up-market Celebrity Cruises.
In 1997, Celebrity Cruises merged with Royal Caribbean International bringing together two extraordinary cruise brands within one corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., today operating 29 liners.

After The Chandris Liners by William H. Miller (Carmania Press, London), summarized by Ken Ironside.

Ivan Sache, 21 May 2006

House flag of Chandris

According to Brown's Flags and Funnels of Shipping Companies of the World (1995) [lgr95], the house flag of Chandris is horizontally divided white-blue-white (1:4:1) with a white X in the middle, indeed the Greek letter Χ (Chi for Chandris).

Jarig Bakker, 12 November 2005