THE VORTIGERN STORY
PART TWO: LINDOS LINES' MILOS EXPRESS 1988-1999
© matt@hhvferry.com
See also:
The complete 1985 Vortigern deckplan
On board Vortigern - general
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After completing her final period of Sealink relief on 31 March 1988, Vortigern was sold to Lindos Lines of Greece and
renamed
Milos Express. Destined for a new career linking the Milos and other Western Cyclades islands with the Greek
mainland port of Piraeus, the ship actually made a maiden call in Milos on her delivery voyage, still in basic Sealink British
Ferries livery. Showing off the new ship to the islanders, the former
Vortigern's new master brought her into harbour to be
greeted by a car headlight flashing reception all along the shore line.

For her new owners, the ship was somewhat rebuilt at the stern to provide additional covered deck space and more cabin
accommodation (the former duty free shop being the main area converted for this purpose). Otherwise however, the
internal layout was largely unchanged although it was subject to various refurbishments as time went by.

The
Milos Express spent eleven and a half very happy years with Lindos Lines, becoming a well-known and popular sight
amongst islanders until, in late 1999, the small independent operation was acquired by the new and fast-expanding Hellas
Ferries.
ABOVE: The Milos Express at Sifnos. Picture courtesy Antonis Lazaris
ABOVE & BELOW: Two views of the Milos Express at Piraeus in the 1990s. In the image above, NEL Line's
legendary
Spero (ex-Sappho) can be seen on her berth in the background. Pictures courtesy Antonis Lazaris.
ABOVE: A fantastic view of the Milos Express looking rather battered and tired as she undergoes her refit at
Piraeus in the winter of 1992. This picture reveals that, although the bow visor was not needed for the ship's  
Greek traffic, it was not sealed (or at least it hadn't been in 1992).
Of additional interest are the ships surrounding the former
Vortigern, each a former Sealink fleetmate. To her
right is the
Georgios Express of Ventouris Sea Lines, originally the Roi Baudouin of the Belgium RMT's
Ostend-Dover service. To the Milos' direct left is the
Delos of Strintzis - built for SNCF as the Villandry and a
Newhaven-Dieppe mainstay for many years, she saw service with Strintzis in both the Aegean and the Adriatic
before a somewhat premature disposal in 1996. Finally on the far right of the picture is the unmistakable
profile of one of the Papenburger class of ferries, in this case the
Express Olympia of Agapitos Express.
Originally Viking Line's
Viking 4, she saw Sealink service on the western channel as the Earl Granville before
moving to Greece in 1990.
ABOVE: Milos Express seen leaving Piraeus in June 1999. Behind her is ANEK's ungainly Lato whilst the stern
of former Folkestone fleetmate
Hengist (then Agapitos' Panagia Ekatontapiliani) is seen as that ship unloads.
ABOVE: The Milos Express captured, head-on in the early-morning sunlight at Piraeus, August 1999. From this
angle, the ship is very much recognisable as the
Vortigern. On the adjacent berth can be seen Agapitos Lines'
Golden Vergina, later the ill-fated Express Samina.
BELOW:  In this close-up view, the characteristic Sealink funnel is evident, but appears slightly different at
first sight as various canopies have been built around its base, making the visible structure somewhat
shorter.
BELOW: The best years of her career: the Vortigern as Milos Express. Picture courtesy Antonis Lazaris