Initially Epirotiki focused entirely on the cruise ship market and started round trip cruises operating in the Aegean Sea, Greek Islands and Eastern Mediterranean. Acquisitions of vessels such as Semiramis, Pegasus (I) and Hermes helped in the company's expansion. In the 1960s, Epirotiki continued to expand its operation, adding a number of Caribbean destinations. Vessels acquired in this period included the Argonaut, Jason, Apollon (I) and Poseidon among others.
The cruise industry grew quickly in the 1970s, and Epirotiki became the largest cruise ship company in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean with additions to its fleet such as the Jupiter, Oceanos, World Renaissance, Odysseus, Mistral, Pegasus (II) and Triton. During the 1980s and after the company diversified into dry cargo carriers and crude oil tankers under separate management.
In the marine tourism sector Epirotiki solidified its position through partnerships and mergers. In 1993 Epirotiki made a partnership with Carnival Cruise Lines, purchasing ships from Carnival in exchange for shares in Epirotiki. The company acquired the vessels Pallas Athena, Olympic and Apollon (II).
Around the same time, however, the company faced difficulties, as three of its cruise ships (Jupiter, Pegasus, and Oceanos) sank between 1988 and 1991.
In 1995 Epirotiki merged its operations with Sun Line, creating a new company named Royal Olympic Cruise Lines. Initially maintaining its two brand names, Royal Olympic Cruise Lines began planning a public offering of the company in 1997. The company restructured its holdings, creating a new entity, Royal Olympia Cruise Lines, and listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange (ROCLF) in 1998.
In 2001 Louis Cruise Lines, a member of the Louis Group of Companies, purchased the shares in Royal Olympic Cruises, and the ROCL management passed to the Louis Group.
Read more about this topic: Epirotiki Line
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