The iconic ship with its white swan insignia on its bow made its “maiden” voyage to Greece for the “Saronicos” company in May 1947
It was October 1974 when the “Swan” docked for the last time at the piers of the port of Volos – since then its name has been an unforgettable legend, for the old its story is true and for the younger stories and photographs.
It was the favorite boat for thousands of people who wanted to travel in those difficult post-war times, and not only, to Volos, Chalkida, Edipsos and the Sporades.
“Kyknos” was the legend of the region.
The emblematic ship with its white swan insignia on its bow, within a blue circular frame, made its “maiden” voyage to Greece for the “Saronikos” company in May 1947, i.e. 76 years ago, and sailed for the first time in port of Volos starting the regular route Volos-Edipsos-Chalkida.
Five years later, in 1952, the “Kyknos” began connecting Volos with the islands of the Northern Sporades, i.e. Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos, but also Skyros.
The last entry into the port of Volos, whistling and flagged, for “Kyknos” was in October 1974.
From the USA to Volos
The story of “Swan” began in Maine USA wherever and was built in 1930 and fell into the sea in the same year. The boat’s first name was “Sylvia” and one of its owners in the interwar years is said to have been the mayor of New York Fiorello Henry LaGuardia, according to earlier research by Magnesia MP Christos Antoniou, who is from Glossa Skopelos.
With his outburst World War II and during its duration, the ship used by the US Navy as an auxiliary vessel under the name ‘USS Tourmaline’ and was based in New York.
In 1945 with the end of the Great War it stopped being used by the American Army and in January 1946 it was sold and passed into Greek hands. It was bought by the Greek shipowners Andreas Empirikos and Manolis Kouloukountis, who had settled permanently in the American metropolis since 1940 and was president of the Greek Shipowners’ Union of New York.
The beautiful schooner named “Adelphic” crossed the Atlantic Ocean carrying food and medical supplies of American aid on behalf of UNRRA and first docked at a Greek port, Piraeus, in 1946.
Since then, after the necessary modifications were made and it was renamed “Kyknos”, it was launched in the Greek seas.
The “Swan” was everyone’s favorite ship
He served in those difficult years faithfully serving the people who had to move and there were still no roads in our homeland. Those who wanted to move from Athens to Volos, arrived in the capital of Evia by train and from there boarded the “Kyknos” and traveled to Volos. People, goods and sometimes even animals were transported safely on the legendary ship.
Him July 1974 with the proclamation of the general conscription there is a historical photo of the “Swan” tied up that day in the island’s new port, surrounded by thousands of people who had to travel to enlist.
According to the information during the mobilization it also transported troops and war material from Volos to Lemnos.
The end for the “Swan” came a few months later, after the much-loved ship ceased operations in the Sporades in October 1974.
Stories about the legendary ship
The newspaper “Thessalia” of Volos in 2017 in its dedication to “Kyknos” hosted, among other things, memories and descriptions of Stergios Michelis who was a member of the crew for several years and wrote: “I was born in 1950 in Glossa Skopelos and at the age of 14.5 years ago I found myself in “Kyknos”. The first time I worked there was from 1965-’69, until I joined the army and worked again from 1973-’74. I served first as a cleaner, but I didn’t like the machine. I went up on the deck, where I became a sailor and then an engineer. I was dismissed as a third engineer from the steamers. My term at “Kyknos” was one of the best periods in my life. I felt lucky to be part of his crew. I remember in ’66 I was getting a salary of 4,500 drachmas. Very good money for the time. I feel nostalgic every time I think back to those years. I had a great time at “Kyknos”, since we worked under excellent conditions.
The figure of Captain Kyriakos Mastrokolias dominated the bridge. He was a very good captain. He was not afraid of the sea. I have “eaten” 12 Beauforts with him. From Glossa to Skiathos. This route was exactly 25 minutes with “Kyknos”. We spent three and a half hours in that boat. You couldn’t make out the boat, you could only see the sea. But the steamer was too strong. It also had a deep keel. It was well designed. And the captain too hard a sailor. I still remember that every time we went to Skyros, we even loaded donkeys. We were approached by a Skyrian who had a boat and there we unloaded the animals”.
At the end of the 1970s, the “Kyknos” reached the end of its life and was broken up into scrap, but the Skopelos sailor Stergios Michelis with the memories of that wonderful time of his youth on the “Kyknos” had said that “I kept a souvenir from the ship. When they sent it for scrap, I kept it a lamp. I have it in my house to this day, on a pergola.
It’s a shame it ended this way. It was one of the best ships that ever passed through Greece. When I first went, I had heard a story that even Kennedy had traveled with it, at the time he was in America. Whether this was true or not, I cannot say. At the end of the 70’s, a man from Voliotis was found, I don’t remember his name now, who wanted to turn it into a floating restaurant and cafe. He rented it for a while. He didn’t want too many interventions. But his plan did not work and finally “Kyknos” was taken to the scrapyard”.
I have worked as a journalist for over 10 years, and my work has been featured on many different news websites. I am also an author, and my work has been published in several books. I specialize in opinion writing, and I often write about current events and controversial topics. I am a very well-rounded writer, and I have a lot of experience in different areas of journalism. I am a very hard worker, and I am always willing to put in the extra effort to get the job done.