Grimaldi Group

The Grimaldi Group is a private shipping company owned by Gianluca and Emanuele Grimaldi and based in Naples, Italy. Grimaldi operates a large fleet of ro-ro vessels.

Grimaldi Group
FounderGuido, Luigi, Mario, Aldo and Ugo Grimaldi
HeadquartersNaples, Italy
Key people
Gianluca Grimaldi
Emanuele Grimaldi
Diego Pacella[1]
Minoan Lines
Grimaldi Lines


The Grimaldi Group is a conglomerate of companies linked to the logistics business with a main-focus on shipping. The main brands of the company are:[2]

Grimaldi Lines

This is the main shipping company within the group. The Grimaldi family has had links to shipping for many generations. According to their own records, the oldest written records linking the Grimaldi family to shipping dates back to 1348, when three Grimaldi brothers received a precious relic as a guarantee for the chartering of three ships.[3]

The current Grimaldi companies can be traced back to the middle of the 19th century, when Italian shipowner Gioacchino Lauro started a steamboat company. His son Achille expanded that shipping company and, in the middle of the 20th century, it became one of the largest shipping companies in the world. At that time, Giovanni Grimaldi was a lawyer who was married to the sister of above Achille Lauro. Amelia Grimaldi-Lauro asked her brother Achille to take her son Guido under his wings, and this brought the Grimaldi family back into the shipping business. It was this son, Guido, who founded the group in 1947 with his brothers Luigi, Mario, Aldo and Ugo by buying a Liberty ship.

Ferry operations

Grimaldi Lines operate ferry-lines with routes in the Mediterranean. They have routes to Spain, Morocco, Tunisia, Malta and Italy. Under the Grimaldi Lines brand they operate six ro-ro ferries. The ships in the Grimaldi Lines fleet vary in size and design, with the larger ferries being able to carry up to 2200 passengers and a cruise-speed of 22.5 knots

Current Fleet

Ship nameFlagBuiltIMOTonnageLengthWidthPassengersCarsKnotsPhoto
Cruise Smeralda1997920406330.010200,65 m25,8 m1.52881926,4
Zeus Palace2001920807131.730212 m25 m1.70658031,5
Cruise Olbia2001919893932.728203,9 m25 m1.80071228,9
Cruise Ausonia2002922742930.902199,9 m25 m1.82164931,2
Cruise Bonaria2002922033036.825214 m26,4 m1.91282129,5
Catania2003926155425.955186,5 m25,6 m93848022,5
Florencia2004928758426.302186 m25,6 m95040024
Corfu2006934975827.522186,5 m25,6 m95040024
Cruise Barcelona2008935148854.310225 m30,4 m2.79496327,5
Cruise Roma2008935147654.310225 m30,4 m2.79496327,5


The company specializes in the maritime transport and distribution of shipping containers, automobiles, trucks, trailers, Mafi roll trailers, heavy construction machineries and further types of rolling freight.

For carrying these commodities the company uses their passenger cruise ferry class ships, dedicated truck ferries and also container/ro-ro ships. Grimaldi has a fleet of special car carriers. Grimaldi has 32 dedicated car + container ships and another 5 Atlantic class ships.[4]

One of these car-carriers, the Republica de Argentina ran aground in the Western Scheldt between the North Sea and the port of Antwerp on 7 October 2011 but was pulled back afloat at the next high tide[5]

Facts and accidents

On 21 November 2019 early morning, roropax MV Eurocargo Trieste faced a fire in her engine room. The ship departed Livorno just an hour before with over 200 vehicles on board and passengers, and was only 4 miles away from the port, when tugboats were re-deployed to berth her again, while fire brigades helped in extinguishing the fire. The reason of the accident remains unknown.[6]

On 29 June 2019, in the port of Dakar, the Senegalese customs inspected the vehicles transported by the MV Grande Nigeria, coming from South America and headed for Northern Europe, and found in some of them a hidden bust of cocaine. For this reason, the vessel was seized, while the Master and the Chief Mate – both Italians – as well as two German passengers were arrested.[7]

On 15 May 2019, MV Grande Europa caught fire en route from Naples to Valencia in close proximity of the Balearic islands.[8] The vessel was carrying over 1800 motor vehicles, and the fire may have started on the accommodation deck. Half of the crew had to be evacuated by helicopter, while the other half remained on board to help the immediately deployed rescuing vessels in extinguishing the fire.[9] The ship had to be towed to Palma de Mallorca port.

On 10 March 2019, a fire started on the ro-ro ship Grande America off the coast of the Finistère. Travelling from Hamburg to Casablanca, it transported around two thousands of cars and 365 containers (some of which contained hazardous materials). Efforts to extinguish it were unsuccessful, and the ship started leaning to the right. Early on 11 March, the twenty-six crew members and the only passenger were evacuated; they were then rescued by the British frigate HMS Argyll. The Grande America sank soon afterwards, causing an oil spill. French authorities worry about the risk of pollution on the coasts of Gironde and Charente-Maritime.[10]

On 21 December 2018, four stowaways armed with metal bars threatened crew members on board MV Grande Tema travelling from Nigeria, demanding to be taken closer to the British coast.[11] The following day, despite Essex Police stating this was not being treated as a hostage, terror or piracy-related incident, British special forces seized control of the vessel and detained all four perpetrators without casualties.[12]

In August 2018, in short succession, two Grimaldi vessels were stopped by the Brazilian authorities at Santos. On 7 August, 1.2 tons of cocaine drug was found hidden inside a container on MV Grande Nigeria.[13] On MV Grande Francia two containers were noted with broken seals by the crew, and intruders were spotted fleeing the ship anchored at Santos roads. Consequently, 1.3 tons of cocaine was found inside the containers by local authorities on 12 August.[14]

On 27 April 2018, Grimaldi Group announced the agreement to build six new vessels at Jinling shipyard in China, for a total investment of over US$400 million. The vessels will be ready for delivery by end of 2020, with a gross tonnage of 64,000 GRT each. The ships will be hybrid powered by both fuel and electricity, becoming emissions-free during their port stays, when fully switched to electric mode. Three of these will also be ice class and leased to Finnlines as additional new tonnage, to perform their Baltic service.[15]

On 8 August 2017, a seizure warrant was issued by Dakar Port Authority for MV Grande Nigeria until damage repayment was arranged. The vessel had broken her moorings and accidentally collided with a ferry docked close by. MV Diambogne suffered severe damages to her hull that caused sea water to enter the engine room. [16]

On 27 November 2016, while en route from Valencia to Autoport-Izmit, MV Grande Anversa collided with general cargo MV Sider Capri in the Cannakale Strait in Turkey. Both vessels reported minor damages, but had to interrupt their commercial voyages, proceeding to anchorage to undertake investigations and surveys.[17]

On 22 October 2014, MV Grande Francia encountered extreme bad weather conditions on the way from Tilbury to Hamburg. The vessel faced severe rolling and strong gust winds that caused ten 40-foot containers to break their lashings and fall overboard.[18]

On 8 March 2007, MV Repubblica of Genova capsized during an Antwerp port stay due to possible incorrect stowage and ballast. The vessel was loading containers and vehicles. A large portion of the cargo fell overboard, however the vessel was rescued and towed to dry dock.[19]

See also


  2. Grimaldi group website, visited 8 October 2011
  3. Grimaldi Lines website: Our history, visited 8 October 2011
  4. Grimaldi Group website: Fleet overview, visited 8 October 2011
  5. NU.NL newssite: Cargo vessel Wester Scheld refloated, 8 October 2011
  10. "Ce que l'on sait du naufrage du navire "Grande America", qui a coulé au large de la Bretagne". Franceinfo (in French). 12 March 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  11. "Stowaways threaten crew on cargo ship". BBC News. 21 December 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  12. "Special forces retake cargo ship after migrants threatened staff". Sky News. 22 December 2018. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.