The passenger vessel “Neraida” was built as “Laurana” in 1939 at the Cantieri Navali Del Quarnaro Shipyards in the then Italian city of Fiume (today Rijeka, Croatia). She was used for coastal shipping routes at the Adriatic Sea and as a rescue ship during World War II. After she was captured by the British, she was used for the coastal service between Malta and Syracuse.
In 1949 she was purchased by John Latsis and, after restoration works, she was routed in the Argosaronic Gulf line, renamed “Neraida” (which means fairy in Greek). This route, that includes Aegina, Methana, Poros, Hydra, Hermioni and Spetses, was serviced by the “Neraida” for about 25 years, carrying locals and tourists. Frequently, the route was expanded, in order to include other destinations as well, such as Leonidion, Monemvasia and Epidavros. In 1974 the vessel was retired.
After her withdrawal from the line, she remained ashore for about 35 years, without being taken for scrap, as her owner John Latsis recognized her importance for his first steps in the business world. In 2007, four years after her owner’s death, the “Neraida” was transported to NCP Shipyards at Sibenik, Croatia, for her conversion into a floating museum. Refurbishment work was completed in 2010 and the vessel returned to the Greek waters.
In the summer of 2013 the vessel raised the Greek flag again and in September she returned at her traditional destinations, Spetses, Hermioni, Hydra, Poros, Methana, Aegina. There, she received thousands of locals and tourists, presenting her owner’s history as well as her own, being one of the few monuments remembering of the golden times of the coastal shipping in Greece.
Coordination: Vaggelis Chronis, Member of the Executive Board, John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Neraida Floating Museum
Vessel reconstruction: NCP Shipyard, Sibenik, Croatia
Architect: Doug Patterson, Patterson & Buxton’s, London, UK
Refit of Interior: Metrica Interior, Senden, Germany
Museologist/Curator: Dr. Alexandra Bounia, Archaeologist-Museologist, Associate Professor, Department of Cultural technology and Communication
Graphic design: k2design
Project team: Katerina Boublinis, Vassilis Tsamourtzis, Claudia Scotoni, Annie Kalou
Crew: cpt. Sarantis Kountouris, Giorgos Marneris