Animalcouriers crossed from the Italian port of Brinidisi to Igoumenitsa in Greece on a handsome new ferry, operated by the European Management & Marine Company (EMMC), who are based at Igoumenitsa.

We met Mrs Emmy, who heads up the company’s marketing function โ€” she remembered us from a few years ago when we first started operating our Greek route, and she was working for Hellas Ferries, our Athens agent. She recalled the problems and challenges we faced back then, and we discussed how good and friendly our partnership is today. We have all the right paperwork, and they ask us to source special dog leads and to provide advice from time to time.

EMMC have given us a promotional trip so that we can provide feedback on the service, especially its suitability for people travelling with pets. We’ve been met with nothing but kindness and an eagerness to know how we’re finding the experience and whether there are areas they can improve on. They offered us a reserved spot on the covered open deck, so the sun didn’t beat down on our van roof. There were also electrical points for us to hook up our fans to keep our passengers nice and cool.

It was a sharp โ€” and welcome โ€” contrast to some of the experiences we’ve had, where we’ve met with very negative attitudes when we’ve asked for special services for pets at ports and on boats.

Our comfortable ferry, the Vastervic

Our comfortable ferry, the Vastervic

The open deck, where we parked our van

The open deck, where we parked our van

The enormous portholes along the sides open up for more air. Here's the view!

The enormous portholes along the sides open up for more air. Here’s the view!

The spick-and-span lounge on board

The spick-and-span lounge on board

Very contemporary decor

Very contemporary decor

Delivering our passengers

Before we left Italy, we reunited little Daisy with Carol at Tortona. Such a happy look on little Daisy's face!

Before we left Italy, we reunited little Daisy with Carol at Tortona. Such a happy look on little Daisy’s face!

On arriving at Igoumenitsa, we said goodbye to a very exuberant Zelda, who was collected by Christos, brother of Zelda's owner Orestis.

On arriving at Igoumenitsa, we said goodbye to a very exuberant Zelda, who was collected by Christos, brother of Zelda’s owner Orestis.

On the beach at Glyfada we met up with our friend Akis, who runs aย pet taxi service.ย Akis collected Coco, Clifford, Squash and Georgie from us, and looked after them overnight, ready to start the last leg of their journey to Paros this morning.

Courier M (L) with Akis

Courier M (L) with Akis

A very chilled-out quartet of pets on board and ready to leave with Akis

A very chilled-out quartet of pets on board and ready to leave with Akis