As the first vessel to be used in the new Euro-Aegean service of the Grimaldi Lines shipping company, the ro/ro ship Grande Sicilia was dispatched at Hamburg’s Unikai Terminal. Together with its sister ship the Grande Italia, the Grande Sicilia forms part of a new service offering fortnightly departures from Hamburg in the first instance. The ports of call are Setubal, Valencia, Leghorn, Civitavecchia, Salerno, Piraeus, Beirut, Lattakia (only when carrying sufficient cargo), Gemlik and Alexandria. In transshipment Grimaldi also serves the ports of Tunis, La Goulette, Tripoli (Libya), Misurata, Limassol, Mersin and Tripoli (Lebanon).
The ships that are used allow for the loading of all kinds of ro/ro units, like vehicles and self-propelled construction machines, as well as conventional and project cargo with item weights of up to 75 tons, including any rolltrailers that may be used.
With a gross register tonnage of 38,650, the Grande Sicilia has a length of 176 meters, a breadth of 31 meters and a maximum draught of 8.75 meters. It is registered at the Italian port of Palermo. Its eleven decks can carry up to 4500 vehicles or other ro/ro cargo.
Seaborne goods traffic between the Port of Hamburg and the Mediterranean reached a total volume in excess of 4.5 million tons in the year 2007.
Some 30 services in all that connect Northern Europe with the Mediterranean call at the Port of Hamburg.