The first car and passenger ferry in 22 years linking Cyprus and Greece will set out on its first voyage on Sunday departing from the port of Limassol to Piraeus.
The fully renovated Daleela ferry is operated by Scandro Holding, established in 2022 with the ultimate purpose of connecting Cyprus and Greece by sea. The ship can carry 400 passengers.
The Daleela will sail from Limassol to Piraeus every Wednesday and Sunday while services from Piraeus to Limassol depart every Tuesday and Friday. The last route of the year will be on September 16th from Piraeus to Limassol.
The duration of the trip is approximately thirty hours.
Deputy Shipping Minister of Cyprus Vassilios Demetriades said recently that “reviving the ferry connection will help us to continue building our relationship with the rest of the Mediterranean and we welcome the opportunity to expand the ferry link to a third neighboring country beyond Greece too.”
Authorities in Israel have also expressed interest in joining the proposed new Greece-Cyprus ferry route, saying that they would like a port in Israel to be added to the itinerary.
A meeting in December 2021 between Cyprus Deputy Minister of Shipping Vassilis Demetriades and Israeli Minister of Transport Merav Michaeli discussed the prospect.
They agreed that the establishment of the maritime route would even create a new market for those travelers who prefer to explore the Mediterranean by sea since some people either cannot fly for health reasons or have a fear of flying.
Three-year contract for the Cyprus – Greece ferry link
In November 2021, the ministry launched a fresh attempt for a three-year contract valued at €33 million ($35.6 million) with annual state aid of €5.5 million.
The ferry connection between Greece and Cyprus was halted 22 years ago, as the increasing use of airplanes by the public made the line obsolete.
However, its planned reintroduction was seen as a way of deepening the already extremely cordial relations between the two countries.
The aid was approved by the EU in July of 2020, stating at the time that it was in the “general economic interest” of the public. Any ferry which eventually plies the waters along the route will fly the EU flag. If it is a foreign-owned vessel, it would have to be registered in the EU, according to EU regulations.
Greece had also reiterated its will to facilitate the reintroduction of the Greece-Cyprus ferry line by offering a dedicated berth in the port of Piraeus for the companies that would have undertaken the route.