The first ferry trip between Cyprus and Greece in 21 years was hailed as “very positive” by the Cypriot deputy shipping minister Vassilis Demetriades on Monday.
Motorcyclists, pensioners, nervous flyers, and students are just some of the 173 people who took the maiden voyage. The boat is scheduled to arrive at Piraeus at 6pm on Monday after the thirty-hour trip.
The deputy minister said that the first impressions have been overwhelmingly positive, adding that there was live entertainment onboard along with amenities, such as cafés and restaurants.
He emphasized that any issues which may arise, as is expected during such a project, will be worked on to improve conditions.
“I’m not only on this trip just because it’s the first and historic, but also so that I can see firsthand any issues which may occur…we’re also experiencing this trip and speaking with the other passengers,” he told Alphanews on Monday in speaking onboard the Daleela.
He further added that the government will aim to resolve any issues by consulting the managing company but stated that so far nothing major has been identified.
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.
Passengers on Cyprus to Greece ferry complained about lack of Wi-Fi
Some passengers, however, were surprised to learn that there is no Wi-Fi onboard.
The deputy minister addressed those concerns by explaining that such a feature would be very expensive for the company to provide but that it is something that can be looked into in the future if it is indeed an issue.
“This is a point but not something which is linked to the specific company, it’s a factor for all boats,” Demetriades said.
He reminded the public that 5G remains an option.
Asked as to whom his fellow travelers are, and why they chose the ferry, Demetriades said that he has spoken to motorcyclists who have eagerly been awaiting the ferry for years.
Elsewhere, he spoke to people who last traveled on the ferry link over two decades ago and wished to relive the experience.
Demetriades also explained how some students have opted for the boat, as it is easier and more financially feasible for them to transport more personal items and luggage at a cheaper cost. Naturally, there were some nervous flyers amongst the passengers, too.
The first trip ferried 173 people, including Demetriades, Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios, Limassol Mayor Nicos Nicolaides, some MPs, journalists, and members of the team that worked on the project.
The last ferry voyage between Greece and Cyprus took place on October 8, 2001, with the ship Salamis.