The Cyprus-Greece ferry makes its first trip on Wednesday, lifting anchor at Limassol port and sailing to Piraeus carrying 156 passengers.
Cyprus Deputy Minister of Shipping Marina Hatzimanoli and Mayor of Limassol Nikos Nicolaides were on board the passenger ferry Daleela on Tuesday to celebrate the occasion, along with contracting company Scandro Holdings executives and other partners.
Hatzimanoli told attendees that the ferry was high on the ministry’s priorities, and expressed confidence in the success of the second season, which has already hit the 7,000 reservations mark.
For his part, Nikolaides hoped for the operation’s success to surpass last year’s, and recalled his experience as a passenger on the ferry’s maiden voyage a year ago.
The revived Cyprus-Greece ferry, which set sail in mid-June 2022, saw its final return voyage for the last season in September 2022.
MV Daleela conducted a total of 22 round trips, ferrying 7,162 passengers. It also ferried 2,250 vehicles and motorcycles as well as around 200 pets.
According to Scandro Holding, after considering last year’s reviews, the vessel will operate with improved services to enhance the passenger experience.
The ferry includes a restaurant, cafeteria, and clinic in addition to 38 first-class cabins (110 passengers), 68 second-class cabins, and 110 outdoor seats. It can also accommodate up to 100 vehicles.
Cyprus-Greece ferry includes the Larnaca port in 2023 itinery
The link was reintroduced after obtaining special permission from the European Union, allowing the state to subsidize the otherwise non-viable route.
The government offered a €5.5 mln annual subsidy to secure interest by ship owners to operate the regular ferry link between Limassol and Piraeus.
In addition to the port of Limassol, Scandro Holding Ltd has included the Larnaca port in this year’s itinerary in response to travelers’ requests.
In comments to the Cyprus News Agency, Larnaca Mayor Andreas Vyras said port operators Kition Ocean have agreed with the ferry operators, Scandro Holding, to include Larnaca.
With the tweak in the schedule, the ferry for Greece will depart from Limassol port from May 31, when the link resumes, up until the end of July.
Larnaca port will take over from August, with trips conducted until September 1.
Vyras said the city is ideally located for easy connections across the island, while its facilities are also top-notch.
“The sea link between Cyprus and Greece facilitated through the port has been a long-standing request, which we see as good for both Larnaca and the island as a whole,” said Vyras.
Local tourism stakeholders are pleased with the decision that invigorates Larnaca port, currently being revamped, while also boosting tourists arriving from Greece, Financial Mirror reported.
When the ferry link was reinstated after 21 years, Larnaca made its dissatisfaction known over authorities’ decision only to include trips from Limassol.
According to estimates, the trip from Larnaca to Piraeus is two hours longer than the 30-hour trip from Limassol port.