The first ferry link between Cyprus and Greece – specifically, from Limassol to Piraeus – is to be up and running on June 19, it was announced on Friday, with the trip lasting about 30 hours.
“After 21 years, our fellow citizens will be able to travel to Greece and Europe by sea, transporting their private vehicles as well,” President Nicos Anastasiades said.
He praised the development as fulfilling the goal of achieving alternative connectivity, adding that it will also enhance Cyprus’ maritime tourism.
The cheapest return tickets for adults, with a simple seating arrangement, are set at €76 while a second-class cabin return ticket is at €80. The respective one-way tickets cost €38 and €40.
VIP cabin return tickets are set to cost €160 for a return and €80 one-way.
Children aged 4-12 will be charged €56 for are a return, while those aged up to four will be charged €31. Cars up to five metres in size will be charged €203 return, a motorbike €125 and pets €100 (if in a cabin, otherwise €70 if in a kennel).
The details were announced by the deputy shipping ministry as it was reported that the service will last until September 16, with four trips scheduled for June, eight in July, seven in August and three in September.
The tender was won by Scandro Holding Ltd with an offer of €15,594,000, with the ship servicing the ferry link having a capacity for 400 passengers.
There will be 38 first class cabins, 68 second-class cabins, 110 seats and 100 vehicle spots.
Following the failure to attract any bids with the first competition that closed on January 29 this year, the government has raised the subsidy by €500,000 to €5.5m and cut the number of return trips to 22 instead of 31.
Also, in the new competition, the period for the trips is reduced to between April or May until September or October, instead of 31 trips on a weekly or biweekly basis throughout the year.
The maritime connection between Cyprus and Greece has been inactive since 2000.