Feverish preparations are underway for the much-awaited resumption of the ferry link between Cyprus and Greece, which is set to depart from Limassol to Piraeus at midday on Sunday.
The last ferry link between the two countries set sail 21 years ago. Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, the CEO of Scandro Holding Ltd, the company operating the link, Marios Michael said the ferry was already docked at Limassol port.
“We are taking care of the last, important details, working 24 hours a day,” Michael said.
“The first trips will be decisive for us, as they will let us know what and where to improve. We will listen carefully to our customers’ feedback.
The ship was fully refurbished in Suez, Egypt before making its ways to Cyprus through the Piraeus port in Athens.
“We are ready,” Michael said. “People are very interested in the ferry link and bookings have exceeded every expectation we had.
“We have invested a lot in this venture, we don’t want to last only for a few years, we really want it to stay.”
According to Michael, over 6,500 people booked a place on the ferry link for the upcoming weeks and 1,500 vehicle berths have been reserved, mostly concerning motorcycles.
He also added that the ship will carry a maximum of 270 passenger per trip, with the number rising to 340 including staff members.
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.
A total of 173 people are expected to make the first trip on the ferry link, including deputy minister of tourism Savvas Perdios, undersecretary to the President Kyriacos Koushos, deputy shipping minister Vassilis Demetriades and Greek Tourism Minister Sophia Zacharaki.
President Nicos Anastasiades will also take part in a ceremony marking the departure of the ferry link at the Limassol port on Sunday.