Cyprus launches open tender for Greece ferry line

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The Deputy Shipping Ministry on Friday issued an open tender to revive the Cyprus-Greece ferry link as of next summer.

Announcing the process, junior shipping minister Vassilis Demetriades said “several companies” have already expressed interest to participate in the process that closes on January 29.

The tender will then be evaluated and awarded in time for the winning operator to start operations in May or June.

The ferry link will be a weekly schedule, dropping to fortnightly and monthly during the winter months, with a state subsidy of €5 mln a year, for three years.

Demetriades said the operator will use either Limassol or Larnaca port as its base and will link to Keratsini terminal in Piraeus port. It may have a single stop-over.

The ferry must be an EU-flag vessel or if foreign-owned, must be EU-registered.

It should carry at least 200 passengers with a capacity of 140 more in cabins, if the trip is longer than 16 hours, with fares capped at €50 single and €80 return, €75 single fare in cabins and €149 return, €75 and €150 return for passenger cars, and €50 with €100 return for motorcycles.

Passengers under two years old travel free.

Demetriades said the EU-approved state subsidy is for passengers and private vehicles with the operator allowed to charge any rate for commercial vehicles and their cargo.