Preparations are full speed ahead for the first round-trip Cyprus-Greece passenger ferry on Sunday, 21 years after the sea journey was abandoned.
CEO of Scandro Holding Ltd, Marios Michael, told CNA that the fully renovated M/V Daleela, which will be carrying passengers between Limassol and Piraeus, is expected to enter the Limassol port on Friday “for the final touches”.
The ship can carry up to 700 people, but the permit it secured is for 340, including staff, with a maximum of around 270 passengers per trip.
President Nicos Anastasiades will attend a ceremony on Sunday to launch the ferry link between Cyprus and Greece 21 years after this service was discontinued.
Aboard the M/V Daleela for the inaugural trip will be 173 passengers, among them Deputy Ministers of Shipping and Tourism, Vassilios Demetriades and Savvas Perdios, respectively and Greek Deputy Minister of Tourism Sofia Zacharaki.
A welcoming ceremony will also occur on Monday evening when the vessel arrives at Piraeus port, Greece.
Michael said bookings had exceeded all expectations since studies had estimated that they would have around 3,000 passengers per year, but reservations so far exceed 6,500.
In addition, he said that reservations had been made for more than 1,500 motor vehicles, mainly motorcycles.
In addition to the restaurant, cafeteria, and infirmary provided in the contract, the ship also has bars, playgrounds, and a casino.
Furthermore, it provides services for transporting pets, while the price for a full meal will not exceed €12.
Michael said that despite the steep rise in prices, the company has decided not to change their announced prices as it would not be ethical.
Passengers onboard the 30-hour voyage will pay anything from €38 for a seat to €80 per person in a premium cabin each way, about €101 for a car and €63 for a motorcycle.
The revived Cyprus-Greece ferry is set to sail on 19 June, conducting 22 round trips between Limassol and Piraeus this summer after the winning contract sealed a three-year agreement worth €16.4 mln.
The final return voyage for this season will leave Piraeus on 16 September, arriving in Limassol on 17 September.