Passenger ferry M/V Daleela completed its first trip to Piraeus, marking the official launch of the Cyprus-Greece sea link after more than two decades, with authorities pleased with the maiden voyage.
Passengers, pets, and vehicles boarded the ferry, with many expressing hope that this long-awaited venture would continue.
A total of 155 passengers boarded the ship last week on its first 60-hour round trip, including the Deputy Ministers of Shipping and Tourism, Vasilis Dimitriades and Savvas Perdios.
A passenger ferry mainly caters to people who are afraid of flying, want to travel with their pets, and carry large luggage, equipment, or vehicles.
A group of four bike riders, members of the Harley Owners Group Cyprus Chapter (HOG), were among the passengers who embarked on a week-long road trip on their bikes in Greece.
Giorgos Kadros, one of the bike riders, said HOG is looking forward to planning group excursions for bike road trips on the island, along with riders from all over Europe.
Kyriaki Ioannidou, the first to book a ticket for the first trip, boarded with a converted van, planning to go on a 2.5month-long road trip across Greece.
She will be back, boarding the M/V Daleela in its last journey for the season, in mid-September.
Few passengers travelled on one of the 110 aeroplane seats available on M/V Daleela.
A small number of VIP cabins and 38 first-class cabins can accommodate 110 passengers.
Another 180 passengers can be accommodated in second-class cabins, which do not include en suite showers and bathrooms.
In addition, six metal constructions may accommodate pets for those not staying in cabins.
Demetriades told CNA that “an alternative connection between Cyprus and Greece is now a reality.
“We hope passengers will embrace it and make this viable, as we see positive reactions on this first route.”
He said certain services need to be improved, which will be done in coordination with the company.
“It’s a matter of time for each route to be better than the previous one.”
Perdios appeared to be satisfied by the level of the services provided.
“We noticed some aspects that need improvement, but we must remember that new beginnings are fraught with difficulties.
“I was amazed by the space available for vehicles and equipment, which allows us to sell the idea of transporting large equipment, such as for scuba diving, sailing or other sports.”
Sunil Kapoor, a Member of the Cyprus Chamber of Shipping, told CNA that “the public, both in Cyprus and in other parts of Europe, will certainly benefit from this service.”
Marios Michael, Managing Director Scandro Holding, congratulated all those who worked to prepare the ship’s first Cyprus-Greece route successfully.
He said the company has made sure that a bar, a coffee shop, a casino, and a playground are available on board. (source CNA)