The ferry link between Cyprus and Greece begins a new season as the Cypriot flag Daleela embarks on its first journey for 2023.
Wednesday’s journey marks the launch of the ferry link’s second season since its relaunch last summer after more than two decades without a sea route to Greece.
This year’s connection will also include routes from Limassol and Larnaca ports.
Scandro Holdings, the company awarded the contract for the ferry connection, hosted a reception aboard the ship before its first voyage carrying 156 passengers.
Deputy Minister for Shipping Marina Hadjimanolis said that from her first day in office, she had placed the maritime connection high among her priorities.
She was certain of the success of the ferry connection this season, which has already reached 7,000 bookings and is expected to surpass the previous year.
Hadjimanolis said the connection would not be possible without the collaboration of all stakeholders, the Ports Authority, DP World, Sandro Holdings and Limassol Municipality.
Some 22 voyages have been scheduled for this season, 14 will set off from Limassol, and the remaining eight will embark from the Larnaca port, which is included for the first time.
The ship’s last voyage will be conducted on September 1.
Last year, 7,412 passengers travelled with the ferry, taking 2,250 vehicles, of which 1,920 were cars, 330 motorcycles and 300 bicycles.
The Daleela has a capacity of 400 people with 38 first-class cabins for 110 passengers, 68 second-class cabins that can accommodate 180 passengers, 110 seats and a transport capacity of over 300 vehicles.
Larnaca will reap the benefits of the passenger ferry link between Cyprus and Greece, as officials have decided to include the town’s revamped port in the schedule for August.
With the tweak in the schedule, the ferry for Greece will depart from Limassol port until the end of July.
According to estimates, the trip from Larnaca to Piraeus is two hours longer than the 30-hour trip from Limassol port.
For a first-Class single cabin, the return price from Limassol is €145.98, while the same cabin from Larnaca is €138.60.
The difference is attributed to lower taxes imposed at the Larnaca port.
Prices for an airline seat from Limassol return costs €75.98, while from Larnaca, the price is €68.60.
Prices for vehicle transport
Transporting a car from Larnaca and back will cost €212.98 and €223.10 in Limassol.
Transporting a motorcycle from Larnaca costs €140.94 return, while from Limassol, it’s €141.80.
In 2022, the ferry link between Cyprus and Greece was reinstated after 20 years, as the route is supported by a state subsidy approved by the European Commission.
The last voyage before its reintroduction was carried out on October 8 2001, with Salamis.
Regular departures of ferries from Limassol to Rhodes and Piraeus were discontinued as the 90-minute flight to Athens became more frequent and inexpensive.
The link was reintroduced after obtaining special permission from the European Union, allowing the state to subsidise the otherwise non-viable route.
The government offers a €5.5 mln annual subsidy to secure ship owners’ interest in operating the regular ferry link.