A ferry link between the ports of Larnaca and Piraeus, Greece, launches Saturday while bookings at 4,300 are near full capacity.
Following 14 voyages from the Limassol port, the Cyprus-Greece ferry switches home port, setting off from Larnaca for the remaining eight voyages scheduled.
The new route was celebrated at an event in Larnaca port on July 26, attended by House Speaker Annita Demetriou, Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades, Deputy Minister of Shipping Marina Hadjimanolis, Minister of Tourism Costas Koumis, and Larnaca Mayor Andreas Vyras.
Hadjimanolis stressed that the maritime passenger connection’s success resulted from collective efforts.
“As a result of our determination, the upgrading of the vessel by the company was achieved, and we hope that with the 3 + 3-year contract signed, the maritime passenger connection will be sustainable,” she said.
Hadjimanolis believes the public has embraced the ferry link as bookings are approaching capacity.
Larnaca Mayor Vyras stated that Larnaca has nothing to envy from any other city, expressing confidence the town will see significant investments.
Representing Scandro Holdings, the owners of the Daleela ferry, Konstantinos Michael, conveyed the firm’s commitment to implement their business plan responding to the increased demand.
Kition Ocean Holdings Ltd, the consortium awarded the contract for redeveloping Larnaca marina and port, said, “Bookings for the ferry connection are reaching full capacity.
“An indication of the desire of families, students and organised groups to travel by ship, to take their pets and vehicles to and from Piraeus”.
“Some 4,300 reservations have been made so far for the 16 trips from and to Larnaca, while 100 pets and more than 1,700 vehicles will also be transported”.
The total capacity of the ferry for 16 journeys is 4,600 people.
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 was €145.98, while the same cabin from Larnaca is €138.60.
The difference is attributed to lower taxes imposed at Larnaca port.
Prices for an airline seat from Limassol return cost €75.98; from Larnaca, the price is €68.60.
Transporting a car from Larnaca and back will cost €212.98 and €223.10 from 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 on October 8, 2001.
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 government offers a €5.5 mln annual subsidy to operate the regular ferry link.