Cyprus’s deputy maritime transport ministry said on Wednesday that Cyprus is seeking bidders to relaunch its ferry line to Greece.
The ferry service was interrupted more than two decades ago, and several campaigns to relaunch the ferry have succeeded without success.
The Cypriot government plans to offer a grant of 5.5 million euros ($ 6.25 million) in a contract that will run for three years, with the possibility of an extension.
A ferry ride takes around 16 hours between Cyprus and Greece, for 50 euros ($ 57) one way and 80 euros ($ 91) for a return trip. This price is double the cost of the cheapest flight from Cyprus to Greece, which costs 20 euros ($ 23) and only takes an hour and 40 minutes.
If the bidding process is successful, the ferry will operate on a weekly basis during the months of April, May, September and October.
Deputy Minister of the Navy Vassilios Demetriades said that âthe relaunch of the ferry connection will help us to continue to develop our relations with the rest of the Mediterranean and we welcome the opportunity to extend the ferry connection to a third neighboring country beyond Greece as well â.
On the curious omission of the summer season from the proposed ferry schedule, Demetriades said there was a possibility that it could be added to the route of the line:
“We also recognize that there will be higher demand during the summer season and therefore will consider a seasonal ferry connection to encourage a wider range of applicants for this tender,” he said. .
The deadline for interested parties to submit their offers is January 28, 2022 at 12 noon.
The only seasonal Cyprus route could finally bring the ferry line back
The European Union had approved a new tendering process for a seasonal rather than all-year ferry in May 2021.
Demetriades told reporters at the time that meetings with shipping line officials revealed that having to establish a year-round ferry connection – instead of a seasonal one – was one of the main deterrents. companies to submit bids.
The company DG Competition has approved the modification of the offer, after consultation with the Cypriot deputy minister, according to Demetriades.
âThe change in the nature of the connection to a seasonal connection can give us more options, as it gives companies the possibility of using their vessel for other routes during the winter period, while our fellow citizens will benefit from the service in been when there is demand â, explained Demetriades.
Demetriades, however, was cautious when asked about the success of the eventual effort and whether or not an entity would commit to taking over the seasonal ferry service.
“A step has been taken without guaranteeing the slightest success of the new call for tenders,” he told reporters.