The deputy ministry of shipping on Friday announced the launch of a tender process to bring back a ferry link between Cyprus and Greece, which will be subsidised by the state.
“Following the massive expression of support from the general public, a decision by the government has been taken to put into motion the process of re-establishing the ferry connection, which previously operated until the year 2000,” an official statement said.
The tender was approved by the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission in June 2020, which gave the green light for the provision of state funds for the project after deciding that the establishment of the ferry link constituted a service of general economic interest for both countries.
The state will subsidise the project for a period of 36 months and for a value of up to €5m per year.
“Cyprus as an island state and should not be dependent solely on air transport in its connection with continental Europe,” Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister Vassilios Demetriades said.
“The ferry link is expected to provide an alternative connectivity. Reinstating it will be hugely advantageous to the region as a whole, which is why a public subsidy has been granted.”
Operating between a port of Cyprus, either Limassol or Larnaca, and the port of Piraeus (Keratsini Terminal) in Greece, tenderers must provide a total of 31 return sailings each year.
As for the frequency, the plan is to provide one return sailing per week from May until September, one return sailing every two weeks from October until April and one return sailing per month from November until March.
The vessels will have to comply with various requirements which include the display of an EU/EEA flag appearing on a list of countries approved by the Paris memorandum of understanding, a minimum capacity of 200 passengers (and a cabin capacity of 140 in case the trip duration will be longer than 16 hours), and will have to comply with all international, community and national rules and regulations in respect of safety, security and environmental issues.
The deadline for tender submissions is January 29 at 12pm.
Source: Cyprus Mail