A ferry route connecting the Greek northern port city of Thessaloniki with Izmir in Turkey is expected to be inaugurated in July 2022, Shipping Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis revealed on Tuesday, June 28.
Speaking during a visit to the port city, Plakiotakis said the route would be operated via Mytilene (Lesbos Island) and referred to Thessaloniki Port Authority and the company operating the ferry service for more details.
The idea for the new route was part of a number of proposals discussed between Greek and Turkish officials last year to promote low-level cooperation between the countries.
Izmir is a major seaport and Turkey's 3rd most populous city (following Istanbul and Ankara (the country's capital)) with a population of over 3 million (metro around 4,3 million). Approx 50 km (31 mi) to the south is the world's 4th-largest shipbreaking facility - Aliaga.
Thessaloniki is an Aegean Sea cruise port and among Greece's biggest cities, with a population of around 325,000 (metro over 1 million). It is also the commercial center and principal seaport of Greek Macedonia. The city is Greece's second major political, industrial, commercial and economic center (after the capital Athens), as well as an important transportation hub in Southeastern Europe. The city is also renowned for its annual cultural events and festivals, considered Greece's cultural capital. Annual events held here are International Trade Fair, Song Festival, International Film Festival.