Cruiseferry line Libya-Tunisia launched for the first time in 11+ years

   February 13, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

A cruise line serving the Libya-Tunisia route was launched for the first time in 11+ years.

In a statement on Sunday, Libya's Ministry of Transport said the line's launch ceremony was attended by Mohamed al-Shuhubi (Transport Minister), al-Asad al-Ajli (Tunisian Ambassador to Libya), and a number of senior Libyan officials.

In the future, efforts will be made to launch several cruise routes from Libya to ports in neighboring countries, the statement adds.

According to Ala al-Sokni, director of the Tripoli marine passenger station, the Libyans had been waiting for the line's launch more than a decade. The first voyage would be from Tripoli (Libya's capital) to Zarzis (Tunisia) and they were also working to launch routes that include ports in Egypt, Malta (Valletta), and Morocco.

In December 2021 was inaugurated/launched the first Libya-Turkey cruise route (Misrata-Izmir). The Libyan government's initiative aimed at promoting the partnership between the public and private sectors of both countries and boosting the tourism industry.

In March 2022 was announced a plan for a new Libya-Turkey cruise route to include Misrata and Turkey's Cyprus (probably Famagusta).

In May 2022 was launched the cruiseferry route Misrata-Istanbul (by Karanfil Grup) served by the 1972-built cruiseferry KEVALAY QUEEN (IMO 7205910, Libya-flagged/MMSI 642122129). The route initially called at Izmir but it was soon replaced with Istanbul. The line is a partnership between Kavelay Turizm and Libya Iron & Steel Company. KEVALAY QUEEN has capacity to carry 900 passengers, 400 cars and ~1700 tons of cargo.

The Misrata-Istanbul cruise takes 2-3 days, and most of the customers are businesses that actually transport cargo, and mainly imports from Turkey.