Cyprus-Greece ferry makes first trip from Limassol to Piraeus-Athens

   May 31, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

On Wednesday, May 31st, the Cyprus-Greece ferry route was reopened with a departure from Limassol to Piraeus-Athens, and a total of 156 passengers.

To celebrate this occasion, Marina Hatzimanoli (Cyprus Deputy Minister of Shipping), Nikos Nicolaides (Limassol Mayor), executives from Scandro Holdings, and other partners joined the Ro-Pax ship/car and passenger ferry Daleela (1991-built, IMO 9001306) on Tuesday, May 30th.

During the event, Hatzimanoli emphasized the ferry's significance to the ministry and expressed confidence in its success for the upcoming season, as evidenced by the 7000 reservations already made.

Nicolaides expressed his hopes for surpassing last year's operation success and recounted his experience as a passenger on the ferry's inaugural voyage a year ago.

The revived Cyprus-Greece ferry commenced its operations in mid-June 2022 and concluded its last trip for the previous season in September 2022. Throughout this period, the MV Daleela completed 22 roundtrips, accommodating 7,162 passengers, 2,250 vehicles and motorcycles, as well as ~200 pets.

Considering feedback from the previous year, Scandro Holding announced that the vessel would offer improved services to enhance the passenger experience. Onboard amenities include a restaurant, cafeteria, clinic, 38 first-class cabins (for 110 passengers), 68 second-class cabins, 110 outdoor seats, and the capacity to accommodate up to 100 vehicles.

The reintroduction of the ferry link required special permission from the European Union, allowing the government to subsidize the route, which would otherwise be economically unviable. To secure interest from ship owners to operate the regular ferry link between Limassol and Piraeus, the government offered an annual subsidy of EUR 5.5 million.

In response to traveler requests, Scandro Holding Ltd, in addition to the port of Limassol, included the Larnaca port in this year's itinerary. Larnaca Mayor Andreas Vyras mentioned that port operators Kition Ocean and ferry operators Scandro Holding have agreed to include Larnaca.

The ferry service to Greece will depart from Limassol port starting on May 31, when the link resumes, until the end of July. From August onwards, Port Larnaca will take over, and voyages will be conducted until September 1st. Vyras highlighted that Larnaca's convenient location for island-wide connections and its excellent facilities make it an ideal addition to the itinerary.

The decision to include Larnaca port has pleased local tourism stakeholders, invigorating the ongoing revitalization of Port Larnaca and boosting tourist arrivals from Greece. Previously, when the ferry link was reinstated after 21 years, Larnaca expressed dissatisfaction with the authorities' decision to only include trips from Limassol.

It is estimated that the journey from Larnaca to Piraeus takes an additional two hours compared to the 30-hour trip from Limassol port.