Cyprus has launched a tender process to reinstate a passenger ferry link between Cyprus and Greece, subsidised by State funds.
Following an expression of support from the general public, a policy decision by the Cyprus Government was taken to put into motion the process of re-establishing the ferry connection, which previously operated until 2000.
Tender No. 13/2020 was launched by the Cypriot Shipping Deputy Ministry following approval by the EC’s Directorate General for Competition in June, 2020, which gave the green light for national funds to be provided on the basis that ferry services between Cyprus and Greece constituted a Service of General Economic Interest (SGEI).
The venture will be subsidised to the value of up to €5 mill per year, for the 36-month contract.
Vassilios Demetriades, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister (pictured), said: “Cyprus, as an island state, should not be dependant solely on air transport in its connection with Continental Europe. The maritime passenger link is expected to provide alternative connectivity. Reinstating this ferry link between Cyprus and Greece will be hugely advantageous to the region as a whole, which is why a public subsidy has been granted.”
Operating between either Limassol or Larnaca and Keratsini Terminal in Piraeus in Greece, interests must provide 31 return sailings each year as follows: for the months May to September one return sailing per week, for the months October and April one return sailing every two weeks and for the months November to March one return sailing per month.
The ropax to be used must also comply with various requirements, which include the flying of an EU/EEA flag appearing on the Paris MOU White List, a minimum capacity of 200 pax (cabin capacity of 140 in case the trip duration will be longer than 16 hours), and must comply with all international, community and national rules and regulations in respect of safety, security, and environmental issues – at all times.
The deadline for tender submissions is 29th January 2021.