A new ferry service that will connect Thessaloniki in northern Greece with Izmir in Turkey, with a stopover at Lesvos’ port, is expected to begin in the second fortnight of September2022! According to a report by Greek news site www.grtimes.gr, the new ferry service will launch by Levante Ferries’ with its “Smyrna di Levante” ship will begin towards the end of September. The ferry will connect Thessaloniki with Izmir three times a week, carrying both passengers and freight vehicles. The route will include a stopover in Mytilene, Lesvos, until October 2.
Established in 2015, Levante Ferries mainly serves the Ionian Islands but sees the Thessaloniki – Izmir route as an opportunity to expand its services abroad. The company has invested 16 million EUR in the new route. According to reports, the new route has been delayed for several reasons such the Covid-19 pandemic which stood as an obstacle in the remodeling process of the “Smyrna di Levante” ship. Other reasons included technical issues such as the handling of passenger and freight traffic at the port of Alsancak in Izmir, and efforts to reduce high port fees. Reports also said that the Thessaloniki Port Authority is currently making necessary arrangements in order for the Greek city’s port to be ready to receive Levante Ferries’ passengers and cargo from September. The “Smyrna di Levante” ship is 160m; can carry 930 passengers and 55 vehicles; and includes 41 four-bed cabins with private bathroom, six double cabins with private bathroom, 18 double cabins with shared bathroom, two four-bed cabins for the disabled and six two-passenger suites. The ship can travel at a maximum speed of 19 knots. The Thessaloniki – Izmir journey is estimated lasting 12-13 hours. The latest information indicates that in addition to the prospects opened up in the tourism sector, the routing of the ship is expected to contribute decisively to the transport of goods, reducing the queue of trucks, delays and suffering at the Greek-Turkish borders.
The first route will take place on Monday (10/10) for Izmir and the regular routes are as follows:
- Thessaloniki – Izmir: every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
- Izmir - Thessaloniki: every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday
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