New ferry service launched between Thessaloniki, İzmir

Despite the growing tensions between Greece and Türkiye, the ports of Thessaloniki and İzmir were connected by ferry as of Oct. 12.

The maiden voyage was set from Thessaloniki to İzmir with "Smyrna di Levante," a vessel that is 160 meters in length and 23 meters in width and is owned by the Greek-based shipping company, Levante Ferries.

The ferry, with a capacity of 300 vehicles and 948 passengers, departed from the Greek port on Oct. 10 at 5 p.m. and docked at İzmir port on Oct. 11 at 8 a.m.

A total of 119 passengers, five vehicles, two lorries and a motorcycle were on the ferry.

The ferry will return to Thessaloniki at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

The voyages between the two countries are expected to take 13 hours, while the ticket prices start from 81 Euros per person, with a 10 percent discount for return tickets.

Thessaloniki Port's authorities set up facilities for required controls, as passengers and goods will need to go through customs control as Türkiye is not part of the Schengen zone.

With the voyages that bring the two sides of the Aegean together, it is aimed to gain profit in the fields of mutual trade and tourism.

Speaking at the ceremony held for the first voyage, Yusuf Karakaş, an official from the Trade Ministry, pointed out the importance of the line for the two countries.

"Considering that three trips per week will be made mutually, there will be vehicle traffic of over 93,000 and over 140,000 passengers a year. As there is an annual passage of over 400,000 at the western border crossing, even a single Ro-Ro expedition becomes a vital element," Karakaş said.

"Our goal is to be able to advance every dimension of trade at the highest level and reach the whole...

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