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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

News: Garajonay Express proposes ferry connection

Garajonay Express arriving in Valle Gran Rey in the good ol' days. 
Great news just in: The ferry line Garajonay Express which up to a few years ago covered the connection between the three La Gomera ports of Valle Gran Rey, Playa de Santiago, San Sebastian de La Gomera and then continued on to Los Cristianos on Tenerife wants to re-establish the same connection. This was announced today by the mayor of Valle Gran Rey, Miguel Angel Hernandez, who said that he has received a solid proposal by the same company which aims to sail the route twice daily seven days a week with a 250-passengers fast ferry.The company, according to well informed sources now with changes in shareholding, proposes a price for the journey from Valle Gran Rey to Los Cristianos of 33 Euros and from VGR to San Sebastian of just 12 Euros. These are presumably maximum prices without subsidies. No news as yet as to WHEN the service might begin - ALL here say: 'The sooner the better'. Keeping the fingers crossed I'll keep you posted...
+Update 30-10-13: 
The latest 'well informed rumours' say that a fast ferry boat for Garajonay Express is already on its way from Italy. 
+Update 31-10-13: 
The mayor of Valle Gran Rey has once again confirmed the proposal and has stated that all the company wants is the Canarian government's honouring of the 50% subsidy of prices for passengers resident in the Canaries and no harbour dues for the first three years of re-introducing  the service. He also said that the governments of La Gomera and of the Canary Islands should be up to date on the offer and that the Italian director of Garajonay Express had a meeting with officials of both authorities at the end of September already. 
Let's just hope this doesn't become a political football. The competing larger companies carry a lot of clout, too, and will undoubtedly lose some business if 'our' ferry runs again.
UPDATE 05-01-14:
The only news since my last update was that the company Garajonay Express have submitted their proposal for covering the service to the authorities together with a viability study. They have their (reasonable) pricing included and they have estimated that they would be employing 34 people. However the company is demanding that they'd be exempt from any harbour dues in the ports of Playa de Santiago and Valle Gran Rey for at least the first year of service. One of the shareholders in the  company, Hector Cabrera, was quoted as saying 'We have one ferry already available and can supply another' and once given the green light by the authorities it would only take a month to begin sailings. 
It appears that it all depends on the Canarian government now...

UPDATE March 27th, 2014:
President confirms subsidies for La Gomera ferry

UPDATE Dec. 17th, 2014:

10 comments :

Ut på tur said...

Let's hope that it will be realized

Willie said...

This time it really looks promising...

Anonymous said...

I wish they would announce the timetable for El Hierro in January. It is difficult to plan a holiday and book accommodation when you don't know what day the ferries are operating.

Lorraine

Willie said...

Keep checking the ferry companies' timetables. You'll find the links to their timetables in English on the sidebar of this blog.
Yeah, I wish they had a more definite schedule, but especially during the winter season they keep changing the departure rates and times. Tell them directly that this doesn't keep their customers happy !

Islandhopper said...

Hello, I have now been told, after contacting Fred Olsen several times since August, that the ferry to El Hierro will cease to operate after mid November. Very disappointing. It will affect tourism on the island.

I have heard about another possible ferry company? Does anyone know anything more please?

Thanks
Lorraine

Willie said...

Hi Lorraine,
there is a new ferry to El Hierro, indeed. However the timetables for all ferries are being revised now and you need to check the itineraries regularly. Do not book until
just befoore you intend to travel. I have opened a new page (right beside 'Home' with all the relevant links (most of them in English) called 'Travel + Transport. Keep checking and 'safe jouney!'.

Eva Lake said...

Ola, have you heard any more about the new Garajonay Express line? We're coming on 27th March and it would be brilliant if there were more ferry crossing time options. Bit optimistic, but hoping so!
Thanks
Eva

Willie La Gomera said...

No solid news yet, I'm afraid. As soon as there is any news, I will post it on this blog. We're keeping the fingers crossed....

Anonymous said...

Any update? Heading to La Gomera in 2 weeks

Willie La Gomera said...

Sorry no firm news yet - we're waiting and hoping.