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Monday, May 22, 2017

New ferry soon a reality

Parts of the hull of the new 'Benchi Express' under construction. Image taken some time ago. Source: Juan Carlos Diaz Lorenzo
The reopening if the so-called interior ferry line between the ports of Valle Gran Rey, Playa de Santiago and San Sebastian de La Gomera will soon become reality as the purpose built ferry ordered by the Fred. Olsen ferry company is nearing completion at a shipyard in Barcelona. The new catamaran type vessel will have a capacity of 250 passengers and is estimated to cost around three million Euros. It has been announced that the purpose-built vessel will be able to dock very rapidly with a new automated mooring system and the help of floating jetties which the company will install in the three ports in La Gomera. The new ferry will not sail to Tenerife, but its sailings will be timed to connect with the large Fred. Olsen ferry to Los Cristianos in Tenerife with three voyages in both directions per day . As a further cost-cutting measure tickets will be sold online and through special vending machines in Valle Gran Rey and Playa de Santiago and these will also give up to date information on sea and weather conditions and real-time arrival and departure times. The new vessel will have a cafeteria and will be baptised 'Benchi Express', same as its predecessor a few years ago which however had only been chartered for a few years by the Olsen company. It is hoped that the vessel will come into service in July of this year. Hoorrrrraaaay !!!
Read more about the interior ferry line and its history (click).
+UPDATE: New ferry...  (click)

2 comments :

NIgel Stuart North said...

This is fantastic news, if only it is true.

Why then did F.O.Company, I wonder, only three days ago say to me in my customer service inquiry to them that they had no plans to introduce such a service?

Here is their email to me:

Dear customer

We haven´t got any plan to re-star with this route at this moment.

Regards

Atentamente

En caso de cualquier aclaración no dude en contactar con nosotros, nuestro horario de atención al cliente es de 08:00h a 20:00h de lunes a domingo.
Dpto. de Reservas
Tlf: 902 100 107
Email: reservas@fredolsen.es

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Regards...Stuart North in Playa de Santiago - 25 May 2017

La Gomera said...

Well, well, well, baffling isn't it ?
Could it be a case of incompetence or just plain ignorance ???
The company has been looking for staff for this line.
The reply to you appears to be from their 'reservas' department and
''at this moment'' (quote) the staff there might not be aware of what
the plan is for the near future. This often happens in Spain.
Last time the 'Benchi' came it was the same situation: You couldn't
get any reliable information from F. Olsen until just shortly before
the service began.
We'll find out this summer.
Keep the fingers crossed...