Sunday, October 20, 2013

Ferries Canaries '13: More Rumours, Rumblings, Runs.

Watching the  Fred. Olsen ferry from the Naviera Armas ferry in the  port
of San Sebastian de La Gomera a few days ago. Both ferries were full and
arrived almost at the same time in Los Cristianos causing tailbacks there.
Uncertainty about ferry routes and departure times seem to be an annual feature in autumn just before the peak season winter schedules are finally established. Now it has been announced that the ferry company 'Naviera Armas' is to introduce a new fast catamaran service on the route between Los Cristianos and El Hierro and according to some rumours this service is to stop-over at a harbour on La Gomera, possibly Valle Gran Rey. The council of the town have once again complained about the lack of a connection and called unanimously for the re-introduction of the so-called 'interior line' connecting the three main ports on La Gomera. According to some officials another  company wants to apply for a licence to connect Valle Gran Rey with a smaller boat capable of carrying about 80 passengers. A persistent and seemingly well-informed rumour meanwhile intimates the re-introduction of a  'type of Garajonay Express ferry service before Christmas'.
A further hot issue is the schedule of connections between Los Cristianos and San Sebastian de La Gomera, where often the sailings of the two companies arrive at the same time, leading to traffic congestion in Los Cristianos. Some sailings on the same route have been cancelled leaving less options for travellers especially at weekends, and meetings were held between officials and representatives of the ferry companies to improve the schedules which lead to some amendments having been made now. Keep checking  timetables regularly (see links on sidebar) if you intend to travel.
More rumours not worth mentioning here are doing the rounds and it remains to be seen what will emerge when reliable winter timetables and possible new routes have been established. If you don't need to book very soon it may be worth waiting until the last minute, but remember that all schedules remain subject to change anyway - and the same goes for the prices.
In the eastern Canary Islands the Fred.Olsen ferry line has promised to 'become market leader of ferry connections in the Canaries' by introducing a new connection between Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura with 22 weekly sailings between the two islands. The port of Corralejo on Fuerteventura will to connect to Lanzarote with 80 weekly sailings. Before we applaud too enthusiastically, let's bear in mind that the Canarian government has approved subsidies for inter-island travel services provided to residents by the Fred.Olsen ferry line to the tune of nearly 2.5 million Euros for the first three month of 2013 alone. 
Great and well done - but can we have a very small slice of that cake in Valle Gran Rey, Señores, pliiiiisssss ?!

Update: NEW ferry connection proposed.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Love your blog. Makes me wish I was back in La Gomera