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Friday, October 27, 2017

Update on the new ferry connections

So now that I've had the pleasure of travelling on the Armas car ferry to Valle Gran Rey, which took just over thirty minutes to get from San Sebastian de La Gomera to Valle Gran Rey, let me tell you that all here in VGR are delighted and the lorry drivers of the the regular delivery services are most happy that they now can have a cup of coffee aboard the ferry instead of driving for up to two hours through the mountains and the national park on narrow winding roads. The HSC Alboran has been refurbished in recent times and all services are of a high standard. The food and drink on offer aboard is of good quality and very competitively priced.
The passenger ferry Benchi Express, which so far has only been running two return sailings daily, has proven a success, too, and over 8.000 passengers have travelled on it in the first few weeks. About two thirds of this number have been locals and the remainder tourists. The Fred. Olsen company has announced that from next week the service which connects the ports of San Sebastian de La Gomera, Playa de Santiago and Valle Gran Rey will begin its winter schedule with three return sailings daily.
Cars bound for VGR boarding in San Seb. de L.G.
The high-speed car ferry Alboran which will connect San Sebastian de L.G. and V.G.R. with Los Cristianos on Tenerife is still in the initial phase of operation and schedules are only issued for the week ahead. Some adjustments have to be made to the docking ramp in San Seb. and some sailings involve changing from the vessel Volcan de Taburiente to the Alboran there, but soon all trips will be direct which will make this the fastest connection from Tenerife to Valle Gran Rey ever.
And now there's a 'well-informed' rumour that the Fred. Olsen company will also bring a high-speed car ferry to Valle Gran Rey. I'll keep you posted...

NOTE: Both ferry services are still frequently adjusting schedules and may experience some 'teething problems', so it is advisable to keep checking their websites before travelling. It is best to book your trip just before intending to travel, or at the port offices prior to departure - until the dust has settled.
HSC Alboran in San Sebastian de La Gomera 

4 comments :

mooiweervandaag said...

I am surprised. For a couple of days I followed the Alborán on Marinetraffic. It was a direct ferry LC-VGR without any stop between the 2 harbours.

But as you said, schedule is changing frequently.

Kind regards
Bernd

mooiweervandaag said...

This morning (9.11.17) at 6am I started my first trip with the Alborán from VGR to SS with high expectations. It took 50 minutes until we could leave the ship at SS. Compared with the Volcan de Taburiente the food was pretty disappointing. Only fast food like sweeties and pretty boring looking cakes from the fridge. No freshly prepared breakfast like on the Volcan de Taburiente. The trip probably is too short to offer a complete warm English breakfast. Armas also replaced their high quality coffee machines by fast coffee machines (Nespresso).

Kind regards
Bernd

La Gomera said...

You're quite right there but, as I said, there are some 'teething problems'. The
ferry only spends about 30 mins. at sea between the two ports, but mooring,
getting on and off, etc always takes a bit longer, obviously.
The food for 30-35 mins. at sea is now matching demand, i.e very little initially.
Wait a couple of months or more until the proper vessel to serve this connection (Volcan de Teno) has arrived and you're bound to see improvements.
Anyway the catering to me appears better than on most airlines, and similar
to the Fred. Olsen ferry line, but less expensive :-)

La Gomera said...

...forgot to tell you that they have the regular 'Spanish' coffee machine AND the
'Nespisso' one. I nearly stepped into the globalised trap myself, but just managed to
get the proper 'local' cortado aboard the Alboran for 75 cents from the other machine and it was good Canarian coffee.