The much anticipated ferry connection between Thessaloniki in northern Greece and Izmir in the west coast of Turkey is launched on Monday, October 10, 2022. Ferry “Smyrna di Levante” sets sail with six itineraries per week Thessaloniki-Izmir-Thessaloniki.
The one way trip, from Greece to Turkey lasts 12 hours.
The first route of the ship, which has been prepared for three years, started on Monday and the itineraries will double next year if everything goes well, CEO of Levante Ferries Efstratios Apergis said.
The ship has a protocol for 948 passengers, it carries 55 trucks or 315 passenger vehicles, he added.
Apergis noted that the trip on Monday, October 10, is a “virgin, more reconnaissance trip”, so in order to verify that all processes, e.g. passport controls and customs procedures, work flawlessly.
“On Wednesday, normal commercial traffic will begin,” he added noting that there is also the expectation of significant passenger traffic during the summer season.
It is an investment that has created 150 new jobs and it took 1,000,000 man hours to get the ship ready.
“It is a purely private initiative. It was a painful, difficult effort, it also happened during the coronavirus period when everything was more painful, but now it is a reality”, said the CEO stressed.
“For us it is a big bet, it has the particularity that it concerns a third country and not a European country, we are nevertheless ready to fight. The company is making the effort after a study it did, expecting it to be a viable option in the end. We expect that it serves needs, covers growth potential, and we hope that the line will also be accepted by the market so that it can grow even more the transport work that we carry,” Apergis underlined.
Itineraries scheduled per week:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday from Thessaloniki to Izmir
Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday from Izmir to Thessaloniki
The ferry departs at 7 p.m. and arrives to its destination at 7 a.m. the next day.
with the ship departing at seven in the afternoon and will sail to opposite port at seven in the morning the next day.