Ferry firms arguing over popular routes


While residents of Samothraki and Kythira as well as several other islands in the Aegean Sea fear another problem may deprive them of maritime transportation this year – following similar experiences in recent years – coastal shipping companies are striving to offer more vessels on the popular routes to the Cyclades and Crete.

Ferry operators are now at odds over the day-trip service from Iraklio to Santorini and Mykonos, which is served by high-speed vessels carrying thousands of tourists for one-day visits. According to sources, some operators with a presence on these routes are pressing for the approval of new vessels on the Crete-Cyclades service, after the deadline too, rival ferry firms say.

With Santorini suffering from overcrowding at peak season, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development proposing the introduction of tickets to visit Oia – a Santorini village famed for its sunset views – it would appear strange for the ferry operators concerned to claim there is an urgent need to introduce new high-speed vessels on those routes after the deadline set by the the state. The Shipping Ministry says there are gray areas on the subject.