The Cesme-Lavrio ferry link will be inaugurated on Monday, at 17.00, at the port of Lavrio.
The ship, a ROPAX-type operated by Aegean Seaways, was built in 1989, is 191 meters long and has been certified by Lloyd's Register.
It has the capacity to transfer passengers, cars, trucks and containers. Due to the high capacity and height of its garage it can carry special-dimension freight trailers, while it also has a heliport. There are also cabins for passengers, a restaurant, a coffee shop, a gym, a playground and a casino.
The journey is expected to be seven hours long and to substantially reduce the travel time between Europe and Turkey for a large number of traveler and truck drivers. The ferry will depart from Cesme at 22:00 and arrive in Lavrio at 6:00 the following day and then sail from Lavrio at 22:00 and arrive at Cesme at 6:00 the next day.
The chairman of the Board of Directors at Aegean Seaways is Bülent Ipek, based in Istanbul, and the company is represented in Greece by STEFMAR Ltd., which operates as a shipping agency for shipping companies, offering chartering services for all types of ships and boats, headed by Stephanos Karakanis.
With the introduction of this line, the authorities of the two countries seek to reduce the traffic load at the border checkpoints of the two countries, while helping to develop economic relations.
In statements to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), he said that the aim was that the particular coastal line should be active not only during the summer but throughout the year.
"The proposal for the implementation of the project has come even before a similar proposal has been made by Hellenic Seaways for the interconnection of Thessaloniki with Mytilene and Izmir," he noted. As was pointed out, the initial plan for the coastal connection proposed Rafina as a port of exit and entry, but customs procedures were not appropriate and there was a space problem due to the accumulation of many shipping lines.
Referring to the line's philosophy, he pointed out that the aim was to serve a large number of trucks, passengers and tourists travelling from Europe to Turkey and vice versa.
The city of Lavrion, as well as Cesme, are upgraded as a result and will now become tourism and commercial centres, Karakanis said.