Travel || A boat link connecting Faro to Tangier, Morocco, could be launching soon.
National media reports that the project is already under discussion with Portuguese and Moroccan authorities well into logistics.
Besides making it easier to travel between the two locations, the idea is seen as an opportunity for synergies.
“It is very important that there is a direct link between the Algarve and the north of Morocco, because we are close neighbours and have a very rich and similar cultural history,” Moroccan ambassador Karima Benyaïch told Lusa news agency, after a meeting with local authorities in Faro last week.
José Pedro Soares from the Administration of Sines and Algarve Ports (APS) has also admitted there is great interest in the project and said its “feasibility” is being analysed.
It is reported that a Moroccan operator, which runs boat links between Tarifa and Algeciras in Spain to Tangier, is keen to get involved. A group of Moroccan officials met with local entities, including the University of the Algarve, last week.
What’s known for sure is that the port will have to undergo at least some construction work to make the link possible.
According to Faro mayor Rogério Bacalhau, the bulk of the work includes “improving conditions for passengers” and “building a ramp for the ship to dock”.
If the project moves forwards, it will be the second time that Faro and Tangier are connected by sea.
In the early 90s, a ferryboat connected the two towns, but it was scrapped two years later because the trip took too long.
“For this new link to be profitable, it cannot take more than four or five hours,” Bacalhau told Lusa, adding that the links will have to be “fast and attractive”.
By MICHAEL BRUXO