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Faro to introduce Boat Link to Tangier

Faro Airport News

Faro to introduce Boat Link to Tangier
May 18, 2015
Holidaymakers are used to exploring Portugal's beautiful Algarve coast with car rental from Faro Airport and occasionally cross over into neighbouring Spain for day trips by coach or train, but a new boat link from Faro may soon also present the delights of Morocco for them.

According to media reports, Portuguese and Moroccan authorities are already busy discussing logistics for a boat link between Faro and Tangier. Such collaboration would have advantages for the tourism of both countries.

"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,” explained Moroccan ambassador Karima Benyaïch in an interview with Lusa news agency, after having met with with local authorities in Faro.

To make such a boat link possible, Faro Port will have to receive improved infrastructure, but a Moroccan operators already running boat links between Tarifa and Algericas in Spain to Tangier in Morocco is keen to get started. Faro's mayor Rogério Bacalhau said that the majority of works revolved around better facilities for passengers and "building a ramp for the ship to dock".

At present though, so José Pedro Soares from the Administration of Sines and Algarve Ports (APS) explained, feasibility studies are still being analysed. A similar ferry link launched in the 1990s failed because passengers complained that the voyage took too long. After two years of unprofitable operations, the ferry link from Faro to Tangier was axed.

Faro's mayor added that for the new boat link to be profitable, the voyage could not take longer than four or five hours. The challenge ahead was to make the boat link "fast and attractive".

Given that car rental at Faro Airport can cost as little as £7.00 per day and that some operators currently offer a full week's car hire for the price of 5 days, any boat operator will have their work cut out to compete with the vastly greater opportunities and freedom of travel tourists have, when renting a car at Faro Airport to explore the Algarve and its neighbouring countries.
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