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Posted by portugalpress on May 16, 2018

The ferry service that used to link Portimão and Funchal (Madeira) - suspended in 2012 - could resume as soon as next month.

The public tender that was launched attracted one bidder, Grupo Sousa, which will receive €3 million to run the ferry service if its bid is approved.

According to Madeiran newspaper Jornal da Madeira, the plan is to carry out two trips (departure and return) in June, eight in July, eight in August and six in September. The ferry is due to be in operation until at least 2020.

A round trip will cost around €60 although prices will vary depending on the “comfort that passengers desire”.

Pedro Calado, vice-president of Madeira’s regional government, has said that the bid is being analysed and that a final decision was due to be made before the end of this week.

The newspaper adds that the trip will take 27 hours as the ferry’s speed will be reduced.

One of the main concerns will be to ensure the ferry service is profitable. Indeed, it was due to “huge losses” that Naviera Armas pulled out of the previous ferry service that linked Portimão, Funchal and Las Palmas (Spain) between 2008 and 2012.

Meantime, spokesperson for Portimão town hall, Pedro Poucochinho, says the council is unaware of any concrete information regarding the service.

“We had heard that Portimão was being talked about as the destination for the ferry, and that negotiations were underway, but thus far we still do not have any confirmation,” he told the Resident.