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    The route that connects the Canary Islands to the Madeira archipelago and the Iberian Peninsula will continue after the holiday season, following its enormous success and adherence of passengers. The service, started on June 13, has been used by 14.000 passengers.
    Naviera Armas is considering the incorporation of a new ferry - one of the two currently under construction - on this connection between Canary Islands and the ports of Funchal and Portimão, on the South of Portugal. It’s also under consideration the possibility of duplicating the frequency of travels, so that, starting on May, it will have two weekly travels.
    The two ships currently under construction at the Barreras shipyards, in Vigo, have 185 meters of length and may travel at a speed of 26 knots. Both may carry up to 1500 passengers (600 in cabins) and have 2500 linear meters for cargo and vehicles, amongst other innovative characteristics.
    Naviera Armas made its first experience in long-distance routes three years ago, with the connection between Canary Islands and Madeira. The route had 4.000 passengers on its first year and 10.000 on the second. This summer, and for the first time, the company launched the route between Canary Islands and the Iberian Peninsula, with a stop in Madeira. The results exceeded expectations, with 14.000 passengers so far.
    There was a great adherence in Canary Islands, but the success of the route was essentially due to Madeira. The Madeiran passengers had, for the first time in their history, a connection to the mainland by sea, with the added advantage of being able to travel to mainland Portugal with their vehicles.
    The adherence to this project has already crossed borders, as noticeable by the increase on the number of passengers and tourists from the mainland and Northern Europe travelling to Madeira and to the Canary Islands from Portimão’s harbour.
    Naviera Armas has already informed the Madeira’s Regional Government and the Portuguese Government that it wishes to continue this maritime route. Conceição Estudante, Madeira’s Regional Government’s Secretary for Tourism and Transportation, was very enthusiastic on this subject and considers the continuity of the route between the two archipelagos and the Iberian Peninsula as a great opportunity both for Madeira and the Canary Islands. Madeira’s Regional Government is expected to give full administrative support to this project.
    The same has also been stated by the Councillors for Public Works, Transportation and Tourism of the Canary Islands’ Government, Juan Ramón Hernández and Rita Martín, respectively.
    The new connection with the Iberian Peninsula is currently secured by the ferry “Volcán de Tijarafe”, which has only been operating for three months. The ship starts its journey every Friday from the Canary Islands and stops in Funchal on Saturday morning, arriving at Portimão on Sunday’s early hours. Portimão is located in the Algarve (Portugal) and is one of the most touristic areas of Southern Europe.

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