Porto Santo ferry returns

Lobo Marinho is back at the month’s end

Porto Santo ferry in Canical
Work on the Porto Santo ferry has been taking place at the Port of Caniçal since the 4th of January.

Just over a month. This was the time needed to carry out the usual inspection and general review work on the Lobo Marinho, according to a lengthy article in the Diario. The Porto Santo ferry, which arrived at the Port of Caniçal on January 4th, will therefore be ‘navigable’ within the forecast calculated by the shipowner, that is, five weeks.

Therefore, the company confirms the return of the maritime connection between the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo for the  9th of February (Friday), at the usual times: departure for Ilha Dourada at 7:00 pm and return to Funchal at 10:30 pm. Trips can now be purchased on the Porto Santo Line (PSL) website .

A general cleaning of the Porto Santo ferry will follow, as the Lobo Marinho “has been heavily repaired” so that everything is ready for the return on the 9th of February.

The cost of this annual operation merited a financial effort on the part of Porto Santo Line in the order of €1.1 million, in an intervention that involved 109 professionals distributed across 12 companies in Madeira, 5 in mainland Portugal and 9 international companies (Denmark, Netherlands, Spain and Germany).

Everything went well. The last sea test will be carried out on Monday, February 5th, because it is one thing to carry out tests with the ship immobilized, in Caniçal, and another thing to take the ship out.

Carlos Perdigão Santos, executive administrator of PSL

The main interventions for the Porto Santo ferry in 2024.

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“Passenger comfort” was taken into account during this period of stoppage.

“The works that will be most visible to passengers include the change of chairs in the ‘Desertas’ lounge – which were all rehabilitated and upholstered – the flooring of the self-service area and the necessary corrections, all the ‘Bugio’ furniture, such as sofas and chairs, or the carpet in the First Class lounge itself, which was also replaced. Changes that essentially concern “passenger comfort”. This is in addition to the painting of the ferry itself”.

“Furthermore, we can also observe, in the security component, revisions to fire detection systems, electrical generators and means of communication. We also add, in this chapter, the means of salvation, such as whaleboats and boats that were sent to the continent. Fundamental work so that the Porto Santo ferry once again received the appropriate international certificates to sail again”.

Rates will be updated

As usual, the price of travel is updated again according to inflation, that is, based on the Consumer Price Index (IPC) – without taking into account the price of housing – which reached, in 2023, 4 .95%.

This is, basically, the indicator that makes it possible to measure the evolution, over time, of the prices of a set of goods and services and is one of the items included in the concession contract. The Porto Santo Line will thus end up reflecting the fare increase in 2024, but below that value, that is, the increase will be 4.93%.

Therefore, a round trip on the Porto Santo ferry, in tourist class, will cost €67.54 between April and September and €55.22 in the period between October and March.

This is without counting the discount on the Social Mobility Subsidy (SSM), in the order of €25, thus making it “much cheaper” for residents who want to travel between the two islands.

Plane occupancy was below 2023

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Binter provides inter-island air links.

Similar to the policy adopted over the last few years, the maritime transport company once again took the unilateral initiative, as it is not contractually obliged to do so, to provide daily transportation for 50 residents in Porto Santo, by air, which they would only have to pay €10.70 to travel between the two islands.

Throughout the period of absence of the Porto Santo ferry’ PSL made 2,100 plane seats available to residents of Ilha Dourada. And the numbers were below last year.

According to data provided by Carlos Perdigão Santos, the occupancy rate of the Binter aircraft in the absence of the Porto Santo ferry was 75%. In 2023 the percentage was around 90%. This means that 25% of plane trips – or available seats – remained unsold.

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Porto Santo ferry returns 9

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Porto Santo ferry returns 9

A new, vastly improved “search” facility has been introduced allowing readers to search (box in the sidebar above) on any word or phrase used in any of the posts over the last sixteen years. Previously the search facility only returned matches on headings rather than the entire content. It remains to be seen whether this will slow the blog down – fingers crossed! If it works it should move the blog even further ahead of the increasing number of imitators, providing a huge resource for visitors and residents.

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