Latvia-Estonia ferry link could be revived

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The municipal authorities on the Estonian island of Saaremaa have launched a tender to run a ferry service between the island and the Latvian port of Ventspils, reported ERR News.

Applicants will be able to submit their applications until 29 July with the tender calling for a vessel operating between Mõntu at the south of the picturesque island, and Ventspils. The ferry will need to accommodate at least 100 passengers and 25 cars on a journey lasting under four and a half hours.

The municipality plans to provide regular ferry services between at least 1 June and 31 August for a five-year period to boost tourism and other forms of economic cooperation, with at least three trips each week.

Ferry services on the same route operated between 2005 and 2008 and several previous attempts have been made to restore the service, though without success.

The service would be eligible for a municipal subsidy, though the level of such financing has yet to be agreed according to comments attributed to Saaremaa Deputy Mayor Marili Niits by ERR.

However, an earlier report on the viability of the service indicated that the relaunch of a Mõntu-Ventspils ferry route could require around €900,000 over three years, ERR News said.

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