Benchi Express service returns to La Gomera to link all three ports
A new ferry service linking the three main ports of La Gomera has been hailed as a major boost for the island.
The shipping company Fred Olsen is operating the catamaran “Benchi Express” between San Sebastian, Playa de Santiago and Valle Gran Rey three times a day.
Attending its launch, President of the Canary Islands Government, Fernando Clavijo said: “This new line recovers a fundamental service for the economic and social develop-ment of La Gomera.”
Also present were the vice president and Minister of Public Works and Transport of the Government of the Canary Islands, Pablo Rodríguez; the president of the Cabildo of La Gomera, Casimiro Curbelo; the director general of Fred Olsen, Andrés Marín; and the Mayor of Valle Gran Rey, Ángel Piñero.
The service used to operate on La Gomera but was suspended in 2012. It will now provide a regular service every day of the week with a frequency of three trips a day.
“It is a fundamental service for economic development, social and tourism of La Gomera, since it facilitates the connections between the capital and the enclaves of the south of the island,” said the Canary president.
Sr. Clavijo stressed the importance of enhancing internal maritime communi-cations wherever possible and technically feasible.
“In the case of La Gomera, which has a complicated orography, this line is neces-sary to shorten the times of travel and greater effectiveness in communications,” he said.
Sr. Curbelo said it was a new axis of communication vital for the social and economic development of the island.
“It will allow us to return to a form of interior mobility that from its beginnings has had a positive repercussion for the tourism sector,” he said.
Sr. Curbelo also referred to territorial cohesion and the application of a 75 per cent discount for residents on this new line as two steps “unavoi-dable for an archipelago that must overcome the barriers of insularity.”
Fred Olsen’s CEO, Andrés Marín, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to the island and assured that the effort that has been made will make La Gomera and its residents better connected.
He thanked the efforts of all those who have made it possible for La Gomera to have this interior line. “We have all worked together to ensure that this line remains and represents an economic and social advance for the island,” he added.
The Mayor of Valle Gran Rey, Angel Piñero, congratulated Fred Olsen and thanked the commitment that the company has demonstrated to the island.
The interior maritime line of La Gomera requires a boat with specific technical characteristics to make the crossing and maneuvres in the best conditions of navigation. The Benchi Express boat, with capacity for 250 passengers, adapts to these required conditions.
The service provided by the interior line of La Gomera will have an affordable cost for Canary Islands residents, taking into account the increase of the subsidy up to 75 per cent. Thus the minimum fair for the longest journey long, which runs between Valle Gran Rey and San Sebastián de La Gomera, is 2.50 euros, and the shortest route only 2 euros. The Benchi Express can also carry bicycles and motorcycles.
The new line will cover the seven days of the week, with a frequency of three daily trips, the routes: Valle Gran Rey-Playa de Santiago (41 minutes), San Sebastián de La Gomera-Playa de Santiago and Playa de Santiago-Valle Gran Rey (31 minutes). The first departure will be at 6am hours from Valle Gran Rey and the last at 5pm, with some variations in the summer and winter seasons.
More information in English on www.fredolsen.es/en/fred-olsen-experience/fleet/benchi-express