The MV “Smyrna di Levante” will begin services at 5pm on Monday and connect Thessaloniki and Izmir transporting both passengers and freight vehicles.
“Following long-term planning, with patience and perseverance, with negotiations and collaborations, with will and passion, a great vision of Levante Ferries is being realized. The sea link between Thessaloniki and Smyrna is a fact,” the company said in a statement.
Levante Ferries goes on to add that it aims through the service to promote the mutual commercial interests of Greece and Turkey, strengthen ties between the two countries and “connect Europe and Asia serving passengers and cargo to Europe, the Balkans and vice versa”.
Sailing under a Greek flag, the 160-meter-long MV “Smyrna di Levante” can transport 948 passengers as well as 80 12-meter trucks and 58 16-meter trucks or 430 cars. It can travel at a speed of 19 knots.
Established in 2015, Levante Ferries mainly serves the Ionian islands but considers the Thessaloniki – Izmir route as an opportunity to expand its services abroad. According to previous media reports, the company has invested 16 million euros in the ferry and the route.
The Thessaloniki – Izmir journey is set to last 12-13 hours.