People of Thessaloniki will be able to travel by boat to the Turkish coasts of the Aegean, but will not be able to do that for a great number of Greek destinations such as Crete, Dodekanisa and Kyklades.
For another summer, the second biggest port of the country stays without connections for major places of tourist interest, as no company is interested in putting a ship on this route. In June, there will be three ships with destinations to the islands of the north Aegean and Sporades.
For the time being, only ”Theofilos” will embark from Thessaloniki’s port with Limnos, Mitilini, Chios and Samos as its destination. The itinerary is once a week and travelers can reach the last port, Samos, after 24 hours of travel. During the summer period, ”Theofilos” will travel only to Mitilini whereas passengers for the other islands will be served by the very old European Express. Another boat, ”Alkioni,” will goto Sporades. The latter will have itinerary three times a week, with the other two serving travelers only once.
The reason behind this desicion of the shipping companies is that they don’t consider Thessaloniki a profitable market, since it doesn’t have many tourists, especially from the Balkan countries. To add to this problem, even the few itineraries which exist are done with very old ships, something that reduces passengers even more. Travel agents claim that the problem is bigger than just increasing the ships because what also matters is the credibility and the speed of the ship.