It is hoped to renew ferry traffic between Ventspils and Saaremaa Island in the season of 2019
On June 13, the delegacy of Saaremaa municipality and mayor Madis Kallas arrived in Ventspils Freeport Authority to discuss the progress made in restoring the ferry traffic and to agree on the further actions with the representatives of Ventspils municipality and Freeport. Both sides are willing to restore ferry service in the 2019 tourism season.
The mayor of Saaremaa municipality, Madis Kallas visited Ventspils for the first time and he acknowledges that ferry service between Ventspils and Saaremaa is very important not only for the municipality of Saaremaa but also for the whole country. ‚ÄúIt is a question of honour and also a very significant aspect in developing regional tourism,‚ÄĚ said the representatives of Saaremaa. The administration of Ventspils Freeport Authority and the 1st Deputy Chairman of Ventspils City Council JńĀnis VńętoliŇÜŇ° met the head of the Saaremaa city council and the representatives of the Mintu port in Ventspils.
The main problem to be resolved so that the line could work is to find a ferry that is suitable for the line. It was the main focus of the meeting. Both sides agreed that the earliest when a ferry service can theoretically be renewed is in May 2019 which is the beginning of the next tourism season. It was also decided to continue working towards this goal in the Saaremaa-Ventspils working group.
Even though it has already been almost ten years since the line Ventspils-Mintu has been closed, people in Estonia and Latvia still remember it and the representatives of municipalities have received questions from local inhabitants on the possible renewal of line multiple times.
Ferry in line Ventspils-Mintu cruised from 2005 till 2008. During this time almost 60000 passengers in total had travelled with 300-seated ferry Scania. After the economic crisis in 2008 SCC Ferries, the daughter enterprise of Saaremaa Laevakompanii decided to close the line. After closing the line Ventspils Freeport Authority in cooperation with Saaremaa municipality tried multiple times to renew the ferry service but it was unsuccessfully because none of the ferry companies were interested enough, despite the EU co-funding for the possible renewal of the line.