People, Travel

Oman to Expand Ferry Services to Bandar Abbas

Oman to Expand Ferry Services to Bandar AbbasOman to Expand Ferry Services to Bandar Abbas

Following the launch of the first shipping line between Iran’s Qeshm Island and Oman’s Khasab Port early this Iranian year (started March 20), the port city of Bandar Abbas in Hormozgan Province is now next in line to connect to Khasab through the Hormoz Strait.

Oman’s National Ferries Company (NFC), which is heading the project, officially opened its sales and service representative office in Bandar Abbas last week, putting the Iranian company “Marine Silk Road” in charge of its services in Iran.

The ferry line will soon undertake voyages between the two cities once a week on two different-sized Omani ships with a capacity to carry 100 and 200 passengers plus 20 and 50 vehicles respectively, said Abdolhossein Khedri, the official representative of the NFC services in Iran.

“Each passenger is allowed 50 kilograms of luggage on-board, but Omani officials have promised to increase the limit to 100 kg,” he told ISNA.

The ferries will offer three classes: economy, business and VIP. At 64 km per hour, the ships will travel the distance between Khasab Port and Bahonar Port in Bandar Abbas in two and a half hours.

According to Khedri, Omani authorities have set the lowest possible ticket prices and have envisioned special services for Iranian travelers.

“After years of unsafe and hazardous trips through one of the world’s busiest routes in Hormoz Strait, the citizens of both countries will finally experience fast and secure trips on comfortable passenger vessels,” said Khedri, expressing hope that the transport services will provide a platform for both sides to take steps toward relaxing visa requirements.

The ferry line is also expected to play a key role in the development of Tehran-Muscat commercial ties.  

Pointing to Khasab’s tourism potentials and its large numbers of inbound tourists from Asia, Europe and North America, the NFC official said that Iranians can seize the opportunity to develop their commercial relations with the world.

“Once the Bandar Abbas-Khasab ferry line becomes operational, we will focus on the line between Oman and Chabahar [in Sistan-Baluchestan Province],” said Khedri.