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A weekly ferry link between the Algarve and Madeira is set to go ahead, offering passengers the chance to reach the island within 24 hours by sea when setting sail from Portimão.

According to a report by the Portuguese newspaper Público, the regional government of Madeira is in the process of finalising the launch of an international tender for a company to offer a weekly route between the mainland and Madeira for both passengers and cargo.

Currently those wanting to reach Madeira from the Algarve need to fly, however the launch of a weekly ferry service is hoped to increase tourism between the two destinations, as well as improve general commercial links.

The details of the tender show that the company taking on the ferry link will need to offer a service travelling at approximately 39km per hour to ensure that the journey takes no longer than 24 hours to complete, thus making it a viable alternative for those who prefer to travel by sea between the Algarve and Madeira.

The ferry also needs to be large enough to hold 300 passengers at any given time and has been said to have to be an “affordable alternative” to air travel.

While the Algarve remains one of the most popular regions of Portugal for both those looking to enjoy a holiday and to buy a second home, it has been essential that transport links between other destinations increase to allow for the smooth movement of the many home owners and guests not only within Portugal itself but also to other European destinations.

In recent years, the expansion of Faro airport, where new improvements were recently inaugurated, has helped to increase the number of flights coming into the Algarve airport. By adding a ferry route between the Algarve and Madeira, this will not only offer a new alternative to residents in the region looking to sail away for a break but should also bring even more tourists to the Algarve to enjoy all it has to offer.

Already 2017 has proved to be a bumper year for tourism with increased occupancy rates and revenue in all regions and boosts in tourism seen especially in the western Algarve and Lagos region.