New option for Colombia-Panama tourism
A new ferry between Colombia and Panama is set to boost tourism between the two countries.
A new passenger service will as of October of this year travel twice a week between Cartagena, Colombia, and Bocas del Toro, Panama, stopping in the port of Colón.
All ports are on the Caribbean.
The trip will take 18 hours, at a cost of $99 each way, according to the operator, Colón 2000.
Some 100,000 tourists are expected to use the service each year between Cartagena and Colón, with 40,000 continuing to Bocas del Toro, according to the company.
Cartagena is one of Colombia's most popular destinations.
From December 2013 to January 2014, tourism grew 12 percent, compared with the same period a year before, according to the city's port authority, SPRC.
For its part, Bocas del Toro offers activities such as jungle trekking, birdwatching, surfing, scuba and snorkeling.
The ferry to be used is the 32,000 tonne Adriatico, with a capacity of 1,500 passengers, 500 cars and 100 containers, until this year used on a route between Italy and Croatia in the Adriatic Sea.
The Adriatico was refurbished in 2005 in Poland for operations between that country and Sweden.
Originally named Konigen Beatrix, the ship was built in 1986 by the Dutch shipyard Van der Giessen de Noord.