TIRANA, November 15
A ferry line is expected to operate guided tours in Ohrid Lake from Pogradec to Lin, Tushemisht, Struga, and Ohrid Old Town. The new cruise line that will sail along the coast of the lake is going to give a boost to cross-border tourism in Ohrid Lake Region. It will further increase the contribution of Albania to the development of recreational and adventure tourism in the region.
The ferry has a capacity of 150 people and it’s the first one that will operate tour services from Pogradec to North Macedonia.
Albania and North Macedonia signed an agreement on cross border transport and lake ferry services since 2014. Yet, some points of the agreement have not been implemented.
The arrival of Tina Turist ferry was made possible by local authorities in cooperation with the private sector. It will also offer restaurant and bar services.
Previously, a North Macedonian ferry boat operated the Ohrid-Pogradec line for a few months. The Municipality of Pogradec aims at increasing the number of ferry boats in Ohrid Lake accordingly to the market demand. So far, there’s no specific date on when the ferry will start its services, but if the weather conditions are favorable, it may start before the summer season 2020.
The Albanian part of the Natural and Cultural Heritage of Ohrid Lake includes important sites like the landscape in Lin Peninsula and Lin village, Drilon, the landscape in the northern part of Lin, where the ancient Illyrian settlements are located. The region was inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List on 5 June 2019 while North Macedonian side of the lake, which includes two-third of the lake surface was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.
This is good news as Albania lags in domestic maritime and lake transport. Despite the hundreds of km of access into the Adriatic and Ionian seas, there is no ferry service between coastal cities and towns not even during the peak season. Corfu – Saranda – Himara route is operated by hydrofoil boats during a short summer period. Yet, the demand for maritime transport is high.
Cruise lines and tourism infrastructure remain a potential sector for investment in Albania.
Read more: Albania, Invest in Travel and Tourism
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Source/photo credit: vision plus