Morocco launches a maritime route for passengers and commercial trade between Tarfaya in Western Sahara and the Canary Islands. The new maritime route will transport both passengers and cargo. According to the Ministry of Equipment, the shared route will contribute to the economic and social development of the Kingdom’s southern provinces and facilitate trade and travel.
On 27 January 2019 the president of the Canary Islands, Clavvjo said, on the occasion of an economic delegation to Casablanca:
“The new port of Tarfaya will be of crucial importance for Morocco and the Canary Islands, as it will allow a connection by ship in less than two hours and increase trade between the Canary Islands and southern Morocco. Exports and imports as well as business exchanges are increasing and contributing to the normalization of economic relations between two neighboring areas and friends.”
Currently, there is no direct maritime route between the North African country and the Spanish archipelago. Travelers who wish to travel from Morocco to the Canary Islands by boat will need to transit through mainland Spain and the trips last more than two days. With the future maritime route, the time required for sea travel between Morocco and the Canary Islands will be reduced to a few hours only.
The Ministry of Equipment published an invitation on the 17th of November 2020 for the companies who wish to operate the future route. Even though there is no fixed date when this project will materialize, the Ministry of Equipment set the application deadline for companies who want to to operate the route as the 26th January 2021. They will sign a five-year contract with the Moroccan authorities.
The ministry will study all applications based on 12 criteria, including the company’s experience, budget, and Moroccan capital share along with the number, age, and type of boats to be used in the route.