The much-awaited sea link between Shinas and Khasab will get underway on May 9, when H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communication, inaugurates a ferry service linking the two coastal towns.
National Ferries Company (NFC), which has been planning the service between Shinas and Khasab for long, will kickstart the service by offering free rides to every passenger boarding the ferry during May.
Ghazi Abdullah al Zedjali, head of marketing and communication, NFC, told Muscat Daily, “This is a gift from NFC to the people of the country as part of its social responsibility and to thank them for supporting the company’s initiatives and also for recent recognition of winning the Responsible Tourism Award at the World Travel Awards held in Dubai.”
Zedjali added that NFC’s fast ferry Shinas will link the two towns. “It will be the third route to be operated by the company after Muscat-Khasab and Khasab-Lima. With the start of the service, passengers will also be able to take their vehicles along with them on the ferry.”
Cutting travel time by more than two hours, the ferry will ply on the route three days of the week and will take approximately three hours.
Starting from Shinas on Saturdays and Wednesdays at 7am and 2pm respectively, the ferry will leave Khasab at noon and 4pm on every Saturday and Friday respectively.
Zedjali said that the fares would be announced soon. “The fares will be competitive and in line with NFC’s fares for other destinations. As it is half the distance of the Khasab-Muscat route, the fare could be adjusted likewise.” He said that these steps are part of an effort to make Shinas port a commercial one. “This is the first big operation that is going to start at the Shinas port and we hope it will augment opportunities for other bigger commercial activities.”