On 2nd of July, the Volcán de Tijarafe sailed back into Funchal harbour at the start of its summer ferry service between Madeira, Portimão and the Canaries. The ferry has been leased from Naviera ARMAS for the twelve weekly scheduled return trips between Portimão, Madeira and the Canaries this year. The ship leaves Santa Cruz de Tenerife on Sunday at 20:00 arriving in Funchal (Madeira) on Monday morning at 08:15. With a two hour turnaround time the ferry departs Funchal at 10:30 and arrives in Portimão (Algarve) at 10:30 the next day (Tuesdays). Again with a quick turnaround, the ship returns to Funchal, docking at 12:30 (Wednesdays) before leaving at 18:00 where she will arrive in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria at 08:00 (Thursdays). The last scheduled service is on the 20th September 2018.
The ferry last sailed to Madeira on the 30th January 2012, and since then the demand to bring back a ferry service connecting Madeira to the mainland has increased significantly, primarily as the vessel can accommodate 1,000 passengers and 300 cars thus providing a comfortable, secure and affordable form of transport to the continent or the Canaries. With her hotly anticipated arrival the mood was jubilant in the harbour as a local philharmonic band serenaded embarking passengers onboard while crew members looked relaxed as they chatted and enjoyed the early morning sun.