28 June 2016

Oman to open ferry route to Iran

The Oman News Agency (ONA) has reported that the National Ferries Company (NFC) will officially kick off a new ferry route between Khasab in Oman to Bandar Abbas and Qeshm in Iran on 28 July, coinciding with the Sultanate's celebrations of Renaissance Day.

Mehdi bin Mohammed al-Abdawani, CEO of NFC told ONA that the journey will start from the Port of Khasab in the Governorate of Musandam in Oman to Bahonar Port in Bandar Abbas via the Port of Bahman in the island of Qeshm in Iran. The trial will run twice a week for six months.

The CEO added that travel to the Qeshm does not require a visit visa while visiting the city of Bandar Abbas will require a visa from the Iranian Embassy in the Sultanate. He said that talks are underway with Iran's Hormozgan province to discuss the possibility of issuing visas on arrival for Omani visitors to Bandar Abbas Port.

The journey from Khasab to Qeshm takes 90 minutes while that to Bandar Abbas takes two hours. He explained that only passengers and goods - no vehicles - will be taken on board of ferries until the completion of the construction of a bridge for vehicle shipment in some Iranian ports.

The move builds on a January 2016 memorandum of understanding signed between the NFC and Qeshm Free Zone Authority in Iran. A pilot voyage from Sultan Qaboos Port to Chabahar Port in Iran on board the ferry Hormuz was completed thereafter.


Those who wish to travel via ferry to Iran must obtain a visa and contact the communications and booking centre at NFC for tickets.