Update 10 March 2014: There has been little but confusion since this service started, with travellers unaware whether the service even existed much of the time. I have come to doubt its existence myself … until today, when the Ayuntamiento of La Frontera in El Hierro asked for the Alcántara II’s “service” to be withdrawn immediately, because it had failed to comply with any of the expectations or needs of travellers to and from El Hierro. The Ayuntamiento passed the motion unanimously in an emergency meeting called specifically to discuss the poor service, and to initiate a call for the crossing to be served by another ferry, one which would provide timetable stability and an ability to book tickets well in advance.
The mayor of La Frontera, David Cabrera de León, said that in the five months since Naviera Armas was covering the crossing between El Hierro and Los Cristianos there have been many problems with the Alcántara II. Among them, he said, was the habit of cancelling a scheduled service at the drop of a hat, or leaving before time, or late. Just as bad, said Sr de León, was the boat’s inability to cope with passengers with restricted mobility. The mayor said that El Hierro deserved, and must have, an adequate service.
So, we weren’t mad. It did exist … it was just so bad that El Hierro wished it didn’t!
Original post 14 November 2013: From Monday a new ferry service will unite Los Cristianos and La Estaca in El Hierro. The new ferry, the Alcántara Dos, is already in El Hierro having passed its technical tests in Santa Cruz having made a perfect test crossing. The route should have commenced tomorrow, but with a few last minute hitches in paperwork, it has been delayed until Monday. Fred Olsen already operates a route from Tenerife to El Hierro, but this new ferry will be a very welcome addition to increase communication between the two islands.