Alcántara II ferry service between Los Cristianos and El Hierro

The new ferry Alcántara dos courtesy of Bart Bogaert
The new ferry Alcántara Dos, photo courtesy of Bart Bogaert

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myself … until today, when the Ayuntamiento of La Frontera in El Hierro asked for the Alcántara II’s  “service” to be withdrawn immediately, because it had failed to comply with any of the expectations or needs of travellers to and from El Hierro.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.



  1. Hi Janet

    The new ferry is not showing on the Naviras Armas website?

    Also, Fred Olsen stopped the ferry to El Hierro this week.

    Hope you can help as I am trying yo get to El Hierro in january and prefer the ferry


  2. Author

    As far as I understand it, it’s not a Navieras Armas ferry but a Trasmediterranea one … but I can’t find it yet on their website. Perhaps they’ll show it on Monday when the service starts …

  3. In the Estacion Maritima in Los Cristianos there is no mention of the commencement of the Trasmediterranea service to El Hierro and no ticket office from where to purchase tickets. I do understand that the Fred Olsen crossings to El Hierro have ceased but the Naviera Armas website is still showing two crossings a week. As I am here in resort for a further week I will update this with any developments.

  4. Author

    The usual confusion, then, for a new service!

  5. Did the service start and is it still running? I cannot find any trace of it elsewhere. I would like to visit El Hierro this summer.

  6. Author

    I’m afraid I don’t know, Simon, it all went very quiet and I’ve not heard anything since. As far as I can find out, there is currently only the Naviera Armas ferry service between Los Cristianos and Valverde.

  7. Hey, I’ve been at Los Cristianos a few weeks ago(the week of Easter), and I have seen the Alcantara Dos just 1 time. All the other days I’ve seen a boat from El Hierro, it was the ‘Alboran’.
    Is there any news about this? Some sites say that the Alboran has replaced the Alcantara(is he replaced to his old port: Algeciras?)

  8. Author

    I have nothing beyond what I’ve posted above, I’m afraid, other than I believe that the Alcantara Dos was used as a cover service earlier this month while there was some shuffling of a few ferries. I believe its service during this period was temporary. Its eventual fate is something I’m not aware of.

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