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Lisbon Ferries
Transtejo e a Soflusa
This is the header for a series of pages on the Transtejo e a Soflusa ferries of Lisbon. Each of the sections listed below links to a more detailed page on the subject (fast ferries still to be added). There is also a page covering the complete 2008 Transtejo e a Soflusa feet (to be completed)
Lisbon has a superb location on the River Tagus, and there is an intensive network of ferry services across the river, despite the imposing Ponte 25 de Abril bridge which links the two sides and carries both rail and road traffic. Even a car ferry service has survived the arrival of the bridge, unusual in such circumstances, and the ferries on this route are of an extremely distinctive design. Ferries are operated by two companies, the main one being Transtejo (Transports Tejo SA) who operate from three ferry terminals on the north bank of the Tagus:- Belem, Cais de Sodré and Cais da Alfandega. This company was nationalized in 1975 after the revolution, and operates routes to seven terminals on the south banks with a fleet of around 30 ferries.
The second ferry company is Soflusa (Sociedade Fluvial de Transports S.A.), which links the railway stations at Estacao do Sul e Sueste (adjacent to the Transtejo terminal at Cais da Alfandega) to Barreiro, 30 minutes away on the south bank. Trains leave for the south of the country from this station, although a railway across a new Tagus bridge may make the route redundant. To confuse matters, the two newest Transtejo conventional ferries are chartered to Soflusa, who also have around eight other ferries of their own.
More recently, Transtejo and Soflusa have combined as Transtejo e a Soflusa (although each retaining slightly different management structures). In 2008, six basic Transtejo e a Soflusa routes remain, operated by 22 fast catamarans, 2 car ferries and 14 conventional ferries.
A beautifully illustrated book, Cacilheiros, by well known Lisbon photographer Luis Miguel Correia, gives the history of the Transtejo ferries (though strangely does not cover the Soflusa ships). The book is written in both English and Portuguese.
Sections on this Page:-
Transtejo Car Ferries
Transtejo Passenger Ferries
Transtejo Fast Ferries
Soflusa Passenger Ferries
Soflusa Fast Ferries
Other Lisbon Pages:-
Lisbon Ferries - Lisbon Header page - this page!
Transtejo e Soflusa - Lisbon combined ferry fleet in 2008
Transtejo Car Ferries
Transtejo Passenger Ferries
Soflusa Ferries
Metro Transportes do Sul - new Lisbon tramway south of the Tagus
Aurora in Lisbon - 2000 - Photographs of P&O's Aurora
Grand Princess in Lisbon - 2000 - Photographs of the P&O/Princess cruise ship
Oriana in Lisbon - 2003 - Photographs of P&O's Oriana
Costa Europa in Lisbon - 2008 - Photographs of the Costa Crociere cruise ship
Cacilheiros - Luis Miguel Correia - Transtejo e a Soflusa official website - Excellent English language site covering Lisbon's ferries, trains, trams and more
Associated Pages:-
Portuguese Shipping
Ferry Postcards
Cruise Ship Postcards
Ocean Liner Postcards
Simplon Postcards Home Page
Lisbon Ferries
Transtejo e a Soflusa
Transtejo Car Ferries
More images of Transtejo Car Ferries
I will begin the pictures with the interesting car ferries which operate the Cais de Sodré-Cacilhas route, which has survived despite the building of the River Tagus bridge. These ferries are quite venerable, the youngest dating from 1958, although they have all been re-engined at least once over the years. The first picture below shows the Setubalense, built in 1936, which is the oldest in the fleet. This picture was taken some years back by my father, Terry Boyle, and shows the older black funnel colours. The next three pictures show the Alentejense, one of the newest in the car ferry fleet, dating from 1957. The design is little changed from the Setubalense, 20 years its senior. In 2008, only Alentejense and Eborense remained in service, now running from Cacilhas to Belem.
The last two car ferry pictures show the Eborense, dating from 1954.
Transtejo Passenger Ferries
More images of Transtejo Passenger Ferries
The main class of Transtejo ferries is shown below. This is the Cacilhense, name-ship of a class of eight ships built in between 1982 and 1984, which are around 300grt and carry 500 passengers. The other ships in the class (all still in service in 2008) are the Campolide, Dafundo, Madragoa, Montes Claros, Palmelense, Sintrense and Seixalense. Cacilhense had been withdrawn by 2008.
This is the Madre de Deus, a similar design to those above but featuring a bar and open sided deck space aft, reducing tonnage to 280 grt. They were all built in 1982, and the sisters are Moscavide, Miratejo and Monsanto. They are known as the Monsanto class. All had been withdrawn by 2008.
Five Elbe ferries were bought from Hamburg operator HADAG in the 1977. These were the Castelo (ex-HADAG Lichtwark), Marvila (ex-HADAG Volksdorf), Mouraria (ex-HADAG Ottensen), Porto Brandao (ex-HADAG Falkenstein) and Vouga (ex-HADAG Otmarschen). The vessel below is the S.Paulus, here shown running a river cruise, previously the similarly named Hamburg ferry St Pauli, ex-Sulldorf of 1959, renamed in 1978. Marvila, Mouraria, S.Paulus and Trafaria Praia remain in service in 2008, mainly on harbour tours.
These two photos are of the Martim Moniz, one of two large ferries delivered to Transtejo in 1992, the other being the S.Jorge. They are both of 650 grt, and carry 1000 passengers. Both sisters are chartered to Soflusa, for service to Barreiro.
Transtejo Fast Ferries
More images of Transtejo Fast Ferries
Transtejo had four fast catamarans built in 1995/6. These were the Alges, Castelo, Chiado and Bica. The first two were designed and built by FBM Marine in Cowes, Isle of Wight. Further vessels to this design were built locally in Portugal. Subsequent fast ferries have been built in various locations around the world.
The vessel below is the Carnide which can carry 496 passengers and operate at 20 knots.
Soflusa Passenger Ferries
More images of Soflusa Passenger Ferries
The railway companies operated their own service from Estacao do Sul e Sueste (also known as Terreiro do Paco) to Barreiro. Despite the nationalization of the private companies to form Transtejo in 1975, the railway services remained separate, being operated by Soflusa since 1994. They have a fleet of eight vessels, of which six are of the same class, including the Alentejo and Trás-os-Montes shown below. These are of 700 grt and carry 1000 passengers. The other sisters are the Algarve, Estremadura, Lagos and Minho. they were built between 1961 and 1970. The other two ships are the Tunes and Pinhal Novo, which are larger at 893 grt and 1600 passengers. Two chartered Transtejo ferries, the Martim Moniz and S.Jorge also operate on this route. These conventional ferries were all withdrawn in the mid-2000s when the nine new fast ferries were delivered.
Soflusa Fast Ferries
More images of Soflusa Passenger Ferries
Damião de Goes was the first of a series of nine large catamarans built by Damen Shipyards, Singapure for use by Soflusa on the Barreiro-Terreiro do Paço route. They were all delivered in 2003/2004 and replaced all the conventional ferries on the route (Tunes and Pinhal Novo surviving longer than the smaller ships for use on peak period extras). The comlete list is:- Damião de Goes (2003), Augusto Gil (2003), Miguel Torga (2003), Fernando Namora (2003), Gil Vicente (2003), Jorge de Sena (2003), Almeida Garrett (2004), Fernando Pessoa (2004) and Antero de Quental (2004).
Aurora Cruise to Lisbon - Grand Princess at Lisbon
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