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Madeira and Algarve will soon be connected by a ferry boat for passengers and freight that will make at least a weekly connection between Funchal and Portimão. The Regional Government of Madeira this Monday is finalizing the call for tenders that has already been approved by Brussels and will cost the region three million euros per year for three years.
The contract documents require not only that there is at least one weekly connection, but also that this be done without interruption at a speed that allows the journey to last less than 24 hours and that the ferry has a capacity of at least 300 Passengers.
The new line will also have a main core for the transport of goods. The objective of the Regional Government is precisely to reduce the travel time of goods between Madeira and the mainland, which lasts for about four days now, as the connection passes through the Canary Islands. This may lower the price of some products entering and leaving Madeira.
Although this is all going through now, we still do not know when it will start.

Taken from Observador.