Although it has operated for just 18 months, the passenger ferry service between Algeciras and Gibraltar has been so successful that a larger vessel which can carry vehicles is currently on order for the service. The ferry service between the two ports existed until 1969, when communications with Spain were severed by the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.
The current service was started in December 2009 by the Spanish Shipping Agency and Logistics group Transcoma with the 22m catamaran Punta Europa Segundo, built by Drassanes-Dalmau yard in Barcelona and able to carry 150 passengers. With a 30-minute crossing time and three return crossings a day in the summer and two in the winter, the route has proved popular with locals, commuters and tourists. The new larger vessel, Punta Europa Tercero, is being built by Drassanes-Dalmau. The 28m vessel will carry 170 passengers, with 100m2 of vehicle deck.