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Price-busting AquaBus open up new sea routes in the North

The North coast of Ibiza has long been ignored by ferry companies, until now. AquaBus launches new routes this season.

There's little I like more than an island success story, except success stories that look after both islanders and tourists alike. I like those even better. So it was that I found myself being introduced to the co-owner of AquaBus, Jose Escandell
For those of you not in the know (until now), AquaBus is the price busting boat service that graces the island's seas.

Ibiza Spotlight AquaBus Ferrys New Routes Summer 2012


As Jose himself observed “You can see Formentera but because of the cost of getting there, it wasn't feasible for a family day out. It became the playground of the rich and the famous, costing 35-40 euros for one person to travel there.”
Born into a local San Miguel family, with both his grandfather and father upholding the long tradition of island fishermen, Jose and his childhood friend Leo Fleischer (also island born) teamed up to offer AquaBus to islanders and tourists alike.
Returning from studying a degree in Naval Engineering, the boys quietly built up a fleet of traditional boats and at prices to give most CEO's a heart-attack, offered scheduled runs from the south of the island out to Formentera (this year just 19 euros per person – 9.50 for children)

Ibiza Spotlight AquaBus Ferrys New Routes Summer 2012


However they have not been content to leave it just at that. Whilst they don't operate from Santa Eularia (Why not? “There's another family run business there and we are respectful of that”) they have this year decided to launch scheduled boat services from San Antonio – San Miguel – Portinatx.
The San Miguel cruise also incorporates entry to the renowned San Miguel caves (and even a mini-bus to take you comfortably up that devil of a hill!)
Again their pricing caught my eye and I wanted to ask if it was a typo – 19.5 euros from San Antonio to Portinatx? Return? It isn't a typo. Cheaper than a taxi, one way (and a great deal more fun to boot!)

Ibiza Spotlight AquaBus Ferrys New Routes Summer 2012


I had hoped to meet Leo but it transpired he was in Barcelona personally sailing their latest fleet purchase back to Ibiza – another boat that would be proudly wearing the seal of approval from the Cultural Council of Ibiza, for the lads ever aware of the best of Ibiza, offer a cultural tour too.


The service is well considered – each passenger receives a map of Formentera with recommendations from the on-board staff about how best to enjoy the island according to budget and on the return journey in the evening, each passenger is invited to enjoy a glass of Sangria as Ibiza Port comes back in to sight.

Ibiza Spotlight AquaBus Ferrys New Routes Summer 2012


Having finished the meeting there was still one thing I wanted to know. As an island man, where would Jose recommend people go? His answer surprised me for as much as he enjoys the seasons – the peace and quiet of winter, the buzz of the summer months and associated parties and people – he recommended, “Find somewhere quiet, by yourself, with a friend and watch the sunset.”

San Antonio – San Miguel – Portinatx routes commence 15th May.


Please be aware that AquaBus website is diabolical and an utter waste of time. The lads have spent all their time getting the service right instead, so don't let the website put you off. Instead, you might, at least at the moment, benefit more from referring to their Facebook page - Aquabus

Photographs: Cat Miilton.

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