The Azorean people has always challenged swells and sea storms because it was the only way to overcome distance and establish contacts or trading. Ship construction has always been one of the main activities in The Azores, that’s why you find shipyards in all islands. First were built small fishing boats, then some boats for traffic connecting several ports on the same island and later some bigger boats capable of travelling from one island to another.

 There are some records of great traffic connecting São Miguel, Santa Maria, Terceira and Faial in the seventeenth century. In the eighteen and nineteenth century, the so called “Pico Yacht”, dominated the Azorean traffic on summer.
 Sailors have always risked travelling in bad weather and rough seas to monetize their boats. When there was an ill person, it was easier to take the patient by sea than by land. Many sailors would also play a key role in developing the economy of the islands, allowing not only people to travel but also exchange products with other villages.

 Assembled in 1871, Insulana Shipping Company was solo responsible for regular traffic between the islands (except Corvo) for more than a century. It was also responsible for connecting The Azores with Madeira and the United States. All cargo and passenger transportation ended in the 70’s. Some boats were sold, others diminished and some others converted to tuna fishing. In the next 20 years there was no maritime connection with the exception of Faial and Pico. There was also a small family company that ensured transportation between Lajes das Flores and Corvo. The maritime transportation only returned to The Azores in the second half of the nineties. At first, there was an experience with hydrofoil “Iapetos” and only then on ferry boats. “Lady of Mann” and “Golfinho Azul” were charted by Açorline and maritime mobility was a reality once again.

 In 2005, Atlanticoline was raised and started providing maritime services with “Ilha Azul” and “Express Santorini”, only in 2009 came “Viking”. This High Speed Craft brought significant improvements on comfort as well as on services provided to passengers. The main goal of this kind of ships is that of transporting vehicles and passengers at same time.

  The year 2009 was probably the most successful year on maritime transportation ever, with a record of 112 thousand carried passengers.

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