Historical review of the implementation of high-speed vessels in Spain

  1. Santiago José Rodríguez Sánchez 1
  2. Federico Padrón Martín 1
  3. Alexis Dionis Melián 1
  1. 1 Universidad de La Laguna

    Universidad de La Laguna

    San Cristobal de La Laguna, España

    ROR https://ror.org/01r9z8p25

Journal of maritime research: JMR

ISSN: 1697-4840

Year of publication: 2022

Volume: 19

Issue: 1

Pages: 48-58

Type: Article

More publications in: Journal of maritime research: JMR


SCImago Journal Rank

  • Year 2022
  • SJR Journal Impact: 0.107
  • Best Quartile: Q3
  • Area: History Quartile: Q3 Rank in area: 1110/1572
  • Area: Ocean Engineering Quartile: Q4 Rank in area: 96/106
  • Area: Cultural Studies Quartile: Q4 Rank in area: 909/1199


  • Social Sciences: C
  • Human Sciences: C

Scopus CiteScore

  • Year 2022
  • CiteScore of the Journal : 0.0
  • Area: History Percentile: 7
  • Area: Cultural Studies Percentile: 6
  • Area: Ocean Engineering Percentile: 4


Nowadays, inter-island maritime traffic and traffic between the mainland and the Balearic Islands andthe ports of Ceuta and Melilla is mainly based on conventional fast-ferries. These are responsiblefor providing us with the possibility of maintaining fluid communication between islands in such areasonable time that the inter-island maritime connection via fast-ferries is a direct competitor to airtraffic. It can be seen how the vision we had just a few years ago of the ports of the islands full ofcontainers waiting to be loaded has changed. The main ports of the islands are practically empty ofcontainers. In part, the advent of maritime transport by fast ferries has revolutionised transport. In theparticular case of the Canary Islands, any type of delivery can be made in less than a day between thelarger islands (Tenerife and Gran Canaria) and the smaller ones (La Palma, Gomera, Hierro, Lanzaroteand Fuerteventura). Therefore, goods are no longer stored in the ports, but supplies for the five smallerislands can be made with regular return journeys.Today, the data we have on inter-island maritime traffic on fast ferries for the transport of passengersamounts to more than 6 million passengers a year, so we can consider this type of transport vital forinter-island communications in the Canary Islands, and something similar occurs with the ports on themainland. The movement of passengers that has been achieved in inter-island maritime traffic meansthat we can speak of a maritime bridge between the smaller and larger islands, being of such a calibrethat it is cheaper to buy a boat ticket per kilometre travelled than to travel by taxi or sometimes even bybus.The increased frequency of trips by these ships means that the islands are connected on a daily basis,making travel between the islands a sea bypass. Some entrepreneurs want to communicate the islandsby the shortest route, making crossings to the least populated places and complete their journeys byland to reach the main urban centres.In this paper we would like to review how we have arrived at the current situation and the changes thathave taken place in the sector in recent decades.