A new ferry operator to Sicily said on Wednesday that services will start on August 6 with its catamaran crossing between Malta and Augusta.

Ticket sales opened on Wednesday on the Ponte website, with one-way trips to the town on Sicily's east coast starting from €9.99 for foot passengers. The fare for private cars in the summer is €85.

According to the website, the journey will take three hours. 

Ponte Ferries said its high-speed craft, HSC Artemis, will operate daily return trips. The 96m-long catamaran accommodates 600 passengers and features a deck for both cars and cargo trucks.

Facilities include USB charging connections on every seat, a specially designated area for pet owners, and a family-friendly area where children can be kept entertained in a supervised environment. The vessel also includes a club class lounge. 

“We are delighted to bring much-needed competition to this market in time for the peak holiday season. Our vessel offers great value and has the added advantage of berthing in Augusta, which is just a short drive away from Catania, Syracuse, the shopping outlets and Taormina," the company said in a statement.

“Our customers will also benefit from Ponte’s low-cost pricing model similar to the low-cost airlines which will make travelling to Sicily easy, convenient and affordable."

The company said in a statement that discount vouchers will be issued to households in Malta and Gozo. Ponte has also teamed up with ROCS Travel Group through a dedicated GSA agreement to provide customers with package holidays to Sicily. 

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