Fred Olsen Express’ 50th Anniversary

Established in 1974 Fred. Olsen Express is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2024.

The company’s goal was always to connect the islands of the Canarian archipelago via the shortest routes, while offering maximum speed and comfort.

Their first ferry sailed from San Sebastián de La Gomera to Los Cristianos in Tenerife and this historical event marked the beginning of Fred. Olsen’s long-term commitment to the Canarian community. Some years later, with the service between Tenerife and La Gomera running smoothly, a period of growth and development took place throughout the Canaries.

Today, the company has reached its goal to offer sea links around most of the Canary Islands, being a clear market leader by covering 5 sea routes for passengers and cargo, carrying more than 3 million passengers, 60.000 pets, 1 million cars and 100,000 heavy goods vehicles each year (*) with its current fleet of spectacular and modern fast ferries and an empire that has created around a thousand jobs in the islands.


The Olsen family had established a small agricultural center in the south of La Gomera as far back as 1904 growing tomato and banana crops.

70 years later, on the 8th of July, 1974 , the family business, under the commercial name of Ferry Gomera S.A., launched that first maritime route to export their produce on a ferry called Benchijigua. It was a modern and comfortable ship, with a capacity for 399 passengers and 60 cars. The journey between Tenerife and La Gomera took only an hour and 20 minutes. It meant a significant increase in connectivity between the two islands.

In just six months, the line carried more than 100,000 passengers, an unprecedented milestone for La Gomera.

The Benchijigua’s success gave them the impetus to develop the company and in the following years, Fred. Olsen expanded their fleet and routes, opening new possibilities for the islanders.

In line with the company’s philosophy, in 1999 they became pioneers in high-speed transport in the Canary Islands, incorporating the first fast ferry to the islands’ connections.

And, in 2005, the first trimaran was acquired, this being a model of vessel that improves comfort on crossings and which has now become their flag ship.

Today, they are also a benchmark in terms of accessibility, sustainable development and family-friendly transport.

Their commitment to the local people has always been to invest profits made back into the Canary Islands, therefore boosting the economy and allowing the locals to obtain direct benefits from the company’s success, which in turned it also expanded to the tourist and leisure industries.

Fred. Olsen Express is preparing a whole year of celebrations, especially closer to July. From special promotions, a new mini ferry, family activities, competitions to birthday packs and more. If you would like to be informed of all of these, please check their website and /or follow them on their social media. You can also register for their newsletter on

Fred. Olsen Express is heading for an exciting 2024 of celebrations! Congratulations on your first 50 years of existence and all the best wishes of continued success for at least another 50!

(* data from 2022)

You can also read about Naviera Armas’ 80h anniversary which took place back in 2021:

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