Fancy A Ferry Be­tween the Is­lands? Two Soon to Set Sail

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

Along-awaited pas­sen­ger ferry ser­vice link­ing some is­lands of the Caribbean could be set­ting sail by yearend. But wait, it may not be the only one.

While the Bar­ba­dos-reg­is­tered Caribbean Ferry Ser­vice is in the process of fi­nal­iz­ing pa­per­work to op­er­ate two ves­sels, another ef­fort is be­ing made to get a dou­ble decker ferry with a ca­pac­ity of 350 to travel within the south­ern Caribbean.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tion news­pa­per in Bar­ba­dos, Caribbean Ferry Ser­vice will op­er­ate The Dream Jet Ex­press and The Opal Jet Ex­press, for travel and cargo.

It says the ser­vice will be ini­tially ac­ces­si­ble to trav­ellers in Bar­ba­dos, St Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines and St Lu­cia and other is­lands would even­tu­ally be added to the itinerary.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Randy Con­nor said the ves­sels would have two home­ports: St Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines and Bar­ba­dos.

Mean­time, over in Do­minica, Cap­tain Neville Wade who has been in the ship­ping busi­ness for over 50 years, told a lo­cal tele­vi­sion sta­tion that he’s hop­ing to have his ferry op­er­a­tional by this month.

“I know that we are not go­ing to get 350 peo­ple one time be­tween the is­lands. Maybe we can get 250. I hope the ferry works well and I hope we can get a sec­ond ferry and con­nect to Tor­tola, to Trinidad, on a daily ba­sis. We will be­gin with a once weekly move­ment be­cause we be­lieve the trav­ellers can go from St. Lu­cia, St. Vin­cent, Gre­nada and Trinidad in one day,” he said.

For­mer Min­is­ter of Tourism, Ian Dou­glas, has ap­plauded Wade’s ini­tia­tive. He de­scribed it as an im­por­tant step to­wards ex­pand­ing travel op­tions within the Caribbean.

“The Gov­ern­ment and the Min­istry of Tourism have been try­ing to boost ar­rivals into Do­minica be­cause that is one of the ways of get­ting tourists into your coun­try – to have more av­enues to bring them in. The Gov­ern­ment has been work­ing with LIAT and we have in­vested $8 mil­lion.

“We have been work­ing with WINAIR, we have worked with Se­aborne, and all in an ef­fort to try to boost our ar­rivals so that we can fill the ho­tel rooms that we have. Mr. Wade has been lis­ten­ing to that dis­cus­sion and has de­cided to in­vest in a ferry so that he could as­sist in bring­ing more per­sons into the destination and we are very happy for that,” Dou­glas said.

The Dream Jet Ex­press is one of two fer­ries that the Caribbean Ferry Ser­vice says should be on the seas by year-end. (Photo credit: na­tion­news. com)

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