Ferry service soon to be a choice for five Southern Caribbean destinations

Ferry service soon to be a choice for five Southern Caribbean destinations

By Linda Straker, eTN Staff Writer | Aug 19, 2009

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – Five destinations in the southern Caribbean will
soon enjoy an inter-island passenger ferry service that will cost almost
one-third of the amount it cost to travel to the islands by air.
As of October 01, 2009, the service will be offered to residents of
Barbados, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Grenada. Owned and operated
by BEDY Ocean Lines in Grenada the service will officially be launched on
October 1, but will make its maiden voyage departing from each of the
destinations on October 20, 2009.
Costing between US$120 and US$140 and already inclusive of relevant
government taxes associated with inter-island travel including Value Added
Taxes. In Grenada’s case, it will be implemented as of February 2010.
The duration of a trip from each country will range between one and half
hours to three and half hours. “These are passenger speed boats and it will
it make more or less time to arrive in each destination because naturally
some islands are closer to each but basically no trip will not extend beyond
three and a half hours,” BEDY Ocean Lines CEO Benjamin Ross said.
The company had originally planned to launch the service in July, but had to
delay the service to facilitate a second ferry. This has resulted in one
ferry making St. Vincent its home and will service the St. Vincent to
Barbados and St. Lucia routes, while the second ferry will be based in
Grenada and will service the Grenada to Trinidad and Barbados route. The
seating capacity per boat will be 260 and 300, respectively. The company
hopes that very soon into the operation, other neighboring countries will be
added.
Speaking about safety, Ross said that the vessels, with American and
Caribbean crew, would contain a radio system to communicate with the nearest
port and immigration at each destination.
There will also be certain rules and regulations in place for passengers’
safety. “For instance, passengers must be at the check-in area at least 30
minutes before departure and would be searched and subjected to customs and
immigration laws,” he said, while confirming that no alcoholic beverages
would be consumed on board.
Speaking about the baggage and ticketing system, Ross said the free baggage
allowance would be two pieces at a maximum of 60 pounds, plus a carry-on.
Extra pieces would only be accepted on a space available basis. Tickets will
be valid for a maximum of 60 days will be non-refundable and passengers
would be allowed to change their reservations up to three hours before a
scheduled departure.
Promising to provide patrons with a fast, reliable, comfortable, safe and
extremely cheap way to travel, the ferry services come at a time when the
traveling public has been negatively affected by high airline rates and
baggage restrictions.
“This ferry will be offering daily service to the islands mentioned and
management is confident that customers will have a perfect way of reuniting
with families and friends while business persons will now have a reliable
mode of travel,” the company said in a statement.

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