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Fast Ferry service set to sail off in October

Fast Ferry service set  to sail off in October

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The region’s new fast ferry service is expected to be operating at 90 per cent capacity within three months.

BEDY Oceanlines, operator of the new service, disclosed last Wednesday in an interview with Searchlight that already vessels were 50 per cent booked for the maiden voyage on October 20.{{more}}

“People in groups of 80 and 100 want to travel between the islands, so between the end of October and January we are expecting at least 90 per cent of capacity,” said Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Ross.

The two vessels, BO1 and BO2, will sail between St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia and Trinidad.

One ferry can carry a maximum of 260 passengers, and the other 300. Both have three decks, basic bathroom facilities and a bar. The top speed on both vessels is 32 knots.

According to Ross, voyages between the islands will take no longer than three hours, during which time passengers will be entertained with video and other services.

Describing the ferry service as having distinct advantages for passengers over air travel, Ross noted return fares would range from the “relatively cheap” US $90 to US $140. Additionally, with few limitations on baggage, each passenger will be allowed two free 60-pound pieces. Any other baggage will be accommodated according to available space. Each vessel can carry up to 24.07 tonnes.

A Searchlight check revealed that fares on LIAT between St. Vincent and Trinidad on October 20, the scheduled launch date for the ferry service, range from US$130 to US$177 return. However, passengers are allowed a single piece of checked luggage weighing no more than 50 pounds.

According to BEDY Oceanlines rules and regulations, passengers will not be refunded if they fail to use their tickets, but if they choose to, reservations can be altered up to 24 hours before departure. All passengers are expected to check in 30 minutes before departure and will be subject to customs and immigration regulations.

Ross, who described the ferry service as a “dream that has become a reality” for him, said the aim of the company was not just to make money, but to provide a good service to the people of the Caribbean. The ferries will operate everyday except Saturday. (OS)

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