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Flashback – Ferry travel 2005

MV Opale Express to Discontinue Service to Montserrat on Feb. 13

By: Staff Reporter

January 31, 2005

After several years of service, the ferry MV Opale Express, which became the major mode of transportation out of Antigua, since the closure of W H Bramble airport in June 1997, as of February 13 will no longer be plying passengers from Montserrat to Antigua.

A press release from the Ministry of Communications and Works stated, “We are currently finalizing arrangements for a new and modern ferry to be bought in so as not to cause any disruption to the weekly schedule of service.”

When asked if this new ferry service would be cheaper, Permanent Secretary, Jim Taylor of the ministry said, “It is expected to be cheaper.”

According to the Ministry’s press statement, the new ferry is likely to be a Hydrocruiser with the speed of 35 knots, length of 90 feet, seating for 144 passengers, a beam of 30 feet, four caterpillar engines, and be propelled by four water jets.

The vessel, “is outfitted with the newest technology to make it a smooth, comfortable ride between Montserrat and Antigua.”

The statement went on to say “that the Government of Montserrat wishes to inform the public of its intention to maintain ferry services until the new airport is completed and commissioned for use later on this year, and that a task force has been established to study the feasibility of ferry services in the longer term”.

Since 2003 when it was expected that the new Gerald’s airport would be in operation by November 2004 the British Government agreed to extend the ferry services subsidy to accommodate the Christmas and festival rush of visitors to the island. The ferry services were to end in February, 2005 and it was anticipated that the airport would have been completed by then.

Finding itself in a new fix when delay after delay is preventing the airport from coming into operation in March, PS Taylor said Government has instituted a task force to study a longer ferry service.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

MV Opale Express to Discontinue Service to Montserrat on Feb. 13

By: Staff Reporter

January 31, 2005

After several years of service, the ferry MV Opale Express, which became the major mode of transportation out of Antigua, since the closure of W H Bramble airport in June 1997, as of February 13 will no longer be plying passengers from Montserrat to Antigua.

A press release from the Ministry of Communications and Works stated, “We are currently finalizing arrangements for a new and modern ferry to be bought in so as not to cause any disruption to the weekly schedule of service.”

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When asked if this new ferry service would be cheaper, Permanent Secretary, Jim Taylor of the ministry said, “It is expected to be cheaper.”

According to the Ministry’s press statement, the new ferry is likely to be a Hydrocruiser with the speed of 35 knots, length of 90 feet, seating for 144 passengers, a beam of 30 feet, four caterpillar engines, and be propelled by four water jets.

The vessel, “is outfitted with the newest technology to make it a smooth, comfortable ride between Montserrat and Antigua.”

The statement went on to say “that the Government of Montserrat wishes to inform the public of its intention to maintain ferry services until the new airport is completed and commissioned for use later on this year, and that a task force has been established to study the feasibility of ferry services in the longer term”.

Since 2003 when it was expected that the new Gerald’s airport would be in operation by November 2004 the British Government agreed to extend the ferry services subsidy to accommodate the Christmas and festival rush of visitors to the island. The ferry services were to end in February, 2005 and it was anticipated that the airport would have been completed by then.

Finding itself in a new fix when delay after delay is preventing the airport from coming into operation in March, PS Taylor said Government has instituted a task force to study a longer ferry service.