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Jaden Sun ferry comes to Montserrat with an inaugural ceremony and sample run

Comes with improved terminal facilities and online booking systems

Last week on November 24, 2016 the Government of Montserrat signed a long awaited contract with Jaden Inc. owners of the Jaden sun ‘fast ferry’ signaling the resumption of ferry services between Antigua and Montserrat, with the potential of services to other islands, such as occasional excursions to St Kitts, Nevis, Guadeloupe and St. Maarten.

According to the Premier the achievement of firstly the agreement by DFID to reinstate the ferry service was ‘hard fought’. The service was welcomed with an Inaugural ceremony on Thursday, Dec 1, followed by a sponsored trip to Antigua as a test of the ride and services along with a sampling of the renovated terminal in Antigua. Also in train was testing the new ‘Online Booking Service’ for the ferry service.

Some 71 persons (we learnt was planned for 20 to 30) included the the Hon Premier Donaldson Romeo, the access coordinator representatives from various government departments, the business community and the media, participated in an organized test run, which according to the feedback or first reaction from the Premier’s office, highlighted some challenges. According to the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Camille Gerald noted, they are not difficult to overcome, a view shared by the Ag. Access Coordinator Leandre Tuitt.

Mrs. Gerald said, “I think it went well; it was a test… we anticipated we would have hiccups – we had a few but not any that we cannot deal with,” explaining these were due to poor internet service Antigua, immigration problems and with the new online booking system in Montserrat.

She also said the test run was a late decision for which the Antigua authorities were no prepared as the plan was for the ferry to begin officially today, December 2, but she was grateful port authorities, that on a short request, obliged only to turn up on Thursday at the port and found there was no Digicel internet service.

Most of the persons who took the opportunity for the few hours in Antigua and the test run had satisfying experiences with the ferry ride and service as well as glowing remarks about the renovated terminal in Antigua. “The ferry ride was good, I like the new uniforms of the (Jennys..staff) – I thought Antigua got closer Montserrat… with the ride.

I think it went well it was a test we anticipated woe would have hiccups we had a few but not any that we cannot deal with immigration here as a result of the booking. but these things that can be fixed gratitude to immigration officials in Antigua who were not expecting said they were disappointed because of Digicel. Things would have been sooner.

The ferry ride was good, like the new uniform. Thought Antigua got closer to Montserrat the ride was nice…” One person remembered the days, “we had to sit outside on the sidewalk waiting on the ferry this is definitely an improvement.”

remembering waiting on the side outside.

Montserrat has been without a ferry service since April 2016 when renewal arrangements of the contract with Caribe Sun were botched and ill-prepared. Going forward the Government even after having approved funding for a ferry, met with hazards according to official sources, involving the Department for International Development (DfiD) particularly on the local front. After procurement failures made difficult, negotiations with the Premier and DFID headquarters, an eventual fast tracked (single-source) procurement conducted in conjunction with the Government resulted in the Jaden Sun ferry landing a ten month contract. According to sources, the hazards encountered included giving exorbitant and special interest access contracts not necessarily related to the ferry service.

“The Jaden Sun with a passenger capacity of 218 began scheduled operations today December 2, 2016. It is expected to also provide luggage and small cargo services. It will be based at Port Little Bay, Montserrat, with additional accommodation to dock at the Old Plymouth Jetty as required.”

See photos at –  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themontserratreporter/photos/pb.203080105851.-2207520000.1481281613./10154255843780852/?type=3&theater

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Comes with improved terminal facilities and online booking systems

Last week on November 24, 2016 the Government of Montserrat signed a long awaited contract with Jaden Inc. owners of the Jaden sun ‘fast ferry’ signaling the resumption of ferry services between Antigua and Montserrat, with the potential of services to other islands, such as occasional excursions to St Kitts, Nevis, Guadeloupe and St. Maarten.

According to the Premier the achievement of firstly the agreement by DFID to reinstate the ferry service was ‘hard fought’. The service was welcomed with an Inaugural ceremony on Thursday, Dec 1, followed by a sponsored trip to Antigua as a test of the ride and services along with a sampling of the renovated terminal in Antigua. Also in train was testing the new ‘Online Booking Service’ for the ferry service.

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Some 71 persons (we learnt was planned for 20 to 30) included the the Hon Premier Donaldson Romeo, the access coordinator representatives from various government departments, the business community and the media, participated in an organized test run, which according to the feedback or first reaction from the Premier’s office, highlighted some challenges. According to the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Camille Gerald noted, they are not difficult to overcome, a view shared by the Ag. Access Coordinator Leandre Tuitt.

Mrs. Gerald said, “I think it went well; it was a test… we anticipated we would have hiccups – we had a few but not any that we cannot deal with,” explaining these were due to poor internet service Antigua, immigration problems and with the new online booking system in Montserrat.

She also said the test run was a late decision for which the Antigua authorities were no prepared as the plan was for the ferry to begin officially today, December 2, but she was grateful port authorities, that on a short request, obliged only to turn up on Thursday at the port and found there was no Digicel internet service.

Most of the persons who took the opportunity for the few hours in Antigua and the test run had satisfying experiences with the ferry ride and service as well as glowing remarks about the renovated terminal in Antigua. “The ferry ride was good, I like the new uniforms of the (Jennys..staff) – I thought Antigua got closer Montserrat… with the ride.

I think it went well it was a test we anticipated woe would have hiccups we had a few but not any that we cannot deal with immigration here as a result of the booking. but these things that can be fixed gratitude to immigration officials in Antigua who were not expecting said they were disappointed because of Digicel. Things would have been sooner.

The ferry ride was good, like the new uniform. Thought Antigua got closer to Montserrat the ride was nice…” One person remembered the days, “we had to sit outside on the sidewalk waiting on the ferry this is definitely an improvement.”

remembering waiting on the side outside.

Montserrat has been without a ferry service since April 2016 when renewal arrangements of the contract with Caribe Sun were botched and ill-prepared. Going forward the Government even after having approved funding for a ferry, met with hazards according to official sources, involving the Department for International Development (DfiD) particularly on the local front. After procurement failures made difficult, negotiations with the Premier and DFID headquarters, an eventual fast tracked (single-source) procurement conducted in conjunction with the Government resulted in the Jaden Sun ferry landing a ten month contract. According to sources, the hazards encountered included giving exorbitant and special interest access contracts not necessarily related to the ferry service.

“The Jaden Sun with a passenger capacity of 218 began scheduled operations today December 2, 2016. It is expected to also provide luggage and small cargo services. It will be based at Port Little Bay, Montserrat, with additional accommodation to dock at the Old Plymouth Jetty as required.”

See photos at –  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themontserratreporter/photos/pb.203080105851.-2207520000.1481281613./10154255843780852/?type=3&theater