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Antigua, St Lucia, and St Vincent Included in New Regional Ferry Proposal

by Karen Rollins Jan 2, 2023

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Passenger ship in Bequia

Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, and St Vincent have been put forward as possible stops for a new ferry network connecting the Eastern Caribbean and other countries in the region.

The Caribbean ferry proposal, which was prepared by Diogo Aita at the Economic Commission for Latin America and The Caribbean, suggests four possible routes for the service that would be funded by Public Private Partnerships.

The first proposed route comprises of Colombia, Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Trinidad and Tobago. Route two joins Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname. 

The third proposed route links Puerto Rico, Antigua and Barbuda, Guadeloupe, and St Lucia, while route four could connect St Lucia, St Vincent, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago.

Barbados was surprisingly not suggested as a possible destination for the ferry, despite being a major hub for international and regional airlines.

According to the document compiled by Mr Aito, the routes identified are based on the profitability of each route per vessel.

He further suggests that for the ferry project to become viable, CARICOM would have to examine the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas to identify opportunities for improvement, facilitate the entry of work vehicles such as cargo trucks, and ensure free transit in the countries where the ferry would operate. 

Similarly, Mr Aito says that customs and immigration regulations for the flow of goods and people would have to be reviewed and improved to speed up the transportation process and reduce transaction costs.

Sources: Nation News, St Vincent Times, and Demerara Waves.