First US-Bahamas ferry service launched
NASSAU, Bahamas, Thursday, April 19, 2012 – This month marked the start of operations of the first fast ferry linking the Bahamas with the United States mainland.
The service is expected to open a new avenue for business travel between the two countries as the schedule allows for day trips.
Baleària Bahamas Express, owned by Spanish ferry operator Baleària and the Capo group, has introduced the ferry service through the operation of the high-speed vessel christened 'Pinar del Rio', which now plies its route daily, except Wednesday, between Fort Lauderdale and Grand Bahama.
The Baleària Bahamas Express can transport a maximum of 463 passengers each way, and its owners are touting it as “an appealing alternative to air travel”. Travelling at 32 knots, the vessel can make the 76-mile crossing in just two-and-a-half hours.
The daily schedule sees the ferry departing from Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades Terminal One at 10 am bound and arriving in Freeport Harbour at 12:30 pm. The return trip departs at 7:30 pm and arrives in Fort Lauderdale at 10 p.m.
Decorated in vibrant colours depicting the seabed, Pinar del Río bears a design by famed Spanish fashion designer, Custo Barcelona. The service offers travellers the opportunity to begin their vacation before they arrive at their destination.
The onboard amenities include; a cafe-bar stocked with a variety of delicacies, audiovisual equipment for movie viewing, a baby changing station, and a duty free gift shop offering a wide selection of gifts and keepsakes.