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 ride and services, along with a sampling of the renovated terminal in Antigua.
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.
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.
“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.”
Source Montserrat reporter