At long last, it seems that there may be a way to explore the Eastern Caribbean in a rational manner through a new ferry service that will connect Barbados, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Grenada and St. Vincent. The service, which joins the connections between Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, and St. Lucia offered by L’Express des îles, is expected to start operating daily by late October, according to Grenada-based BEDY Ocean Line. Prices will range from $120 to $140, and some trips will last up to nearly four hours, CEO Benjamin Ross said Tuesday. (See schedule information here Schedule information for new Caribbean ferry)
The announcement comes as travelers face pricier airline tickets, increased baggage restrictions and canceled flights by regional carrier LIAT due to wage disputes. It would also help travelers who often need to make complicated connections to reach islands that are within a few miles of each other. One ferry will be based in St. Vincent and serve Barbados and St. Lucia, while another will operate out of Grenada and serve Trinidad and Barbados, Ross said. Between 260 to 300 seats will be available per ferry. Passengers will be allowed to carry two 60-pound (27-kilogram) suitcases without charge, and alcohol is prohibited on board.
In 2005, Barbadian company Remac Tours announced it would offer ferry service between Barbados and Guadeloupe, with stops in St. Lucia, Dominica and Martinique. But the service was never begun for internal reasons not related to costs or demand, CEO Reynold McClean said. Currently, in addition to L’Express des îles, only a couple of ferries operate between Florida and the Bahamas and among Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.