Saba – Met een maand vertraging gaat de veerdienst tussen Saba, Sint Eustatius en Sint Maarten op 1 december alsnog van start. De start moest worden uitgesteld omdat de douane en de Koninklijke Marechaussee niet voorbereid waren: de dienstroosters bleken niet afgestemd op de vaartijden van de ferry.
Wat er mis is gegaan, moet duidelijk worden uit de beantwoording door minister Barbara Visser van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat van schriftelijke vragen die de Tweede Kamerleden Aukje de Vries (VVD) en Jorien Wuite (D66) vorige week hebben ingediend. De veerdienst is mogelijk gemaakt door een subsidie van 2 miljoen euro van IenW.
Makana ferry service to Saba, Statia starts Dec. 1
SABA/STATIA—The new Makana ferry service starts on December 1, 2021 with the inaugural run to Saba and St. Eustatius scheduled for this Sunday, November 28, the Public Entities Saba and St. Eustatius announced on Wednesday, November 24.
The ferry service between St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba will be carried out by the company Blues and Blues Ltd from Anguilla with a comfortable high-speed 72-foot catamaran adjusted to a 150-seat capacity. The operation will begin on December 1, with an adjusted schedule during the first few days due to the Saba Day festivities. On December 3, Saba Day, people from St. Eustatius have the possibility to come to Saba on a day trip. As of Sunday December 5, the regular schedule will begin.
The inaugural run and the presentation of the Makana ferry to the communities of Saba and St. Eustatius will be on Sunday, November 28. On both islands, there will be an inaugural event at the harbor to welcome the new ferry. An invitation for this event will be distributed via the Government Information Services on the two islands.
Information about the ferry service, including the schedule and rates, can be found on the website www.makanaferryservice.com. Bookings for Saba and St. Eustatius to St. Maarten can currently be made via the Makana agent representatives.
Later in December, the online booking platform will be launched. Booking via the agents will remain possible. The ferry service to St. Kitts will be added as soon as COVID-19 restrictions enable this connectivity. During this time additional connectivity will be added to St. Maarten.
The new ferry service is carried out under a public private maritime connectivity agreement. Funding for the ferry service comes from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (I&W) in the Netherlands, which has granted a subsidy of 2 million euros for the first two years to realize a sustainable Public Service Obligation (PSO) agreement.
The ferry will provide same-day connectivity from Saba and St. Eustatius to St. Maarten, connectivity between Saba and St. Eustatius, and, at a later stage, same-day connectivity between St. Eustatius and St. Kitts.