The newest addition to the inter-island ferry service made its maiden voyage to Tobago on Monday night.
Chief Secretary Orville London said that the 11-year-old MV Super Fast Galicia will significantly ease the challenges Tobago has faced with cargo capacity and reliability, and should bring considerable savings on transport costs and, therefore, on the cost of living and the cost of various commodities in Tobago.
The Chief Secretary said that he expects those savings to be passed on to the people of Tobago, adding “I am repeating my appeal to the business community to ensure that the concessions they receive on the sea bridge are, as far as possible, passed on to the people of Tobago. In the final analysis it is about people, not profit”.
Assemblyman Tracy Davidson-Celestine, the Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary of Tourism and Transportation, said she hoped that the vessel would bring greater predictability and reliability, and also help promote increased passenger movement between the islands.
Cadiz said that the Galicia carries twice as much as the 35-year-old MV Warrior Spirit and will be able to take all the cargo from Port of Spain, including cement and other building materials. He noted that the Trinidad Cement Company had been chartering a vessel every fortnight to transport cement, but this will now be unnecessary.
He said the Galicia is initially on charter for 12 months at a cost of TT$48 million while a study is made of the size and capacity of a new vessel to be purchased.
He added that the vessel has 24 passenger cabins, a sick bay with two beds, a secure area for prisoners, and can carry 112 passengers, 110 trailers and 60 cars. It can make the voyage between the ports in 5½ hours.