Stride de Islands by ferry | Caribbean 'slow travel' may be the next wave

"Islands in the sea or a sea of islands"1

"Ferries: You'll wish there were more between islands but where they run (eg St Kitts to Nevis, Dominica to Martinique), you'll love 'em".2

As if following through on fulfilling this wish, eastern Caribbean countries are tantalizingly close to becoming linked by sea. One study even asks rather bluntly: "How come that operating a ferry in the Caribbean is not a straightforward business? Why isn’t the whole area teeming with activity?"3

While a broad range of ferry services are already in place, improving ferry linkages will ease travel in an area that already features strong cultural, familial and political bonds. Importantly, opportunities will open for tourism operators and suppliers to develop a whole new range of offerings. In particular, OECS countries, with small populations, will benefit by increasing access to affordable transport services. Benefits will accrue to all stakeholders, private and public — residents, visitors, businesses — everyone.

This idea will really click with ferry services that are reasonably priced (half, or less, than air), regular (minimum thrice weekly) and reliable (on time). Maritime links between the islands are feasible and will provide lower cost alternatives to travelling or shipping by air. Ultimately, regularized services will attract more users. Many new opportunities to expand services for locals also become available.

A European Commission study presently underway, is looking at the possibility of using Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) to supply interisland transportation services, what a tourist attraction 'that' would be!

In fact, with the recent issues with LIAT, alternate linkages have become more pressing than ever, many places have been completely cut off from any ability to move goods and people easily.

Ferries and distances between Capital cities in the eastern Caribbean
Ferries and distances between Capital cities in the eastern Caribbean (rev 2017)

Notably, for OECS countries, connecting three missing links will close service gaps between Barbuda to as far down as Grenada: St Kitts to Antigua and Antigua to Guadeloupe in the northern segment and then St Lucia to St Vincent in the south. This nearly completes linkages within the OECS region (except Anguilla).4, 5 St Lucia to Barbados could be an important link, enabling access to a larger base of users.

With Guadeloupe recently becoming an OECS member, a ferry service is occasionally available to transport shoppers to Antigua. Martinique joined the OECS in 2015.6, 7 The addition of these two countries is important both as a completion of the grouping of the whole chain of islands and to increase the population base, as well as symbolically. St. Martin and St. Barthélemy, no doubt, would welcome these developments. It is now more important than ever to complete linkages between these islands.

St Maarten is not an OECS member. However, with St Maarten being a very popular tourist site, a further sea link to St Maarten could bring a large volume of potential visitors to the region.

In the future, the eastern Caribbean could be linked to the Virgin Islands and possibly to San Juan with a ferry link between St Thomas and St Maarten (Links between Charlotte Amalie to Fajardo or San Juan exist and are offered intermittently — at a fraction of the air ticket price). In the south, Trinidad and Tobago could become part of this tourist region with a link to Grenada.

Why is this important? One cannot look at each ferry link on its own. Its the mutually constructive nature of the whole collection of links that is the way to build this network. It is the network that is the attraction. No island is going solo to attract world markets.8

Linking the eastern Caribbean islands by sea offers the possibility of opening a category of travel that does not currently exist. This will create a tourism region that allows visitors mobility without using aircraft. The current pandemic has shown that air connections can be cancelled without notice. Many people find air travel stressful. Not needing airplanes substantially reduces the cost and hassle of travel. Many prefer not to use small aircraft (or any aircraft). Also, physically challenged travellers who find air travel inconvenient need consideration. Travellers with bulky equipment (eg: bicycles, scuba gear) might also take advantage of considerable cost savings.

This approach is strongly supported in the WorldBank report: Driving Tourism in the Eastern Caribbean. A co-author of the study, Brian Samuel states: "For the life of me I can’t understand why, in an archipelago where every island is within sight of the other, we STILL cannot get it together to do a simple thing like starting an Eastern Caribbean fast ferry service?"9 Being able to board a sea-going craft is an alternative for a whole range of travellers — including local people who are the most deserving to benefit. It may or may not realize a benefit in reducing GHGs as this depends on the scale of adoption and the way it is used.

Another recent study, from the UN-ECLAC in 2016 states: "In the specific case of tourism, many visitors to the region already utilize specialized ferry services for the intrinsic pleasure of the journey itself, as well as to enhance their Caribbean vacation experience. Hence, maritime passenger transportation can serve to expand the range of choices, relative to the set of economic and social activities which may exist among various Caribbean destinations."10

Also worth noting, longer traverse times using ferries would likely be balanced by time savings in not having to go through airport immigration, check-in queues and baggage claims. And ferry terminals tend to be located closer to business areas so there is the time/money savings in reduced use of ground transport.

And the burgeoning 'slow travel' market will supply a range of new customers.11 Slow travel is ideal for getting closer to the local people, to learn and appreciate what local culture is all about. This visitor is particularly interested in freedom of movement outside a scheduled or structured format, such as cruises or guided tours, although some guided tours may be offered to fill demand. This visitor is interested in staying in guesthouse type accommodation or eco-lodges and eating local foods.

Emphasis is on attracting the independent traveller. Other categories may include 'millenials', 'adventure travellers' and so on. In addition, other types of niche tourism may also benefit, such as: music or food festivals, sports such as cricket, cycling or diving. Cultural differences are no longer a barrier. Nowadays, as cruisers already know, a short hop will deliver a completely new experience. This diversity is a major attraction.

Eco-travellers especially are likely to gravitate to this mode, provided that customs rules (and costs) are not restrictive, potentially delivering a big boost to Caribbean-style eco-friendly travel. Cultural and heritage explorers as well as nature and birding explorers will have a completely new opportunity to explore this region in ways that, until now, have not been available.

In the Caribbean, there is also a great importance being placed on linking tourism with farming, known as agri-tourism. In addition, this enables local producers to be able to ship goods between the islands at a much lower cost. Once again, this offers local suppliers unique and attractive options, like local farm-to-table and farm or plantation visits/tours. There are numerous farm and plantation tours such as the Tobago Cocoa Plantation.

Expanding and building on the heritage sites, nature preserves, protected areas and National Parks that these visitors are attracted to will help to promote them. This can include activities such as bird-watching, observing turtle nesting or hiking tours, as examples.12

This will be a novel way to island hop and a style of travel with built-in appeal. Innovative cruise lines, particularly smaller ship lines might think about filling this gap by offering shipping services at the same time and permitting stay-over visits. The more the merrier.

Lastly, and just as importantly, local people can travel between islands much more easily. In principle, linking all eastern Caribbean islands will provide local people ability to move around, as workers and tourists, and to ship goods and produce more reliably and cheaply.

One of the most difficult hurdles to overcome is, in fact, not transportation, not even logistics. No, the most difficult hurdle is agreement on a single visa allowing travel between eastern Caribbean countries for the duration of a stay. Currently tourism authorities are working towards removing this barrier.13 No doubt, this requires a big shift in mentalities towards freedom of travel within the region.

A more modern travel mode of thinking posits that removal of barriers facilitates movement, in turn attracting visitors. The opportunity may yet open for a visitor to pay a one-time fee and enter to the eastern Caribbean with low-cost regional travel freely enabled. Already, visa free travel exists in many parts of the world, so this could be a joining up of eastern Caribbean countries into this explorer segment of the tourism industry.

Consider this statement by Minister Michael of Antigua: "In terms of Visa restrictions, I urge that OECS countries give consideration to a harmonized Visa policy which would allow for a Visa issued by one OECS country to be valid throughout the sub-region. Such an approach already exists in the EU so that guidance already exists in that regard. ... It is also time for a harmonized OECS approach to the adoption of US, Canadian, UK, or EU Visas as qualifying the visitor for visa-free entry into the OECS".14 The potential exists for a win-win-win on a scale that has never been done before in the eastern Caribbean.

New and different ways to travel between islands are appealing to many, especially visitors looking for unique experiences. While it appears promising, the "scaling up" is complex, involving co-ordination and agreement among many partners. So services should not expect an immediate rush at ferry terminals in the area. However, the level of interest points to an idea whose time has arrived. With effective marketing, this will certainly gel into unique and exciting travel opportunities. Fans of the eastern Caribbean would be very welcoming of such developments.

Why You Should Consider Slow Travel for Your Next Trip​ by Bill Fink, AARP, January 14, 2022

Traveling deeply rather than widely brings special pleasures — and fewer hassles during COVID-19.
The U.S. and destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean are also increasingly popular slow travel destinations. Virtuoso’s Belles says pandemic-era remote-work opportunities have had many customers booking extended stays in traditional resort destinations, but “people are going beyond the usual ‘fly and flop’ vacation — they want to explore more of the area while they’re there, to get away from the beach and do more.”, states Mr Fink.

As authors, Benjamin F. Timms & Dennis Conway, argue in 'Slow Tourism at the Caribbean's Geographical Margins', from 2012!:

"[I]t behoves planners and tourism promoters in the Caribbean to recognize the value and necessity of encouraging the widening of their tourism sector’s diversity to include new and appropriate tourism forms that are more sustainable economically, socially and environmentally. Here we argue that slow tourism can serve this goal in marginal locations through its philosophical basis in slow growth development."15

They go on to say that these types of tourism won't be a replacement but rather a supplement to more traditional travel choices. Nonethless the opportunity to bring heretofore marginalized groups in to the tourism universe now has real legs.

Points to ponder:

- Ferries are buses that float, but may also be used for other services. Passenger service may be adequate as a starting point. Then later ramp up to provide services for moving cars and trucks.
- Governments need to provide subsidies, at least for the start-up period.
- Small cruise ships may be included to offer additional services.
- Are there frequent users? Monthly electronic passes may lower user cost and contribute to revenue stream of service.
- Consider a travel pass region, like BritRail, EurRail, CanRail, Amtrak, except this one uses ferries (or possibly small cruise ships).
- Whereby, in the past there were not enough people to support economical development, regional population and tourist market bases are increasing rapidly.
- Where service exists, some markets may be over-served while others lack any service at all. Perhaps re-allocation or some such adjustment would level the service offering.
- There is no ferry service oversight body in the region to provide co-ordination between services.

Trinidad & Tobago

Here is an illustration that there is a demand for inter-island tourism. Tourism in the Caribbean is growing, according to the CTO. (Caribbean Tourism Arrivals Hit All-Time High, CTO, 2017). "The Deputy Chief Secretary said over 590,000 people annually stay over at hotels, bed and breakfast establishments and guest houses in Tobago. This includes domestic arrivals, as well as international visitors to the destination". (Tourism in Tobago doing well, Tobago House of Assembly, 2016.)
However, Tobago's share of international visitors has shrunk - quite considerably - from more than 86K visitors in 2005 to less than 20K visitors in 2016. (See: Financial trouble for Tobago hotels, Trinidad Guardian, 2017.) So, most of these visitors are from it's sister isle - Trinidad. The best reasons for this are the air and sea bridge. Without these connections, Tobago would be much worse off than it is.

1. The Caribbean Sea is the most important vehicle and the most challenging obstacle Caribbean countries have to connect with the world. See: Connectivity for Caribbean Countries: An Initial Assessment by Cecilia Briceño-Garmendia, Heinrich C. Bofinger, Diana Cubas and Maria Florencia Millan-Placci, World Bank, 2015
2. Caribbean Islands, 6th Ed., Lonely Planet, 2011, pg 18.
3. Ferries in the Caribbean, Saint Vincent to Cuba by Bas Ceulemans, Anna van der Togt, Tom Timmerman and Remko Wiesman, Masterproject CiTG CEG 4061 - 09, Delft University of Technology: TU Delft, 2015
A team of International Research Projects Delft (IRPdelft) performed a multidisciplinary market research study for Damen Shipyards Ferry Services in the Caribbean to investigate the current market demand and deliver a strategic marketing advice to enlarge future business opportunities in the region.
4. Direct ferry service between St Vincent and Grenada is no longer available. The Jaden Sun has been relocated to Montserrat. It is still possible to transit this area by sea, albeit even more slowly, by traversing the Grenadines from St. Vincent to Bequia (Admiralty Transport or Bequia Express) to Union Island (MV Barracuda) and then from Union Island to Carriacou (M.V. Jasper) to Grenada (Osprey Lines), or vice-versa. These are sparsely populated areas so schedules may vary due to demand with the advantage that the fares are very cheap. (See below for information about travel in St. Vincent and the Grenadines)
5. Jeans for Freedom provides intermittent service between Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe and St Johns, Antigua as well as Fort-de-France (Martinique) and Kingstown (St. Vincent). Affiliated with L'Express des Îles.
6. See: Accession of Martinique to OECS Associate Membership
7. See: Gregoire: Now its Guadeloupe's turn, Dominica Sun, 2015
8. See: Want to keep tourists away? Keep flying solo: a lesson from small Caribbean states by Cecilia Briceño-Garmendia, Heinrich Bofinger, Diana Cubas, and Maria Florencia Millán-Placci, WorldBank, 2014.
9. See: The airline industry by Brian Samuel, The New Today Newspaper, Grenada, June 2014. Mr. Samuel is a strong advocate for a passenger ferry service.
See also: The Case for an Eastern Caribbean Ferry by Brian Samuel, Caribbean Journal, February 12th, 2015 (
See also: Tourism Innovation and Enterprise: Caribbean Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Opportunities by S. Brian Samuel, Caribbean Tourism Organization State of the Industry Conference, SOTIC, 2014.
10. Towards a demand model for maritime passenger transportation in the Caribbean: A regional study of passenger ferry services by Omar Bello, Willard Phillips and Delena Indar, UN-ECLAC, 2016, pg 7. See also: The Caribbean Maritime Transportation Sector, UN-ECLAC.
11. "Don’t forget the tourists. In a survey conducted in 2014 among the UK’s leading tour operators; 75 percent of respondents felt that many of their clients (10 percent or more) would be interested in using a ferry service in the Eastern Caribbean. In 2013, the Eastern Caribbean received 1.3 million tourists; 10 percent of that is 130,000 potential ferry customers. That’s a pretty good base to start with." See The Case for an Eastern Caribbean Ferry by Brian Samuel, Caribbean Journal, February 12th, 2015 (
12. These are variations of niche tourism alternatives to the sun-sea-sand model, or to augment visitor experiences. For example: "Visitor demand is increasing, and if Caribbean governments are serious about returning their countries to economic stability, they need to focus much more on tourism and its integration with the wider economy. This suggests that, for some destinations, there may be more value in identifying the increasingly diverse range of niche opportunities in sub-sectors of the already known European and North American tourism market." See: How can the Caribbean maximize on tourism investment? by David Jessop, Antillean Media Group, 2015
13. See: OECS countries move closer towards common tourism policy, Antigua Observer, 2013
See also: OECS officials develop action plan to ease inter-regional travel, Caribbean 360, 2013 (@
Discussions regarding visa free travel in the OECS has been on the table for a while.
Another article on the same topic from The Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association: CTO Aviation Task Force Recommends Single Visa Regime, 2013
In fact, this has already been done once for the Cricket World Cup in 2007. See: Historic agreement makes travel to and between Caribbean countries much easier, South Florida Caribbean News, 2007 (
14. See: Minister Michael address in OECS Regional validation Workshop on Factors Inhibiting Intraregional Travel, Antigua Focus, 2015 (, site and article no longer exist.)
15. Slow Tourism at the Caribbean's Geographical Margins @

See: The West Indies on $50.00 a Day: Guesthouse Travel in the Caribbean by Mike Hollywood, 2000 for some discussion of getting around by ferry. Information is dated. (Google Books)

Distances are based on point-to-point distances between Capital cities in nautical miles and may not be the same as sailing distances. (source: Distance calculator at: For sailing distances refer to: One Statute mile (5,280 ft) x 1.1508 = One nautical mile (6,076.11549 feet). One nautical mile x 0.869 = One Statute mile.

Articles related to ferry essay

This is a collection of articles which are relevant to this study, including annotations that support and add depth to the topic.

Google Search: Caribbean Ferry Service

A Regional Fast Ferry Service in the Southern Caribbean, Study by Adrian Beharry, 2011 (found at (PDF)
The Study concluded that market volumes, conditions and barriers prohibit the Region from successfully establishing fast ferry services.
However, if latent demand exists for intra-regional trade, for example, because of high pricing and inefficiencies in the existing transportation system, the regional fast ferry project may present an opportunity to improve transportation linkages, lower barriers to trade and contribute to the reversal of the declining trend in intra-regional trade.
Note: This model did not include any tourist usage.

ABC ferry project struggling, while other Caribbean islands may soon be connected, Caribbean News Now, 2016 (@, 2017)
On the other side of the Caribbean, the Barbados-registered Caribbean Ferry Service is in the process of finalizing paperwork to operate two vessels. Another effort is also being made to get a double decker ferry with a capacity of 350 to travel between other islands in the Caribbean.
According to the Nation newspaper in Barbados, Caribbean Ferry Service will operate The Dream Jet Express and The Opal Jet Express, for travel and cargo.
It says the service will be initially accessible to travellers in Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia and other islands would eventually be added to the itinerary.
Chief executive officer Randy Connor said the vessels will have two homeports: St Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados.
Meantime, over in Dominica, Captain Neville Wade who has been in the shipping business for over 50 years, told a local television station that he’s hoping to have his ferry operational by this month. (source:,-while-other-Caribbean-islands-may-soon-be-connected-31345.html)

Tobago activist proposes ferry service to Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Chairman of the Eric Williams Memorial Committee Reginald Vidale is calling for an inter-regional ferry service to help stimulate tourism in Tobago. TT is set to welcome two new fast ferries – the Buccoo Reef and APT James – to the seabridge within the next few months to supplement the TT Spirit, Galleons Passage and Jean de La Valette.

"We have the infrastructure. All we need to do is have a bilateral agreement with Grenada and a pilot project to start it. Tobago can't continue to sit back and depend on Trinidad domestic tourism."

Anguilla Ferry Service: Link Ferries (
Link Ferries operate between Anguilla and St. Martin. The Link Ferry fleet consists of the Link Cat, a high speed catamarran, and the Link, an even faster small ferry that can go into Simpson Lagoon and reach the Princess Julianna Aiport in St. Maarten
We also do private charters to offshore quays and neighbouring islands including: St Martin. (French /Dutch), St Barths, Saba, Statia, St Kitts & Nevis.

Another call for a regional ferry system - The Barbados Advocate, 2010 (
Jonathan Tourtellot suggests ferry service "could go a long way in helping to promote geotourism in the region".
"Tourtellot said the idea of an inter-island ferry system is perfectly feasible and such a system is currently being used by a variety of European territories. ... He suggested that the market of potential tourists would become much more accessible if the area becomes easier to explore".

Azalea Ferries - Passenger/Cargo Ship Survey Azalea ferries is a regional passenger/cargo ferry service which plans to operate in the southern Caribbean islands of Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia, St.Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago in the near future. The company recognises the need for this service to be operational. The objective of this survey is to find out which companies are willing to import/export using this service. Thank you in advance for filling out this short survey.
founder/CEO: AZALEA Ferries: Andre Petite (
AZALEA FERRIES: Number: 48384; Date Registered / Incorporated: 02 July 2012, Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office, Barbados (

Bajans ever so welcome to Grenada (
Regional tourism officials have been eager in recent years to see the launch of a passenger ferry service in the Caribbean, which they say has the potential to reduce the cost of intra-regional travel.
Article submitted by The New Today Newspaper, Grenada.

Barbados PM reiterates call for regional ferry service by Julie Wilson, CNN, October 18, 2011
Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has made it clear that he will not be tolerating any obstacles to the establishment of efficient transport facilities in the region.
Stuart emphasised that it was patently obvious that intra-regional transport will be the life-blood of a vibrant CARICOM Single Market and Economy. "Just as the integration and development of the United States in the 1860s depended on the railway, so the development of CARICOM depends on maritime transport".
In this regard, it was also recommended that a six-month pilot project be implemented to "confirm our hunch that when you take into consideration the revenue from cargo, together with that from passengers, particularly tourists who want to sail and sample other territories at will, the venture could be profitable".

Bermuda's Cruise Ship Calls in 2017 - Bermuda Online (
2016. December 14:
A Bermudian firm has won a bid to run two ferries between Dockyard and St George for Norwegian Cruise Lines. Cruiseport Ferry Management, owned by experienced mariner Beau Evans, will operate the two 85-foot catamarans from next July. The boats, built by NCL and thought to be worth between $3 million and $4 million each, will carry up to 250 passengers each and run regularly between the two destinations. The service, to be entirely staffed by Bermudians, will provide a massive boost in transport capacity to St George. Senator Michael Fahy, the Minister of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities, said the service would “more than double” the service to the island’s former capital. Mr Evans holds Department of Marine & Ports class C pilot’s licence, as well as having a Standards of Training, Certification and Watch Keeping for Seafarers qualification, which includes proficiency in marine safety, security, firefighting and first aid. Mr Fahy said: “Mr Evans has an in-depth knowledge of the Bermuda marine industry, possessing a long history in the field of marine operations and services as well as experience in cruise ship operations. I am also very pleased to announce that the captains, crews and all of the associated support staff for this venture will be Bermudian.” NCL submitted a request for proposal to run their boats in August. Kenny Bascome, Junior Minister of Tourism, a St George’s MP, said: “This increase in business will provide an important boost to the number of visitors to the Olde Towne. It is anticipated that the catamarans will be based in St George’s during the winter months for repairs and maintenance, providing a further boost to the St George’s economy. This is yet another step forward in improving tourism in St George’s — the jewel in the crown of Bermuda’s tourism product.” Bill Hanbury, CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said earlier this year that the ferries, which will create up to ten jobs, are expected to run on the island until 2022. Mr Hanbury added that the new service would augment to public ferry system rather than supplant it and the investment was not one Bermuda could have afforded on its own. NCL ships from its Regent Seven Seas and Oceania premium lines will also make a dozen calls to St George next year.

Beyond Tourism: The Future of the Services Industry in the Caribbean by Daniel P. Erickson and Joyce Lawrence, The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), 2008
The Caribbean needs a functioning maritime transport sector to deal with the growing needs of the population. The movement of people between countries in the Caribbean also relies on maritime transportation from one island to another. Between 2000 and 2003 imports to the Caribbean increased 20 percent. The region has also increased the extent to which it exports by more than 50 percent since 2000. These factors make increasing capacity vital to the continued economic growth of the island economies.
The degree to which there is maritime transportation from island to island in the Caribbean is highly heterogeneous. To date there is no unified ferry system across different countries in the region, although that has been a much discussed goal among Caribbean nations. Recent discussions have focused on the possibility of simplifying what identification is needed from citizens of Caribbean countries to travel to other islands. Inter-island transportation is important in Caribbean countries that inhabit more than one island such as Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and the Bahamas. Trinidad and Tobago has several ferry services operating between Port of Spain and Scarborough, with some like the T&T Express offering faster service at higher prices and others such as the MF Panorama offering a slower trip at a cheaper price. These services operate on a daily basis, with Tobago serving as a tourist destination for the residents of Trinidad. Antigua and Barbuda, depends solely on the Barbuda Express, a ferry that offers the only passenger sea link between the two islands and runs five days a week. Larger ferries generally carry about 1,000 travellers per trip. The Bahamas has smaller, government-run ferries that transport passengers across islands that are reasonably close together, and faster ferries for islands that are further apart. Governments of the region have not followed up on the desire for a maritime link, especially a high-speed ferry between the countries that now make up the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, but one ferry was established by the private Barbados company Remac Tours (Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, 1998). (pg 17)

Cadiz cancels ferry service to Grenada, Trinidad Express, 2015 (

Caribbean fast ferry service needs private sector investment - Gonsalves, Caribbean360, 2013 (
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says implementing a fast ferry service in the southern Caribbean is a risk the private sector must take, with government assistance.

Caribbean Ferries, a brief discussion at Lonely Planet (

Caribbean Ferry Map and Index by Howder Family, December, 2017

Caribbean Infrastructure Public Private Partnership Roadmap, WorldBank (Google Books)
This report presents the Caribbean Infrastructure PPP Roadmap by describing why and how PPPs can add value through the lessons learned from 11 countries. It reviews emerging PPP opportunities based on experience within the region to identify possible constraints and sets out concrete actions that Caribbean governments can take—individually, and collectively—to build successful PPP projects and programs.
Emerging PPP Opportunities:
Another possible area of interest for PPP is in the ferry sector. Ferry transport is common between islands in the Caribbean, and is typically fully privately operated, under regulation by maritime authorities (that is, not under PPP structures). However, PPPs can be relevant where ferry projects involve a significant investment in land-side infrastructure—potentially requiring government support, or requiring a long-term investment for which specification of rights and obligations of public and private parties is beneficial. This would be the case for the one potential ferry PPP project included in the pipeline, albeit at an early stage of development—a proposed foot and vehicle passenger ferry in Haiti, for which wharf and terminal facilities would also be needed.
Given the high cost of intra-regional travel—with air travel the only option on many routes—further development of the ferry sector appears attractive, whether through PPPs or fully-private regulated structures. For several years, there have been discussions and plans to launch a regional fast ferry, as described in Box 4.2. However, these plans have not come to fruition. This is an example of the challenges in achieving the regional cooperation required to move forward with projects that could be mutually beneficial, but lack an obvious project champion.

Box 4.2: The Challenges of Regional Projects: OECS Regional Fast Ferry
Fast ferry services are common in many archipelagos of similar size to the OECS, such as regions in the Mediterranean and northern Europe. A regional fast ferry service could potentially provide cheaper travel than air service. While such a project could be largely privately implemented, regional governments would be required to grant licenses, regulate safety, and possibly regulate the tariffs of the private operator(s).
A privately-operated regional ferry service has been discussed among regional governments for many years, but has yet to come to fruition. The most recent initiative foundered in 2008-09, when one of the several governments involved declined to certify the proposed vessels as seaworthy. This illustrates the inherent difficulties of negotiating projects among multiple governments, which may have conflicting interests and fiscal objectives. None of the nine governments interviewed for this study mentioned the fast ferry as a potential PPP project. (pg 17)

Caribbean inter-island ferry service to start next month, 2005 (
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: A new ferry service linking Barbados and some its Caribbean neighbours is in the final stages of preparation and will make its first trip on September 16.
Barbadian company, Remac Tours, will operate the Star Ferries which will seat 400 passengers and provide meals, a children's play area and duty-free shops.
Product development director at Remac Tours, Blair Webb, says the service will run between Barbados and Guadeloupe, with stops in St. Lucia, Dominica and Martinique. The ferry's services will also include charters, one-day tours cargo and transportation of vehicles.
Although admitting the trips will be longer than airline flights, Mr. Webb said the service is all about reliability and passengers can look forward to comfortable, fast and reliable service.
"We're looking to give people a better service. I guarantee we'll leave on time," he said. "The boat will be on time every day. You will not have to wait two hours and there will not be any delays.”
Mr. Webb indicated that the company is looking to expand the service to include other islands to provide transportation to, from and in transit countries hosting events for the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
Reprinted from Caribbean Net News (

Caribbean island-hopping: Antigua, St Kitts and Tobago by James Henderson, The Telegraph, 2015

Caribbean Island Hopping: Here's how to get more bang for your buck by Linda Thompkins, Travel 2 the Caribbean Blog (
Rather than paying for a short haul expensive flight to visit neighboring islands - These Caribbean island groups provide inexpensive ferry services.
Check each ferry companies limitation on the amount of luggage you can bring on board. Also remember you will have to clear immigration in each country, and pay departure tax when you leave each island.

Caribbean Island Hopping – Leeward Islands Recap by Gary, 2013
"The region is just begging for a Caribbean Schengen type zone where people can travel freely between islands."
The idea of island hopping in the Caribbean is much easier in theory than in practice. The region just isn’t set up for it. Inter-island flights are expensive. You can often fly to Miami for less than an island only 30 miles away. You also can’t visit every island by ferry.

Caribbean Leaders Cautious About Regional Ferry Service, Pride News, February 27, 2019
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders, today, adopted a more cautious approach, towards establishing a regional ferry service that has been bandied about, for more than a decade.
St. Lucia’s Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, has long been an advocate for the regional ferry service, dating back to 2009, when he expressed his disappointment with the service provided by the Antigua-based regional airline, LIAT.
"I firmly believe that the needs of this region will never be able to be satisfied by air," he said.

Chastanet gives thumbs down to ferry service, wventradio, 2016
Michael Chastanet, one of Saint Lucia’s leading businessmen, has given the thumbs down to proposals for a regional ferry service.

CARICOM - CSME - Transportation Services (@, 2017)
Transportation services are of critical importance, particularly for the effective functioning of the Single Market and Economy. Transportation has been identified in the Community Strategic Plan 2015-2019 as one of the sectors to build competitiveness and unleash key economic drivers to transition the regional economy to growth. In CARICOM the sector is divided into two broad areas: Maritime Transport and Air Transport, each with a number of priorities.

Priority areas with respect to the cost and sustainability of transportation:
- Promote strategic economic initiatives for Regional maritime sector (capitalizing on the benefits to be gained from the expansion of the Panama Canal
- Development of programmes to improve maritime transport services operations – passenger speed boats and yachts, intra-regional ferry service
- Establishment of fast-ferry services operation as an alternative mode of transportation

Connectivity for Caribbean Countries: An Initial Assessment by Cecilia Briceño-Garmendia, Heinrich C. Bofinger, Diana Cubas and Maria Florencia Millan-Placci, World Bank, 2015
(Connectivity for the OECS Countries: The Initial Step for an Assessment of the Caribbean Connectivity. Paper Presented in the Regional Workshop of the Caribbean Growth Forum in the Bahamas, World Bank, Washington, DC, June 2013)
Every discussion of the Caribbean states considers their characteristics as sea-locked countries, small economies, highly vulnerable to natural disasters, and a geographic platform that calls for regional cooperation and integration. The Caribbean Sea is the most important vehicle and the most challenging obstacle Caribbean countries have to connect with the world. This report measures and analyzes the Caribbean region's air and maritime connectivity, by taking a sample of 15 countries that represent 64 percent of the Caribbean population and 59 percent of the region’s gross domestic product. The report finds that the most salient issue of Caribbean logistics is the huge costs associated with trade, driven by embedded inefficiencies in customs systems and document preparation processes. The report also documents how the Caribbean air transport network is characterized by fierce competition between the islands for tourists from abroad, rather than coordinated efforts to promote Caribbean tourism. This has led to suboptimal routing based on distorting subsidy schemes with often unstainable volumes and load factors, raising questions about the sustainability of many of the extra-Caribbean routes, and indicating a need for route consolidation. Air connectivity within and among Caribbean states is poor and represents an opportunity to develop alternative and more competitive private sector-led services such as inter-island ferries and low-cost air shuttle services. Maritime connectivity for freight is well structured around two coexisting and functional hub-and-spoke systems (intra-regional with a hub in Trinidad and extra-regional with a hub in the Miami area) that effectively serve all the Caribbean countries. Yet, tariffs are high by worldwide standards and are likely driven by high market concentration in a handful of shipping liners. Numerous tables. Found at: Vox Lacea (
Note: There is no discussion of the tourist use of ferry-based inter-island transportation.
Flying is too costly for many islanders in the Caribbean. Therefore, sea voyage is the preferred way of traveling for residents who want to get through the islands in a cheaper fashion. Some of the ferry routes are ideal for a one day trip, particularly as departures tend to be early in the morning. However, ferry schedules can be limited and erratic and crossings are rough, with delays. Immigration rules, luggage limits, and departure taxes may apply to the voyage, and sometimes the only way to pay for the ticket is in cash. Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, and Haiti do not have a ferry service at all.
There is thus a considerable potential for growth in ferry transport, if these problems can be resolved, and the consequent lack of habit of taking a ferry overcome. The potential for expansion of the ferry market is particularly strong for inter-island services. Most of the operators only provide domestic services. Since there is not enough demand, the business is not profitable for ferry operators. They have a difficult time covering their costs due fuel and maintenance costs. Therefore, in order to stay in business, some of the operators have reduced the number trips and charge high rates. All these factors, plus delays in immigration, are pushing locals to take a plane between islands, despite the higher prices.
Fourth, poor domestic and limited intra-regional air connectivity represents an opportunity to develop alternative and more competitive private-sector led services such as inter island ferries and low-cost air shuttle services. Ferry services already offer a cheaper alternative to the very costly air services. However, this is a market that is not yet fully developed, and could fill this important service gap in the near future. Currently, ferry services are essentially limited to domestic inter-island connections and are clearly dominated by monopolies. As far as we are aware, only two routes in the whole region - the routes Saint Vincent-Bequia and Saint Kitts-Nevis - are served by two or more operators. While a deeper understanding of this market is needed, some of the salient challenges for its development include the need of regional government coordination to collectively tackle (i) regional port management and fees, (ii) high operating costs (driven by fuel prices), and (iii) financial limitations to modernize and expand the fleet. (pg iii)
Seventh, regional coordination of infrastructure investments and systems is one of the key elements needed for Caribbean countries to succeed in speeding up growth and competitiveness. ... (iv) regional policies that integrated air transport and ferry services in order to increase load factors for both intercontinental and regional traffic. (pg iv)

NEW! Cruise Tourism in the Greater Caribbean Region, ACS Directorate of Sustainable Tourism, 2016
Considering that the Caribbean has the highest rates of tourist arrivals in the world, cruise ships have a powerful impact on the countries where they operate since they require good port infrastructure, business and services and generates a significant amount of economic revenue and employment for the Region. According to Caribbean News Digital magazine, the Caribbean Region receives on an annual basis, an average of 50 thousand vessels of all types which signifies that approximately 60% of cruise ship passengers visit the Caribbean. (Introduction, pg 2)
Also under this topic of connectivity, it is important to mention that Ferries are another type of vessel operating in almost all of the islands belonging to the Greater Caribbean and which have allowed more immediate access to travel to countries that are in close geographic proximity. In light of the growing tourism in the Caribbean Region, ferries have been incorporated into the new trends that include modernisation; For example: Caribbean Fantasy, which travels from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico, as well as L’Express des Îles, which connects the island of Guadeloupe, Dominica, Saint Lucia and Martinique, to name a few, provide a transport capacity of up to 1,100 passengers/tourists, thereby becoming a different option for facilitating connectivity in support of tourism in the Region.8 Note 8 (in document): Maru Relloso, Magazine on the Caribbean, "How to travel among the Caribbean islands". (pg 13)

Driving Tourism in the Eastern Caribbean: The Case for a Regional Ferry by Julie Barbet-Gros, Brian Samuel, Rachel (Raha) Shahidsaless and Trang Thu Tran, WorldBank, 2015
"The paper will show that there is evidence of both complementary and substitution effects between cruise and stay-over tourism in the OECS. However, existing estimates suggest that substitution of cruise for stay-over tourists would likely result in a net positive impact on the economy. Moreover, as it relates to travel within the region, the paper will show that there is little cross-elasticity of demand between air and sea travel, and only significant changes in price or trip durations could cause passengers to switch from one mode of transport to the other. A regional ferry system would encourage a new class of travelers, and, therefore, will allow the region to tap into a potential new market of tourists, including local, intra-regional tourists who find it difficult to travel by air, as well as stayover international tourists who may be interested in traveling to more than one island." (pg 1)
CHAPTER 2: Multi-Destination Travel and a Regional Ferry System Could Positively Impact Tourism in the OECS
3.6 Competitive Effects of a Regional Ferry System: Sea Travel vis-à-vis Air Travel (pg 52)
"[A} regional ferry could open up competition in the market for local residents. Customer surveys conducted by LIAT in 2012 shows that the majority travels for leisure (61.9%) and family visits (20%), following by business travel (17.5%), and travel for medical purposes (0.6%) (LIAT 2012). Given non-business passengers are typically more price-sensitive and have more flexibility in travel time, the data suggests that a significant number of current LIAT customers could be potential ferry customers. If the OECS countries could overcome existing regulatory burdens to facilitate a regional ferry system, competition will likely result in lower prices and better services on both modes of transports.
There is also potential for a regional ferry to replace LIAT’s short (unprofitable) routes. According to LIAT, 35% of their flights are not profitable. One of their main challenges is having high capital intensity per seat mile due to the presence of many short trips. In 2010 for example, 50% of LIAT trips are below 100 Nms while 80% are below 200 Nms (LIAT 2010). While both the airline and ferry industries are characterized by economies of scale, per unit fixed cost for LIAT is potentially higher on routes below 100 Nms. Figure 3.3 compares the current fare structures between LIAT and two fast ferry operators against distance travelled by route. It shows that the unit fare per mile for the two ferry companies falls with distance much faster than for LIAT initially. If we assume similar rates of mark-ups over average cost, the differences in cost per mile between air and ferry travel appear to be very high at the distance just below 100 Nms but narrow quickly between 100 and 200 Nms. If in fact, a regional ferry has a cost advantage over certain routes, there is an opportunity to put in place new ferry services, reduce the number of unprofitable flights and the needs to subsidize LIAT
If, as the studies suggest, a ferry system would facilitate tapping into a new market of tourists, developing such a system could, potentially, make an important contribution to the economies of the OECS. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the countries in the Caribbean region should focus on decisive reforms to foster competitiveness, enhance productivity and raise private sector investments. The IMF identifies diversifying the tourism market as one of the key ways of achieving this goal (IMF 2014). The concrete estimate of the contribution of the regional ferry system will depend on the type of system that would be most appropriate for the region, including the type of ferry, its capacity, fares and taxes charged, etc., which will become clear through a separate feasibility assessment.". (pg 54)
APPENDIX C: Questionnaires to Tour Operators in Europe and Travel Agents in the Region (Starts on pg 95, includes responses.)
See also: Island Hopping in the Caribbean: As nice as it sounds, do your clients really want it? (
APPENDIX F: Criteria for a Feasibility Assessment of a Regional Ferry System. (Starts on pg 108)
Table F.1 Eastern Caribbean Sailing Distances. Includes estimated sailing times. (pg 111) (source:

Eastern Caribbean Ferry Service, discussion from 2010 (

Eastern Caribbean Ferry Service On Hold, Caribbean News Media Group, Friday, 20 February 2015 (

NEW! A framework for Caribbean medium-term development by Michael Hendrickson, ECLAC – Studies and Perspectives Series – The Caribbean – No. 52, 2017
The region has faced an intractable challenge in fostering intra-regional transportation linkages that might contribute to trade and movement of people across the region. Transport costs among the island communities are much higher than costs between the region and metropolitan economies. This has constrained the flow of goods and people across the region. There is need for a revamped approach to regional air and sea transport, with better incentives for private sector investment and PPPs to absorb some of the upfront costs. (See also: Towards a demand model for maritime passenger transportation in the Caribbean: A regional study of passenger ferry services by Omar Bello, Willard Phillips and Delena Indar, UN-ECLAC, 2016 (below))

Fancy A Ferry Between the Islands? Two Soon to Set Sail by David Walker, European Commission, 2016 (
Building resilience of small island economies: A long-awaited passenger ferry service linking some islands of the Caribbean could be setting sail by year-end.

Fast ferry service coming to Eastern Caribbean, Trinidad Express, Jan 26, 2012

NEW! Feasibility Study Ferry Service Eastern Caribbean - April 2017 – Ongoing project
MTBS was hired by the World Bank to perform a feasibility study for a regional ferry service in the Eastern Caribbean. MTBS performed a passenger and cargo 20- year traffic forecast, proposed a ferry service network, recommended the supporting investments for vessels and ports and PPP structures, and assessed the financial and economic feasibility of the project. The final deliverables consisted of a full business case and a development plan. MTBS is based in The Netherlands.

Ferries in the Caribbean, Saint Vincent to Cuba by Bas Ceulemans, Anna van der Togt, Tom Timmerman and Remko Wiesman, Masterproject CiTG CEG 4061 - 09, Delft University of Technology: TU Delft, 2015
A team of International Research Projects Delft (IRPdelft) performed a multidisciplinary market research study for Damen Shipyards Ferry Services in the Caribbean to investigate the current market demand and deliver a strategic marketing advice to enlarge future business opportunities in the region.
How come that operating a ferry in the Caribbean is not a straightforward business? Why isn’t the whole area teeming with activity?
Study for: Damen Shipyards Public Transport
The research included a five-week field research in which we performed over 80 in-depth interviews in 15 countries. Conclusion of the research contained a strategic advice on whether or not to increase their presence in the Caribbean Sea, and whether it is feasible to design a new vessel especially for this area. Anna van der Togt (
Damen takes position in the Caribbean, February, 2017 (
Work consisted of a company analysis, a market analysis, a desk research study, a field research study on location and the delivery of a report, workshops and presentation.

Ferry Service Near, Nation News, 2016 (Barbados)
THE LONG-AWAITED passenger ferry service linking some of the islands in the Caribbean could become a reality by year-end.

Ferry Service Being Mulled - Saint Lucia News From The Voice St. Lucia, 2015 (
Matter of ‘Greatest Priority’, Says OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules
"One of the region’s sore points for decades has been its inability to bridge the geographical divide among the islands as a result of either inadequate means of transportation or high cost of travel. Changing that situation, Dr. Jules, said involves many challenges, ranging from safety concerns, planning the routes and operational costs. Nevertheless, he said a high-speed ferry sea transport system among the islands is considered "the greatest priority for the (OECS) Authority and Heads of Government"".
"The OECS Authority, he said, is also considering existing players in the sea transportation market, citing L’Express des Iles as "part of the mix. And that’s part of the excitement of Martinique coming on board because it means that an experienced ferry service that is already plying some of the routes can now look at the potential for expansion and maybe joint venturing with other private sector interests in creating a full umbrella of routes across the OECS. But what we need is regularity and cost-effectiveness. We have to make it faster, easier, a cheaper for people to travel", Dr. Jules said."

Ferry service linking three islands could begin year-end, Caricom, 2016 (
(St. Lucia News Online) The long-awaited passenger ferry service linking some of the islands in the Caribbean could become a reality by year-end.

Ferry service linking St. Lucia, Barbados and SVG could commence year-end by Barbados Nation News, August 4, 2016 ( See comments for an idea of anxiety about ferry service in this region.

Ferry service to link Statia with St. Maarten next year, The Daily Herald, St Maarten, 2016 (
A daily passenger ferry service linking St. Eustatius with St. Maarten is scheduled to start in 2017.

Enthusiasm for the new ferry service was clearly expressed by conference delegates. St. Eustatius National Parks Stenapa Director Clarisse Buma was “thrilled” by the news. “Nature and tourism can go hand in hand,” she said. “Statia has some wonderful natural resources, such as great hiking trails, The Quill, Miriam C. Schmidt Botanical Garden and our blue Caribbean waters. The more visitors, including day trippers, exploring our nature, the more will be our fame. What is the point of a beauty that is not beheld?”

Filling the Gap: Small Inter-island Caribbean trading ships and their crews by Geoffrey Boerne, 1999

Five Great Caribbean Ferry Rides, Carib Journal, 2013 (

Guadeloupe's Accession to the OECS: What does it mean for you? Friday, March 29, 2019
OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules and OECS Chairman and PM of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. The Hon Ralph Gonsalves recently addressed a packed town hall meeting at the Université des Antilles à Fouillole in Guadeloupe.
With the accession promising to open up deeper cooperation between Member States of the OECS and the newly joined French Territory, the public meeting which was held after the Accession Ceremony, was greeted with much interest, insight, reflection and applause.

Guadeloupe will join OECS
"With the upcoming membership of Guadeloupe, the OECS increase from 600,000 people to 1.5 million. We will act with all humility and with the deepest respect for our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean.
— Within 5 months a conference on connectivity in the Wider Caribbean: air, marine, energy, digital, television etc ... A budget of € 150,000 was voted yesterday " — Speech by Serge Letchimy on Martinique joining the OECS, Feb 4, 2015, pg 6-7

NEW! French Caribbean Outermost Regions (FCOR) Final Consolidated Report: Vol 1 | Vol 2 by Dr. Noel Watson and Ms. Lucia Angelo, November 2010
Examination of current trade activity in goods and services and trends between CARIFORUM Countries (CARIFORUM) and the French Caribbean Outermost Regions (FCORs)
See: 8.0 Transportation Options between CARIFORUM Countries and the FCORs: Barrier or not? (v 1, pg 86)
St. Lucia and Dominica have access to Martinique and Guadeloupe via a Ferry Service, L’Express des Îles on a daily basis. (v 1, pg 91)
High Cost of Air Transportation between Barbados and the French Caribbean – there is no ferry option like in the case of Dominica and St. Lucia. Airlift has always been a challenge ... there is one LIAT flight per day shared with SLU (v 2, pg 44)
Transport connections between Dominica and the FCORs are either scarce (flights) or not scheduled in a manner that facilitate business trips and trade (ferry). Apart from current hucksters traffic, freight costs and transport modes are not fit to trade small volumes of cargo. (v 2, pg 75)
4.8 Policy recommendations: Transport: Air and maritime connections need to be improved between the FCORs and Dominica to provide better tourist routes.
Rescheduling Express des Îles ferry departure from Martinique 1 or 2 hours later may increase visits from European tourists flying through the FCORs, for example.
 Dominican authorities might consider investing in inter-island ferry jointly with FCORs regional authorities. (v 2, pg 76)
7.6 Opportunities based on research and rationale for selection (market demand and production capabilities)
Transportation (Source: Focus Group discussions)
· Given the potential level of demand for travel from Martinique to St. Lucia additional transportation is required. L’Express des Îles ferry and a couple of others in place operating at the moment
o Can seat 200 people and takes two hours
o Ferry goes between SLU, Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe
· CMA-CGM shipping company goes twice per week from Martinique to SLU – once to Castries and once to Vieux Fort.
· Three Airlines – LIAT, Air Caribbean Express - provide transport to the FCORs
· There is scope for additional transportation options. (v 2, pg 148-149)

Govt steps in to help high speed ferry sail again, iWitness News, SVG, February 24, 2014 (
The government has granted an US$100,000 loan to the owners of the “fast ferry” — MV Jaden Sun — to replace a damaged engine, which had caused services to be suspended until further notice.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves made the announcement at a press conference on Monday, where he also announced concessions on fuel for all passenger ferries operating within St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
Note: MV Jaden Sun has recently relocated to Montserrat.

Island hopping by local ferry, 2008 (
Some Caribbean islands are easier to get to than others. Those would be the ones you can fly into. However, once you land think about taking local ferries to experience some of the smaller islands. Article from 2008, the idea is there but information may be out of date.

Inter-island lifeline, Caribbean Maritime Magazine, Issue 29, pg 29
TTIFT offers an alternative to the high-frequency domestic flights of Caribbean Airlines for those with vehicles and lots of luggage
It’s a service that provides an economic and social lifeline for the largely tourist island of Tobago. And this better-than daily service from Trinidad is provided by the state-owned Trinidad and Tobago Inter-Island Transportation Co (TTIFT). The ferry also docks right in the heart of Port of Spain, whereas air passengers have to make it into town from Piarco – a distance of around 22 km. SERVICE OPERATIONS The inter-island service is operated by two fast ferries, the 1997-built ‘T&T Express’ (840 passengers and 200 cars/vans) and the ‘T&T Spirit’ (765 passengers and 200 cars/ vans). The pair offer a seven-day-a-week schedule. Crossing time for the 32 km route is just two and a half hours. The two fast ferries are supplemented by the conventional ro-ro ferry ‘Superfast Galicia’, which operates between Trinidad and Tobago each weekday. The day crossing time is about five hours. Night crossings are six hours and passengers can purchase a comfortable cabin and arrive in Scarborough suitably refreshed. The ‘Superfast Galicia’ can transport up to 112 passengers, 110 trailers and 60 cars and has operated on the route since 2014 when it replaced the ageing and increasingly unreliable ‘Warrior Spirit’. Ticket prices are heavily subsidised by the government – as indeed are air fares between the two islands – and a crossing by fast ferry is just TT$ 50 for an adult and TT$ 250 return for cars.

Inter Island Ferry Service, TripAdvisor Forum, 2010

**** Inter-island ferry service coming soon

Posted on Wed, 06 Dec 2017 04:12:00 +0100 (Requires Log-in)

A regional project is expected to see a ferry service operating between St Lucia, Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). The project, dubbed the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Regional Tourism Competitive Project, is a World Bank initiative, designed to facilitate ferry operation between the mentioned countries.

Island Ferries, Caribbean Pet
Rules, regulations, and schedules often changes. This guide is to serve as a reference and always make sure to confirm that each ferry allows pets and confirm.
Lots to "sea" and know when taking four paws to the Islands. The Caribbean Pet is the ultimate resource for moving and vacationing in the Caribbean with your pet.

Island hopping in the Caribbean by Mayssam Samaha | Experience Transat
Although we don’t think about it often, it’s actually easy enough to do some island hopping in the Caribbean among some of the clusters of islands.

Making Air Transport Work Better for the Caribbean - Caricom, 2015
There is a need for inter-island ferries and low-cost air shuttle services between the islands to plug the poor air connectivity gap at present across the Region.(Table 1.1, pg 6; World Bank: Connectivity for Caribbean Countries (2015)).

Martinique To Get New Ferry Terminal, Caribbean Maritime Magazine, Issue 9, pg 34
The Martinique terminal is being funded as part of the European Union’s ‘community initiative programme’. the aim is to promote tourism and economic development in the greater Caribbean.

Montserrat Ferry To Resume Service, Antigua Observer, 2016 (

Netherlands to support fast ferry between Dutch Antilles islands, Caribbean News Now, 2015 (
WILLEMSTAD, Curacao -- The Netherlands will assist the Dutch Antilles islands with their plans for a rapid and daily ferry service between Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire. Such ferries can provide a huge boost to the three islands, especially for the economy and tourism.
The Dutch minister of kingdom relations, Ronald Plasterk announced last Tuesday in Willemstad that the Netherlands wants to play an active and coordinating role, including in technical and legal terms.
At present there is no good ferry service between the islands. Everything goes by air. Transporting goods and people with a boat is cheaper and faster. Companies may be active on several islands and get a larger market. Also, people could make more use of schools and work on another island.

New Ferry Service for Barbados, St Vincent, St Lucia, Grenada & Trinidad, Access Barbados >> Barbados News >> Barbados Ferry Service (@, 2017)
NOTE: BEDY Oceanline was a planned ferry service out of Grenada and it never launched.
From website in 2011: Bedy Travel Agency and Associates is a fully incorporated company registered under the laws of Grenada. It is based in St. George’s and represented by its CEO Mr. Benjamin Ross. BEDY Oceanline is a leader in fast ferry passenger services in the Caribbean.
The company offers high-speed catamaran services to points in Trinidad, Grenada, St. Vincent, St. Lucia and Barbados with a fleet of two vessels. One with a capacity of 260 passengers and the other with capacity of 300 passengers.
It is intended that the business will be operated using offices referred to as agencies in five countries namely Grenada, St. Vincent, Trinidad, St Lucia and Barbados.
The business is aimed at satisfying the needs of the lower, middle income groups, service clubs, church organisations and any other persons who may require such a service. It will strive to fill a niche due to high air fares, unemployment, lower tourist revenue based on the international downturn and thus the need to create a service that will transport people who are economically disadvantaged and therefore cannot afford the high airfares. (source: Wayback Machine)

New ferry service to operate between Dominica, St Lucia and neighbouring French islands by Mervin Matthew, CNN, 2011 (@, 2014)
A new maritime passenger carrier offering cheaper travel rates between Dominica and neighbouring islands will be launched soon. Company officials held a press launch for the Jeans Ferry Service on Monday morning.
President of the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association, Simon Walsh, has welcomed the introduction of a new ferry service.
This he says means improved access to St Lucia and the neighbouring French islands.
Tourism Minister, Ian Douglas, hopes that the new ferry service will create more opportunities for the further development of relations between Dominica and the French.
"We want to share in much more experiences that this ferry gives us the opportunity to do: in culture, in sports, in entertainment, in education, this is what I see, most importantly, this ferry will do especially with your low-cost structure that you have employed. You will allow more of our people to interact and share," he said.

No Boat, No Worries! Travel the Caribbean by Ferry by Carol_Bareuther, All at Sea, April 8, 2020
Boat is the best mode of transportation to explore the Caribbean islands. No bridges connect this 2000-plus mile stretch.

NY Bajan has plans for regional ferry, NationNews, 2015 (
Barbadian entrepreneur Randy Connor has announced his intention to operate a Caribbean ferry service from Barbados beginning by the end of the year.
Connor announced his plan at a community meeting convened by the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Rural Development at the Queen’s Park Steel Shed last week. He said he was in Barbados working out the logistics and making concrete arrangements for what he discovered was a much-needed service by the island.
Speaking to the Weekend Nation after the meeting, Connor said he was aware of the difficulties Caribbean residents were experiencing with travel between the islands, given the high air fares being charged by regional carriers.

OECS mulls fast ferry service, Dominica News Online, 2014 (
Comments provide an insight into politics and public perceptions about a fast-ferry service.

OECS Regional Tourism Competitiveness Project: WorldBank, 2017
Abstract: The objectives of the OECS Regional Tourism Competitiveness Project for Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines are to: (i) facilitate the movement of tourists within the participating countries using ferries, (ii) improve selected tourism sites, and (iii) strengthen implementation capacity for regional tourism market development. There are four components to the project, the first component being facilitation of the movement of people. This component aims to strengthen regional integration and facilitate movement of people in the region through: (a) support for developing a single regional space for immigration and customs entry of international tourists; and (b) development of a pilot ferry system through TA, information technology (IT), and small infrastructure improvements. The second component is the pilot tourism infrastructure investments. Market development and promotion capacity-building. This component aims to, (i) support the refinement and operationalization of tourism plans for each of the participating countries and (ii) develop a regional market development effort to position the participating countries as one travel destination. This component includes two subcomponents: support for tourism development, and preparation and implementation of a regional tourism market development program. Finally, the fourth component is the project implementation support.
The OECS region has three general opportunity areas to attract more tourism spending, which are the focus of this project. They are: (a) improving intra-regional travel to enhance tourism within the OECS;6 (b) increasing spending by tourists already attracted to the region (cruise ship and all-inclusive tourists) by improving the site infrastructure and diversity of activities; and (c) attracting more high-spending tourists (for example, independent, adventure travelers) through a regional approach to market development and promotion. (pg 2) - See 10, 11, pg 3
(Footnote 6 in document: Improvements in interconnectivity beyond the OECS to the broader Caribbean region would enhance tourism, but the focus of this project is on improving connectivity within the participating countries through a pilot ferry project.)
Subcomponent 1.2 (regional): Development of a pilot regional ferry corridor (US$1,260,000) 35. The purpose of this component is to establish pilot passenger ferry services between the three islands to allow for multi-island stayover tourism of international tourists and increase intraregional tourism by the OECS residents. This component would provide gap financing for operating the ferries through a negative auction scheme;22
(Footnote 22 in document: For a detailed explanation of how the scheme works, see annex 7.
World Bank Group: Regional Integration and Infrastructure (P150107)
Description of World Bank Group activities: The Pre-feasibility Study for a Regional Ferry System in the OECS (World Bank Group, ASA) under the CGF makes a point that a multi-destination regional strategy supported by a regional ferry system could contribute to tourism in the OECS. The report provides data on the movement of people in the region, draws lessons from international best practices, provides recommendations, and serves as a background for a feasibility assessment.
World Bank Group: Regional Integration and Infrastructure (IFC-601607-P100) Description of World Bank Group activities: Feasibility Study, for a Regional Ferry System in the OECS (World Bank Group, ASA), building from the results of the prefeasibility study conducted under the CGF, to explore possibilities for a private regional ferry service in the OECS with detailed technical and market analytics and financial flow simulations. (pg 23)
Component 1: Facilitation of the Movement of People
7. International experience shows that a multi-island travel tourism strategy operated through a regional ferry system is feasible and viable, and pre-feasibility data shows there is demand for ferry transport in the OECS. Case study analyses of regional ferries operating in Greece, which shares common geographic factors with the OECS regarding the distance between the islands, and in the Balkans, which shares the ‘cross-border’ factor with the OECS region, yielded interesting insights compiled in a pre-feasibility study26 on the potential impact of a regional ferry system on tourism in the OECS. The World Bank Group study shows that a viable regional ferry system, usually, requires subsidies, at least initially, and given the tight fiscal space of the participating countries, the project will initially focus on a pilot ferry corridor to achieve a demonstration effect in the region. (pg 25)
14. This component aims to strengthen regional integration and facilitate the movement of people in the region through: (a) support for developing a single regional space for immigration and customs entry of international tourists; and (b) development of a pilot regional ferry system corridor supported by logistics coordination, IT, and small infrastructure improvements.
Figure 2.1. Existing and Missing Ferry Connections in the OECS (pg 26)

Overnight Passenger Ferry Service in the Carribean Basin by Bruce Nierenberg – Bruce Nierenberg & Associates, USA
This is more about travel between US and Caribbean destinations.

Potential Passenger Ferry Opportunities, 2014 Port Everglades Master/Vision Plan

Proposal for a Fast Ferry Service in the Southern Caribbean, Government of Grenada, January 2014
This document provides only an overview of the proposal. Further information is available on request.

Regional Ferry Service - Executive SummaryJonah Transportation Ltd: An alternate mode of Regional transportation. (Proposal, 2015; still in planning, as of Feb 1, 2016)
Background: Currently there is no regional ferry service that links the islands on a regular basis and travel by air between the islands is expensive and not frequent, the existing water transportation is limited for both cargo and passengers. If available for cargo it’s expensive and is mostly none existent for cohesive passenger movement.
In addition, all the governments within the area want to attract more visitors to each of the islands, foster greater exchange of trade and commerce and visits among the islands and provide more economic growth via the duty free shops and the Free Zone areas.
To create a transportation company that will maximize the use of the water-ways between Windward Islands. This service will operates daily and move both passengers and cargo. The service as an alternate mode of transportation must be reliable, efficient and fast but affordable and profitable to the people of the region.
Jonah Transportation Ltd. (JTL) intends to establish a High Speed Ferry Transportation System to facilitate the movement of passengers throughout the Windward Islands, with the first phase concentrated on St Lucia, Martinique, St Vincent, Grenada and Barbados, with weekend excursions into Trinidad & Tobago. Its primary objective is to offer an alternative mode of transportation that will focus on both the tourism market and the local travelling/commuting population.

To create a High Speed Water Transportation Network System that provides daily service to the region,
To offer to the windward region locals a more reliable, efficient and affordable means of transportation,
To enhance the frequency of movement by visitors/tourists, locals and business travelers between islands,
To facilitate the transportation of loose or break bulk cargo more rapidly on a daily basis between the islands,
To take advantage of the proximity of Hewanorra International Airport in creating a transportation Hub,
To enable the commercial development within Vieux Fort as a tourism destination,
To foster greater exchange of trade and commerce and visits among the islands.

Tourists could provide a high level of demand for a ferry service. In 2013, 1.6 million tourists visited the OECS. In addition, 82.4% of all OECS (plus Barbados) tourist arrivals are for holidays. Tour operators and agents surveyed estimate that the flow of tourists who visit the region for leisure could increase between 5 and 10 percent, in the presence of a regional ferry. This adds up to a significant number of potential additional tourists in the region.

Regional ferry could be the answer by Marlon Madden, 2016 (
Officials are eager to see the launch of a passenger ferry service in the Caribbean, which they say has the potential to reduce the cost of intra-regional travel.

Regional Ferry Service Viable, Says World Bank Study, Antigua Observer, 2018

Realities Of Intra-Caribbean Tourism For CTO/Martinique Conference, News America Now, 2013 (

Realities of Intra-Caribbean travel and who gets it by Brian Challenger, CTO, 2013 (presentation)
Formal aviation arrangements in the CTO region characterized by bilateral and multilateral agreements reflecting various traditional and liberalized approaches to exchange of route rights. These restrict fifth freedom rights and constrain operational flexibilities for airlines and travelers.
Additionally, increasing aviation security requirements further serve to increase difficulties for intra-regional travelers
Various efforts underway, including through CTO Aviation Task Force, to address these legal and operational constraints.
Inter-island ferry services constitute important linkages between a few Caribbean destinations e.g. USVI – BVI, Martinique – Saint Lucia, Dominica – Guadeloupe.
Long-standing plans for additional ferry services in the eastern Caribbean.
Increasing importance of cruise tourism to Caribbean travelers as an alternative to traditional air and sea based travel.

Re-Energising CARICOM Integration, Prime Minister Tillman Thomas of Grenada, Chairman of the Caribbean Community, 2011 (@, 2017)
"II. A regional maritime transport service
Caribbean regional maritime transport services are both inadequate and very expensive compared with other parts of the world. Yet, substantial opportunities are available for: intra-regional cargo and passenger shipments, trans-shipment services, cross-roads port and shipping services and containerization. Substantial investments are required and need to be organized around a holistic approach to expanding and modernizing maritime assets, creating larger scale, specialized vessels, and upgrading seaports, and that at the same time would be facilitated by a regionally harmonized, regulatory, legal and policy framework".

NEW! Rutas Marítimas del Gran Caribe Ferry: Map of Ferry services in the Greater Caribbean
Click: 'Display all services available' to view a list of ferry services in the Caribbean region.

See also: Addressing the Caribbean's "grave economic crisis" by Sir Ronald Sanders.

Small island developing States: Challenges in transport and trade logistics, UNCTAD, 2014
"Although maritime transport is the predominant mode used to carry cargo and freight, air transport is relied upon primarily for passenger and tourist transport and domestic inter-island shipping and mobility". (Introduction)

Sustainable Tourism Transportation in Hawaii: a Holistic Approach by Guy Lohmann and David Ngoc Nguyen, Ch 15 in Island Tourism: Sustainable Perspectives, Edited by J. Carlsen and R. Butler, CABI, 2011, pg 197-214
"Air transportation is often supplemented by other modes of transportation within the islands of an archipelago. Rigas (2009) examined air- and sea-based transportation modes within the Greek Islands. His research found that these modes can complement each other rather than act as substitutes because of different market concentrations. For example, sea travel is preferred by leisure and cost-conscious passengers, while those who are sensitive to time, especially on long-distance routes, prefer air travel. In addition, sea transportation is also preferred by tourists who wish to bring their personal automobiles. Rigas also states that the process of travelling on the sea constitutes part of the travel experience and is preferred by group tours and younger travellers interested in lower fares.
The heavy burden of transportation cost is the single most important barrier to socio-economic development for small islands. This is due not only to the high costs of shipping (because of the distance and small-scale operations), but also to irregularity of supplies, which lead to periodic shortages and erratic price movements (Kakazu, 2007)." (pg 200-201)
As well, in a pattern which echos the situation in the eastern Caribbean, the difficulties faced by transportation providers in Hawai'i mirrors demand and external cost factors. "In the years 2008 and 2009, the State of Hawaii was the site of a number of failures related to various modes of tourism transportation – from the removal of two permanently based NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line) cruise ships to the bankruptcies of the Hawaii Superferry and Aloha Airlines." (pg 200-201)
Another ferry service also faced difficulties with strict environmental guidelines and was forced out of business. "In New Zealand, the Lynx Cook Strait fast-ferry catamaran withdrew from operation because the maritime authorities made the ferries travel at a lower speed so their wash would not damage the environment. The Lynx simply was not economically viable under such restrictive conditions and it was removed from operation." (pg 212)
Article also points to issues with respect to environmental impact of cruise ships and the cruise ships tinkering with cabotage legalities.
There is some discussion of the benefits of public transportation with respect to tourist ridership. One needs also to think about private vs public transport when the private option becomes so onerous as to discourage tourism when traffic congestion, increased roadways and pollution degrade the island tourist experience. The tension between insular needs and regional planning priorities in island archipelagoes is also highlighted.

The airline industry by Brian Samuel, The New Today Newspaper, Grenada, June 2014 (
"If you give the people what they want (cheap, safe transportation); you’d be amazed at how quickly this so-called small market could explode". (This is the same argument presented in analysis of airline liberalisation.)
Further, Mr Samuel states: "For the life of me I can’t understand why, in an archipelago where every island is within sight of the other, we STILL cannot get it together to do a simple thing like starting an Eastern Caribbean fast ferry service?"
Mr Samuel is a co-author of the study: Driving Tourism in the Eastern Caribbean.

The Case for an Eastern Caribbean Ferry by Brian Samuel, Caribbean Journal, February 12th, 2015 (
Don’t forget the tourists. In a survey conducted in 2014 among the UK’s leading tour operators; 75 percent of respondents felt that many of their clients (10 percent or more) would be interested in using a ferry service in the Eastern Caribbean. In 2013, the Eastern Caribbean received 1.3 million tourists; 10 percent of that is 130,000 potential ferry customers. That’s a pretty good base to start with.
“It’s a nightmare!” say the ferry operators; with regard to the bureaucracy, cost and time involved in taking a vessel from one island to another. Only one company, L’Express des Îles out of Martinique, operates across international borders. All the other ferries stick within their national boundaries: Trinidad to Tobago; Grenada to Carriacou; St. Vincent to the Grenadines, etc.
The problem stems from the archaic, cumbersome rules regulating international marine trading in the Caribbean. These rules desperately need to be simplified and harmonized, so that all regional jurisdictions will be reading from the same book – literally.

The ferry service of SVG and beyond, Letter by Peter Binose, Caribbean News Now, 2013 (
I think for the good of the ferry services in SVG waters, for the good of the citizens, for the good of tourism, all approved ferry services should receive some form of financial help.

The State of Shipping in the Caribbean: Notes From The Margin, 2008 (
"We on the margin have for a long time been supporters of the idea of ferries in the Caribbean. In our view one of the most serious barriers to regional integration and the creation of a single market and economy, is the sheer difficulty faced by an individual attempting to move around the Caribbean. Moving people and goods from island to island is hugely difficult, and that has several knock on effects in the economies of the region."

Tourism Innovation and Enterprise: Caribbean Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Opportunities by S. Brian Samuel, Caribbean Tourism Organization State of the Industry Conference, SOTIC, 2014
Sky’s the limit: There are limitless opportunities in the Caribbean for governments and the private sector to get together, in a manner that meets each party’s objectives
There are many areas that are crying out for innovative solutions between government and private investors
My personal favourite: A Ferry!
This is a no-brainer; some intra-Caribbean routes are crying out for a cheaper and larger capacity transport alternative
Like Trinidad-Grenada; even at the high LIAT/CAL fares this is one of the heaviest travelled routes in the Caribbean. On a medium speed ferry the journey is about 4-5 hours – comparable to air transport after airport hassles are taken into account
It’s not just for locals: a 2014 survey of leading tour operators found that 75% of tour operators feel that tourists would be interested in using a well-run and safe regional ferry
What we don’t want is a “LIAT on the water”; regional governments should get together, coordinate their policies and regulations, jointly agree on a set of incentives; and bid out a regional ferry opportunities to qualified operator(s).

Tourism Report Q2 2015: Discover the Opportunity in the Caribbean (
New ferry terminal for Heritage Quay
Montserrat opened a new ferry facility in Heritage Quay, Antigua March 13. The new terminal has bathrooms, a bar, restaurant and lounge. A tourism information desk is also available for tourists. A ferry check-in point and immigration offices are expected to be added to the facility as well. The new facility is a far cry from the congested and poorly accommodated facility of the past. (pg 101)
Montserrat, A&B to cooperate in tourism, other areas
Montserrat and Antigua & Barbuda announced a joint commission on cooperation in tourism, agriculture and social transformation.
The two nations have agreed on joint ownership of a barge for sand mining, scholarship opportunities for the University of
A&B, and working to publish online both Cabinet documents and visa applications. Ferry fees between the islands are set to be
reduced to EC $50 in the upcoming weeks. (pg 102)

Towards a demand model for maritime passenger transportation in the Caribbean: A regional study of passenger ferry services by Omar Bello, Willard Phillips and Delena Indar, UN-ECLAC, 2016
Abstract: In this paper, the main factors that influence the demand for maritime passenger transportation in the Caribbean were studied. While maritime studies in the Caribbean have focused on infrastructural and operational systems for intensifying trade and movement of goods, there is little information on the movement of persons within the region and its potential to encourage further integration and sustainable development. Data to inform studies and policies in this area are particularly difficult to source. For this study, an unbalanced data set for the 2000-2014 period in 15 destinations with a focus on departing ferry passengers was compiled. Further a demand equation for maritime passenger transportation in the Caribbean using panel data methods was estimated. The results showed that this demand is related to the real fare of the service, international economic activity and the number of passengers arriving in the country by air.
Maritime passenger transportation also has immense potential for the region given its large maritime space and high ratio of sea to land mass. Further, it provides an additional option for addressing the challenge of limited intra-regional transport, while at the same time promoting a sustainable economy. Reliable year-round sea transportation also has the potential to encourage trade and tourism, and to retard depopulation thereby ensuring that essential economic and social links are maintained. In the specific case of tourism, many visitors to the region already utilize specialized ferry services for the intrinsic pleasure of the journey itself, as well as to enhance their Caribbean vacation experience. Hence, maritime passenger transportation can serve to expand the range of choices, relative to the set of economic and social activities which may exist among various Caribbean destinations. (pg 7)
[T]he opportunity exists for the expansion of reliable and cost effective inter-island services such as fast ferries. ... ferry transportation could encourage coordinated efforts to strengthen the Caribbean economy and elevate the Caribbean tourism product as a whole.(pg 9)
See Map, pg 12
Investments in comfortable fast ferries combined with relatively low fares were the major contributors to the steadily increasing number of passengers. Moreover, higher frequency schedules along with the opportunity for persons to travel with their vehicles for business and leisure activities at the destination has increased the number of ferry passengers between Trinidad and Tobago. (pg 16)
[A] cost effective, reliable and comfortable ferry service should allow for greater integration and promotion of the Caribbean tourism product as it could allow for easier and more affordable passenger movement between islands. This could ease transportation challenges and improve visitors’ experience in the region, and ultimately generate higher revenue in the individual countries. (pg 17)
With respect to policy, the estimation results suggest that real fares for maritime passenger services would be important in influencing passenger use of regional ferry services. Further, there appear to be good prospects for integrating the tourism market into the married passenger services, in order to expand service demand. While the study gave no consideration to technical matters in the provision of regional maritime passenger transportation, it suggests that strong economic performance of regional economies provides a good basis for growth of maritime passenger services in the Caribbean. (Conclusion, pg 25)

Towards 'one common intention' ... A passenger ferry for regional transport? by George Nicholson, ND (ACS, Transport, Focal Area) (
Transport in the Caribbean is a cross-cutting issue with direct implications for trade and tourism.
Facilitating the free movement of persons has long remained however, an underexplored dimension of regional policy. In the case of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), such social interchange involves movement of the combined 28 Member States’ population of 280 million inhabitants, 44 million of which live in the insular Caribbean. Regional demand for sea transportation is currently dominated by the movement of goods while air transport still remains the de facto mode of transport for the movement of people. According to the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA), the number of passengers moving around the Caribbean space via air totalled 49,598,923 up to May 2014, a 6.6% increase when compared with 46,543,080 in 2013 for the corresponding period. These figures validate the claim that the demand certainly exists to initiate a passenger ferry service that will operate either on a regional or sub-regional basis realising the vision of linking the Greater Caribbean by sea.
ECLAC data for the year 2013 reveals that service exports in ACS Member Countries represented a total of US$ 68,875 million while imports totalled US$ 81,156 million, much of which is concentrated in the tourism sector. In 2013, the total contribution of travel and tourism to regional GDP was USD49.0 billion or 14%. Where the contribution of tourism is measured by both direct and indirect value-added, the sector undeniably stands as a key driver of regional economic development.
Many Caribbean governments depend on tourism and tourism-related activities as sources of direct and indirect tax revenues. With respect to job creation, travel and tourism generated 607,000 jobs directly in 2013 (3.6% of total employment) and this is expected to grow by 2.9% in 2014 to 624,000 (3.7% of total employment). Further, leisure travel spending (inbound and domestic) generated 91% of direct Travel & Tourism GDP in 2013 (USD34.1bn).
Given the high cost of entry to market of air transport, the demand for a cost effective regional transportation solution points to the provision of a sea transport service amongst the island chains.
The establishment of both a functional and profitable regional passenger ferry service is not beyond the realm of possibility; however, the challenge remains to go beyond rhetoric to produce concrete action that will bring about connectivity. Reflecting on the words of Black Stalin, embracing Caribbean regionalism in its truest sense implies above all fostering a sense of oneness and unity. Improving transport linkages lies at the heart of these efforts as it bespeaks an integration that is relevant in the eyes of citizens of the region.

Tourism and Transportation Logistics in The OECS, Presentation by Nigel Edwin, 2014
Multi-year Expert Meeting on Transport, Trade Logistics and Trade Facilitation: Third Session: Small island developing States: Transport and trade logistics challenges

Travel guide for backpacking the Caribbean on a budget by Miguel, 2016 (
Dear fellow adventurers: Traveling the Caribbean on the cheap is possible. I want to be honest, though; it’s not easy, as it depends on your skills and how you plan the trip. However, by following a few recommendations, you can travel these beautiful islands on a budget.
Imagine dipping your feet into crystal-clear water, swimming with green turtles and camping on deserted beaches without spending a fortune.

Ultimate Guide: Caribbean Island Hopping the Leeward Islands by Gary Arndt, Everything Everywhere, February 7, 2020
A comprehensive look at the possibilities and rewards of inter-island travel in the Eastern Caribbean by an award winning blogger and travel photographer. It's hard to get better than this.

Where to go for one day in Caribbean?: Daytripping in the Caribbean - by David Swanson, writer for Caribbean Travel & Life magazine, 2011 | St Barths Online (
Travel is easy between St. Maarten / St. Martin, Saba, St Barths and Anguilla.

Who Needs a Caribbean Yacht When You Can Take the Ferry? by Elaine Glusac, The New York Times, Feb 10, 2020
In the Caribbean, several ferry companies offer opportunities for multi-island vacations, such as the L’Express des Iles, which cruises from Guadeloupe to Dominica, Martinique and St. Lucia. Others offer domestic service, including ferries from St. Vincent to some of the outlying Grenadines, and those that link the United States Virgin Islands.

Why You Should Take Ferries In These Three Popular Sailing Spots by Lauren Mowery, Forbes, 2017 (

Ferry Services in the Eastern Caribbean

Most ferry services continue to operate with some restrictions and COVID protocols. These ferry services have websites, some do not.

Antigua - Barbuda

Antigua - Guadeloupe

Antigua - Montserrat

Caribbean Travel from Barbados: There is presently no ferry service between Barbados and the other Caribbean islands.

Ferry information sites

Caribbean Ferries 2019 (
The Osprey fast ferry operates twice a day, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon, between Grenada and Carriacou. From Carriacou it leaves to Petite Martinique. Once a week a ferry operates between Carriacou and Union Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Shows ferry service between Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe) – Marigot (Saint Martin) and Basse Terre (Guadeloupe) – Marigot (Saint Martin) but these services don't exist.

Ferries in Caribbean - Direct Ferries (

Guadeloupe - Martinique


St Kitts - Nevis

St Martin | St Maarten | St Barth | Statia

St Vincent & the Grenadines

The Transportation Directory: Caribbean Islands by Lawrence Hughes

Travellers' Guide To Caribbean ferries - Wiki Travel Guide - Travellerspoint (
Unlike what many might think, there are not abundant ferry connections between the islands of the Caribbean. As a result lots of travellers use airplanes to hop from one island to another. Several airlines offer the opportunity to buy airpasses which can be a good deal. But of course there are people who just don't like to fly all the time and would rather travel by boat between the islands.

Trinidad & Tobago

Vieques Island and Culebra

Virgin Islands

Note: This essay is a personal undertaking. References are for personal use only. All references are publicly available. Some links may not work. Not responsible for content of external links.