SABA/STATIA - The Public Entities of Saba and St. Eustatius jointly issued a tender document on June 30, 2021, inviting licensed ferry operators to submit a proposal to provide regular, affordable maritime connectivity between Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten and between St. Eustatius and St. Kitts.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (I&W) has granted a subsidy of 2 million euros for the first two years to realize a sustainable Public Service Obligation (PSO) agreement. The start of the ferry operation is scheduled before the end of this year at the latest.
The requirements for the schedule are that same-day travel will be provided, enabling one-day visits for shopping, commercial or family purposes for residents of Saba and Statia, as well as making it possible for so-called “day trippers” from St. Maarten to visit Saba and from Statia to St. Kitts.
The main purpose of this ferry service is to boost the travel opportunities to Saba and Statia which will aid the islands in their social and economic development. Improving the connectivity between the three Windward Islands is a very important issue for Statia and Saba, and has been high on the islands’ agenda. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the decreased connectivity has severly affected the islands’ economies.
Various ferry operators already have mentioned their interest to subscribe to the tender. The tender is open for all ferry operators that meet the requirements. The selection criteria of the tender include the suitability of the vessel itself, the proposed schedule, a profit and loss P&L statement in relation to the proposed schedule, a tariff proposal and a vision on the long-term collaboration with the Public Entities Statia and Saba.
Saba, Fort Bay Harbour. (file photo)