By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
A FERRY service for passenger sailing between Fort Lauderdale and Grand Bahama is expected to resume next month.
Baleària Caribbean has announced it will take the first step towards resuming passenger services between Port Everglades and The Bahamas with its first sailing on November 5.
Under phase one, Baleria will operate sailings once a week to Freeport on Thursdays, and will coincide with the already established cargo route.
In July, the government issued travel restrictions on passenger sailings following resurgence in coronavirus cases in Freeport.
A statement issued read: “The company is aware that the future addition of sailings to Freeport, Grand Bahama, and the reopening of their Bimini route depend primarily on this first step’s success which is why they have expressed not only excitement and optimism, but that they are approaching this second reopen attempt with extreme caution.”
“The historic movement towards the restoration of the sea-based international travel market includes a new temporary itinerary.”
According to a new itinerary, the Jaume II will sail out of Port Everglades at 8am and out of Freeport at 4pm.
Baleària Caribbean is reassuring passengers that it will continue to follow strict safety and sanitation protocols to ensure that passengers have a safe transit. The company has been certified by the international entity Bureau Veritas with the Global Safe Site COVID-19 certificate.
“Baleària Group is the first shipping company in operation to hold such a high level of safety certification. The use of face masks/coverings will be mandatory during the duration of the travel process for both passengers and staff members. Plexiglass dividers on every seat and common areas have added additional layers of safety,” the statement said.
“Other measures implemented by the transportation company include temperature scanning for each passenger before boarding and easy access to sanitiser dispensers in the terminals and aboard the vessel.
“To facilitate social distancing, the shipping company has vowed to reduce passenger capacity by 40 percent temporarily. Last but certainly not least, the ship and terminals will undergo a deep and extensive sanitation process before, during, and after each sailing.”
Baleària Caribbean reminds future passengers that the company will continue to work closely with the United States and Bahamas government to follow all of the latest travel guidelines. The company recommends that all passengers verify all current travel requirements with the corresponding countries involved before making their travel arrangements.