|MS Pinar del Rio|
NAUTICAL LOG understood the service from Port Everglades, FL to Grand Bahama was due to start today December 06, 2010 with a 1000 sailing. However at 1200 the MS Pinar del Rio (ES) was still in Port according to their AIS. Even if they have not been successful getting passengers it is important to be seen operating and after all there may be people in Grand Bahama whom would like to travel to Port Everglades, FL. When NAUTICAL LOG attempted to book a First Class round trip this morning through their website this message came up "Please be informed we do not have the service REQUESTED " - not a very good start for the Spaniards. Just tried again this evening for tomorrow and once again that same answer.
Over the years there have been several attempts at operating "Ferry's" from South Florida to - well several places actually. Some never really got underway at all there was a short lived Tampa to Key West operation also Miami to Key West which operated for a month or so. Then we had one company with two vessels one operating from Miami to Grand Bahama and the other vessel from Port Everglades to Grand Bahama, the original Bahamas Express. NAUTICAL LOG actually worked for them as Chief Officer in 1987, sadly they also folded. Then there was a dramatic attempt at a Miami to Nassau operation which NAUTICAL LOG was consulted about but they too folded after a short period of operation.
In Europe ferries are quite a popular means of transport and when over there NAUTICAL LOG usually uses the ferry systems and trains, never air travel. So it is that a Spanish Company Balearia well know in the Mediterranean will start operations on December 06, 2011 from Port Everglades to Grand Bahama. The vessel that has been prepared is MS Pinar del Rio (ES) according to Balearia Area Manager Pilar Lecha. The fare is $49.00 which is remarkable because that was the cost back in the 1987, however watch out for the "Operational Charges" when NAUTICAL LOG visited the website those were an additional $25.00 hmmm. The ferry will depart from Port Everglades at 1000 and arrive at Grand Bahama at 1230. The return trip leaves Grand Bahama at 1930 arriving in Port Everglades at 2200. Try a visit to their website at www.ferryexpress.com and yes NAUTICAL LOG will be making the trip in the future - if Balearia is able to stay in business long enough.
There remain some 400 of our fellow seafarers held in captivity by pirates off the coast of Somalia. Lets wish them a Happy Christmas because sadly thats about all they will get from the world's governments.