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HomeNewsArchivesMERMAID FAST FERRY TO STAY AT GALLOWS BAY DOCK

MERMAID FAST FERRY TO STAY AT GALLOWS BAY DOCK

Oct. 18, 2002 – The newest ferry company providing service between St. Thomas and St. Croix says it has worked out an arrangement that will guarantee continued operation at the Gallows Bay Dock.
Chris Elliott, general manager of Mermaid Fast Ferry Service, said a series of talks with officials of the V.I. Port Authority left him feeling he could keep his operations on the dock while a reconstruction project continued nearby. "We worked out a contingency plan so we wouldn't have to interrupt service at all," Elliott said.
This is the inaugural year for Mermaid, which Elliott said will run year round.
The companuy began providing service between Charlotte Amalie Harbor and Gallows Bay in September, but the pace of construction threatened to crowd the interisland ferry off the dock within a matter of weeks. Port Authority engineers have told the tenants using the dock they would have to move once the crews reached their berths.
"The dock has to be repaired. You cannot have a situation where you put people in danger," VIPA spokeswoman Shirley Smith said.
With construction crews headed toward its docking spot, Elliott said the Mermaid operation will shift further down the dock to an area where no construction is taking place. The move is expected to take place by next week, he said.
Construction project managers are also trying to accommodate other tenants, including Boston Harbor Cruises, which is planning to start its third season of fast ferry service between St. Thomas and St. Croix in November.
Kevin Matthews, operator of Boston Harbor, said he began talks with VIPA about the dock repairs four or five months ago. Matthews said he was working out a temporary arrangement to allow continued arrivals and departures in the Gallows Bay area.
"That construction's been scheduled for the past year and a half … when the Port Authority makes promises to us, they have always kept their promises," he said.
Fast ferry service has become popular with Virgin Islanders by bringing the cost of interisland travel down to $60 per round trip. Air fares run almost twice that.
Matthews expects a financially successful year, based on bookings from both Danish and U.S. mainland tour groups. "Last year's season was a success, based on group sales," he said.

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Oct. 18, 2002 – The newest ferry company providing service between St. Thomas and St. Croix says it has worked out an arrangement that will guarantee continued operation at the Gallows Bay Dock.
Chris Elliott, general manager of Mermaid Fast Ferry Service, said a series of talks with officials of the V.I. Port Authority left him feeling he could keep his operations on the dock while a reconstruction project continued nearby. "We worked out a contingency plan so we wouldn't have to interrupt service at all," Elliott said.
This is the inaugural year for Mermaid, which Elliott said will run year round.
The companuy began providing service between Charlotte Amalie Harbor and Gallows Bay in September, but the pace of construction threatened to crowd the interisland ferry off the dock within a matter of weeks. Port Authority engineers have told the tenants using the dock they would have to move once the crews reached their berths.
"The dock has to be repaired. You cannot have a situation where you put people in danger," VIPA spokeswoman Shirley Smith said.
With construction crews headed toward its docking spot, Elliott said the Mermaid operation will shift further down the dock to an area where no construction is taking place. The move is expected to take place by next week, he said.
Construction project managers are also trying to accommodate other tenants, including Boston Harbor Cruises, which is planning to start its third season of fast ferry service between St. Thomas and St. Croix in November.
Kevin Matthews, operator of Boston Harbor, said he began talks with VIPA about the dock repairs four or five months ago. Matthews said he was working out a temporary arrangement to allow continued arrivals and departures in the Gallows Bay area.
"That construction's been scheduled for the past year and a half ... when the Port Authority makes promises to us, they have always kept their promises," he said.
Fast ferry service has become popular with Virgin Islanders by bringing the cost of interisland travel down to $60 per round trip. Air fares run almost twice that.
Matthews expects a financially successful year, based on bookings from both Danish and U.S. mainland tour groups. "Last year's season was a success, based on group sales," he said.

Publisher's note : Like the St. John Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice ... click here.