|Bimini ferry operator welcomes competition|
Guardian Business Reporter
Published: Jun 28, 2013
Ferry competition on Bimini is being embraced by the head of the company currently offering service to the island.
Hernan Calvo, CEO of Balearia, told Guardian Business that the Superfast Ferries service – which is taking its inaugural trip from Miami to Bimini on Friday – does not present a threat to his current service.
“We do believe that competition is good,” Calvo said.
“It’s a good move to bring more service to the island and it will be good for the tourism market and population, and we expect to still maintain our client base. In every market, you have competition.”
Superfast Ferries will be offering daily service from Miami to Bimini. The launch of the service falls in line with the opening of Resorts World Bimini Bay Casino on July 1.
Despite Calvo being open to competition, Balearia is already in the process of enhancing its service. One of the moves includes upgrading the company’s vessel, which Calvo said can get from one destination to another in 75 minutes. The current ship – the 358-passenger Maverick – will suspend its service in preparation for a new ship that can travel faster, up to 50 knots.
Additionally, Baleara is exploring the possibility of a Fort Lauderdale to Bimini route Calvo thinks can be a “great success”. This optimism is based on the strong performance of the company’s Grand Bahama to Fort Lauderdale service. Demand has been so strong that a bigger ship is needed to accommodate the increase in bookings, according to the company.
“The ferry is doing well, and we are happy about our performance,” Calvo said.
“We announced 10 days ago that we are bringing a bigger and better vessel to the Fort Lauderdale-Freeport line and we think that Grand Bahama has potential and believe that the market can blow up and we want to be prepared for that.”