New regional ferry service coming to Dominica

Officials at the launch of the ferry service earlier this week in Barbados

Dominica is expected to benefit from a planned ferry service that aims at increasing travel among Caribbean countries, mainly along the southern part of the island chain. Earlier this week, a private sector consortium, led by Upturn Funds Caribbean in collaboration with Pleion Group Inc, launched the ferry service, which they called “Connect Caribe.”

The service is expected to begin operation by the end of this year, offering weekly and daily round trips, linking Barbados with Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, St Vincent, Grenada, Dominica, Antigua, Suriname, and Guyana. It is expected to enhance tourism and the free movement of people and goods in the region.

Connect Caribe executives held a press conference in Barbados this week to explain to reporters the details of the project.

“We are marking the inception of a company that embodies the spirit of connectivity, accessibility and progress,” Chief Communications Consultant Jennifer Highland said.

Chairman and CEO of Connect Caribe, Dr Andre Thomas, explained that initially, the company will operate three vessels which will include a large ferry capable of carrying 800 passengers with 200 first-class rooms, a fast ferry that will carry 435 passengers and a cargo ship that will begin servicing Barbados, Suriname, St Vincent, and St Lucia before
expanding to other countries in the region. According to him, the three proposed vessels will have the capacity to transport up to 8,000 passengers, cargo and manufactured goods and produce.

Dr Thomas explained that the fare is expected to be about US$100, round trip, minus government taxes.

“A standard fare on our service would cost only US$100 plus whatever charges come from that particular government. So for US$100, we want you to be able to move from Barbados to Trinidad,” he stated.

He said the project will affect the lives of people across the Caribbean.

“We have embarked on a very important journey to bring the aspirations of region maritime transportation from concept to a reality,” he stated. “When we began this journey about 18 months ago, we proceeded to read every single study that had been done on maritime transportation. We felt that if there ever was a project that would affect the lives of men and women across the Caribbean, it would be this such project… We had to create a consortium that would be made up of key players in different sectors of the maritime industry and also bring in an ecommerce element. So we have partnered with Windward Ferries, Ramps Logistics, JS Cruises and Tours / The Maritime Institute, and HCIS
Consortium, to create this company.”

Judeen Scantlebury, President of the company’s Travel Division said the service will be of great benefit to the region.

“This new ferry service is poised to bring a multitude of benefits to each island in the region; not only will it provide reliable and efficient transportation for both locals and tourists, but it will also stimulate economic growth, promote tourism and enhance connectivity between the islands,” she said.

The first phase of the project is expected to cost an estimated US$50 million which will come from the Caribbean division of Upturn Funds, a venture capital firm with offices in Bridgetown, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and New York City.

Copyright 2012 Dominica News Online, DURAVISION INC. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

Disclaimer: The comments posted do not necessarily reflect the views of and its parent company or any individual staff member. All comments are posted subject to approval by We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • contain any material which violates or infringes the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or are purely ad hominem attacks
  • a reasonable person would consider abusive or profane
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote prejudice or prejudicial hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are off-topic and/or excessively long

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.


  1. Let's Face It
    January 27, 2024

    This is great news. After this I’m hoping other citizens come together and tackle the lucrative business of FISH, and making the price of FISH affordable.
    We talk of non-communicable disease yet our people can only afford chicken, mostly imported.
    Travel and fish.

  2. Something’s up
    January 26, 2024

    Put them on the voter list when they get here. Drop them off at Portsmouth.

  3. Zandoli
    January 26, 2024

    I would not celebrate too early. If these regional governments have their way, they will tax it as high as they do the airline tickets and it be just as unaffordable. That is how stupid these leaders are. They think they can make more money by raising prices, not realizing at some point, all they are doing is killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

  4. Country Bookie
    January 26, 2024

    Best of luck. Praying for their overall success, this is needed in our region.

  5. BRidge
    January 26, 2024

    I believe it when I see it. In Dominica and by extension in the Caribbean talk is generally very cheap.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  6. Alkaline
    January 26, 2024

    Wow!!! Back in the old time days. Boats. I think Dominica is the only island that needs such service due to lack of international airport and difficulties getting into the island. All the other islands are okay. On the other hand, it is good for Dominicans that cannot afford the price of an airplane. For me, when traveling, I want to get to Dominica the quickest way possible. International Airport.

  7. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    January 25, 2024

    I don’t see the economy of Dominica benefiting anything from Ferry service to the Caribbean!
    This is nothing new: “ been there done that.”
    We remember the short lived West Indies Federation, when Trinidad was capital of the former British colonies including Dominica.
    During that era, the Canadian government gave two ferries to the federation. The names of the ships were Federal Palm and Federal Maple might ring bell to many.
    In that day there were Ships such as Carribe, and the Flying Fish and others Privately owned sailing in and out of the country.
    The West Federation collapsed, Palm and Maple made their exit into the metal junkyard of oblivion.
    This what seems to be another new idea will be recorded in history as another failure the same as the same failed experiment with the gift Palm and Maple from the Canadian government, in the late 1950’s to 1962!
    The idea and effort is another waste of time it’s a reincarnation of LIAT on water!

  8. Philmon Matthew
    January 25, 2024

    Very interesting and a welcoming project for the Caribbean.
    It is no secret that although we live relatively close to each other, it easier and cheaper to get to the US, UK or Europe than to our neighboring islands.
    A great opportunity for us to know and interact and actually effectuate the true integration.
    I have been talking about that idea for many years as the availability and cost of regional travel become more and more challenging.
    Dominica should embrace this as a window to get its agricultural products and thus expand other trade opportunities.
    Kudos to the initiators and investors of this project. Hope it may one day become a public company that sells shares to us in the region.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3
    • Zandoli
      January 26, 2024

      Only Haitians are farming, so it would mean more remittances flowing to Haiti.

      The reason why regional travel is so expensive is that our stupid regional governments are taxing the tickets beyond the reach of ordinary people.

  9. EDC
    January 25, 2024

    Thank you so much! I in that!

  10. Lin clown
    January 25, 2024

    And you hoping that ferry service die for before it start.Be like Ms.Green,positive.What does the ferry service have to do with Liat dead?Because somebody Maltwavy another person have to Maltwavy?You thinking just like UWP.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12
    • Jefferson Thomas
      January 28, 2024

      True ignorance!!

  11. Pal_lotte
    January 25, 2024

    I am not traveling to Trinidad from Dominica via boat. How long it taking ? 10hrs?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7
    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      January 25, 2024

      I agree with you, that is a backwards idea, one tried almost seventy (70) seventy years ago, when there were no international flights into any of the colonial islands in the Caribbean.
      Palm and Maple was inducted as leisure travelers of the Caribbean, it did not cause people in great quantity doing island hopping.
      It became a nonprofit venture, this shall be the same.

  12. Lin clown
    January 25, 2024

    That is what those so called patriots in the diaspora have to do.Gabriel Christian,Thompson Fontaine,Dale Dangleben,Emanuel Finn and Irvin Andre,come together form a company that will benefit Dominica and Dominicans instead of criticizing every F+++++ thing in Domimica

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 30
    • ccs
      January 25, 2024

      Clown maybe if you take those red sunglasses off, and open eyes you will see the reason why they are criticizing?

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 7
    • Dam it
      January 25, 2024

      @Lin Clown
      Are you not a broke clown in the diaspora? You have refused to go to school to read and write properly, yet you are asking others to do what you should be doing? You are so darn stupid you seem to write first then think after.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      January 26, 2024

      Shut Up fool!
      All the people you are criticizing have names, and are professional; and surely these are people who can indeed do something in the country to help create employment!
      The problem is that having to deal with politicians who demands under the table brown paper full with money before they even hear the proposal.
      If a business such as Ross Medical School well established in Dominica for more than 40 years left, Colgate Palmolive, and every foreign company to set foot in Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit caused them to flee the country, and caused native ownd businesses to shut down.
      Why do you believe any group of Dominicans with simply common sense would go kiss Roosevelt dumb behind to do business in Dominica?
      Who wish to suffer the fate of Ron and his company Marpin Television.
      Dominicans swore they would see he loses it: well it’s dead now.
      Only foolish people would set up a business in a place where the economy is based on the sale of passports!

  13. Gratitude
    January 25, 2024

    Big up and well done .Remember the airplane should still service the region as well .as this would offer a quicker service. let’s make the Caribbean region great 👍🏾

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2
  14. Larri
    January 25, 2024

    Would the fare from Antigua to Trinidad be the same as Dominica to St. Lucia, US$100.00?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
  15. Ilive Peltier
    January 25, 2024

    I am for improvements. However, when everyone around the world is trying to get there much faster, the Caribbean is just trying to get there. WOW! Change is good but some change is useless and senseless. How long will a ferry take from Barbados to DA? How often will it be coming? Who will be traveling? Common Caribbean inter Caribbean flights at reasonable rates would have been a much more productive and progressive idea.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
    • Mich
      January 26, 2024

      I fully embrace the initiative to interact with my sister islands at more affordable fare. I am excited to chose to travel SLOW or SLOWER…Something for everyone. My first thought was “exportation of Dominica’s agricultural products”…..

  16. derp
    January 25, 2024

    I hope this isn’t another scam, the reason why I said this is because when I did some research on Windward Ferries since April the 1st of 2023 the have been posting travel, maps pictures times, with stock photos etc and they have yet to be in service, I also noticed they asked for a ‘relatively small investment in this Ferry Project…

  17. Slippery slope
    January 25, 2024

    its telling that Dominica does not seem to make commercial sense for cargo in the firstinstance. We SHOULD BE the bread basket of the eastern caribbean.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2
  18. Hello
    January 25, 2024

    Hoping that it materialises. Regional travel is just to frustrating to people who travels regularly in this region.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  19. Optimist
    January 25, 2024

    Look LIAT 2020 Ltd “dead” before it start :)

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5
  20. Ms Green
    January 25, 2024

    excellent venture. God’s blessings.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available