Passengers on board the Buccoo Reef have described the vessel as a welcomed addition to the inter-island fleet.
TT’s newest inter-island ferry made its maiden voyage to Tobago on Friday amid little fanfare at the Scarborough Port.
THA Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis was on hand to welcome the vessel, which arrived on the island around 11.30 am.
Dennis, who was accompanied by Port Authority of TT (PATT) chairman Lyle Alexander, PATT commissioner Tommy Elias and other officials, later toured the vessel.
The Prime Minister and Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan had toured the vessel at the Port of Spain Port earlier that day, before it sailed to Tobago.
Trinidadian passenger Nigel Williams described the vessel as “A-class.
“The ride was real smooth, fast and comfortable,” he said.
Another Trinidadian passenger, Marsha Watson, said she could not have desired better.
“There is nothing bad I could say about this boat. Although we had bad weather coming up, the captain managed it well and the ride was smooth. It should work wonders on this route.”
Watson said she was also pleased with the boat’s amenities.
“The seats were out of this world and the environment was very clean.”
One Tobagonian passenger, who did not want to be named, said the voyage was smooth.
“Being on board was like a home away from home,” she said.
She said she hopes the Buccoo Reef will be a reliable vessel.
“I would like it to give Tobago many years of service because within recent years we have had a hard time on the seabridge.”
Named after one of Tobago’s popular tourist attractions, the Buccoo Reef sails from Monday to Friday at 8 am from the Port of Port of Spain and 4 pm from the Scarborough Port.
The US$73.5 million boat replaces the TT Spirit, which is expected to undergo routine maintenance from June 5 at the Caribbean Dockyard, Chaguaramas.
It is one in two catamarans constructed by Australian shipbuilders Incat and Austal.
The APT James was built by Austal for US$72.9 million.
The Buccoo Reef has a capacity to hold 1,000 passengers, including 224 VIP seats.
It can also hold 239 vehicles and travel up to 45.3 knots.