The 2010 built High Speed Craft (HSC) JEAN DE LA VALETTE will be chartered to NIDCO from Virtu Ferries for a one year for service in Trinidad and Tobago, a dual island Caribbean nation near Venezuela.
According to The Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, the proposal for the charter of the High Speed Craft JEAN DE LA VALETTE as a temporary inter island ferry to ease up the transport woes, is already before the local Cabinet.
Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan was quoted as saying that the vessel is scheduled to arrive by the end of May, and will replace an ageing ferry boat until the two new vessels from Incat and Austal arrive to permanently service the seabridge in 2020.
National Infrastructure Development Company of T&T (Nidco) chairman Herbert George confirmed that Nidco had recommended the temporary lease of the catamaran sourced from Malta, to service the seabridge between Trinidad and Tobago and the issue was still before Cabinet.
Nidco said that the submission from Virtu Ferries was chosen the best in terms of age of vessel, speed and payload RoPax (roll on/roll off passenger) capacity.
The catamaran , once in Trinidad and Tobago, will be maintained and crewed by Virtu Ferries and she will still be homeported at Valletta, Malta.
Virtu Ferries has quoted their daily charter rate in terms of a 12-hour work day, beyond which overtime payments will accrue. We sought clarification on this basis of charging, since the present scheduling of the seabridge will result in a longer than 12-hour work day for the crew,” the Nidco letter stated.
“The time charterer will work with Virtu Ferries to honour the 12-hour work day and is assured by Virtu Ferries of its flexibility and cooperation.” She has an upper deck that provides general accommodation to 680 of the 800 authorised passenger carrying capacity. The remaining 120 passengers can be accommodated in the upper bridge deck.
Virtu Ferries operates daily service to Sicily …Visit for more details – www.virtuferries.com
Photos by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com