Dec. 22, 2005 — The high season is going to begin without any ferry service linking St. Croix to the other Virgin Islands.
When Island Lynx Ferry Company announced in August its plans to start ferry service between St. Thomas and St. Croix its target date for operation was November. (See "St. Croix–St. Thomas Ferry Service to Begin in November".)
However, a press release from the company on Thursday said that it would commence year-round ferry service between St. Thomas and St. Croix in February 2006.
Robert C. Siebengartner, the managing partner and majority owner of Island Lynx, said in the release that the M/V Quelbe, which is awaiting heavy lift transport across the Atlantic Ocean, is undergoing additional upgrades that delayed the scheduled transport for about two weeks. He said those upgrades would ease the process of certifying the Quelbe for passenger service in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
After the announcement was made that the Lynx was coming, V.I. Fast Ferry Salacia, which has operated between St. Thomas and St. Croix for the past six seasons, announced it would not be back this year. (See "V.I. Fast Ferry Suspends Service in the Wake of Competition".)
"It is a difficult and time-consuming task to commence a business with the complexity and substantial initial capital requirements of Island Lynx," Siebengartner said, "but the principals of Island Lynx remain committed to meeting the inter-island transportation needs of the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and to providing a new and exciting link to the British Virgin Islands and Vieques, Puerto Rico."
Kevin Rames and Chris Elliott, who are investors and minority owners of Island Lynx, expressed their full confidence in the ability of Siebengartner and his team to commence full operations in February 2006. "A substantial amount of effort, energy, and money has been invested in this venture, and we look forward to the successful commencement of operations," Rames said.
Siebengartner went on to say that a number of options were considered by Island Lynx to commence preliminary operations with other vessels for the 2005–2006 Christmas season, but that no feasible alternative to the Quelbe has been identified.
Island Lynx can be reached at 340-642-9454 or [email protected]. More information can also be found at "www.islandlynx.com".
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