Marine Princess docked indefinitely 29 December 2009
The hydrofoil Marine Princess remains docked at Praia sea port with no date in sight for the resumption of business. After news indicating that the vessel was paralyzed due to the departure of its captain, several A Semana Online sources have revealed additional problems that have combined to keep the embarkation from going out to sea. This is the second time the Marine Princess has been forced to lay idle in the short time it has been operating in Cape Verde, thus dashing expectations that it would help resolve the problematic issue of connections among the country’s southern islands.
Sources close to the vessel’s administration claim that “operations have been suspended” not only because the captain left for Angola, but also because, after “investing millions of escudos, administrators have been combating archaic procedures that, in addition to being costly, hinder or even render unseless the company’s work,” said the source.
As such, the administration of Cape Verde Navalis is waiting for a reaction to a memorandum submitted some time ago aimed at doing away with “parasitical” costs and “archaic and anti-economic procedures.”
In addition to the lack of a captain, the company is hoping authorities will put an end to these “parasitical” costs that they claim make operations unreasonably expensive. Without mentioning to which authorities the memorandum was actually sent, A Semana Online’s source says that the ship will remain docked until these issues are resolved.
The hydrofoil Marine Princess, which had been plying the waters along the Praia-Fogo.Brava route three times a week, is currently sitting at Praia sea port. Connections to the other Leeward Islands were expected to resume during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday, but this will no longer happen.
The ships Praia d’Aguada, Sotavento and Sal Rei travel to the islands of Fogo and Brava twice a week, but even so are unable to meet the demand on the part of would-be travelers, who often take advantage of the holiday season to visit their native islands.