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Tuesday, March 28, 2023


April 10, 2001 — Come June, Seaborne Seaplanes will say goodbye to the tents now used on St. Croix to shelter waiting passengers and say hello to a new passenger facility.
The temporary tents have been up for almost a year, when Seaborne moved its passenger boarding from King’s Alley in Christiansted to the old seaplane ramp in Watergut. Since the move, Seaborne has been purchased by a Chicago-based investment group, but the plans for a passenger and maintenance facility at the Watergut site have moved ahead.
Construction crews have erected the steel-beam frame of what is essentially a 11,000-square-foot hangar. That will allow both passengers and mechanics protection from the elements, Seaborne President and CEO Maurice Kurg said.
"It’s both a passenger service center and maintenance facility," Kurg said. "We’re hoping to open it sometime in June."
The second phase of the project will have Seaborne’s administrative offices move into the building, he said.
Meanwhile, Kurg said, Seaborne will expand its fleet and its service this summer.
"We will definitely be adding at least two routes in the next few months," he said, declining to specify destinations. "We’ll be running three and four planes, where in past summers we had one or two."
Seaborne now operates daily scheduled seaplane flights between St. Croix and St. Thomas, with a staff of about 75 local employees.
Kurg's view on Seaborne’s newest competition, Boston Harbor Cruises’ fast ferry, which is conducting trial service between St. Thomas and St. Croix through the end of the month, is that only time will tell if it can survive.
"It is too early to say," he said. "But I don’t think they can make money here."

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