Dec. 24, 2003 – Seaborne Airlines and Virgin Islands Fast Ferry will be inaugurating their new Super Sea & Sky excursion package on Jan. 7, offering customers the opportunity to travel one way by air and the other way by high-speed ferry between St. Croix and St. Thomas.
According to Omer ErSelcuk, Seaborne's chief marketing officer, the Super Sea & Sky program "will maximize stay time" for travelers at their destinations.
For example, he said, someone on St. Croix who wants to spend a full weekend on St. Thomas can fly Seaborne and be on St. Thomas by 8 a.m. on Saturday and stay until 8 p.m. on Sunday, then take the V.I. Fast Ferry boat back to St. Croix.
Travelers will have a choice of which direction they wish to fly and which to journey by the 600-passenger high-speed catamaran Salacia. They also can stay as long as they wish before making the return trip. "You can stay for a week or a month, if you want to," Jonathan Distad, Seaborne marketing and sales manager, said, "but you have to schedule your return at the time you purchase your ticket."
The two transportation enterprises put the Super Sea & Sky package together to stimulate the territory's inter-island travel market by offering savings, flexibility and choice. "By offering this option, we hope to encourage folks to travel more between the islands," Kevin Matthews, operations director for V.I. Fast Ferry's parent company, Boston Harbor Cruises, said.
"With our technological capacity, we can do this so that the experience is seamless for the passenger," Matthews said. "Reservations are all done online. If you get your tickets from the Fast Ferry, our agent will call up Seaborne's Web site and tell you what's available for the air portion of your trip and confirm the flight you want."
And if you make the purchase from Seaborne, the agent there will issue the ferry ticket for the time you have booked.
The round-trip fare will be either $80 or $90, depending on the time of day of the air travel, and this represents a savings over the standard combined one-way rates for Seaborne and V.I. Fast Ferry, Distad said. The lower rate is for off-peak flights, which are 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays and all day on weekends. The higher one is for peak flights, which are earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon Monday through Friday.
Limited numbers of seats are available on each Seaborne flight for the Super Sea & Sky program; so, the earlier tickets are purchased, the better the chance of getting on a given flight. The two companies will begin selling the tickets "in early January," Distad said.
Customers will be able to book passage round trip by calling Seaborne Airlines at 773-6442 or toll-free (888) FLY-TOUR; or by calling V.I. Fast Ferry at 719-0099 or toll-free (877) SEE-WHALE.
Tickets must be purchased at the time of booking — by charge card if over the telephone. They are non-refundable and non-transferable, and other restrictions also apply. The package "will not be available during carnival times on the islands," Matthews noted.
Seaborne Airlines employs more than 130 Virgin Islanders and carries approximately 175,000 passengers a year. The airline operates 17-passenger twin-engine, twin-pilot aircraft under the same regulations as the major U.S. carriers.
For additional information, visit the Seaborne Airlines Web site or call (888) FLY-TOUR. Reservations hours are from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekdays and from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
V.I. Fast Ferry, now in its third full season serving the territory, operates the Salacia between St. Croix and St. Thomas from November to the beginning of May. Its parent company, Boston Harbor Cruises, is the second-largest private passenger cruise service in the United States.
V.I. Fast Ferry employs more than 15 Virgin Islanders and draws on BHC's 78 years of continuous service in operating the Salacia, the largest, fastest, and most technologically advanced passenger-only catamaran both operated and built in the United States. For additional information, visit the V.I. Fast Ferry Web site or call toll-free (877) 733-9425.
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