CTM says it’s in discussions with boats for planned SVG-St. Lucia service in January

By AdminUpdated 7:09 p.m., Friday, December 30, 2022, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4). 

CaribbeanTravelMovement – CTM says it has been in discussions with Bequia Express and a few other service providers for its planned chartered service between St. Vincent and St. Lucia early next year. 

The company made the statement via a response email to One News SVG at 12:36 p.m. this afternoon. 

After the company had initially announced its planned SVG-St. Lucia weekly service to the news media in SVG via a press release on December 29, a representative of the company told One News SVG the company was going to use a Bequia Express vessel for the service.

But, after the press release was published, a representative of Bequia Express called One News SVG asking us to remove the photo of a Bequia Express vessel we had put on the feature photo of the story. 

One News SVG called Bequia Express and spoke to a representative of the company. When we asked what was their relationship with Caribbean Travel Movement and whether anyone from that company had contacted them, the representative said: “all I can say at this time is that we don’t have an official agreement.”

One News SVG then contacted Caribbean Travel Movement and a representative from the St. Lucia based company said: 

“From initial discussions and date confirmations by Bequia Express, the response was in the affirmative, hence why we mentioned their vessel would be doing the chartered run. Twice Mr. Ollivere sr. confirmed that it is fine for us to run the ads, showcasing the vessel so customers would know which vessel upfront.”

“We are still in preparation mode and put the release out as a feeler for interested persons from the general public as our trips are primarily private,” the email response from CTM read. 

The rest of the CTM email response to One News SVG which the company called its “Clarification Response”: 

We were not aware that we would need additional documents etc by the government or any other party if the trips were to be on a weekly schedule. Even calls to both governments this morning confirmed that at present, we do not need additional documents.

Our mis-step is that we have not confirmed arrangements with the company’s local agent in St. Vincent as we have been waiting for a response from them for over a week now. Here-in lies the problem and miscommunication with the local agent confirming that she did advise Bequia Express to disassociate with us on the premise that we did not wait for her response.

Our press release did not mention Bequia Express specifically as we plan to use different vessels for our trips, more so because Bequia Express cannot be available to us for all the dates we require. Additionally, some of the ferry trips will also be cargo only, and we are already aware of the relevant documents needed as we currently do ship cargo between the islands. 

It is unfortunate the company chose to reach out to the media before seeking clarification from us. We would have explained that it was miscommunication somewhere along the line and worked at fixing the issue right away, to avoid the crisis unfolding now. The same way in which both Bequia Express and CaribbeanTravelMovement sorted out a similar issue about a week ago.

CaribbeanTravelMovement is an extremely young company run by young people like myself who are trying to make a difference in our region. We understand that we will make mistakes, there will be hiccups etc. We simply will continue to pray that we are allowed a chance in this large ocean where attempts at stifling a tiny organization will subside.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish Bequia Express the best. We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused. We have not changed position and would still like to work with them providing they would give us the chance to do so, the statement read. 

Feature photo: Demion McTair

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