Baleària plans to launch Puerto Rico/DR ferry service in 2024
Spanish shipping company Baleària plans to open a new ferry route between San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic, and Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, after next summer, with an investment of $100 million, announced company President Adolfo Utor at an event held in the Dominican port.
Baleària intends to provide a daily ferry service across the 133 miles between the two ports. It also plans to build a terminal in San Pedro de Macorís and adapt the one in Mayagüez, amounting to more than 1,076,391 square feet (100,000 square meters) of construction.
In San Pedro de Macorís, a multifunctional passenger terminal will be built, while in Mayagüez, the company plans to adapt existing facilities. Both will have a passenger gangway and a roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) ramp for improved vehicle loading and unloading.
The seven-hour crossing between the two islands will be made with an eco-efficient ship that could be the first natural gas-powered ferry in the Caribbean. Baleària will implement its model of combined passenger, vehicle and freight transport to offer daily maritime communication between the territories.
“The customer service and the quality of onboard services will be a priority. The daily connections will enhance Ro-Ro cargo transport to guarantee express deliveries in less than 24 hours, where reliability and punctuality are the main competitive advantages. The digitalization of services and artificial intelligence will contribute to achieving maximum excellence in transport services,” said Utor.
Baleària has operated in the Caribbean since 2011 and currently connects Fort Lauderdale with the Grand Bahama and Bimini in the Bahamas. This new service will be Baleària’s third route in the Caribbean and its sixth internationally.
“The experience and performance over these 10 years guarantee our commitment to expanding into such strategic markets as the Caribbean, where we believe our business model can be a key driver for the socioeconomic development of both countries,” Utor stated.
“Our objective is to promote the mobility of passengers and goods among the Antilles, with the aim of boosting tourism and trade, as well as the exchange of cultures and knowledge,” he added.
Baleària will be the second company to offer a maritime connection for passengers and cargo between the two islands, which are currently served by Ferries del Caribe from San Juan.