Less than 3,000 nautical miles lie between the newest ferry in the national fleet—the APT James—and its new home, Trinidad and Tobago, following a bunkering (refuelling) stopover at Las Palmas, Canary Islands, over the Christmas holiday.
The estimated arrival date of the vessel has been revised to the first week in January 2021, good weather permitting, according to a news release from the National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (NIDCO).
According to the NIDCO statement, the APT James arrived at Las Palmas on Friday 25 December 2020 at 8:00 pm (local time).
NIDCO explains that the Las Palmas stop is the last stop in the vessel’s journey to Trinidad and Tobago, which began on Thursday 12 November 2020, the day it departed its manufacturing hub in Vietnam.
Originally, the final stop was to be Cape Verde, but the change became necessary because of the unavailability of bunkering services during the holiday period in Cape Verde.
The APT James was built by Austal—the Australian company contracted by NIDCO to design and build the vehicle and passenger catamaran—at its new shipyard in Vung Tau, Vietnam.
The ferry, designated 94-metre AutoExpress, will provide high-speed passenger and vehicle operations between Trinidad and Tobago.
The APT James features the very latest in ‘smart ship’ technology, including an advanced Motion Control System, to deliver a more comfortable and stable ride. It has the capacity for 926 passengers and 250 cars. It can travel at speeds of up to 37.5 knots.