The Buccoo Reef ferry.

The newest ferry in the national fleet—the Buccoo Reef—has recommenced her journey home to Trinidad and Tobago and is expected to arrive in one month’s time.

According to a news release from the National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (NIDCO), the vessel set sail for T&T from Brisbane, Australia, on Monday 8th March 2021, on its 8,914 nautical miles (nm) journey home.

NIDCO says the voyage is scheduled to take 31 days, fair weather permitting.

Problems presented during the earlier start of the delivery voyage back in January, which caused the vessel to return to Hobart, have all been investigated and corrected by the shipbuilder, INCAT, and engineers from the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM).  Repairs were impeded due to delays encountered with the supply of parts and replacement units from Germany and USA.  However, the vessel is now expected to provide the trouble-free service for which it was built.

The Buccoo Reef will make two scheduled stops on her long journey home: firstly, at Pape’ete in French Polynesia; and then at the Panama Canal in Panama, before docking in sweet T&T.

As with the APT James, NIDCO has promised to share periodic updates on the progress of the Buccoo Reef’s homeward journey.

The route the Buccoo Reef is taking on her journey home to Trinidad and Tobago. Image courtesy NIDCO.

About the Buccoo Reef

The vessel was built by Australian shipbuilder INCAT Tasmania at its shipyard in Hobart, Australia.

INCAT began construction on Buccoo Reef in 2019.  The company says the new 100-meter, high speed ferry (Wave Piercing Catamaran) has been retrofitted with state-of-the-art electronic systems.

The ship will have an operating speed of over 40 knots, which reduces the sailing time with an increased number of crossings per day, and allowing for same day travel, thus improving inter-island access.

The Buccoo Reef—named after Tobago’s largest and most popular coral reef—will have capacity for 1,000 passengers in three lounges, which will include a range of bars and food service areas.  The vehicle deck will have 175 truck lane metres and capacity for 182 cars, or 239 cars, if trucks are not carried.  In addition, citizens will be able to enjoy comfortable coach style travel.