Some one thousand Cape Verdean émigrés living in the United States and several European countries will participate in the inaugural trip of Cabo Verde Fast Ferry's hydrofoil Kriola, according to the company's vice-president Nelson Grégor. The high-speed vessel will arrive in Praia today, January 3.
The hydrofoil Kriola entered Cape Verdean waters between 1:00 and 2:00 am this morning, and is slated to dock in Praia at approximately noon. The ship transporting the vessel encountered stormy weather between Singapore and Madagascar, which resulted in a delay in the expected date of arrival in Cape Verde. After a short layover in South Africa for fueling on December 20, the Kriola will arrive as a New Year's present for Cape Verdeans.
A Semana is in a position to affirm that the inaugural ceremony of the first of Cabo Verde Fast Ferry's two high-speed vessels is being anxiously awaited, particularly among the residents of the islands of Santiago, Fogo and Brava. Residents of Brava, particularly, are pinning their hopes on the hydrofoil to bring them out of the isolation they have experienced for years.
The vice-president of Cabo Verde Fast Ferry's administrative council, Nelson Grégor, says that for the inaugural trip, slated to take place within three days of the ship's arrival, some one thousand Cape Verdean émigrés have signed up to take part — 500 of these will come from the Netherlands, Portugal and France on direct TACV Cabo Verde Airlines flights. Other compatriots arrived last Friday on two charter flights from the United States.
Given the number of those wishing to participate, Cabo Verde Fast Ferry intends to carry out four round-trip Praia-Fogo trips during the inauguration ceremony.
"The company has already established fares for cargo and passengers, which will be published in the near future. We're going to give normal passengers a 10% discount and a 15% discount to holders of Youth Cards," says the businessman.
Nelson Grégor explains that Cabo Verde Fast Ferry has selected a total of 34 employees out of the 1,400 who applied for jobs in the company. This figure includes administrative personnel, maintenance technicians and the crew of the Kriola, whose main task will be to provide regularly-scheduled transportation among the Leeward Islands. In February, another 34 people will be selected for the Liberdadi, the second high-speed vessel, scheduled to arrive in Cape Verde between April and May of this year and which will ply the waters of the Windward Islands.
The two modern, high-speed vessels have a capacity to transport 158 passengers, 20 light vehicles and three trucks each. When they begin operating, the island of Brava will no longer be isolated from the rest of the country, and the quick and efficient circulation of people and goods among Cape Verde's southern islands will become a reality.