Seychelles: A world example of good island ferry service

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Seychelles has been complemented by the region for its standard of ferry services being offered between its main islands. The one hour run between Mahe and Praslin islands, as well as the fifteen minutes service between Praslin and La Digue, are seen as a model in standard and service.

Both Inter Island Boats and the Inter Island Ferry services are today recognized as regional examples and are mentioned in maritime conferences as success stories.  Both companies owned by the Joe Albert and William Rose groups of companies have been able to build dedicated fleet sizes, enabling them to provide a professional service for the benefit of the people of Seychelles.

Ferry disasters resulting in drowning, make news in many countries, but the Seychelles professional approach to its ferry service continues to provide a seven day service, 365 days of the year. The published time table is always respected and the ferry company owners are even able to sustain maintenance schedules without any disturbance, because of their current fleet size.

The Seychelles did not always have such state off the art ferry service. In the seventies, the Mahe – Praslin – La Digue route was handled by the Lady Esme Government Ferry, that took four hours from Mahe to La Digue with stops at Grand Ange and Baie Ste.Anne Praslin, and that was once a day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Today, the economic growth of Praslin and La Digue Islands, are boosted by the fast and modern ferry service owned and operated by the island’s private sector.

Other smaller operators also provide excursions boats from Mahe to Praslin and La Digue on demand. Another company launched the Praslin Express a couple of years ago, but the service was haphazard and regular breakdowns, even at sea, resulted in the service being discontinued.

Joe Albert & William Rose
Lady Esme ferry of the old Seychelles
operated a four hour run from Mahe to La Digue
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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.