The Cat Cocos - Isle of Mahe has been built in Australia, and it arrived in Seychelles aboard a special cargo ship. For the Inter Island Boat Company this latest acquisition represents an investment of over one hundred million Seychelles rupees.
The Cat Cocos -Isle of Mahe, the fourth ferry of the Cat Cocos fleet has been commissioned for the inter island crossing for over five hundred passengers in Business, Comfort Upper Deck and in the main cabin. The owners of the company have been quoted assaying that this new ferry is providing a model of international luxury ferry service in the Seychelles waters.
A state of the art thirty six metre long vessel designed with a dynamic fresco depicting the essence of Mahe with the symbolic Clock Tower of Victoria and Trois Freres Mountain is increasing the comfort of passengers moving between Praslin and Mahe islands. Guillaume Albert of Inter Island Boat Management Company said that it is the company’s belief that the ferry will bring added benefits to the business of Inter Island ferry service in Seychelles.
“This new boat is also equipped with a state of the art right control system which will accentuate considerably. It is our strong belief that this vessel will contribute to increasing tourism flux between our two islands and ultimately benefit the business of Praslin and La Digue operators’’ Guillaume Albert said.
Addressing the crowd at the launching ceremony, Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture said that the ferry is a big move forward for Praslin and La Digue Islands.
“This is indeed a remarkable success story for the islands. I am sure Seychellois and visitors alike will appreciate that this service, on such a big fast boat is today available in Seychelles. Those of us who know the region well will appreciate that the launching of this modern luxury fast ferry in Seychelles is a success for the region. On behalf of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, and on behalf of the Government of Seychelles we need to thank Mr Joe Albert and his family, as we need to congratulate you for having brought to Seychelles such a fine product’’ Minister Alain St.Ange said.
Minister St.Ange said with the launching of the high speed ferry service Seychelles realises the mechanism to develop andto stimulate the Inter Island ferry market.
“It was clear a couple of years ago when Mr. Joe Albert and his partners brought in the small Cat Cocos ferry everybody was surprised. Could he make money out of it? Could it sustain that run to Praslin? Everybody was proved wrong because it did not only succeed in proving the need for a fast boat to Praslin, but the owning company made money out of it. That prompted Joe Albert and his family and his Creole Travel Services Company to move forward and bring a bigger Cat Cocos. This big five hundred plus seat Cat Cocos - Isle of Mahe ferry shows you that it was needed. Joe Albert stimulated and developed that business. I salute you Joe and your company for having the fore sight, and for having the bravery that is needed for you to really put your money where your mouth is” said Minister St.Ange
The Minister went on to say that with the arrival of the new big boat in the Inter Island fleet, this will also bring more competition.
“As we are launching this new boat I take the opportunity to salute the ferry operator William Rose and his daughter Cindy for having provide for many years a ferry service of quality between the islands of Praslin and La Digue. Today as we launch another new ferry in Inter Island Boat Group we must anticipate that this brings with it new competition for the inter island ferry businesses. Because of our size, competition should also bring the need for us to relook at how we operate. On behalf of the government I appeal to you all to work in partnership in this ferry business to ensure that as you move forward, everyone in the industry moves with you for a more joyous Seychelles, and for a better environment in our tourism industry’’ Minister Alain St.Ange said. The French Ambassador to Seychelles, Mrs Genevieve Iancu had the honour of smashing the traditional bottle of champagne on the new boat as the 'godmother' of the new Cat Cocos - Isle of Mahe and Minister Alain St.Ange and Mr Joe Albert jointly cut the ribbon to declare open the gang way to the vessel. Bishop Denis Wiehe of the Roman Catholic Church and Fr Danny Elizabeth of the Anglican Church blessed the vessel and crew.