Notes From The Margin

August 16, 2007

Caribbean Rose – A New Inter Island Ferry

In an environment of soaring air fares a Trinidadian entrepeneur has taken up the challenge of providing affordable inter island transport.

Now, preparations for ambitious replacement, spearheaded by head of the Port of Spain ship agents Global Steamship Agencies, George James, appears to be going full steam ahead.

Word from James is that the 2 558-tonne steel hulled Canadian-built ferry was due in Trinidad this month to start the service.

The “Caribbean Rose”, as it is called, has been refurbished including installing more cabins in Canada after it was decommissioned from its run among ports in Eastern Canadian provinces. It can carry 300 passengers, both in cabins and seating arrangements. There is also room for 55 vehicles and 400 tonnes of general cargo. Cabin charges per person per night will probably be in the vicinity of US$10 to $15. Meals will be available from an onboard cafeteria. Passages between the islands would be made mainly at night.

James is confident the venture will succeed. Among the reasons is the “skyrocketing cost” of regional air travel.

He also feels the time has come for regional people to once again experience the “unique, exciting experience” of sea travel among the islands.


According to the stories the “Caribbean Rose” will run between Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vicnent, Trinidad, Margarita, Venezuela and possibly Dominica. Mr. James has already identified shipping agents in the targetted territories.

Mr. James says that he is trying to reduce the “red tape” involved in getting person to bring their car along for their visit. We on the margin wish him well and hope that the powers that be don’t suddenly devise a new departure tax at the sea port!



It has now been more than six months since we posted this article and the Caribbean Rose is yet to put in an appearance (at least in Barbados)



  1. To tell you the truth, I wish it all the luck in the World. However I suspect that its fate will be just like those before it. One of the biggest problems with these ferries is the traficking of illegal drugs. I am sure the drug boys are rubbing their hands with glee!

    Comment by Anonymous — August 16, 2007 @ 1:24 pm | Reply

  2. […] is concerned about the “sloppy service” of LIAT, a main regional carrier, while Notes from the Margin says: “In an environment of soaring air fares a Trinidadian entrepeneur has taken up the […]

    Pingback by Global Voices Online » Barbados, St. Vincent: Sloppy Service from LIAT — August 17, 2007 @ 2:19 pm | Reply


    Comment by HARTLEY — September 27, 2007 @ 8:10 pm | Reply

  4. You are so lucky to have your newly refurbished ferry skippered by Captain Kim Smith, of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, He’s one of the best, focussed skippers along our iron-bound coast, and a full-rigged ship master to boot. He’ll get you where you want to go come hell or high water under any conditions!
    Wolfville, NS, Canada

    Comment by Dick Tice — December 6, 2007 @ 4:44 pm | Reply

  5. I speak for many people when I say “M.V. Windward” is sorely missed. Pity “Windward 11” never got to sail. I wish “M.V. Caribbean Rose” many years of successful service. God knows we need a ferry for the Southern Caribbean.

    Comment by Geoffrey — January 9, 2008 @ 2:45 am | Reply

  6. Looks like an amazing ship, however I would sadly have to agree with the trafficing comment above. I hope they have some decent security. I dont know why ships dont have the same security as planes to be honest

    Comment by ferry ticket — February 25, 2008 @ 12:35 pm | Reply

  7. Well I am visiting my grandmothers native home of Barbados in July and would love to take her to Trinidad on this Ferry as she has family there. Hope to know more information soon. And good luck and God Bless the beautiful “Carribean Rose” and all those who have come together to make this so needed service available for the community and all in need!!!!

    As far as illegal drugs are concerned I am sure there is a fair amount in each island and if people want to traffic drugs there are several ways to do it not just a Ferry. It seems to me that you would just have to make strict regulations have someone check bags just as you would at Disneyland or in an airport. Have a trained dog that can smell them and that would probably keep anyone from trying but what ever you do….do not punish everyone else that would benefit from this great service for something that could be handled so easily. You would just have to monitor it the same way you have to monitor anything else it should be no different from a plane or Disneyland :0) Good Luck “Carribean Rose”

    Comment by Misty — March 21, 2008 @ 4:32 am | Reply

  8. I’m sitting here looking at the Caribbean Rose in the bay here in Port of Spain. I have a very nice view from the new Hyatt. There appears to be very little activity with the Caribbean Rose. The lights are off at night and nothing seems to be going on. It would be nice if this ferry could get going.

    Comment by Mike — May 22, 2008 @ 11:42 am | Reply

  9. Is there any more news on the Caribbean Rose. I would like to know how it made out as I was on her when she was brought down to Port of Spain. Needed a lot of work before it went in service but seems like a worthwhile investment.

    Comment by Bill — June 21, 2008 @ 8:43 am | Reply

  10. Any idea on when this will actually start service? Indeed the Windward is sorely missed. If this was to start it would be instantly booked to capacity for the next two years! We need this desperately, and our governments would do well to help.

    Comment by Jin — September 11, 2008 @ 3:50 am | Reply

  11. We are travelling to Margarita Island in Feb and is wondering if the Caribbean Rose is up and running and any idea on how to book a fare.

    Comment by Joanne — November 30, 2008 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

  12. Sorry Joanne,

    so far no action on the ferry.

    Comment by notesfromthemargin — November 30, 2008 @ 10:33 pm | Reply

  13. We first noticed this “yellow” ship in the Gulf whenever we stayed at the Hyatt. It is right off shore from this hotel. It is always there. One day we used binoculars to get the name. This year we left the hotel on the morning of the 18th of March. It was moved during the night. Everyone was surprised and missed her as each morning she was “lit up” with the first rays of the sun. People said all the ships were being removed due to the Summit of the Americas in April. We would love to travel inter-island on her

    Comment by joe & kathy — March 26, 2009 @ 9:59 am | Reply

  14. Caribbean Rose for 2010

    investors cant i hear you ??????

    Comment by Dave — March 30, 2009 @ 7:58 am | Reply

  15. does anyone know where they moved the Caribbean Rose to on the morning of the 18th of March? We’ll be in T N T again after this summit confusion and expect everything to be upside down – would like to see her in the “new” position.

    Comment by joe & kathy — March 31, 2009 @ 10:01 am | Reply

  16. yes the boat is in st.vincent and the grenadines water

    Comment by kelique — April 4, 2009 @ 9:33 pm | Reply

  17. Is the Rose in service??????

    Comment by Bill — May 1, 2009 @ 10:36 pm | Reply

  18. I think it will be a Hugh success, when you speak of the Islands it will be ferrying people around to I suspect it will be very popular indeed, is their many ferries in the area?

    Comment by gavelects — May 14, 2009 @ 10:57 am | Reply

  19. hey they have move the Caribbean Rose to ST Vincent!!! i saw it in the waters.

    Comment by Terry — June 6, 2009 @ 9:24 pm | Reply

  20. it is now october 09 any one with news on the caribbean rose

    Comment by anselmo — October 27, 2009 @ 11:16 pm | Reply

  21. I would love to hear any up date.
    I understand Mr. Copeland from UK, finally got the ship registered in St. Vincent but have not heard anything since 27/02/09.

    Comment by Dave T. Newfoundland CA — October 28, 2009 @ 10:21 am | Reply

  22. hey folks after long good thinks come like a rose she will be up soon she was abig bite but the chewing is almost over my bags has been packed for about two years an am sure to be on the maiden voyage soon MR JAMES did not give up

    Comment by clifton — January 14, 2010 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

  23. Hello, any update on the Caribbean Inter Island Ferry out of St Vincent would be welcome at this time. Nothing is being said, can any one update the general public.

    Comment by BIG SHOW — January 20, 2010 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

    • hey BIG SHOW (my)this comment is not gold but its not iron are you gona ride this ferry to carnival T&T next month? well start packing.

      Comment by clifton — January 24, 2010 @ 12:41 pm | Reply

  24. OK now it’s almost four months after Carnival. No sign of the “Rose” in TnT waters. Is it sailing or is it still in St Vincent ?

    Comment by joe & Kathy — June 2, 2010 @ 2:51 pm | Reply

  25. Another newcomer in the business who starts of with false promises, seems to be a common things in the ferry industry worldwide

    Comment by Ferry to France — September 4, 2010 @ 7:22 am | Reply

  26. OK – Happy New Year as it is now 2011 – As we prepare for our winter in TnT, what is the latest on “rose”? Can we put her in our plans ?

    Comment by joe ^ kathy — January 14, 2011 @ 9:03 am | Reply

  27. I worked on the caribbean rose, then called the Northern Princess, in 1995 in Canada I can’t beleive that that P.O.S. is still afloat let alone sailing.

    Comment by marine engineer — April 6, 2011 @ 11:50 am | Reply

  28. Thank God for this opportunity. Mr.James you certainly have my support and I am sure my entire family support. I do hope it will be
    ready to sail by November, so I can take my car along on my vacation to one of the islands. Yeppee!

    Comment by Debbie — September 23, 2011 @ 1:38 pm | Reply

  29. It’ now 2012 ,is it possible that there will be a start to this service this year?

    Comment by John — January 1, 2012 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

  30. Hard to believe we have been “waiting” since 2009 when we first viewed this ship in the gulf of Parria. No question we will have to sail inter-island on her if and whenever she becomes operational. But like all things in the islands – no hurry . As we head down to our winter home in TnT for the 44th year, we wish all a happy new year and maybe this year – 2013- will see “The Rose” back in business.

    Comment by joe & kathy — January 7, 2013 @ 5:00 pm | Reply

  31. Is there any update on the Caribbean Rose? Is it sailing yet? Where is it now?

    Comment by Anonymous — April 13, 2014 @ 3:07 pm | Reply

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