El Salvador-Costa Rica Ferry to Commence Operations Next Month.

The government of El Salvador, under the leadership of President Nayib Bukele, continues to bolster the country’s economy through significant projects aimed at increasing trade both domestically and within the region. In a recent announcement, Federico Anliker, the President of the Autonomous Executive Port Commission (CEPA), revealed that the long-awaited ferry service between El Salvador and Costa Rica will soon begin operations.

The ferry, set to bridge the gap between the two Central American nations, will be operated by the Panamanian company, Blue Wave. According to Anliker, the vessel, which stretches an impressive 175 meters in length, boasts the capacity to carry 100 attached trailers, specifically the tractor-trailer with a 40-foot container. Interestingly, this ferry was previously in service in the Strait of Dover, the shortest sea route connecting England and France.

Presently, the ferry is on its way to Panama after making a stop at Guadalupe Island in the Caribbean to refuel. Anliker mentioned that discussions are underway with Panamanian maritime authorities, the Salvadoran embassy in Panama, and other relevant entities to expedite the vessel’s passage. Upon arriving in Panama’s northern Atlantic region on Saturday, the plan is to conduct pilot tests with the boiler during the first week of August, and subsequently, commence full-fledged operations.

Anliker revealed that during the first week of August, potential investors will visit El Salvador to inspect the La Unión port, finalizing any remaining details. He emphasized that this ambitious project, which has been in the works for 30 years, involves collaboration from 14 institutions and is now nearing its realization.

When it comes to selecting the ferry operators, Anliker mentioned that negotiations were held with various companies, eventually reaching an agreement with Blue Wave, lauding their responsibility and substantial investment in acquiring the vessel. Additionally, conversations are ongoing with Consorcio Marítimo Centroamericano (CMC) in El Salvador and Transmares in Costa Rica, as they are also expected to play a significant role in the ferry’s operations.

As part of the La Unión port’s reactivation spearheaded by the government, the project commenced in 2019 with the modernization of existing facilities and the incorporation of cutting-edge technology. Anliker proudly stated that the port’s facilities have been renovated and are now equipped to cater to the optimal operation of the ferry, boasting a 5.6-meter draught that will enable smooth operation even during high tides. Moreover, starting next month, the port will also accommodate vessels with shallower draughts within its maritime terminal.

The initial phase of the project will focus exclusively on commercial operations, with plans to include passenger transportation in the second phase.

In conclusion, the commencement of the ferry service between El Salvador and Costa Rica marks a milestone in bolstering economic ties between the two nations and enhancing trade opportunities within the Central American region. With the prospect of more convenient and efficient transportation for both goods and passengers, the ferry service promises to be a vital catalyst for regional development and economic growth.