~ Anguilla to cover immigration overtime ~
PHILIPSBURG–A high-season late-night ferry service between St. Maarten and Anguilla will start on January 17 until May 30. The ferry will depart no later than 1:00am daily.
The last ferry from St. Maarten to Anguilla now leaves at 10:00pm from near the airport.
The implementing of the late-night ferry service was brokered at a meeting between government officials of St. Maarten and Anguilla in St. Maarten on Monday.
The two islands will look into the possibility of extending the ferry time based on the demand after the peak season.
The ferry service was the result of Anguilla Chief Minister Victor Banks meeting with Prime Minister William Marlin and Finance Minister Richard Gibson.
Banks requested that immigration screening for ferry passengers take place in St. Maarten, adjacent to the airport, before departure, according to a press statement.
Banks has agreed that Anguilla will cover the cost of three hours of overtime for St. Maarten Immigration officers per day for the duration of the peak-season ferry.
The payment of the overtime was the result of Gibson explaining to Banks that budget constraints did not allow for payment of any overtime.
Banks said the urgent need for a late-night ferry was to accommodate passengers arriving in St. Maarten on late night flights with Anguilla as their final destination. He said the late-night ferry would be beneficial for both countries, as many Anguilla residents would use the opportunity to spend the evening in St. Maarten to experience the night life.
Marlin has said he will explore the idea of other neighbouring islands using the extended opening hours of the port of entry.
Also in the meeting, Department Head of Foreign Affairs Khalila Peters discussed the possibility of creating joint marketing packages between St. Maarten and Anguilla to stimulate traffic among locals to experience “Sint Maarten and Anguilla” by night.
Source: The Daily Herald Late-night ferry between Anguilla, St. Maarten to start January 17