New Ferry or Here We Go Again

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Vin, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    Agreed with first paragraph..

    To answer your question in second paragraph, the person who booked tickets said he booked it in advance because he was planning to take his wife and kids with him and felt it was best to organize the trip in advance because of kids. When he learned that they would not issue him refund on phone.. he decided to show up at the place in person and demanded refund. He had to be loud and rude letting all people in the lobby & line know what happened and all. In the end, the office decided to issue him full refund on the condition he sign legal paper promising not to pursue legal action against the ferry company. He signed paperwork and received full refund in cash so it worked out in the end.

    If you have facebook, find their page and 'Like' it so you can monitor their status. Currently, April 23/24 is last day for ferry and they are not decided if that is final for 2015 or not.
  2. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

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    Since it seems the Ferry is "iffy" for the future, It might be a good idea, since there is a least one Sailboat monitoring this Thread, to let them know what we would like to purchase? I am sure it is not the same for all of us, but it is also obvious that many of us would like to see something quicker and more economical similar to what the Ferry was/is offering..

  3. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    I am in agree with DWJ Donnie.. I'd like the option of direct sail from Panama to Colombia vs 5 nights sailing doing some island hopping.. if it is more economic to do a direct sailing then yes I am for it..

    I imagine that a direct sailing could be more profitable in a one month span vs 5 nights sailing and ship would pay for itself.
  4. Silverfin

    Silverfin Been here awhile

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    Donnie....I think your passage may be faster as your KTM has more power than the BMW shown in this video.

    <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/z70_nAqvcZM?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" width="640"></iframe>
  5. Junyah

    Junyah @ the speed of plaid

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    FYI.
    I just finished getting my ticket for my crossing to Cartegena at the Ferry Xpress office in Panama City. While there I asked what the story was for the Ferry and what they meant by Finished Temporarily. It seems it's more permanent than that, they are not meeting their projected numbers and are stopping as of April 23. When I pressed if they would ever resume sailing I got the shrugged shoulders shaking head routine.
    The 6th, 13th and 20th of April are the last dates that are available, then it's lights out. Anyone south bound wanting to catch the Ferry may want to turn up the wick a little bit.
    I got this from someone that spoke very good English, so nothing was lost due to my poor Spanish. I hate to be the bearer of bad news...but there it is.

    Jr.
  6. westnash

    westnash Long timer

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    Amazing why a ferry on this route would not be a financial success. Is it a lack of demand, overpricing, or piss poor management on the part of the operating company?
  7. tsimmons

    tsimmons Long timer

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    Piss poor management. I took the ferry to Colombia a few weeks ago. A car ferry parked at a cruise ship terminal doesn't work well. They had two choices to load. Parallel to the dock and the only way to get bikes on was up the personnel ramp or hire a barge to put at the back for the cargo doors to be lowered into. Perpendicular to the dock and they couldn't maintain position because of wind/currents. Either way they were limited by loading facilities which limited the business they could go after. The trip I took was on a Monday (planned) after they canceled the previous Wednesdays trip to Colombia. The boat barely had any people, probably two dozen bikes (maybe a few more) and about five SUV/cars.
  8. westnash

    westnash Long timer

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    Even more amazing. As both Panama and Colombia are full of wealthy investors, why has this not turned into a successful business with proper docks and advertised reliable service? The European ferries are the model and are successful and reliable bridges for tourists and freight transport.

    Are the owners at odds with either government or have failed to "enlist" the services of the right people to smooth the way?
  9. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    Well, let's not go so far as to compare Europe with Central America.
  10. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    Too damn big of boat for demand, pretty simple really:deal

    Fritz's little San Blas Ferry is almost the ideal size, just a little small and old:lol3 imho but it seems he must have pissed the wrong people off as he couldn't get dock space on the Colombian side very easily.
  11. Vin

    Vin Hopeless Addict

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    I concur. The boat pictures I saw looked more like Carnival Cruises than the basic service model that is typical of CA/SA.

    I'm thinking a set of water wings on the boxer cylinders and a paddle rear tire may be the ultimate solution for me.:evil
  12. tsimmons

    tsimmons Long timer

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    [​IMG]

    Paddle on the back wheel... Top Gear style!
  13. westnash

    westnash Long timer

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    Panama is located at a logistics crossroads so there is not a ferry that is too big for what is transported between central and south America but it seems to be operated by a company who doesn't know how to properly market the capacity. Bad docks and cargo handling and not keeping to a fixed schedule are signs of this. Someone can make this work and probably will in time, but maybe not these people.
  14. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    Yeah 20 more years, shipping has and will have the demand met for a long time to come. You going to have to pay to play for while longer making the easy jump across the Gap.
  15. Vin

    Vin Hopeless Addict

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    Here's a decent ferry that just sold at maritimesales.com. I'd think you could keep something like this fully booked week after week. One of you business guys out there run some calculations - how often would you have to cross and how much would you have to charge to make it profitable (not including cost of bribes)?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  16. westnash

    westnash Long timer

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    I think you have to be able to haul trucks/trailers in order to be successful. The European ferries, example Albania to Italy, run on schedules and a hue % of their cargo is tractor trailers of manufactured goods heading west and raw materials heading east on a Just in Time basis. Panama to South America may be a bit different but it can be containers from Canal and still needs to be on a schedule.

    The pictured ferry carries quite a few cars/motorcycles and some people but not sure it can include trucks.
  17. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    And then, down the road a few years you have the new cross country canal coming into Nicaragua which will affect the transfer of goods (people?) from the world to SA/CA & beyond. Based on it being not in Panama there ya go, another "gap glitch"-or maybe a new avenue for ADV style SA hops from Nica?
    I'll stop there as I have zero knowledge of ocean freight or travel.
    I'm more interested personally in the FL/Mexico ferry idea...
  18. Gabeslaw

    Gabeslaw Take the Challenge Ignore the Assholes! Supporter

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    This leaves me scrambling on logistics for my trip but Gaston of http://www.samericaxplorer.net is helping me find alternatives to the four day trek on crossing the gap. He is shipping my Harley from Miami, FL to Santiago, Chile and a good rate. Spoke to him yesterday and he has a few RoRo options in cartegena and will get back to me on Friday. If you need help this man knows his stuff and many ADV'ers in South Florida have highly recommended him due to his 25 yrs experience and vast knowledge. I know he has gotten a bad rap due to personal bias but so far my opinion is of respect.
  19. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    If you are really on a time critical trip then your only real option is to fly (excluding any commercial ferry service). Just to many possible delays with ocean freight including RoRo. Any ocean freight shipment puts your schedule at the mercy of port operations and out of your control. Unlike seaports, airports are designed to get people and freight in and out quickly and planes don't make money when sitting on the ground.
  20. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Gabe;

    What kind of rate are you getting from him for air freight from Florida? Reason I ask, is I'm in a planning stage, and ruled out Florida air freight because of expense.