FREEPORT, Bahamas -- After nine months of service, SeaJets, a hydrofoil service linking Palm Beach, Fla., and Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, business is looking good.

Since launching operations last November, SeaJets has shuttled more than 45,000 passengers between the two cities.

SeaJets increased service from five days a week to six days to accommodate passenger demand and operates two roundtrip excursions each day.

The vessel, SeaJet Kara, a 250-seat Boeing 929 hydrofoil, makes the 65-mile trip between Palm Beach and Freeport in 99 minutes.

SeaJets could increase to six departures a day when a second hydrofoil, SeaJet Kristin, is added later this year.

Seajet Kara makes the 65-mile trip between Freeport and Palm Beach in 99 minutes. Other destinations, including Nassau and Bimini, could soon follow, according to George Bradley, president and chief executive officer.

Roundtrip fares for the shuttle service are $99 for adults ages 17 and older and $50 for children ages 3 to 16. A $25 arrival-departure tax and $8 fuel surcharge are additional for each passenger.

Guests receive snacks and soft drinks free of charge but must purchase any alcoholic beverages.

Departures from Palm Beach leave at 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.; return trips from Freeport depart at noon and 6:15 p.m.

The 9 a.m. boardings consist largely of day-trippers, Bradley said.

Agents will earn 10% pay on the transportation service and 12% on related package sales.

To make things easier for agents, SeaJets employs a system similar to electronic ticketing.

An agent calling for a reservation makes a prepayment by credit card or other means and receives a confirmation number to give to the client.

Upon arrival, the client provides the confirmation number along with a photo ID before receiving a boarding pass.

On prepayments, agents deduct a 10% commission.

When payment is made by a client at boarding, the commission is paid in a lump payment mailed twice monthly, Bradley said.

One-night hotel packages, with SeaJet service and hotel accommodations, range in price from $99 to $154 per person, double. The prices are valid through Dec. 20.

Accommodations are available at The Resort & Casino at Bahamia, Port Lucaya Resort & Yacht Club, Xanadu Beach Resort & Marina, Pelican Bay and The Lucayan.

The hydrofoils, which skim over the water, most recently were used between Belgium and Brighton, England.

SeaJets operates with five cabin attendants in addition to the operating crew.

SeaJets
Phone: (877) 7-SEAJET
Fax: (561) 844-1994
Web: www.seajets.com
E-mail: [email protected]

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