Muhammad Mostafigur Rahman, bdnews24.com
Published: 2022-01-11 12:29:21 BdST
During the tourist season, several passenger ships take visitors from Teknaf to St Martin’s Island. Recently, two ships from Chattogram and Cox's Bazar are also operating on this route. At least nine ships visit the island every day. As the number of tourists rises, so does the number of ships. However, there are complaints about the quality of services offered by these vessels.
KEARI Sindbad is the first privately launched company to ferry tourists to St Martin’s Island. The ship has been in operation since 2004. Between March-November every year, the 346-seat vessel transports tourists back and forth between Teknaf’s Domdomia Ghat and Probal Deep on St Martin’s Island. However, there are allegations that the ship exceeds its passenger limit at times.
KEARI Cruise & Dine:
KEARI Cruise & Dine is also a privately owned ocean liner. The 310-seat ship has been sailing back and forth between Teknaf and St Martin’s Island since 2008. There are also allegations that this ship, which is more luxurious than KEARI Sindbad, exceeds its passenger limit when there are too many tourists.
The 250-seat Bay Cruiser-1 sails from Teknaf’s Domdomia Ghat to St Martin’s Island. The catamaran-type express ship is more than 26 years old. The ship has been emitting deadly black smoke for the past several years.
MV Greenline 1:
MV Greenline is a small-sized catamaran that sails between Teknaf and St Martin’s Island. The 120-seat ocean liner is the fastest ship on the route to St Martin’s Island.
ST Shaheed Sukanta Babu:
ST Shaheed Sukanta Babu is a sea-truck travelling from Teknaf to St Martin’s Island. It is owned by the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation. The vessel usually runs on the Bhola-Lakshmipur route. It transports passengers from Teknaf to St Martin’s Island during the tourist season. The 201-seat sea truck is also quite old.
MV Farhan 2:
Although not an ocean liner, MV Farhan 2 travels to St Martin’s Island during the tourist season. The old vessel, which used to operate on the Dhaka-Betua route, poses some risk to passengers.
MV Parijat is a coastal launch. The vessel, which normally operates on the Barishal-Patarhat-Ilisha-Maju Chowdhury Haat route, started sailing on the Teknaf-St Martin’s Island route during the tourist season in the hope of making more profit. As it is not an ocean liner, the vessel can be somewhat risky.
MV Karnafuly Express:
The MV Karnafuly Express departs daily from Nunia Chora BIWTA Ghat in Cox's Bazar for St Martin’s Island. Although it is an ocean liner, there are complaints about the quality of its passenger service. On Dec 29, the ship, carrying over 400 passengers, broke down on its way back to Cox's Bazar from St Martin’s Island. Although it was supposed to reach Cox's Bazar between 9:30 pm and 10:00 pm, it eventually reached Cox's Bazar at around 4:30 am.
MV Bay One:
Luxury ocean liner MV Bay One sails from Chattogram’s Patenga. The cruise ship, which is over 30 years old, has been carrying tourists to St Martin’s Island recently.