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BIMINI SUPERFAST To Florida

Posted on Friday, April 12, 2013 by

Superfast_VIw

The SUPERFAST VI has been sold and will be renamed BIMINI SUPERFAST for service from Florida to the Bahamas. Photo Wikipedia Creative Commons License.

A new cruise/ferry service may soon be coming to South Florida.   Genting (USA) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Genting Malaysia has purchased the 32,728 gross ton fast ferry SUPERFAST VI from Attica Holdings, the operators of SuperFast Ferries in Greece, to transport guests from Florida to their new casino at North Bimini Island in the Bahamas. Renamed BIMINI SUPERFAST  the ship was built in 2001 at the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft at Kiel, Germany.  The ship is capable of carrying 1,600 passengers, with berths for 934 overnight passengers.  It is 669 feet long with a beam of 82 feet.   As the name implies it can operate at a very high speed of around 28 knots, and will be able to complete the 48 nautical-mile distance from the Florida coast in around 2 1/2 hours.

During the cruise over to Bimini, passengers will of course have the opportunity to get a jump on their gambling in the shipboard casino.  The ship also features an “a la carte” restaurant in addition to more casual fast-food options and a variety of bars and lounges.  One of the highlights of this class of ship is a two-story disco featuring a wall of glass overlooking the stern.  Typically on short Bahamas cruises shopping plays an important roll and it will on this ship as well.  Outside decks offer an open-air bar with dance floor, deck chairs for lounging by the small swimming pool and children’s facilities during the summer.  Rather than using the Genting name which is not that familar in America it is likely the cruise company will be known as Bimini SuperFast Limited (BSF), a company that was incorporated in the Isle of Man on March 25th for the purpose of providing cruise and cruise related services to Bimini Islands, Bahamas. The ship is now in Patras, Greece, and has been registered in Panama.

The slightly smaller, near-sister ship SPIRIT OF TASMANIA 1 (ex SUPERFAST IV), shown here with the QE2 in the background, operates in Australia between Melbourne and Tasmania.  Photo by Shawn J. Dake. © 2008.

The slightly smaller, near-sister ship SPIRIT OF TASMANIA 1 (ex SUPERFAST IV), shown here with the QE2 in the background, operates in Australia between Melbourne and Tasmania. Photo by Shawn J. Dake. © 2008.

SuperFast ferries are operated all over the world, from Greece to Italy, on North Sea services in Europe, in Canada and even in Australia.  The Genting group themselves maintain casino operations all over the world as well.  They are also the parent company of Star Cruises in Asia and and own a 44% stake in Norwegian Cruise Line.   The company has been trying to change Florida laws to build a casino in Miami for years without success and this venture is the next closest geographic alternative.  Bimini is the nearest offshore destination to South Florida where a full casino can operate, except for native American Tribal casinos which are legal in the state.  Resorts World Bimini Bay, at Bimini Bay Resort & Marina on North Bimini is scheduled to open in December, 2013 and will feature a 10,000-square-foot casino with full-scale gaming tables, slots and sports betting, in a venue similar to Genting’s London casinos.  This marks a return to the Bahamas for Genting which in 1986 built the Lucayan Beach Resort and Casino in Freeport in partnership with the Bahamian Government.  This deal is a partnership between Genting and RAV Bahamas, which is transforming the once sleepy little island, best known for its world-class fishing into an international gambling mecca.  Conveniently, the vessel could also be diverted to Havana cruises, should Cuba open up as a destination in the to-so-distant future.  From Miami it would be an eight hour sea voyage on a SuperFast ship to Havana and from Key West, as little as three hours to that currently forbidden island to the south.

 

20 Responses to BIMINI SUPERFAST To Florida

  1. Bert Lamers

    April 12, 2013 at 11:50 am

    From which port in South Florida is the ‘Bimini Superfast’ going to sail? Miami or Fort Lauderdale?

  2. Kalle Id

    April 13, 2013 at 7:43 am

    It is interesting to see the old Superfast Ferries fleet dispersing around the world. The company only operate themselves in the Adriatic and Aegean seas these days, but former members of the Superfast fleet (easily identifiable by their common design style) can be found on the Baltic Sea, the Irish Sea, the English Channel, Bay of Biscay, the Mediterranean, Canada and Australia. And soon the Florida-Bahamas run too. Successful ships, then, even if their original owner seems to have fallen on hard times.

  3. Cedric Hacke

    April 15, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Actually, Superfast ships are only going to be operated in the Adriatic from now on. It is understood that the place Superfast VI on the Ancona – Patras route will be taken by the Superfast XII, which previously operated the Piraeus – Heraklion route in the Aegean. The Superfast XII would be replaced in the Aegean by a Blue Star Ferries ship (also part of the Attica Group).

    It is sad that Superfast Ferries have fallen on such hard times lately. They used to have a much bigger route network but are now down to two routes and four ships. Sad as my so far only voyage with the company on their now closed Belgium to Scotland route was the best experience I’ve ever had on a ferry.

    It will be curious to see what changes will be made to the Bimini Superfast. She has two huge car decks which won’t be all that necessary anymore…

  4. Raik

    April 15, 2013 at 1:37 am

    she´s going to sail from Miami: http://www.cruisebusiness.com/index.php/news-section/top-headlines-category/top-headlines-archive-category/3197-genting-group-seen-to-use-superfast-ropax-ferry-in-miami-bimini-service

    All Superfast ships share the sleek design. They also are known for their tough fuel consumption. Attika Group were true entrepreneurs, adding routes in the baltic (Rostock – Finland) and the north sea (Zeebrugge – Rosyth/Edinburgh). It didn´t work out, they had to restructure some med-routes as well, so the ships are spread around the globe.

  5. Kalle Id

    April 16, 2013 at 6:07 am

    @Cedric Hacke: Thank you for the clarification with regards to the traffic area. Superfast’s own website still includes that route, but then again Blue Star Ferries’ and Superfast Ferries’ operations are so hopelessly intertwined that that is not surprising.

    @Raik: There was also the Rostock-Södertälje (Sweden) route briefly operated around the same time as the Rostock-Hanko (Finland) route was opened. The Zeebrugge-Rosynth route was only opened after the failure of the Rostock-Södertälje service to find a use for the Superfast IX and X.

  6. Kathryn Herterich

    June 8, 2013 at 10:02 am

    What goes around, comes around! I sailed many times on all of the Superfast Ferries ships when my Greek spouse was provision master with the company. Now we live in Florida, and his ships have come home!

  7. Mailicys Rivero

    June 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Hello how can we book for this ship???

  8. Rob Stellges

    June 28, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Seen this on S FL news….where can U reserve tickets, news here says cruises started today 6/28/13…..want to book for 7/6/13….any clues on booking sites?????

  9. Gina

    June 29, 2013 at 3:42 am

    My nephew and I have been waiting for this. How do we book it?
    Gina

  10. Denise Vargas

    June 29, 2013 at 5:08 am

    want to travel with my wife and son to bimini.

  11. Denise Vargas

    June 29, 2013 at 5:17 am

    any information on booking a trip.

  12. Kenneth Eden

    June 29, 2013 at 6:17 am

    According to a press release from TV WBFS, bookings may be made at 1-888-930-8688

    The ship was christened yesterday, June 28. Roundtrip fare $49.00 with overnight cabins available at additional cost

    According to the release it took years to get this vessel approved –

    I sincerely hope it works out as this could be a pleasant escape cruise

  13. Jennifer Kabalkin

    July 1, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Would like to know how to go about booking New Bimini Cruise from Miami? Is there a phone number or website that I can use to make reservations for the ship as well as the Resort?

  14. Almita

    July 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Trying to purchase r/t tickets to Bimini. PLEASE contact me with a way to do so!!!
    Thank you.

  15. Kalle Id

    July 2, 2013 at 2:45 am

    According to what I could find on the internet, the ship has not yet recieved clearance from the US Coast Guard to sail (and indeed, Marinetraffic.com shows that she has not moved from her berth at least during the past 24 hours). One might theorise bookings will only be opened after the ship gets a clearance to sail.

  16. Rebeca Granado

    July 2, 2013 at 11:42 am

    When will this ship begin sailing, and does it go to Bimini Bay resort? Can you go on one day and come back on another? What are the costs of the cabins? Is there a price that includes food and cabin?

  17. Ben There

    July 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Not a luddite but doesn’t it bother ANYone that this is the first step in the corporate destruction of the pristine natural bay and offshore environments of Bimini… turning them into Disneyworld replicas at best? All for the almighty buck.

  18. Victor

    July 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I took a tour of the ship today quite impressive ,nice dining and gaming areas,very clean and ready to go ,should get coast guard approval soon I hope a lot of renovating was put into this ship I feel it will do well operating out of the port of Miami.

  19. jackie rodriguez

    July 10, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    How much will it cost per person?

  20. Kalle Id

    July 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    The latest news is that the BIMINI SUPERFAST passed US Coast Guard inspection yesterday (16. July) and is now cleared for traffic from US ports.

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