Tinian, in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, has taken a major step in opening up to tourism with a luxury, fast ferry service linking it to larger neighbour Saipan.
The 49.5m Sand Diamond ferry, which can carry 290 people and more than 30 cars, will begin regular daily sailings by the end of this year. A naming ceremony for the vessel was held in Guangdong Province, China, last week.
The Sand Diamond is being leased by Bridge Investment Group (BIG), which is developing the Tinian Casino. The resort is scheduled to open in Q2, 2020.
“The launch of the Sand Diamond will cater to the large demand for Saipan visitors to experience Tinian and all the entertainment options it offers, including the Tinian Casino. Previously the only access to Tinian has been by plane.” said Danny Ewing, Director Of Operations of US-based casino consultants to the project, Clear Management.
The Tinian Casino is the first phase in a master plan for the Wyndham Hotel & Resort, the largest tourism and hospitality investment on the island.
“Wyndham Hotel Group, as the international operator, is excited to see this latest commitment by the owners and developers of the Wyndham Hotel & Resort Tinian,” said Wyndham Senior Vice President Acquisition and Development, David Wray. “The introduction of this luxurious fast ferry service, will open up to the world the treasures of Tinian and the opportunity to experience one of the world’s most beautiful islands.”
In attendance at the naming ceremony for Sand Diamond was Senator Francisco Q. Cruz , Floor Leader for the Tinian and Aguiguan Legislative Delegation and Senator Jude U. Hofschneider, Senate Vice-President – 21st CNMI Legislature and Chairman –Tinian and Aguiguan Legislative Delegation.
“The Commonwealth’s leaders are always seeking for ways to better the islands’ economy and with this objective in mind, we welcome business leaders and investors with the hope of working together strategically to improve the Northern Marianas for all of our people through economic development opportunities,” he said.