The Company ensures that departure/arrival
times of scheduled and other trips are maintained
as far as it is physically and reasonably possible
and that all trips depart and arrive on time.
All late departures (even of a few minutes)
are avoided and when they occur are treated
as "an incident", reported by the
persons concerned and investigated by Management.
Customers will appreciate that it is difficult
to solve all problems connected with the disruption
of the scheduled service as the Company operates
on different scenarios which could be summarised
(i) A normal scheduled service between Mgarr
(ii) As (i) above but with one or two extra
trips for special charters (ie fuel) or special
occurrences (backlog of passengers and/or
vehicles at a particular time).
(iii) A shuttle service between Mgarr and
Cirkewwa to cope with the influx of passengers
and/or vehicles on special occasions (ie Easter,
Santa Maria, long weekends, etc), or when
a larger number of tourists cross to Gozo
for the day. This is becoming a frequent occurrence
to the advantage of Gozo tourism and of course
(iv) A service from Mgarr to Cirkewwa (South
Quay) in inclement weather.
(v) A continuous service between Mgarr and
Sa Maison when, because of inclement weather,
the service to Cirkewwa is completely suspended.
When items (iii), (iv) and (v) occur, for
various and different reasons, it is not always
possible to maintain the advertised scheduled
In the examples of (iv) and (v) the reasons
are obvious and more often than not passengers
are understanding. However, when a shuttle service
is in operation, the Company appreciates that
the reasons for early/late departures from scheduled
advertised times are not so obvious to customers
and therefore understandably the complaints
become more vociferous and more in number.
Passengers will appreciate that when a shuttle
service is in operation, in particular at peak
times, it is not always possible to maintain
scheduled times at both harbours and this because:
(i) Passengers and/or vehicles at either
end accumulate at the terminal and ferries
leave as soon as capacity is reached.
(ii) The one berth at Cirkewwa and two berths
at Mgarr slow down the service, as ferries
have to wait outside harbour for the berth
to be free (at Mgarr in particular when berth
n° 3 is occupied by a third party vessel).
(iii) The timings of departures from either
harbour are quite close to each other, in
particular during peak periods and the continuous
operation of three or four vessels will somewhat
disrupt the scheduled advertised times.
(iv) Waiting for the exact time to depart
at peak hours, may increase congestion at
the harbour where the bulk of the passengers
are boarding the ferries and this will have
a cumulative effect on all the service.
Terminal personnel are instructed to inform
passengers of any change in the advertised schedule.