I am happy to announce that Utila is Open for business! I took a quick day trip to the Island of Utila late last week. At first, I thought that the Utila Dream Ferry was only operating one round trip a day. This is true for most of the days of the week. An early morning departure from Utila at 7 am means that you can be in La Ceiba by 8:00 am. However, the return trip to the island is not until 4:30 pm. This means that you get to Utila by the early evening. I was pleased to hear that they are now offering two departures on Fridays and Sundays. This means that I was able to travel to the island on Friday and come back to La Ceiba that same day.
The ferry trip that morning was quite busy. They are only operating at 50% of capacity. I was pleased to find that the operation was taking all the recommended bio security measures. At the terminal they had clearly marked social distancing labels on the floor. Security was checking everybody´s body temperature. And the seating in the waiting room was limited. As a matter of fact, someone would check at the waiting room regularly and make sure that seating restrictions were taken into consideration. Boarding is orderly, and once on the ferry, they limit the number of persons in the upper deck, to insure proper social distancing. Everybody wore a face mask on premises and on board the ferry.
Bio Security Measures are Evident
The lower deck of the ferry had many seats that were blocked out. Thus, people were far from each other. Personally, I went to the open top deck. I felt that the open-air seating provided cleaner air that the inside with air conditioning. The trip is a short pleasant ride, the ferry is very clean. Best of all the staff all wear personal protection items.
Arriving to Utila is always a colorful experience. I love the site of the tuk tuk taxis on the dock. I find it colorful and friendly. Everybody on the dock was wearing a face mask, including the taxi drivers. As I walked along the main road, I found that most businesses were open. This is true for restaurants, bars and lodges. There are many hotels and restaurants open. To my surprise, I found some bars open for business.
Taking advantage that Utila is open for business, I took a short boat trip through the lower lagoon from Blue Bayou to Neptune’s Restaurant at Coral Bay Villas. This is one of the more pleasant, quiet settings on the island. Food is always good. You have one of the nicer beaches in Utila at your feet. And service was outstanding, as usual. All the bio security measures were in place. My plan from the start was a quick day trip to see if Utila is open for business. This meant getting back to the ferry terminal in time to catch to ferry trip back to the mainland.
Ferry Service Between Utila and Roatan is now Available Again!
The return trip was extremely quiet. There were only 10 of us as passengers for the ride. However, there was a nice group waiting at the ferry terminal in La Ceiba to enjoy a weekend in Utila. The Utila Dream Ferry is also running its route to Roatan Island once a week, on Saturdays. This is the only day that the ferry has a morning departure from La Ceiba to Utila, and then continues to Roatan. I expect that service will gradually increase and return to the pre Covid-19 schedule. But in the meantime, it is great news to confirm that Utila is open for business and that the Utila Dream Ferry is providing great service!