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Debut of new HK-Macao fast ferry service

Hong Kong: Las Vegas Sands Corp has today begun high-speed ferry service using an Austal-built CotaiJet between Hong Kong's Macao Ferry Terminal at Shun Tak Centre and Macao's newly opened Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal on Macao's Taipa Island. The service is being managed by Cotai Chu Kong Shipping Management Services Co of Hong Kong.

The first CotaiJet, dubbed The Grand Canal Shoppes, departed Macao at 8:30 and docked at Hong Kong's Macao Ferry Terminal at Shun Tak Centre at 9:30. Her return voyage from Hong Kong to Macao started at around 10:00. and she arrived back at the Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal, which is located just a short distance from both the Macao International Airport and leisure and gaming area the Cotai Strip, about 11:00.

"As Hong Kong, Macao, and the wider Pearl River Delta enjoy increasing levels of visitation from throughout Asia and around the world, investments in transportation infrastructure will be vital to the continuing development of the region as a leading leisure and convention destination," said William Weidner, president of Las Vegas Sands Corp.

The Grand Canal Shoppes vessel is one of three 47.5 metre hi-tech passenger catamarans providing LVS's CotaiJet service. The CotaiJet service features 20 sailings per day, 10 each from Hong Kong and Macao, with service beginning at 7am each day. An additional seven vessels, bringing the fleet of CotaiJets to 10, are expected to be placed into service throughout 2008.

Each custom-built catamaran has the capacity to carry more than 400 passengers and operate at top speeds of approximately 42 knots. CotaiJet service will feature first-class dining options, convenient booking of Cotai Strip entertainment offerings, as well as on-board hotel check-in services for visitors to the Cotai Strip.  [10/12/07]

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