Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hawaii Super Ferry Starts Service

A vision for many years, the interisland Hawaii Super Ferry will finally become a reality and take its maiden voyage Sunday, August 26.

Christened the Alakai, which means "ocean path" in honor of Hawaii's rich history of marine navigation and travel, the 349' vessel can carry 900 passengers and 250 cars. Hawaii Superferry is more than just an alternative way to get from one island to the next. The company believes their interisland service will change Hawai‘i for the better, combining historic tradition with modern capabilities to rebuild our marine highways. Read more…

Through Sept. 5, the inaugural rates on the catamaran-style ferry will be $5/passenger/one-way and $5/car/one-way, compared to rates in the hundreds to fly or ship a vehicle. Initial service will be between Maui and Oahu, and Kauai and Oahu, with Big Island trips added in 2009. The normal one-way fares are scheduled to be $59-69 including fuel surcharge & taxes, still the cheapest way by far to travel interisland.

Concern for the whales which frequent island waters prompted a lawsuit by several environmental groups, which claim the EIS (impact statement) has not been completed and the ferry should not operate until it has been approved. The Hawaii Dept. of Transportation is allowing the ferry to begin operating, because the court did not specifically rule against it.

For now, the graceful vessel will be seen plying the ocean waters with the whales, and offering a new mode of interisland travel.

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