East by West expands Ferry Service For Wellington
23 December 2004
East by West expands Ferry Service For Wellington Harbour
East By West Co Ltd, proprietors of the Days Bay to Queens Wharf Ferry service, has announced a $1 million contract for the construction of a second purpose-built ferry for Wellington Harbour.
The contract which was signed today by East by West will see the construction of a new 16.5 metre sister ship to the current ferry, to increase sailings to Days Bay and to develop new services to other destinations on Wellington harbour, East By West Managing Director Mr. Jeremy Ward announced today.
The growth of the Eastbourne commuter market and the ever-increasing traffic congestion problems into Wellington, were both significant factors in the expansion.
“The acquisition of a second ferry greatly enhances East by West’s capacity to service the commuting, tourism and general travel needs of Wellington. The number of ferry users has been steadily increasing over the last couple of years and the need for a second ferry has become an inevitable consequence of the ever-growing demand for the harbour ferry service,” Mr Ward said.
“We are absolutely delighted to be able to provide our commuters with a second ferry. We have spent a lot of time on improving our ferry service and this new, state of the art purpose designed catamaran ferry will do just this.”
The new ferry will expand existing services to Days Bay with extra frequency of sailings planned at peak hours. In this regard the ferry and the new planned services to Days Bay have the continued and ongoing support of the Wellington Regional Council, Mr. Ward said.
It is also proposed that the new ferry will service new routes and in particular the company is looking to tender to trial a new service between Petone and Queens Wharf.
Mr. Ward said the support of the Wellington Regional Council was invaluable, “it has resulted in a win-win situation with more commuters using the service and therefore justifying the new ferry acquisition, which will further increase growth in commuter numbers reducing traffic congestion on the roads. “
The new state-of-the-art ferry has been specifically designed for use on Wellington Harbour. Mr. Ward said that Wellington Harbour conditions were unique and it took a special kind of ferry to cope with conditions all year round. The new catamaran ferry is larger and faster than the existing ferry, at 16.5metres, carrying up to 100 passengers at a top speed of 26 knots.
Like the current Dominion Post Ferry, the new sister ferry, which is two metres longer has been designed by one of NZ’s foremost marine designers, Malcolm Tennant, and is to be built in Whangarei by Northland Contract Boat Builders Ltd. Delivery is expected in July 2005 with the vessel commencing service soon after.
“The expansion of the East by West service has been planned for a while,” Mr. Ward said.
“Since our inception some 15 years ago, we have carried well in excess of 1.5 million passengers and have made close to 100,000 crossings of the Harbour In the course of that time the ferry has become firmly entrenched as part of Wellington’s unique culture and heritage.”
The Dominion Post Ferry currently has up to nine return scheduled sailings daily between Queens Wharf, Matiu Somes Island and Days Bay. Additionally it offers private chartering in the evenings. With two ferries plying the harbour, it is expected more tourist orientated harbour cruises will be offered.