Hawaii Superferry to Start Service Dec. 1

Ana Figueroa Hawaii Superferry has announced plans to re-commence service between Oahu and Maui on Dec. 1. The embattled ferry has seen its share of rough waters since arriving in the islands earlier in the year. The 350-foot catamaran entered service briefly in August, but was immediately halted by prot

By: Ana Figueroa

Hawaii Superferry has announced plans to re-commence service between Oahu and Maui on Dec. 1. The embattled ferry has seen its share of rough waters since arriving in the islands earlier in the year. The 350-foot catamaran entered service briefly in August, but was immediately halted by protests and litigation alleging environmental concerns. The most vociferous complaints involved the ferry’s failure to prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). A state court cited the lack of an EIR in issuing an injunction against the ferry’s continued operations.

In response to the court ruling, emergency legislation passed in late October and signed by Hawaii’s governor Linda Lingle granted the vessel a reprieve. The new law specifically allowed the ferry to operate pending the completion of an EIR. Thus, the court had no choice but to lift the earlier injunction, leaving the ferry free to once again start operating.

“We appreciate the support we’ve received from everyone who shares the vision of uniting our islands and families by sea,” said Hawaii Superferry president and CEO, John Garibaldi. “Hawaii Superferry and its more than 300 employees look forward to a new beginning as we start our voyages between Oahu and Maui, a new choice for inter-island travel.”

Beginning Dec. 1, Hawaii Superferry will offer a daily round trip voyage between Oahu and Maui leaving Honolulu at 6:30 a.m. and arriving in Kahului at 9:30 a.m.; departing Kahului at 11:00 a.m. and arriving in Honolulu at 2:00 p.m.

The renewed service will start off with an inaugural $29 one-way fare. The fare will be good for all voyages between Oahu and Maui Dec. 1 through Dec. 20. Beginning Dec. 21 and through March 12, one-way passenger fares will be $39. Infants up to 2 years old will be able to ride for free from Dec. 1 through March 12. These special inaugural fares are available only on an advance-purchase basis and reservations must be made online through www.hawaiisuperferry.com.

A reduced passenger vehicle fare will also be offered at $55 each way. Motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds are $35. Customers who have already purchased tickets at a higher fare for travel Dec. 1-March 12 will automatically be refunded the difference of the special fares.

A date for commencing service to and from Kauai has not yet been determined.

“We have already begun community outreach efforts on Kauai,” said Garibaldi. “We will make our decision about when we commence our Kauai service once that process is completed.”

A second Superferry vessel is set to launch in the fall 2008.

www.hawaiisuperferry.com

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