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Seastreak
Locale New Jersey
New York
Waterway Hudson River
East River
New York Bay
Transit type Passenger ferry
Excursions
Sightseeing
OwnerSeastreak LLC
Began operation1986
No. of lines3
No. of vessels10
No. of terminals13
Daily ridership2,506 (daily average, March 2023) [1]
Website seastreak.com

Seastreak is a private ferry company operating in the Port of New York and New Jersey and in New England. It provides high-speed commuter service between points on the Raritan Bayshore in Monmouth County, New Jersey and in Manhattan in New York City as well as special event and sightseeing excursions in the harbor and seasonal service to the New England coast.

History

Seastreak began operation in 1986 as TNT Hydrolines, a subsidiary of TNT of Australia operating commuter ferry services between New Jersey and New York City. [2] [3]

In 1994 all of TNT's maritime assets were acquired by Holyman of Australia and the ferry service name was changed to Express Navigation. In 1999 Sea Containers acquired Express Navigation. [4] The company was renamed Seastreak. Following Sea Containers filing for bankruptcy in 2006, Seastreak was sold to New England Fast Ferry in 2008. [5]

Vessels

Seastreak operates a fleet of ten diesel-powered double-hulled catamarans. The Seastreak Highlands, Nantucket Express, Seastreak New Jersey, and Seastreak New York are all 141 foot vessels owned by Seastreak; each has a capacity of 505 passengers and travels at a top speed of 38 knots (44 mph). The vessels were built by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding of Somerset, Massachusetts. [6]

The Ocean State is a 65-foot vessel owned by New England Fast Ferry; it has a capacity of 149 passengers and can travel up to 29 knots (33 mph). It is used as the ferry for the seasonal Providence to Newport route. [7] The vessel was built by Merrifield-Roberts of Bristol. [8]

Seastreak New York docked at the East 34th Street Ferry Landing

The Martha's Vineyard Express and Whaling City Express are 95-foot vessels owned by New England Fast Ferry and have a capacity of 149 passengers and can travel up to 29 knots (33 mph). The vessels were built by Derecktor Shipyards of Mamaroneck. [9] They operate between the Port of New Bedford and Martha's Vineyard during the summer months but began a reduced year-round service in 2023.

Past vessels have included the Seastreak Manhattan, the Seastreak Brooklyn, and the Seastreak Liberty, among a few others. All of these catamaran ferries were designed by Incat Crowther.

Seastreak announced construction of a 600-passenger high-speed luxury ferry in September 2016 for service between the Jersey Shore and Manhattan, anticipated to enter service in 2017. [10] Construction took longer than planned, and the vessel, named the Commodore, was launched in March 2018, [11] entering service the next month. The vessel has 520 seats indoors and 240 seats outdoors, [12] with a top speed of 35 knots, and a length of 150 feet. [13] [14]

The Courageous was delivered in December 2021 [15] but initially remained out of service due to decreased ridership following the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. [16] It was built with the intention of accommodating more passengers on its East Side route as well as running the New Jersey/New York to Martha's Vineyard/Nantucket trips. The Courageous has a length of 157 feet. It is currently the largest high-speed passenger ferry in the United States.

The Millennium is the tenth and newest member of the Seastreak ferry fleet. It began service on July 31, 2023. It is primarily utilized to accommodate passengers traveling between Belford/Middletown and Manhattan. The vessel can hold 406 passengers and crew as well as reach a top speed of 36 knots. Before its extensive refit in early 2023, it served as a member of the Rhode Island Fast Ferry fleet out of Quonset Point, Rhode Island and was originally built by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding. [17]

Routes

Seastreak routes connect the towns of Atlantic Highlands and Highlands in Monmouth County, New Jersey with Pier 11 at Wall Street and the East 34th Street Ferry Landing on the East River in Manhattan. Seastreak also connects Belford to Pier 11, Battery Park City Ferry Terminal, Paulus Hook Ferry Terminal, and West Midtown Ferry Terminal on the Hudson River. During the morning rush hour, the trip from the Raritan Bayshore to Manhattan takes approximately 40 minutes. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, service is also provided to the public beaches in Sandy Hook a few times each day. Service used to be provided to Yankee Stadium for select New York Yankees games and to Citi Field for New York Mets games on weekends. However, that service has been discontinued since before the pandemic hit. The company has long offered "special event cruises" such as sightseeing excursions, sunset cruises, trips to Broadway matinees, college football games at West Point, the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and to see the fall foliage in the Hudson Valley.

Passing under Hell Gate Bridge

On July 17, 2009, Seastreak began providing weekend service from Highlands, NJ and New York City to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. One ferry departs New York City on Friday afternoon and returns on Sunday night. The trip through Long Island Sound and along the shoreline of Rhode Island and Massachusetts takes approximately five to six hours. The service was temporarily discontinued in the summer of 2023 due to low passenger demand. However, the company announced that the trip will return in the summer of 2024. [18] Before launching its service to Martha's Vineyard, Seastreak had expressed an interest in providing a similar service on summer weekends to Sag Harbor in the Hamptons, but there were concerns over traffic and ferry service is a non-permitted use in the village code. [19]

Hurricane Sandy service

After Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 destroyed much of the IND Rockaway Line ( A train), severing most subway service between the Rockaway peninsula of Queens, Seastreak began running a city-subsidized ferry service between a makeshift ferry slip at Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive in Rockaway Park and Pier 11/Wall Street in Manhattan's Financial District, then continuing on to the East 34th Street Ferry Landing. [20] In August 2013, a stop was added at Brooklyn Army Terminal in advance of the temporary closure of the Montague Street Tunnel ( R train) between Brooklyn and Manhattan. [21] In December 2013, it was reported that since inception, the run between Rockaway and Manhattan had attracted an average of about 730 passengers per day, on top of the approximately 250 daily passengers traveling between Brooklyn and Manhattan. [22] The ferry by that time had carried nearly 200,000 passengers since its inception, according to city officials. [23]

Originally intended as a stopgap alternative transportation measure only for the months until subway service was restored at the end of May in 2013, the ferry service proved to be popular with locals, and the city's contract with Seastreak was initially extended until July 2013 [24] and then was subsequently extended again, first till mid-October 2013 and then until January 2014. [25] Community organizations, activists and elected officials in Rockaway and Brooklyn campaigned for a permanent extension of the subsidized service. [26] Though full service on the Montague Street Tunnel was restored in mid-September 2014, many commuters continued to take the ferry, despite its extra $1 cost over the subway fare. In mid-October, Mayor Bill de Blasio visited Rockaway and declared that the time had come to end the ferry service, since all of the subway service that it had replaced was now back in operation. [27] Despite efforts from other local officials, [28] [29] the ferry last ran on October 31, 2014, after Seastreak was unsuccessful in procuring an extension of the service. [30] Rockaway ferry service resumed on May 1, 2017, as part of the NYC Ferry service, which is operated by Hornblower Cruises. [31]

Crashes and incidents

In October 2003, eight passengers were evacuated to Staten Island after a fire broke out aboard a ferry heading to the Raritan Bayshore. [32]

On January 9, 2013, at around 8:45 a.m., Seastreak Wall Street, arriving at Pier 11 from Atlantic Highlands, rammed into the mooring as it was docking, leaving a visible gash in the ferry stretching several feet above the water line. The president of the ferry company, James R. Barker, told NBC News that morning that there were 300 aboard and that many of those injured were thrown from their seats. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear. [33] [34] [35] [36] Eighty-five people were injured, two critically. According to the captain, the control system of the boat [37] failed to respond. [38] [39] [40] Lawsuits seeking damages have been brought by injured passengers. [41] As of May 16, 2013, the deadline for filing, thirty-seven claims had been made against the company. The case will be heard in admiralty court since the accident took place on navigable waters. [42]

On June 5, 2021, at around 4:15 p.m., the Commodore ran aground in the Bushwick Inlet in Brooklyn. One crew member was injured, and approximately 100 passengers were evacuated. [43]

In popular culture

The ferry is seen during a romantic moment passing underneath the Brooklyn Bridge in the movie Step Up 3D. It is seen still operating in the year 2021 in the movie Click. A ferry is also seen moving down the East River in the final shot of the 2002 film Gangs of New York, in which the Brooklyn Bridge and the World Trade Center can be seen. [44]

References

  1. ^ "Private Ferry Monthly Passenger Counts". NYC Open Data. Retrieved April 4, 2023.
  2. ^ Leuck, Thomas J. (January 30, 1999). "Big Ferry Operator to Enter New York Market". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  3. ^ Nordheimer, Jon (January 2, 1995). "A Ferry Gives Wall Streeters Speed Plus Socializing". The New York Times. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  4. ^ Sea Containers sells Seastreak Interferry March 18, 2008
  5. ^ Murphy, Dan (March 18, 2008). "New owner to keep Seastreak ferries afloat". The Star-Ledger. Newark. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  6. ^ "Seastreak Launches New High-Speed Catamaran". Maritime Reporter and Engineering News. May 5, 2001. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  7. ^ Anderson, Patrick (June 29, 2016). "Officials herald return of ferry service from Providence to Newport". The Providence Journal. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  8. ^ Yanity, Kathleen (April 4, 2003). "Fast ferry's finishing touch". The Providence Journal. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  9. ^ "Derecktor Delivers Second Catamaran For New England Fast Ferry" (Press release). Derecktor Shipyards. November 28, 2004. Archived from the original on July 9, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  10. ^ Higgs, Larry (September 14, 2016). "This is the new high-speed ferry coming to New Jersey in 2017". NJ Advance Media for NJ.com. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  11. ^ "Gulf Craft set to launch 600 passenger Seastreak Commodore". Marine Log. March 15, 2018. Archived from the original on March 16, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  12. ^ Rotolo, Chris (May 29, 2018). "Seastreak Launches 760-Passenger Capacity Ferry". The Two River Times. Red Bank, NJ. Retrieved July 23, 2023.
  13. ^ Higgs, Larry (June 5, 2018). "Take a look at the newest, fastest ferry on the water". nj. Retrieved July 23, 2023.
  14. ^ Moore, Kirk (July 26, 2018). "Seastreak Commodore a hit in New York ferry market". WorkBoat. Retrieved July 23, 2023.
  15. ^ Higgs, Larry (December 11, 2021). "Largest ferry of its type in U.S. Ready to take to the water between N.J. And NYC".
  16. ^ Diamond, Michael L. (January 19, 2022). "Seastreak giant ferry Courageous stays docked as COVID hits commuters". Asbury Park Press NJ. Retrieved July 23, 2023.
  17. ^ Higgs, Larry (August 11, 2023). "Latest ferry between N.J. and N.Y.C. makes its debut".
  18. ^ Sigelman, Nelson (July 16, 2009). "New York fast ferry will begin weekend service tomorrow". The Martha's Vineyard Times. Archived from the original on May 19, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  19. ^ Vecsey, Taylor K. (June 11, 2009). "Looking Into Ferry Service". The East Hampton Star. Retrieved August 9, 2009. [ dead link]
  20. ^ "Seastreak Ferry New Jersey, New York and New Bedford, Martha's Vineyard". Seastreakusa.com. Archived from the original on June 25, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  21. ^ McFadden, Katie (August 2, 2013). "Ferry Will Make Brooklyn Stop". The Wave of Long Island. Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  22. ^ "Ferry Facts". The Wave of Long Island. December 20, 2013. Archived from the original on December 30, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  23. ^ Honan, Katie (January 20, 2014). "Rockaway Ferry Floats On Through May, But Trip Will Cost Nearly Double". DNAinfo.com New York. Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  24. ^ Dejohn, Irving (May 28, 2013). "Rockaway ferry will continue for six more weeks: Mayor Bloomberg". Daily News. New York. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  25. ^ Guarino, Dan (August 23, 2013). "Ferry Lives On". The Wave of Long Island. Archived from the original on November 3, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  26. ^ McFadden, Katie (December 6, 2013). "A Ferry Strong Commitment". The Wave of Long Island. Archived from the original on December 30, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  27. ^ Rubinstein, Dana (October 17, 2014). "The bell tolls for the Rockaway ferry". Capital New York. Archived from the original on October 20, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  28. ^ Fortis, Bianca (October 23, 2014). "No Answers Provided for NY Rising Ferry Funds". The Rockaway Times. Archived from the original on October 25, 2014. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  29. ^ Healey, Mark C. (October 24, 2014). "Ferry Hail Mary". The Wave of Long Island. Archived from the original on October 26, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  30. ^ Chung, Lori (November 1, 2014). "Commuters Bemoan Closing of Rockaway Ferry". NY1. Archived from the original on November 3, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  31. ^ "NYC launches ferry service with Queens, East River routes". NY Daily News. Associated Press. May 1, 2017. Archived from the original on May 1, 2017. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  32. ^ Newman, Maria (October 21, 2003). "8 Rescued From Ferry Fire Near Verrazano Bridge". The New York Times. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
  33. ^ Santora, Marc (January 9, 2013). "More Than a Dozen Injured in Ferry Accident in Lower Manhattan". The New York Times.
  34. ^ Murnane, Paul (January 9, 2013). "Ferry hits NYC pier while docking, injuring dozens". CBS News. Archived from the original on March 28, 2013.
  35. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt; Moynihan, Colin (January 9, 2013). "Several dozen injured in ferry crash in lower Manhattan". The New York Times. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
  36. ^ Goldberg, Dan (January 8, 2013). "Ferry crashes into NYC pier, injuring nearly 60 N.J. commuters". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
  37. ^ Beckcom, Brian (January 10, 2013). "Why the New York ferry disaster proves the Jones Act is important". Vujasinovic & Beckcom P.L.L.C. Archived from the original on March 10, 2013.
  38. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt (January 10, 2013). "Day After Crash, Focus Is on Ferry's Control System". The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  39. ^ Sherman, T; Goldberg, Dan (January 10, 2013). "Officials investigating why ferry from N.J. to NYC crashed, injuring dozens of passengers". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  40. ^ Sherman, Ted (January 17, 2013). "NYC ferry crash: NTSB finds damage to propeller". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  41. ^ Sherman, Ted (January 22, 2013). "Lawsuit seeking $45 million in damages filed against Seastreak in ferry crash". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  42. ^ Higgs, Larry (May 17, 2013). "Seastreak ferry crash brings 37 federal court claims". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved May 17, 2013. [ dead link]
  43. ^ Closson, Troy (June 5, 2021). "Ferry Runs Aground in Brooklyn, Injuring a Crew Member". The New York Times. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  44. ^ "- YouTube". YouTube.

External links