Hawaii Superferry Finds Home in Honolulu

Yesterday, Saturday, the Hawaii Superferry finally arrived in Honolulu. It currently sits at Pier 19, just Ewa of Aloha Tower Marketplace. It is huge! I tried to figure out how to give some idea of size but there wasn’t much next to it except for some other boats and a building, all of which are dwarfed by this thing.

Hawaii Super Ferry alongside adjacent building

According to news reports, people on the neighbor islands, and probably Oahu as well, are concerned that people will move in on their space for camping and fishing. I have to admit that the thought did occur to me that various businesses would have more competition from their neighbor-island competitors with the travel from one island to the next being so easy and relatively inexpensive. Contractors and the like can just drive their car onto the ferry, tools and all, and just travel over to another island.

First of two Hawaii Super Ferry vessels

I didn’t realize everyone was that territorial. I have a feeling that after the novelty wears off, these will not be real concerns. Everyone is in the same boat (no pun intended) on this issue anyway. Perhaps the homeless will move islands too.

The Superferry is said to hold 300 cars and 900 people. It will be great for people to travel between the islands and traveling on the water sounds like a nice relaxing way to travel! I like the paint job they did on it.

Full view of the Hawaii Superferry

This is one of two ferries that will be stationed in Honolulu and run between the islands beginning at the end of the summer. My real concern is for the local airlines who stand to take yet another hit from yet another competitor set to erode their client base.

The other concern is that the Superferry itself may find itself in hot water. The humpback whale is listed as an endangered and therefore protected species. Hawaii is one of its breeding grounds. To strike (i.e. run into) one causing injury or death would bring on fines up to $20,000, each. That would certainly make a dent in revenue! It would also anger a lot of people. I guess we just have to ride this out and see how it goes.

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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Larry // Jul 6, 2007 at 6:57 am

    It was never planned to be cheap, although the newspapers have just recently decided to write about it. The fuel surcharge has been in there all along and mentioned over at the legislature during the discussions about the environmental impact study.

    Given the cost of using the ferry, I’ve wondered if it is a viable plan. Of course, the executives and investors who hope to make money from it would be dumb to lose their investments, wouldn’t they?

  • 2 Evelyn // Jul 6, 2007 at 11:49 am

    Hi Larry!

    I honestly thought it was going to be so much cheaper than the airlines. Ha ha ha! To be honest, I think they have their nerve to charge that kind of money. But, in their defense, your vehicle can go too and Hawaiian and Aloha airlines can’t offer that.

    In a way, I have to confess, I am a little relieved because I was worried about the airlines. I don’t think they have much to worry about. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for stopping by and for leaving your comment!

  • 3 David Panther // Jul 7, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    The hydrofoil ferries have been operating for years in Europe and Australasia and a very successful system and also very enjoyable. There is always plenty of room for competition. Its a great way to get around and more enjoyable than flying. Nice looking ferries!

  • 4 Evelyn // Jul 7, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Thank you, Panther, for sharing that. Maybe we just need to get used to it all. We’ve just had a lot of expensive things added to our community lately so I think it may be starting to make us nervous. Maybe it will be good for the economy, that would be a good thing.

  • 5 macpro // Jul 15, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    When the Superferry was first proposed in 2004, the lowest airfare between the islands was $79 if you bought early enough. The normal fare was around $115 one-way. The higher priced air fare is still around, but with the entry of Go! Airlines, the highest price point of the low end fare is $39. I also think you know that Go has offered fare promotions at $29, $19, $9, $4 and even $1 to generate traffic. This of course riled the incumbent carriers, Aloha and Hawaiian. They had to adjust and to a point they did.

    The interisland fare war is GREAT for the consumer as it gives local travelers an option.

    The Hawaii Superferry is the latest interisland travel option for residents, business and tourists. Certainly in light of today’s air fare wars, the Super Ferry pricing is high. But given the fact that you can take your vehicle with you, the higher price may be justified.

    I think travel by Super Ferry will certainly be more comfortable and pleasant vs. that of the interisland air carriers. I am willing to give the SuperFerry a try, especially when service starts for the Big Island run in 2009.

    The marketplace will ultimately decide whether or not the Super Ferry will be a viable local transportation option. I am sure they will adjust if demand changes. I wish Hawaii Super Ferry the best.

  • 6 Evelyn // Jul 15, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    Hey, Mel!

    I think enabling people to bring their own vehicle with them is their top selling point for sure! I also agree with you on the comfort factor — it sure looks a lot roomier! The pictures on your blog are great! I highly encourage readers to take a jaunt over to Mel’s blog and take a look at the great pictures of the inside!

    Who knows, Mel, it may even be a safer way to travel! Somehow it feels safer to be closer to the ground… even if the ground is water. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you for the visit and for your comments!

  • 7 Homespun Honolulu » Updates: Boats, Bikes and Books! // Aug 22, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    […] Hawaii Super Ferry, which we mentioned here, had a practice run yesterday. Apparently it went wellโ€ฆ except some people forgot about being sea sick […]

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