Sunday, August 23, 2009

Catamaran International

The big news this week, actually the one of the biggest news items on the Waiheke ferry front for a decade, is the impending launch of a competing fast ferry service to the CBD by Catamaran International.
The company plans to use their 20m catamaran on a full range of ferry services throughout the day and cut Fullers' current fares by 11-20 percent.
Initially, they expect to be able to attract about 10 percent of Fullers’ yearly 1.3m Waiheke passengers.
Mr Kemp says operators that have competed with Fullers have been unable to sustain a service long enough to become viable. However, previous competitors have used similar sized boats to Fullers, he says.
There have been many rumours over the years of a competing service but this one looks quite serious, even if it's not expected to start soon and then quite modestly with a single vessel.
As islanders, we of course look forward to a competitive service, certainly on speed, price and service, three things they are promising to deliver. So we welcome them warmly and wish them the best of luck with the venture.

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