THE ferry service between Lucky Bay and Wallaroo is expected to begin again in late October, with the Lucky Bay harbour extension almost complete.
A new 60-metre SeaSA ferry, the Sea Star, designed and built by Sea Transport Corporation, has completed sea trails in China and will soon start the delivery voyage to South Australia.
The ferry service has not been operating since September 2014, due to the construction of a transshipment facility and extensive harbour development undertaken at Lucky Bay.
Sea Transport Developments SA manager Mark Cant said the company had been pushing to have the service restart by Easter this year but construction delays due to periods of wet weather meant the ferry was also delayed.
“We apologise for not being able to re-introduce the service sooner but many factors were out of our control, however we hope locals and visitors will support the new vessel,” Mr Cant said.
“Our priority has been to finish everything with precision to ensure safety and compliance with Department of Transport marine requirements.
“Some outstanding issues with other government departments will hopefully also be resolved shortly.”
SeaSA managing director Stephanie Dawson said the Spencer Gulf Ferry would operate from Lucky Bay to Wallaroo for nine months of the year, with two return trips daily, reducing to one return trip in the slower months.
“Travel time onboard the vessel is approximately two hours from Wallaroo to Lucky Bay; and we aim to have passengers and vehicles on and off in 15 minutes,” she said.
“The service is an alternative route from either peninsula, to give drivers a break from behind the wheel, which is paramount for safety on our roads.”
The vessel design has changed and it will carry 65 passenger vehicles and up to 100 passengers, which includes passenger seating on both upper and deck level making it more accessible for elderly guests, prams, and people with disabilities.
Mrs Dawson said the company had developed a new booking system, with bookings to open later this month.