Fast ferry service from New York interrupted

Courageous, which was recently launched in New Orleans, will take over the service between New York and the islands when it passes sea trials. -Courtesy SeaStreak

SeaStreak, the fast ferry company based in New Jersey, is not offering its high-speed trips from New York to the islands this summer after one of its vessels, the Commodore, ran aground in Brooklyn June 5.

The Commodore is under repair, James Barker, president of SeaStreak, told The times. Courageous, a new fast ferry and the Commodore’s sister ship, is undergoing sea trials in New Orleans where it was built, Barker said.

Once that vessel is brought north — likely in September, but sooner if possible — the ferry will undergo inspection here and service will be offered again.

“It’s brand new,” Barker said of the $15 million fast ferry. “The bow of the Courageous is built to fit into the existing Steamship Authority docks. It fits perfectly so it’s a little better.”

SeaStreak is licensed by the SSA to offer service to and from the islands. In 2018, the company provided passenger service to and from Woods Hole when the SSA had multiple ferries that were broken down.

Barker said the SeaStreak service from New York to the islands is popular. The pandemic obviously has affected travel, but on Memorial Day weekend the boat was filled, he said.

Though both the Commodore and Courageous have 600 seat capacities, the company only sells about 400 tickets so there’s plenty of room for social distancing.

Tickets for the roundtrip to and from the city is $240, Barker said. They generally sellout for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. The weekend trips also do well throughout the summer, he said. Trips leave New York on Fridays and the return trips are Sunday afternoons, he said.

The fast ferry service offered by SeaStreak from New Bedford to the islands is unaffected, Barker said.