SSA website is back in order

The Martha's Vineyard experienced mechanical issues on Sunday into Monday. — Rich Saltzberg

Updated Jan. 18

The Steamship Authority (SSA) website is back in business after a morning of trouble. “The reservation process for Nantucket summer travel now appears to be operating as intended. Customers should now be able to use the virtual waiting room and book without issue. Again, we apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience. We will continue to review today’s activities to determine the cause of the system issues and resolve them immediately,” Steamship Authority (SSA) spokesperson Sean Driscoll wrote in a statement Tuesday afternoon. 

Driscoll followed up with a Tuesday evening press release stating that the SSA will work with its IT team and vendors to fully understand the cause of Tuesday’s incident, and identify necessary steps that must be taken to address it.” According to the release, there is “no evidence of a cyberattack” relating to the website mishap. 

After weekend ferry troubles, the SSA experienced technical issues with its website Tuesday morning. The announcement states that the website experienced problems during the Nantucket summer reservation openings. 

“Our IT team and outside vendors continue to work together to diagnose and address the issues that have been occurring during this morning’s Nantucket reservations opening. Although some customers are continuing to report issues, as of approximately 8:30 am, the Authority had processed approximately 4,000 reservations. That pace is about two-thirds of the volume at this point in the day during the 2022 opening,” SSA spokesperson Sean Driscoll wrote in a statement. “We know many of our customers are frustrated, and this experience is clearly not meeting the level of service we expect to provide. We are continuing to work on today’s issues and will provide an update as soon as there is additional information. Thank you for your continued patience.”

The Martha’s Vineyard is back in business, starting with a 2:30 pm departure from Woods Hole, after receiving repairs, Driscoll told The Times. 

The SSA announced on its website Sunday afternoon that the ferry Martha’s Vineyard is “out of service for the rest of the day and the early trips on the Vineyard route on Monday” due to a mechanical issue with its bow thruster. According to Driscoll, the issue occurred “sometime [that] morning.” 


  1. I received this from my son, minutes before reading this article. He and his partner were returning from Maine, and due to the reliable unreliability of the SSA, they called ahead.

    “They told us all boats for the next 2 days have been canceled, then said standby might work but probably not. We ask, “would it be worth it to try standby?” The clerk says, “I dont know maybe”. So we show up to see them loading the Nantucket. The guy at the booth in the doorway says “come back later.” Yeah, he said come back later…….. I respond, I was told standby is running. The other guy in the booth says to the guy in the doorway “yes, standby is what we do” Not a lot of communication goes on between the employees.
    Then the ticket lady dropped every ticket in the middle of steady 25-30 snowy winds. It was a fun trip.”

    I keep wondering how much worse this will get before they get it together.

    • Relative to the airlines the SSA has it together.
      Do you know of a similar operation with a lower cancellation rate?

      • There is a marked difference between flying planes across the country and planet, as thousands of other planes are in the air at the same time, and a boat sailing 7 miles. I do not know of a similar operation with this degree of ineptitude, no.

        • Cancellations due to equipment failures.
          Think Jet Blue and the FAA.
          What are the names of the operations to which you have compared the SSA?

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