Seastreak looks toward year-round service

Seastreak is looking to provide year-round service. —MV Times

Seastreak, a passenger ferry providing service between New Bedford and Martha’s Vineyard, is looking to expand its services into the winter months. 

Steamship Authority general counsel Terence Kennneally told the Port Council during a Tuesday morning meeting that the passenger ferry company is proposing to provide additional service after Indigenous People’s Day. The line typically does not operate ferries during the winter. 

Under the proposed schedule, Seastreak would operate two daily round-trips between New Bedford and Vineyard Haven through Dec. 31. 

Seastreak would continue weekday services into April, when the company’s license agreement with the Steamship Authority expires. The company also wants to operate its off-season services to Nantucket on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Steamship Authority general manager Robert Davis said Seastreak previously ran year-round ferry trips to the islands until around 2009. Davis said the small number of passengers pushed Seastreak to cut services. 

“I think it’s a very good idea,” Port Council chair and Oak Bluffs representative Joe Sollitto said, pointing out that workers would take the Seastreak ferries to the Vineyard, as would some lawyers practicing at the New Bedford Courthouse. 

When Port Council Falmouth representative Robert Munier asked whether the proposal would bring additional costs for the authority, Kenneally said it would not, and the additional Seastreak trips would bring additional revenue through the license agreement. 

After further discussion, the Port Council unanimously voted to recommend the extended schedule to the Steamship Authority board.