Another day of Steamship cancellations 

SSA customers waiting at the Woods Hole ticket office after the 8:15 am ferry was canceled on Tuesday. —Eunki Seonwoo

Updated March 26

Passenger woes continued on Tuesday, with the Steamship Authority (SSA) experiencing further delays and cancellations for a second day in a row. 

Strong winds and waves canceled or delayed several morning ferries.

There was frustration among passengers waiting outside amid the wind and rain when the 8:15 am departure from Woods Hole was canceled. Customers sought refuge in the Woods Hole ticket office, making phone calls to let employers know about the travel situation, or attempting to amend their schedules. Others asked for refunds. 

On Monday, the SSA was also hit by multiple cancellations caused by a combination of bad weather, crew shortages, and mechanical issues. 

Aside from high winds, the Steamship said that the construction on the slip in Vineyard Haven was adding to the complications.

Meanwhile, a crew shortage led to one vessel being taken out of the Vineyard and Woods Hole route throughout the day and into the evening, leading to further cancellations. SSA communications director Sean Driscoll said the crew shortage was on the ferry Martha’s Vineyard. The Steamship has moved personnel from the Sankaty to the Martha’s Vineyard, so Sankaty trips have been canceled. 

Finally, mechanical issues delayed some afternoon and evening trips on Monday as well. The ferry Woods Hole’s 5 pm departure from Vineyard Haven left an hour later than scheduled. 

“The 5 pm trip was delayed because the Woods Hole struck the fendering system on its docking, so they were inspecting the vessel,” Driscoll told the Times. “The ship returned to Woods Hole, but canceled the rest of the night. 


  1. Some months ago, MV SSA governor Jim Malkin asked steamship general manager Robert Davis about his plan to deal with crew competition as offshore wind development ramped up and created new demand for maritime crew. Mr. Davis said he didn’t anticipate a problem – as in, there is no plan. And now here we are faced with repeated cancellations due to crew shortages. I can’t remember a time in the past when this was as critical as an issue as it is now. Thank you, Jim Malkin, for your foresight to ask the questions. Now what? When do we decide enough is enough?

    • How many people have left the SSA to go to the windfarm?
      There would be SSA crew shortage if they paid more.
      (And didn’t make people with Unlimited Master Licenses start as toilet cleaners.)
      Who did you vote for for County Commissioners?

    • Asking a question is not getting the job done. Anyone can ask questions we need people who can fix issues. Most people agree the $32 million expenditure of a new building is a waste of our revenue. That money would be better spent fixing the infrastructure of the slips, as this seems to be a reoccurring problem with docking. They have known about wind Direction and high tides for 30+ years why has this not been addressed to take that issue out?

  2. same SS on the SSA this morning. There needs to be a plan for the surge of walk on passengers from WH starting with the 6am ferry and running through the 8:15am, and then commencing out of Vineyard Haven at ther 3:45 ferry and running through the 5pm to WH. These boats are commonly filled to capacity!The SSA mission is to provide safe reliable transportation to and from the islands of Nantucket and MV. If capacity on the passenger side is being reached on certain identified runs, please add the extra capacity….maybe hire a high speed boat fromSea Streak or rent the Island Queen or something from the Patriot like the Pied Piper to take the excess passengers on those runs…. Or maybe institute a reservation system for walk on passengers… like an airline… Something needs to be done NOW!

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