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Thread: Hawaii Superferry

  1. #1
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    Default Hawaii Superferry

    I accidentally deleted a thread Mel started on the Hawaii Superferry. My apologies. I'll try to reconstitute it below.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    It's still about 2 years away, but many people in Hawaii are excited about the new Hawaii Superferrry that is supposed to be put into interisland service in 2006. The Hawaii Superferry will allow passengers to travel over the ocean and offer the option of them bringing their vehicles along.

    In March I got the opportunity to visit a prototype of the kind of ship Hawaii Superferry Inc. will sail in Hawaii waters. The ship called the Spirit of Ontario passed through Hawaii on its way to its service destination between Canada and New York I believe.

    Select this link to see photos of the Ontario ferry that I shot in March.

    Here is a link to the Hawaii Superferry website. Be aware that there is a flash introduction to this page.

    It seems that Hawaii Superferry will charge competitive fares for neighbor island travel roughly in the neighborhood of $50 each way per person. Vehicles will be charged extra.

    Tell us what you think about the Hawaii Superferry and whether or not this is an idea whose time has come.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    As for the superferry, I just wished it could've come into Hilo Harbor because making that 120-mile drive to Kona to get on that ferry and back doesn't make for a pleasant weekend drive to Oahu. You'll spend about 13-hours in transit total from Hilo to Oahu. In 13-hours I could've flown to Oahu from Hilo, bought everything I needed at Ala Moana, packed and shipped UPS and flown back to Hilo and still have time to go to KTA for some light grocery shopping.

    My feeling is that we're making a big mistake not docking in Hilo.

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    Default Re: Flying Interisland

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe
    My feeling is that we're making a big mistake not docking in Hilo.

    http://www.hawaiisuperferry.com/faqs/default.html

    Why doesn't Hawaii Superferry plan to go to Hilo?

    A: The journey to Kawaihae takes 4 hours whereas the trip to Hilo would take 6 hours and would cost significantly more as a result. Kawaihae also avoids the rough Alenuihaha Channel. So it is cheaper, faster and more comfortable to serve Kawaihae.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    I think that this is a great idea. When I lived in UK I used to travel by a similar ferry to France over the Canal Lamanche (sp?). It was inexpensive and very convenient since I liked to drive to France, so on the ferry I could take my car.

    I think that this is a great idea. When I lived in UK I used to travel by a similar ferry to France over the Canal Lamanche (sp?). It was inexpensive and very convenient since I liked to drive to France, so on the ferry I could take my car.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    As I posted in a brief thread on the ferry in May:
    Four hours from Oahu to the Big Island with room to relax and move around (and for kids to play)? Compare that to the disaster that is airport security (conceivably four hours of your life, total, wasted anyway), cramped planes (no fun for kids... or fellow passengers near said kids), and interisland fares ($180 round trip), and you have an attractive alternative... for the right price.
    Not a speedy trip, but a comfortable one. And sure, if your final destination is Hilo, you're in for a longer drive from Kawaihae... but if you love Hilo, you're probably used to being late and taking things slow anyway.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    I think it's a great idea. Up here in the Puget Sound area, we have the largest state run ferry system in the country. Our longest run takes about an hour and we don't have places like the Alenuihaha Channel to contend with. But it's a real nice alternative to driving alllllll the way around the water to get to the other side! The longest ferry crossing charges something like $30 for a car and a driver + passenger, so I think even at $50 one way for a car and driver, the Superferry still beats airfare between the islands any day.

    Miulang

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    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    Quote Originally Posted by admin
    I accidentally deleted a thread Mel started on the Hawaii Superferry. My apologies. I'll try to reconstitute it below.
    Geez.. how did that happen????

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    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    I have been told that security measures for passengers will be similar to that implemented at airports. I can only assume that every vehicle that boards the superferry will also go through a thorough security check.

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    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    Quote Originally Posted by pzarquon
    And sure, if your final destination is Hilo, you're in for a longer drive from Kawaihae... but if you love Hilo, you're probably used to being late and taking things slow anyway.

    How you figure it is 50 miles one way between Kamuela and Hilo.From Kamuela
    to Kawaihae is probably another 10-15 miles for a total of 60-65 miles one way.
    Lets compare that to driving from Kona to Hilo, from Kailua-Kona to Kamuela
    is 40 miles approximately + 50 is total of 90 miles one way.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    Quote Originally Posted by mel
    I have been told that security measures for passengers will be similar to that implemented at airports. I can only assume that every vehicle that boards the superferry will also go through a thorough security check.
    The State of Hawaii DOA will be screening people and cars for illegal
    agriculture products also.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron S
    The State of Hawaii DOA will be screening people and cars for illegal
    agriculture products also.
    Up here, they do employ dogs to sniff out bombs and drugs like marijuana. I don't know if you can train a dog to sniff for "ice" or forbidden fruit. They don't actually physically search iindividual cars unless there's a reason to. I doubt they want to incur the wrath of about 300 people every half hour on just one of the ferry runs!

    Miulang

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    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    Quote Originally Posted by Miulang
    Up here, they do employ dogs to sniff out bombs and drugs like marijuana. I don't know if you can train a dog to sniff for "ice" or forbidden fruit. They don't actually physically search iindividual cars unless there's a reason to. I doubt they want to incur the wrath of about 300 people every half hour on just one of the ferry runs!
    Every half hour? The intervals on trips between the islands will be like 3 or 4 hours each way. I think the prudent thing to do is a general bomb sniffing search to all vehicles since anything can be stored on them for the trip to another island.

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    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    Quote Originally Posted by Miulang
    I don't know if you can train a dog to sniff for "ice" or forbidden fruit. They don't actually physically search iindividual cars unless there's a reason to.
    I guess you haven't been to a major airport and saw the USDA Beagle Brigade
    [Probably with DHS now]. They use dogs to sniff out fruit and other prohibited
    agriculture items.

    http://hawaiisuperferry.com/faqs/default.html

    What about security?

    A: Ferries have an exceptional security record. Crew areas are securely locked and separate from passengers and there will be an onboard security guard. Every area of the ship is monitored by a network of video cameras and alarms. Passengers are not allowed on the vehicle deck while the ship is under way.

    We will match tickets with picture IDs for adults and collect vehicle license plate numbers at boarding. Freight will be monitored through “known shipper” and other well-established programs.

    Q: How will Hawaii Superferry help stop migration of exotic species?

    A: Hawaii Superferry will only allow plants, cuttings or flowers on board that have been inspected and sealed by Hawaii Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Office on the island of departure.

    Only domestic cats and dogs will be allowed as pets, either in vehicles or in on-board kennels on the vehicle deck. No other animals including rodents, reptiles, fish or birds will be permitted except HDOA registered livestock and poultry in approved vehicles. Vehicles traveling on the ferry will be inspected and sniffer dogs may be used to ensure compliance.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    Quote Originally Posted by mel
    Every half hour? The intervals on trips between the islands will be like 3 or 4 hours each way. I think the prudent thing to do is a general bomb sniffing search to all vehicles since anything can be stored on them for the trip to another island.
    I really don't think there's much of a security risk in Hawaii (even your lovely Governor, the former mayor of Maui appears to think so). If they try something over there, they will immediately incur the wrath of the armed forces stationed at Schofield, Barber's Pt and Pearl Harbor. Besides, Hawaii doesn't have any really tall buildings (like the Space Needle) that would make a real big spectacle if someone either blew it up or flew a plane into it.

    No, as far as terrorists go, they are after much bigger fish than Hawaii. Now you guys probably would have more of a problem with illegal stowaways from Asia, though.

    On our ferries, they only use the dogs, and people are allowed to sit in their cars if they like. The BC (Canada) car ferries will not allow people to sit in their cars; once they're loaded on the ship, you have to stay on the top deck until you get to the other side.

    Miulang

  16. #16

    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron S
    I guess you haven't been to a major airport and saw the USDA Beagle Brigade
    [Probably with DHS now]. They use dogs to sniff out fruit and other prohibited
    agriculture items.
    Whenever I visit Hawaii (and that's twice a year) I never fly through HNL if I can possibly help it; I always try to fly direct to Maui. I've never seen the beagles at OGG, although I'm sure they're hard at work in the baggage handling areas.

    Miulang

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    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    On our ferries, they only use the dogs, and people are allowed to sit in their cars if they like. The BC (Canada) car ferries will not allow people to sit in their cars; once they're loaded on the ship, you have to stay on the top deck until you get to the other side.
    The Hawaii Superferry will be like the one in Canada where all the passengers must be on the top 2 decks after boarding alone or with their vehicle. The vehicles will be stored on the bottom 2 decks. The Hawaii Superferry will be slightly bigger than the Spirit of Ontario ferry that passed through Hawaii in March. It will however be very similar in design and configuration.
    I'm still here. Are you?

  18. #18

    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    Quote Originally Posted by mel
    The Hawaii Superferry will be like the one in Canada where all the passengers must be on the top 2 decks after boarding alone or with their vehicle. The vehicles will be stored on the bottom 2 decks. The Hawaii Superferry will be slightly bigger than the Spirit of Ontario ferry that passed through Hawaii in March. It will however be very similar in design and configuration.
    I was on Maui when the SuperFerry made a port of call in Kahului earlier this year. Unfortunately, because the harbor is so crammed for space right now and security issues, I only could see it from the Maui Mall (sort of) and the Beach Road. I guess they are having to add additional piers in Kahului Harbor to accommodate both the SuperFerry and the new cruise ships over the next couple of years.

    I've ridden on the BC Ferry from Prince George, BC to the Queen Charlotte Islands (an 8-hour trip), and I really like those ferries. Their noses open up, so you just drive your car on board, they secure it and you go upstairs. Upstairs, you can either rent a cabin or sprawl out on the seats.

    Miulang

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    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    I've had the opportunity to tour the Superferry when it docked in Honolulu. I've also been on the ferries on Pugeot Sound in Washington back in the early 80's. The Superferry is way more advanced than those I rode in Seattle, however there was about 20 years spanning both visits so I'm sure the Seattle ferries are as up to date by now.

    One thing's for sure, don't compare the Superferry with Seaflight. I can see myself on a 4-hour ride on the Superferry and I'm one to get sea sick easily.

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    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    Quote Originally Posted by Miulang
    Whenever I visit Hawaii (and that's twice a year) I never fly through HNL if I can possibly help it; I always try to fly direct to Maui. I've never seen the beagles at OGG, although I'm sure they're hard at work in the baggage handling areas.
    I know for a fact Honolulu has a USDA [Part of DHS/CBP now] beagle brigade. Since Maui has not as many international arrivals they don't use dogs on Maui
    to sniff out fruit etc as far as I know. I have also seen US Customs
    [Now US CBP] use dogs to look for illegal contraband also.

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    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    From the article Aaron linked:
    It was as if the Superferry were already a done deal, and the only thing remaining were mundane details. But as Garibaldi and Dick admitted, the Superferry isn't a done deal yet. "We've raised $3.3 million in equity capitol," Garibaldi said. They expect to raise another $55 million and already have some 50 companies and individuals investing in the project. With a conservative cost estimate of $152 million for the two ships alone, financing for the Superferry is still a long way off, though Garibaldi insists that there is plenty of money waiting in the wings as the idea for the Superferry builds a head of emotional - and promotional - steam throughout the islands.
    Some helpful background details like the above in this piece. I, too, have been functioning under the false impression that the bills are all paid and that the only thing we're waiting for are the ships themselves. They've got a long way to go.

    But, as the article also conveyed, there's no shortage of enthusiasm for this project. Here's hoping consumer interest is strong enough to encourage more folks with deep pockets, like Steve Case, to buy in.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    As long as this is privately financed all the way, it is a good idea.

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    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    As far as I understood the harbor improvements will be paid by the state/federal
    government. With the cost being paid back through wharfage fees.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Hawaii Superferry

    The harbor improvements by the state have long been in the State DOT master plan. I have no problem with that.

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