Hawaii Superferry to hit waters in 2006

HONOLULU -- The Spirit of Ontario I, a high-speed passenger and vehicle ferry, made a showing earlier this month in Honolulu, foreshadowing the proposed service due in 2006.

Governor Linda Lingle welcomed a demonstration of what will be called the Hawaii Superferry, and spoke briefly on how the service between islands would benefit all of Hawaii.

Scheduled to be a permanent fixture on the Hawaiian waterways in 2006, the ferry(s) will shuttle daily between Maui, Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island.

En route to Rochester, N.Y., from its previous berth in Australia, the Spirit of Ontario I is 20% smaller than the one that will transport passengers and cargo between the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaii vessels will carry up to 900 passengers, plus nearly 300 automobiles.

Hawaii Superferry is investing upwards of $100 million in the service and will employ 300 people.

The State of Hawaii has invested in a new ferry terminal off Pier 19 in Honolulu, to be completed shortly before the arrival of the boats in early 2006. Service is expected to begin in November of 2006.

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