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Steamship Authority reports strong bookings upon opening of 2021 summer travel schedules

Posted: January 20, 2021

FALMOUTH (January 20, 2021) – The Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority is reporting robust opening-day activity for summer automobile reservations to both Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard after online bookings on each route opened in recent days.

On the Hyannis/Nantucket internet opening on January 12, 2021, when reservations for travel between May 19, 2021, and October 18, 2021, became available to the general public, the Authority processed 5,151 transactions representing nearly $2.8 million in revenue. On the day of the internet opening in 2020, the Authority processed 4,717 transactions representing nearly $2.4 million in revenue.

On the Woods Hole/Martha’s Vineyard internet opening on January 19, 2021, when reservations for travel between May 19, 2021, and October 18, 2021, became available to the general public, the Authority processed 14,997 transactions representing more than $3.8 million in revenue. On the general internet opening in 2020, the Authority processed 14,853 transactions representing approximately $3.3 million in revenue.

The Steamship Authority defines a transaction as either a one-way or a round-trip reservation.

“The results of our general internet openings are certainly a bellwether for a strong summer season on both Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard,” General Manager Robert B. Davis said. “While summer is still many months off and the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 is far from settled, we are optimistic that people have the desire to travel to these beautiful destinations.”

Numerous technological improvements were made to the reservation opening day process this year, including a virtual waiting room that allowed customers to see their “place” in line and the approximate wait time until they can make a transaction, eliminating the need for refreshing the website; and new hardware that provided processing speeds that are approximately twice as fast as the prior system and offered five times the data storage performance capacity. The investment in the new systems and processes paid off, as customers reported a smooth and quick experience making their summer reservations.

“This year’s internet openings represented a true team approach involving employees in the Authority’s Management Information Systems Department and our Reservations Office, as well as various vendors and consultants. They all put a tremendous amount of effort into making sure these important days were positive experiences for our customers,” Davis said. “Our IT team and system programmers ran multiple tests of equipment and processes prior to the internet openings, and our reservation clerks worked early hours to offer phone support and troubleshooting assistance to our internet customers. They all did an amazing job, and I am grateful for their hard work.”

“I am pleased that the work of the people involved in the integration and testing of the components of the Authority’s reservation system provided the island with a solid and reliable service,” said James M. Malkin, the Authority member representing Martha’s Vineyard.

“I am very pleased with the numbers and with the performance of the Authority’s reservation system,” said Robert F. Ranney, the Authority member representing Nantucket.

Customers wishing to make reservations at one of the Authority’s terminals or via the telephone may do so beginning at 7:30 a.m. on January 26, 2021 for travel to either island between May 19, 2021, through October 18, 2021. Reservations will continue to be accepted online and via U.S. Mail at this time.

“Although the internet openings represent our largest single day of reservation activity, I want our customers and potential customers to know there are still plenty of available opportunities to book summer travel on board one of our vessels,” Davis said. “Our vessels stand ready to offer safe and reliable transportation to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, and our employees are eager to welcome you on board for your trip.”

Since 1960, the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority has served as the transportation lifeline to the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard year round. The Steamship Authority is the largest ferry service to the islands and offers the most frequent daily departures for passengers, automobiles, groups and trucks. In 2019, over 3 million passengers and over 670,000 vehicles were transported to and from the islands. Our U.S. Coast Guard-certified crews are committed to the highest level of safety at sea while our vessels offer comfort and convenience with spacious seating, free Wi-Fi and TV on board.

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