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Summer vehicle ferry reservations open to robust results

Posted: January 26, 2022

FALMOUTH (January 26, 2022) – The Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority experienced record-setting 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 route internet opening on January 18, 2022, when reservations for travel between May 17, 2022, and October 19, 2022, became available to the general public, the Authority processed 9,499 transactions representing nearly $4.7 million in revenue. On the comparable day of the Nantucket internet opening in 2021, the Authority processed 5,530 transactions representing $2.7 million in revenue.

On the Woods Hole/Martha’s Vineyard route internet opening on January 25, 2022, when reservations for travel between May 17, 2022, and October 19, 2022, became available to the general public, the Authority processed 24,580 transactions representing nearly $5.8 million in revenue. On the comparable day of the Martha’s Vineyard internet opening in 2021, the Authority processed 16,252 transactions representing $3.9 million in revenue.

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

“These results for our internet general openings are a continuation of the strong demand for vehicle travel to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket that we experienced throughout 2021,” said General Manager Robert B. Davis. “Since the 2022 operating schedules are nearly identical to the Authority’s 2021 schedule, it’s also a clear continuation of the trend we saw last year of customers booking their travel farther out in advance. We believe that to be a result of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire to have summer plans in place early in the year.”

Although many of the most popular summer travel weekends are at or near capacity, Davis encouraged travelers to use the Authority’s popular wait list feature if they are trying to book a currently unavailable time. Davis also reminded residents of both Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard that those customers who are in the Authority’s Preferred or Excursion programs are eligible to book spaces that are set aside each day for last-minute travel needs. More information about the Preferred and Excursion programs can be found at www.steamshipauthority.com/residents.

For the second year, the Authority employed a virtual waiting room that allowed customers to see their “place” in line and the approximate wait time before they could make a transaction, which eliminated the need for refreshing the website. At its peak, more than 14,000 users were in the waiting room queue on Tuesday. The Authority’s Management Information Systems Department ran numerous tests of equipment and processes prior to the internet general openings, and the Authority’s Reservation Office staffed reservation clerks to coincide with the 5 a.m. opening times on both days to offer phone support and troubleshooting assistance to the Authority’s internet customers.

“As it is every year, these internet general openings are a true team effort, and I am thankful for the amazing job that was done by all of our employees,” Davis said.

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 February 1, 2022, for travel to either island between May 17, 2022, and October 19, 2022. Reservations will continue to be accepted online and via U.S. Mail at this time.

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 2021, more than 2.7 million passengers and more than 700,000 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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