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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Cross-Bay Ferry Returning to Tampa Bay

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 17, 2018

  • file Image: CREDIT Cross-Bay Ferry
  • file Image: CREDIT Cross-Bay Ferry file Image: CREDIT Cross-Bay Ferry

Service begins Nov. 1 with new dock at Florida Aquarium and Sparkman Wharf. Six-month season has lower ticket prices and more amenities.
 

The hugely popular Cross-Bay Ferry service is returning to Tampa Bay in just a few weeks, with service starting Thursday, November 1 and six months of scheduled service through April 2019.


This season, the ferry will have a new schedule, later evening runs and lower ticket prices: $8 for adults, $3 for children ages 5-18, and discounts for seniors, active/retired military and college students. In St. Petersburg, the ferry will dock near the Vinoy, within walking distance of Straub Park, the Museum of Fine Arts and the shops and restaurants along Beach Drive. In Tampa, the ferry will dock adjacent to the Florida Aquarium, just steps away from Sparkman Wharf, Amalie Arena, the Tampa Bay History Center and the Tampa Riverwalk.

The ferry adds a great new mode of access to enjoy both cities and is again supported by a unique collaboration between the City of St. Petersburg, the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County and Pinellas County.

“Ever since the first season finished, people have asked me when the ferry will return, and I’m thrilled to say the answer is November 1,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, an original backer of the ferry project. “The ferry provides a fun, fast and efficient way to connect two great cities across the water.”

Passengers can find more information and purchase tickets at the docks in St. Petersburg and Tampa, or at www.TheCrossBayFerry.com, or by calling (727) 273-5932.

Like the first season, the Cross-Bay Ferry will run six months from November through April. The “Provincetown III” is a high-speed catamaran design that provides a smooth, comfortable ride with plenty of space outside and wide, comfortable seating inside. There will be a well-stocked café with coffees, pastries, snacks, wine, beer and cocktails available.

CEO of the Aquarium, Roger Germann, wants passengers to think of the environment as they enjoy the Cross-Bay Ferry, “These are the same waters and fragile ecosystems we work to protect, and this new awareness is just one of many benefits the Cross-Bay Ferry has for the region and for the Aquarium.”

“This new schedule and fare structure more closely mirrors the hours of operation that could be built around the MacDill Air Force Base commuter ferry schedule,” said Ed Turanchik HMS' attorney and policy advisor on the MacDill ferry project.  As with the first season, HMS will continue on-board surveys.  “We will use this information in connection with the ridership study underway for the MacDill ferry project.”

The Cross-Bay Ferry will run Tuesday through Sunday, with new, late-evening runs so people can enjoy both cities. For instance, people from Tampa can take a 5:30 p.m. run to St. Petersburg, have dinner, and take a 10 p.m. run back to Tampa. Similarly, people in St. Petersburg can take a 4 p.m. run to Tampa to see a hockey game and take an 11 p.m. run back home. Advance ticket sales will begin roughly one week before the maiden voyage. The one-way ticket price structure is as follows:

Adult Fare is $8.00; Senior (65 +), Military (Active/Retired), College Student (w/ ID) are each $5.00; Youth (5-18) is $3.00; Children 4 and under are free.

During its first season, the Cross-Bay Ferry frequently sold out and ran at capacity. Operators sold so many tickets that the project reimbursed more than $120,000 to local governments that supported it.
 
Passengers can purchase tickets at the docks in St. Petersburg and Tampa, or at www.TheCrossBayFerry.com. The launch of the Cross-Bay Ferry became possible through a unique collaboration between the City of St. Petersburg, the City of Tampa, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
 
Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Ticket prices: One-way tickets will cost $8 for adults, $3 for youth (5-18) and $5 for Seniors, Military (Active/Retired) and college students. Children under 4 are free.
  • Tickets: Passengers can purchase tickets at the docks in St. Petersburg and Tampa, or at www.TheCrossBayFerry.com. You can also call (727) 273-5932.
  • Transit Time: The trip between St. Pete/Tampa is expected to take about 50 minutes, subject to weather and other vessel traffic.
  • Dock in Tampa/St. Petersburg: In Tampa, the ferry will dock adjacent to the Florida Aquarium
    Disabled Accessibility: Yes, accommodations can be made for guests with disabilities. The vessel design supports ADA needs.
  • Beer/Wine, Restrooms: The vessel has a café with a selection of beer, wines and cocktails. The ferry is equipped with two restrooms on the main deck, including one that is ADA-accessible.
  • Bikes: The Cross-Bay Ferry encourages bike transit and happily provides space aboard for bikes. For capacity reasons, the vessel can accommodate up to 30 bicycles at a time. No charge to carry on bikes.

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