Thursday 29 August 2013
The SeaLink Travel Group today announced an agreement with the NT government to provide ferry services to the Tiwi Islands.
Under the agreement SeaLink will service the Tiwi Islands to Darwin ferry route for local residents and tourists.
SeaLink Managing Director, Jeff Ellison said the company was delighted to be able to extend its NT operations beyond the recently announced Mandorah run.
From our experience running operations like the Kangaroo Island ferry service for many years we know the long term benefits that flow to an island community when it has better connectivity to the mainland.
We also look forward to working with the Tiwi residents to create new and exciting offerings for the tourism market, particularly in the group tour and adventure spaces.
A high speed passenger ferry will operate three days a week, on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from Cullen Bay to Bathurst Island, with the potential to operate additional services.
The vessel, the Pacific Cat, is 22 metres long, has a cruising speed of 24 knots and will carry 160 passengers. It is air conditioned and has a crew of four: skipper, engineer and two deckhands.
SeaLink is aiming to start the Tiwi Islands service before the end of September and will be offering introductory return fares of $60.
The Tiwi Islands are 80 km to the north of Darwin where the Arafura Sea joins the Timor Sea. They comprise Melville Island, Bathurst Island, and nine smaller uninhabited islands, and have a population of about 2,500.