2 Mariner's unions called for a Town Hall Meeting to discuss bringing back the Hawaii Superferry idea. Talks continue to bring up all the difficulties in such a task as well as the financial disaster that occurred during the first attempt.
The 2 Hawaii Superferries (Alakai and Huakai) have finally been sold at auction in Norfolk, Virginia for $25 million each to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration. A lot of people lost a lot of money due to this whole Ferry debacle.
The Hawaii Superferry auctioned around 50 items for sale. Joe Teipel with Pacific Bid Hawaii served as auctioneer selling everything from portable toilets to the office coffee maker. Though the president of Hawaii Superferry expressed that Hawaii service is still a possibility, it looks highly unlikely in the face of the many opposing forces.
Today the Hawaii Superferry will run its last inter-island voyage between Honolulu, Oahu and Kahului, Maui. Due to a court ruling by the Hawaii Supreme Court rejecting a new law that allowed the Superferry to run without an Environmental Impact Report, the Alakai will no longer run service in Hawaii. 236 Superferry employees were laid off from their jobs as the owners of the Alakai plan on looking for other opportunities for the ferry, such as lease to the US military or other commercial applications (most likely outside of Hawaiian waters.)
There is still a possibility that the Superferry may run again in the future among the Hawaiian Islands, but we don't expect it to happen anytime soon. We'll keep you posted with any new Hawaii Superferry news.
Today the Hawaii Superferry begins a second round trip between Oahu and Maui on 4 days of each week. This escalation of service comes from increased demand after the closure of Aloha Airlines. Hawaii Superferry has appointed a new CEO, Thomas Fargo, in efforts to make the controversial interisland ferry more efficient and profitable. Concerns over the Kauai route going into effect are still strong on both sides. No public plans for initiating the service again has been expressed. The price of tickets between Maui and Oahu is still set at $39 each way but is said to be increasing in early June.
After Governor Linda Lingle and her administration managed to swiftly reverse the judgement by the courts, The Hawaii Superferry resumed service today while the EIS is being done. The Superferry came from Oahu to Maui mid day today without any problems.
Judge Cardoza has denied The Hawaii Superferry from operating while the Environmental Impact Report is being made. Representatives from the Hawaii Superferry reported that they would appeal. There was no word of whether or not they will stay in Hawaii if they are denied again.
The future of the Hawaii Superferry is still uncertain. The incorporation of the Inter-island Superferry to the Kahului harbor necessitated $40 million in state funding which caused the Hawaii Supreme Court to require an environmental assessment. Until the Environmental Assessment is completed, Second Circuit Court Joseph Cardoza is preceding over the hearing which will decide whether the Superferry can run.
If the Hawaii Superferry is not aloud to run during the assessment, it will most likely go out of business, and at the least default on its $140 million dollar loan for the two interisland ferries. If this happens, the federal Maritime Administration will have to pay off the loans. This bill will land on the taxpayers table. Representatives of the Hawaii Superferry have told the press that if they do not get a decison whether they will be able to conduct regular business in the next 6 weeks, they will have to move the Superferries to another location. We'll soon see whether this threat is realized.
Among those that are actively against the Superferry are Maui Tomorrow, the Sierra Club, and Kahului Harbor Coalition.
Judge Joseph Cardoza issued a preliminary injunction barring Maui Superferry services until the hearings are concluded.
Governor Linda Lingle held a press conference at the State Capital explaining that the Hawaii Superferry will begin again between Honolulu and Kaua'i on the 26th of September. After the protests in the water and on land halted the docking of the Superferry at Nawiliwili Harbor, she said that any new protests will not be tolerated.
The Hawaii Superferry is without a home today, or at least a port. Judge Joseph Cardoza issued a restraining order today against the Hawaii Superferry from docking at its passenger terminal at Kahului, Maui. The restraining order was set today while the Superferry was enroute to deliver passengers and their vehicles to Maui. In order to keep the passengers from being stranded, they did allow for a quick drop off. As of now, the Hawaii Superferry is floating in the ocean without a home. This wednesday will be a hearing on TRO.
Today the Hawaii Superferry made it's historical maiden voyage with paying customers. The Superferry fare was set at an introductory rate of $5 a seat and $5 per car. These prices were set low to help fascilitate a rushed launch. Speculation over legal matters postponing the launch further hurried the Super Ferry's first voyage.
Coming in at just under 100 million dollars to build and set up, the Hawaii Superferry traveled at approximately 35 knots between Kahului to Honolulu. This maiden voyage was the first payed trip between Maui and Oahu. Over 500 passengers and close to 160 cars marked the first commercial guests on the Interisland SuperFerry.
The Hawaii Interisland Super Ferry is a 349-foot catamaran built for stability through the windy and sometimes turbulent waters of Hawaii. Some passengers today said the boat tended to sway on occasion through the 3 hour trip. Guests of the Superferry can roam around the large cabin to shop, eat, drink, watch large screen flatscreen televisions, and enjoy spectacular views.
This maiden voyage sold out in thirty minutes yesterday and was planned to take place on Tuesday, but was rushed through due to possible legal holdups. Once they'd arrived in port, the excited passengers of the Superferry were met by upset environmentalist protesters.
The hugely discounted rates available for $5 have been taken advantage of by over 19,000 Hawaii visitors and residents. these prices are active until September 5th, but will surely sell out.
The Hawaii Superferry is under an enormous amount of pressure legally. Most likely they will have some set-backs in the near future. The Super Ferry will continue with its planned schedule, but may have routes postponed. Keep updated by checking our site for the latest Hawaii Super Ferry information.
The second of many Hawaii Super Ferries is planned to launch trips to the Big Island beginning in 2009. The new ferry is being built in Mobile, Alabama right now. The new Hawaii Superferry will have to go through the same rigorous sea trials as did the first. Though the possibility of a necessary EIR remains to be seen.
If you'd like to see some past superferry forum news, please visit: Hawaii Superferry Forum