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The Latest Superferry News

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Aloha and welcome!

We'd built forums for people and had them up a few years back and available to everyone who wanted to discuss the Hawaii Interisland Superferry. We wanted to promote free open discussion about anything to do with travel between the Hawaiian Islands. Since then, the Forum fell silent, so we killed it and added the best of it to this page. Enjoy!

Forum News from a few years back

Mahalo for your interest and contributions.

The first paid voyage of the Hawaii Interisland Superferry launched today. The over 500 guests aboard the Superferry left early this morning from Kahului to Honolulu. As a promotion, the ferry was sold for $5 for each person and each car.

Looks as though some protesters made it out into the water in Kauai. Some surfers helped to delay the Superferry from docking. Also, I've heard that some people managed to almost get run over when they were canoeing. They said that the superferry was going to fast.

Today Judge Joseph Cardoza issued a temporary restraining order against the Hawaii Superferry.

Still tied up in legal battles. Nothing has really changed in some time. It looks like this could last a long time. Most likely the Hawaii Superferry won't be running for at least another few months, maybe a year.

You'll be more accurately updated at the Hawaii Superferry News

Governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, Has opened a special session to help pass legislature that will allow the Hawaii Superferry to operate during the required environmental assessment. Public testimony for and against the

Ferry will be heard by the Senate today.

The special sessions to build legislature to allow the Superferry to run while the EIR is being made will conclude today. The Superferry is expected to be operational thanks to Governor Linda Lingle's administration while the Environmental Impact Reports are being done. Rumor has it that the sessions came to a much stricter hold over how the Superferry will be operated than earlier in the sessions.

The Hawaii Superferry has won the battle to operate, but still must pass all of the environmental assesments. Governor Linda Lingle helped quickly pass legislature to allow the Hawaii Superferry to run during the EIR.

Officials are estimating that the Superferry will resume its routes by mid November, 2007. They are in the process of hiring approximately 250 workers to run the Superferry.

Protests and opposition may be a possibility again when the Superferry begins running. This time, protesters will most likely be dealt with in a less diplomatic manner.

The Hawaii Superferry will begin running regular inter-island trips again on December 12th, 2008.

The Hawaii Superferry haulted operations with its last voyage on March 19th, 2009. Due to a ruling by the Hawaii Supreme Court, the Hawaii Superferry will no longer be allowed to run services without an Environmental Impact Report.

Future voyages on the Alakai within Hawaii are not expected, though their is a possibility if an EIS is completed satisfactorily.

We'll keep you updated.

Pros and Cons for the Hawaii Superferry

15 years I've lived on Maui, and I don't need a Super Ferry to improve my life.
In fact all the growth of Maui over the past 15 years has done nothing to improve my life, in fact the opposite. All the growth and congestion has caused life here to be less enjoyable.
I'm not the only one that thinks like this too, many people living in the outer islands feels this way also.
The problem is Oahu is to commercial, and expects everyone else to follow. I'm sorry all of us that live in the outer islands do so for many reasons, but one is certainly to live a more quiet and simpler life.
If you need so bad to modernize the rest of the world, why don't you please take it somewhere to the mainland, there are plenty of great opportunities.
I'm sorry but the SuperFerry poses nothing but problems.
DasFox
See, that's the problem. You have to allow change. You also have to look at the pros as well as the cons

I'm not really sure how to feel about all of this. There are good arguments on both sides. Thanks for opening up this forum. I'll keep check to see what others are thinking.
On one hand, I like the idea of traveling with my car. I also agree that all of this EIR last minute stuff is rediculous. It would hav been nice to get it done earlier as to not impede the process of making money for the islands.
On the otherhand, I'd like to see that this isn't going to cause more of an impact on the already devastated reefs and ocean life of the Hawaiian Islands. I wish that the concern over all of these big ships was there 20-25 years ago. Those EIR's would have been nicely applied to all the big tankers, cruise ships, and barges.
TERRY

Pros:
This will benefit local communities in regards to travel i.e. community activities (sports) and visiting family and friends.

Cons:
Depending on perspective it will not benefit local communities (traffic surge on community roads).
The environment.
Quick Question: How different is the Superferry from Cargo ships? Not sure about this that is why I'm asking the quesiton.
I wish this could work out somehow.
Same goes for the majority of us on Kaua'i. We are not for or against the ferry just want it done right and the lawful way, not shoved down our throats. We only have 2 lane roads where I ask are these cars going? On any given day at any given time you can not get through the East side of the Island w/out coming into severe traffic. We need the infrastructure first not as an oops afterthought!!!
HawaiiFun.org's A3H Members

Seems everyone is whining about this stupid boat. Don't people have better things to do? Sounds like if this boat doesn't run, it's going to cost tax payers a lot of money. Why didn't all of you protesters get involved earlier when they decided it didn't need an environmental assessment?
If this thing is anyones fault, it's just as much on the heads of the people that live here and those that protest. Earlier protests could have saved us a lot of money. Protesting now is irresponsible. Grow up! If you want to protest something, join me- I'm protesting the protesters.
Joining the bandwagon isn't cool. Though Being involved early on would have been.
PREADY

CONS
1. Whales: The regular 35 knot speed that the Superferry will be running at will cause great harm to any whales it comes across.
2. Traffic: Unloading a maximum of 285 compact cars per trip can potentially cause major traffic issues at each port.
3. Invasive Species: The inevitable spread of seeds and stowaway animals from island to island will cause other life on each island to be thrown off balance.
4. Drug Traffic: With the many cars, trucks, and vans being transported with goods, drugs will be easier than ever to move from one island to the next.
5. Pollution: Runoff from the cars and the vessel itslef may cause harm to the many fragile reefs around our islands.
6. Local Jobs: Fisherman, roofing, etc... See DasFox entry below.
Please continue discussing this topic. Any insight will help others to choose their best Interisland Travel Choice.
FERRY REGULAR

I'm not 100%, but I was under the impression that the propulsion system that the SUperferry ran on was safer for whales because of the lack of propeller. Is this true?
I know that they inspect all the cars before, so drugs may be more difficult than you'd think to transport. I'm sure if you had a big van full of stuff, they couldn't go through it all. Yah, I guess drug trafficing will be a problem. I know a couple people that would love to use the boat out of a fear of flying. This may be more of a popular aspect for those living on the islands.
KATIE MANNING

I understand that it has a propulsion system that may be safer, but many whales are killed or injured by the initial strike of the boat. Most catamarans and boats have a wake killer pointy thing in the front that stabilizes it. Don't know the exact terminology though. These spikes will easily kill a whale.
TANYA

First of all, the Superferry has two watchers for whales, with specially designed binoculars to see under the surface of the water for whales. Secondly, cruise ships that come to our islands are much bigger and are almost as fast. And about the invasive species thing. You honestly don't think that cruise ships have NEVER brought back ANY invasive species to Hawaii? About pollution, same with the cruise ship argument. Again, cruise ships are larger, almost as fast, and they're in our waters.
Yeah, but what about the 300+ jobs on the Superferry? Aren't those jobs too?
THE ONE

ferry regular you forgot one very important issue, which no one seems to be talking about.
JOBS:
"[The Superferry] will also change the dynamics of nonunion trades," Mr. Wright said. "Now, it's more expensive to get work like roofing or plumbing done in the neighbor islands. But with the Superferry, Oahu tradesmen will be able to take their trucks on the ferry and undercut the locals."
The Superferry will also carry S.U.V.'s and trailered boats, allowing Oahu fishermen frustrated by the island's depleted waters to gain access to the richer grounds of Maui and Kauai - to the discontent of local fisherman. Those boats might also involuntarily carry bits of Eucheuma seaweed, which is devastating Oahu's biggest bay, to the neighboring islands.
This is quoted from the savekahuluiharbor.com
THERE is TRUTH in this JOBS for outerislands will be at stake, and fisherman loosing out, because of greater over fishing.
JOBS ARE AT STAKE, NOT JUST THE SUPERFERRY!
DASFOX

Excuse me, but in the Star-Bulletin poll, on Maui 68.7% of Maui respondents said the Superferry should do an EA, and a plurality (46.7%) on Maui say it should not be allowed to operate while the EA is being done. There are a lot of people who will be impacted by it who for very valid reasons want an EA/EIS done first (like the laws says)
A3H

PROS
1. Ohana Transportation: Allowing residents to travel from island to island to see their families whithout renting a car.
2. Interisland Moves: Residents will now be able to move from island to island without having to rent a container from Matson. Taking tips with a truck will save money on shipping the car and the boxes.
3. Cruise Exerience: The Hawaii Superferry will give visitors and residents the opportunity to enjoy the cruise experience without the high cost of a cruise line. The views are amazing!
4. Comfort: With the many oversized seats, no-aisle seating, and first-class upgrade for $20, the traveling experience couldn't be more comfortable.
5. Commerce: Shipping material and vehicles between islands is much easier and faster than ever before.
6. Increased Economy: The new jobs and revenue that the SuperFerry will bring to the islands will be substantial.
Another positive about the Superferry feeds off of the negative. Since the Superferry has become such a controversial issue, it has stirred up all kinds of attention and awareness about the environment of Hawaii. It's been brought to the door steps of people all over the world! The short sightedness of our government and their mistakes have been obviously pointed out and the importance of an EIS is now being shown. Hopefully this carries on and is pushed on to the barges, tankers, and cruise ships as well. Time will tell.
Many people sit on the belief that the Superferry will be widely used by the military. This may be the case, we don't know for certain yet.
One thing that we forget is the capability of using the Hawaii Super ferry for relief when an emergency occurs. Having a major Earthquake or Tsunami or Volcanic Eruption would be cause to cheer for the Superferry when it comes around. Having the ability to transport large loads and large groups of people quickly among the islands would be invaluable in these cases.
Please continue discussing this topic. Any insight will help others to choose their best Interisland travel choice.
FERRY REGULAR

More PROS:

1. Ohana Transportation: This is a small percentage.
2. Interisland Moves: This is a small percentage.
3. Cruise Exerience: What percentage will care for a cruise experience? We live on an island already, and more then half the people of the Hawaiian islands have been on boats already. There is nothing special to see on the water between islands, except water. Island hoping is nothing exciting, this is just an over dramatization
4. Comfort: What differences does comfort matter to people who careless about using these services?
5. Commerce: The islands have survived for how many years without this type of commerce, and yet, FACT the cost of commerce is cheaper, then 10 years ago, without a superferry.
6. Increased Economy: The new jobs and revenue that the SuperFerry will bring to the islands will substantially hurt local smaller outer island economies.
I'm sorry these claims are bogus with only small percentages that will benefit from this.
The CONS truly out weigh the benefits, and are not worth the risk, plain and simple.
Running this business in the Continental USA is one thing, running this in the Hawaiian islands is another, and if the people running this business can't GRASP that concept, then you truly are lost in your delusions of capitalist gain is all.
Leave Hawaii alone, growth and development aren't the only things in life worth living for, but it's clear to see others can't tell.
DASFOX

I am all for the SF. The benefits of this would be so much greater than one can expect. Alternate transportation, cheaper shipping, disaster relief, and for us in the Tourism industry, it allows us to offer our activities to maore people including visiting locals fro other islands.
I do also believe that an EA would be a wise choice to go with, however it should be able to operate while doing so. On top of that I think it's only fair that all other Harbor vessels go through the same EA or EIS process because they do pose all the same threats that the SF does.
A3H

Hawaii Superferry Research Paper

hello everyone....i did a research paper on this subject...i decide to post it on here to see if anyone has any suggestions or comments about it...it is just my pros and cons...thanks

The Supeferry is controversial because there are a lot of people who are opposed to it due to environmental and traffic concerns. The Superferry is important because our governor and the state legislature have been trying to get the Superferry back up and running. In the past, the Superferry ran into problems. Kauai residents protested against the Superferry and blocked the entrance of the Nawiliwili Harbor (TenBruggencate). So Maui stopped the Superferry from docking in the harbor. Recently, the court decided to have the Superferry up and running again while there is an environmental study being conducted (Blair)
The environmental concerns that people who are opposed to the Superferry are concerned about animals like whales, humpback whales to be more specific. There are approximately two thousand to five thousand humpback whales that migrate here from Alaska, which is a one third to half of the total humpback whale population in the North Pacific Ocean (Bernard). Since Hawaii is the largest breeding ground for whales, the Superferry could run into them (Cragg); disturbing their breeding, causing the whales to have fewer calves or whales. We would not want to make the humpback whales to go into extinction, since that would be bad.
Another reason is concerns about invasive species. Invasive species are species that will harm the economy or environment (NISIC). A reptile that is an invasive species is a veiled chameleon. The veiled chameleon is only found on Maui. The veiled chameleon is an invasive species because they are capable of eating small birds and insects such as our native spider, the happy face spider (Paman). We would not want that to happen because if the veiled chameleon ate all the happy face spiders, it would affect the ecosystem. If there were no spiders, there would be more mosquitoes and that will not be good for us since we don't like them. The veiled chameleons could board the Superferry and make their way to other islands and breed, which is bad since they are invasive species.
The major traffic concerns are concerns about having more traffic on islands since there would be more cars on the islands. For islands like Kauai, there is a lot of traffic because there aren't many roads. So if there were more cars, there would be an excessive amount of cars trying to go around the island. Residents wouldn't want that to happen because no one likes to wait in traffic and if there is more traffic, it will take even longer for people to get to their destination.
On the other side, there are people who think that the Superferry would be good for Hawaii residents because it would offer job opportunities. The Superferry would offer around 300 jobs (Souki). Since the Superferry would offer that many jobs, it would be worth having. It would be a perfect job if you like to travel. Especially, if you don't like flying in airplanes; it would be a different experience. From personal experience, a lot of my friends have two jobs to keep them where they are. They have two jobs because it is expensive to live in Hawaii, school tuition is high, and gas prices are crazy at times.
Also, the Superferry would be good because it would give Hawaii residents an alternative way of transportation. Since a lot of Hawaii residents have family, relatives, or friends on other different islands, they would be able to visit their family, relatives, or friends more often. There is only one main way of traveling to different islands, commercial airlines; the Superferry would be a totally different mode of transportation. The only other way you could get to another island is to sail, swim, or a cruise ship, which would be expensive. I would think no one would do any of those since no one wants to get eaten by sharks or pay for your boat to dock at a pier or pay a lot of money to go on a cruise ship that will take you to all the islands and more.
The Superferry would also be good for school kids. The kids could take excursions to other islands to enhance their experience of learning. They could get hands on learning. For insistance, if only one of the islands has something educational, the kids would be able to go to that island and learn from that event. An example of a good excursion is if kids from a different island, not Oahu, they would be able to come here and go to Bishop museum. If the kids are doing research on volcanoes, they would be able to go to Big Island and watch the volcano erupting. Also, sport events like HHSAA (Hawaii High School Athletic Association) would be cheaper and easier to attend. All the schools from different islands can go on one ship instead of going on a couple of planes.
The Superferry would be good for people my age (under age for renting a car). Since you have to be a certain age to rent a car, it would be more convenient to bring your car with you when you go to different islands. So for insistence, when I want to go and visit my friends on the Big Island, I can just bring my car with me. That way I would have a way of transportation around the island.
A reason why people might want to ride the Superferry rather then an airplane is because on an airplane, you only have so much room. So if you are a person who is tall, it would be uncomfortable to sit in a cramped space. But if a tall person were to ride on the Superferry, they would be able to walk around the boat. While in an airplane, they are only able to move around in the aisle.
work cited
Blair, Chad. "Senate approves Hawaii Superferry bill." Pacific Business News 29 Oct. 2007. 19 Nov. 2007 <http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2007/10/29/daily9.html?ana=from_rss

Cragg, John T. " Boycott Hawai'I Superferry holding reverence of life and stewardship of this land." 2007. 7 November 2007 <http://www.boycottsuperferry.org/>.

Paman, Joylynn. "Veiled chameleon is a threat to native birds and insects." The Maui News 13 May 2007. 19 Nov. 2007

Souki, Joseph. "Hawaii Superferry has fulfilled requirements, will benefit all of Hawaii." The Maui News 1 April 2007. 19 Nov. 2007 <http://www.mauinews.com/letters/2007/4/1/01joe0401.html>.

" What is an invasive species?' United States Department of Agriculture 10 Oct. 2007. National Invasive Species Information Center. 19 Nov. 2007 <http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/whatis.shtml>.

Great paper! Thanks for contributing! I'll make sure to share this with more people with questions about the Hawaii Superferry. Thanks so much for sharing! My friend is getting married on Maui when I'm on Oahu. I bought a ticket and it was too late. I have been refunded the full amount, but it was a hassle having to book a flight last minute.

My Maui wedding planner had the same problem after doing a wedding on Oahu. I'm happy and sad that the Superferry went down. It was a good idea, if it had respected the laws and the environmental assements. We'll have to watch and see what happens.

Hawaii Flights

What would you consider to be the safest airline going to and from the Hawaiian Islands?
All of the airlines are relatively safe. Flying from the mainland can be a bumpy flight at times.
If you're concerned about the age of the aircraft, stick to Aloha. Hawaiian Air and some other airlines are reported to buy Aloha's old planes. Aloha is known for having the newest aircraft in the Hawaiian sky. Though I find that Aloha is generally more expensive on an average day. The best deals come from ATA, United, and of course the interisland tiny planes like pacific wings.
If you are going interisland and afraid to fly, stay away from these little planes.
As for the cheapest flights, you'll be stopping in Oahu if coming from the mainland.

How much does it cost to fly inter-island usually?
It really depends on what time of year, and what the competative climate is like. During season, it'll cost more. Sometimes you'll find the airlines competing and almost giving fares away. For a while last year they were running $19 one way specials. I think at one point it got down to $5. GO! has been pushing the other major airlines like ALoha and Hawaiian to cut ticket prices. Pacific Wings is usually really cheap, but they have really small planes and are a bit sketchy.
Prices fluctuate between islands. Sorry to not give a better answer. I bought tickets recently from Maui to Oahu for $75 each way. You may be able to get a better deal. Also, keep in mind what airport you're flying into. Some airports are smaller and cost more to fly into and out of. The major airports will be more affordable.

I'm going from Kauai to Oahu next year and want to know whether it's better to book a flight or to try the Superferry.
I don't drive, so I won't be using that service. I'll be walking on.
Any help is good. thanks
If you're really interested in traveling by water and seeing the islands from that prospective, then try the Superferry. It will be cheaper and faster probably to fly. Also, you may want to consider if the Superferry will even be running at that time. If it's early this next year that you're traveling, then you'll want to fly. I don't know what's going to happen, but it looks like it may be a while before the Superferry is running full service, especially to and from Kauai.

I heard recently that Go! and Hawaiian Airlines have come to a settlement. I guess Go! had been using confidential illegal information on Hawaiian to get an edge. The court ruled in favor of Hawaiian Air with a huge settlement. Hawaiian also wanted to bar Go! from any ticket sales for 1 year, but the court decided not to allow this.
How will this effect the average interisland traveling Joe? Basically the wonderful price wars between the interisland carriers is over. Go! may not continue to fly in the Hawaiian Islands. Competition is really the only way to keep prices reasonable between airlines, and this has just been cut in half.
Let's all hope that a new small airline can come in and make things cheap again, without cheating.