High speed ferry from Newport: The inaugural trip
On Friday, June 28, the Interstate Navigation Company/Block Island Ferry hosted an open house to launch its new service between Newport and Block Island, which was scheduled to begin the next day. The Newport Chamber hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the Islander and then guests were invited on board by Interstate owners and staff to explore the boat, have champagne and eat cake.
Spotted at the open house was much of the staff from the Newport Gateway Center and the Discover Newport offices. The Newport Harbormaster Tim Mills was on hand to welcome guests, as was the Newport Mayor, multiple Newport business owners, Newport Chamber staff and members of the public.
It’s very exciting to ride the new ferry over to Newport, and it’s a beautiful, comfortable boat that has great views from the third deck. I am looking forward to taking in Newport Folk Fest (July 26-28) without having to worry about parking or driving in Newport.
In talking to my counterpart from Newport, Evan Smith, President and CEO of Discover Newport, he said, “We are excited to connect the two islands, and with faster service and more departure times aboard the high-speed ferry, it will allow visitors to explore both islands with much more flexibility.”
The ferry will depart daily from Perrotti Park in downtown Newport at 9 a.m., 12:05 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. to Block Island’s Old Harbor. The ferry will depart Block Island’s Old Harbor for Newport at 10:30 a.m. and 5:05 p.m. Service will be provided aboard the Islander, a newly renovated, state-of-the-art, high-speed catamaran with trips lasting approximately 70 minutes each way. The vessel is equipped with three decks and two air-conditioned cabins with airline-style seating, flat screen satellite TVs and a full-service concession and bar. The round-trip fares are $50.50 for an adult, $26 for a child, and $12 per bicycle. For additional information, visit www.blockislandferry.com or call (866) 783-7996.
Jessica Willi is the Executive Director of the Block Island Tourism Council.