The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced the return of convenient ferry service between Providence and Newport. Last year thousands of people took advantage of the service enjoying picturesque Narragansett Bay.
For the 2017 season, RIDOT has increased service to provide more trips with an additional roundtrip ferry each day and an expanded operating season. This year there will be four trips Sunday through Thursday and five trips on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays. Six more weeks of service also has been added, with the season kicking off on Friday, June 16 and running through Sunday, October 1.
Tickets are available for purchase now online at seastreak.com. Tickets also will be available for purchase at the ferry terminal at 25 India Street in Providence starting in early June and once service begins on the ferry at the Newport terminal at Perrotti Park, 39 America's Cup Ave. Advanced reservations are strongly recommended, especially for weekend trips, as departures from Providence in the morning and early afternoon were frequently sold out last year.
"This is a wonderful way for visitors and residents to easily experience even more of the Ocean State," said Lara Salamano, Chief Marketing Officer for the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. "Tourists can again enjoy travelling between Providence and Newport without worrying about a car, and experience two very different cities both renowned for their hospitality, all while enjoying a scenic ferry ride."
"It's a perfect complement for our tourism product," Salamano added.
Also new this year is an agreement for joint ticketing that will allow passengers riding Amtrak trains to purchase a ticket that includes passage on the ferry. RIDOT spearheaded the joint ticketing initiative with Amtrak with the hopes it will attract more out-of-state visitors and reduce congestion.
"We all know Narragansett Bay is the state's greatest natural asset, and last summer proved without a doubt that utilizing it for ferry service connecting Providence and Newport is a win all the way around for Rhode Island," RIDOT Direction Peter Alviti, Jr. said. "We're excited about the ferry returning, the additional trips and extended season to help visitors and residents move between these two great destinations."
RIDOT initiated the ferry service in July of 2016. In its inaugural year, the service provided more than 33,000 trips. Ridership was approximately 20 percent higher than expected. Additionally, nearly 20 percent of all trips were sell-outs.