Travel

Steamship Authority reports strong opening-day bookings for summer travel to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard

Opening-day bookings for summer automobile reservations increased this year.

Steamship Authority ferry
A Steamship Authority boat leaves the island of Nantucket and heads toward Hyannis in 2018. Julia Cumes for the Boston Globe

The Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Steamship Authority reports “robust opening-day activity” for summer 2021 automobile reservations to the islands, which began earlier this month.

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The largest ferry service to the islands opened online bookings for travel on the Hyannis/Nantucket line Jan. 12 and on the Woods Hole/Martha’s Vineyard line Jan. 19, for travel between May 19 and Oct. 18.

The authority says it processed 5,151 transactions worth nearly $2.8 million in revenue for the Hyannis/Nantucket line, up from 4,717 transactions worth nearly $2.4 million on opening day in 2020 and 14,997 transactions worth nearly $3.8 million for the Woods Hole/Martha’s Vineyard line, up from 14,853 transactions worth about $3.3 million on opening day in 2020. The authority defines a transaction as either a one-way or a round-trip reservation.

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“The results of our general internet openings are certainly a bellwether for a strong summer season on both Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard,” said Robert B. Davis, general manager, in a statement. “While summer is still many months off and the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 is far from settled, we are optimistic that people have the desire to travel to these beautiful destinations.”

The authority says the reservation opening day process was aided by several technological improvements this year, including a virtual waiting room where customers could see their “place” in line as well as the approximate wait time and new hardware that provided processing speeds about twice as fast as the previous system, with five times the data storage performance capacity.

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“Although the internet openings represent our largest single day of reservation activity, I want our customers and potential customers to know there are still plenty of available opportunities to book summer travel on board one of our vessels,” said Davis, in the statement. “Our vessels stand ready to offer safe and reliable transportation to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, and our employees are eager to welcome you on board for your trip.”

Beginning Jan. 26 at 7:30 a.m., customers can make reservations at one of the authority’s terminals or by calling the reservation line at (508) 477-8600. View the authority’s COVID-19 safety measures.

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In 2019, more than 3 million passengers and 670,000 vehicles were transported to and from the islands on the service, according to the authority.

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