In Sydney’s Ferry Future, the NSW Government announced it will modernise the ferry fleet and improve services as the network expands and the number of passengers increases.
The first stage of upgrading the fleet is an investment in six new ferries, with the first vessel on the water in late 2016. The rest will be delivered progressively throughout 2017.
Following an open tender process which attracted international bids, Australian shipbuilder, Incat Tasmania Pty Ltd, has been awarded the contract to prepare detailed designs and build the new ferries. Incat is based in Hobart, and renowned internationally for high quality environmentally friendly and efficient vessels.
The new ferries will service routes in the Inner Harbour from Watsons Bay in the east to Cockatoo Island in the west, and use new wharves such as Barangaroo. More information on the Barangaroo Ferry Hub.
The next stage in modernising the fleet as part of an overall ferry fleet strategy is developing a new style ferry for the Parramatta River. This work is underway.
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is upgrading wharves along the river and planning a new wharf at Rhodes. Visit the RMS website for more details.
By planning now for the new vessels, the Government will be in a position to expand the network and provide additional services, and retire existing vessels as they reach the end of their economic life.
Over time, the Government is looking to simplify the fleet to improve the efficiency of operations and maintenance.
There has been no major investment in new ferries since 2000/2001 when the four SuperCats were introduced. Most vessels are 20 to 30 years old.
The next stage in modernising the fleet is developing a new style ferry for the Parramatta River. This work is underway.
Name your ferry competition
To celebrate the arrival of the new six-ferry fleet, we launched the Name Your Ferry competition. We received thousands of suggestions and votes from people all over the world, eager to be a part of history in the making.
The first new Sydney ferry will be named after Dr Catherine Hamlin, a pioneer in Australian medicine, and the remaining five winners will be revealed in January when The Catherine Hamlin is launched in Sydney Harbour.
The new Inner Harbour ferries will each carry up to 400 passengers, and be designed to be easily accessible for less mobile passengers and young families. There will be 12 spaces for passengers using wheelchairs.
They will be spacious, with an open plan layout, provide more seating and ensure rapid and safe boarding.
Features will include two wide walk-around decks, bicycle and luggage storage areas, wi-fi access and real time journey information.