Ferry services to return early after training programme success Ferry services to return early after training programme success

Date: 7 May 2024

Auckland Transport (AT) will reinstate some ferry services sooner than expected after making good progress with Fullers360 on addressing a skilled maritime crew shortage.

In October 2023, AT temporarily reduced timetables for some ferry services to help Fullers360 undertake an accelerated training programme. The programme is designed to quickly upskill existing crew and train new crew to fill existing gaps in Auckland’s maritime workforce.

The success of the programme so far has meant AT will have some ferry services back to their regular timetables earlier than expected, says AT’s Director of Public Transport and Active Modes, Stacey van der Putten.

“We’re really pleased Fullers360 has been able to use this time to get more crew trained and ready to go out on the water.

“The temporary reduction in ferry services has not been easy for our customers, and though we still have work to do to get our ferry services back at the level they should be, we’re thrilled to be able to bring some back ahead of schedule,” Ms van der Putten says.

On 4 June, the Devonport ferry will return to a 20 minute frequency during peak times. Weekday off-peak and evening sailings for Half Moon Bay will be coming back as well, along with additional Friday night services.

Later in the year, there will also be more Gulf Harbour ferry services added during the week, and AT is aiming to resume weekend sailings to Half Moon Bay in early 2025.

Fullers360 Marine Manager, Andy Johnson, is proud of his crew and the success of the accelerated training programme.

“I’m incredibly proud of our crew, and pleased to see the accelerated training programme delivering the results we set out to see. To date, the programme has seen us upskill our crew with more than 700 individual vessel signoffs achieved, as well as 10 Skippers and 20 new Deckhands having been appointed.

“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience while we work hard to get services back up and running. With more qualified maritime crew, we’re now able to reinstate some services and see greater resilience within the ferry network,” Mr Johnson says.

Additional weekday sailings will also be added to the Bayswater, Birkenhead and Te Onewa Northcote Point ferry routes from 4 June. Working closely with Explore, who became the operator for these services in September 2023, AT is committed to having frequent ferries once again for these communities.