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What's happening

Auckland Transport, Fullers360 and the New Zealand Government are working together to rectify a shortage of qualified maritime crew and improve the reliability issues experienced by people using Auckland’s ferry network.

Fullers360 are currently implementing a ferry accelerated training programme to upskill existing ferry crew and train new local and international crew for our ferries. This programme is designed to get crew their qualifications in a faster timeframe, to get them out on the water and transporting customers as soon as possible. 

To support the training programme, some AT ferry services are being temporarily removed or reduced so Fullers360 can dedicate vessels and time to undertake this massive training programme.

We understand this will be inconvenient for people using the affected ferries. However, this training programme will help us to increase ferry services across Auckland and improve reliability. Our priority is to make sure you still have public transport options to get to and from the city.

Impacted services updates

1 October 2023

Gulf Harbour and Half Moon Bay ferry services began operating with reduced timetables. Additional bus services are running to provide a travel option for some of the removed ferry sailings.

12 February 2024

Additional Gulf Harbour morning and afternoon sailings were added. All morning and one afternoon Gulf Harbour ferry replacement bus services were removed as they are no longer required.

4 June 2024

Half Moon Bay weekday inter-peak and evening sailings will be restored. Weekday inter-peak Half Moon Bay ferry replacement buses will be removed as they are no longer required.

Late 2024, to be confirmed

More Gulf Harbour sailings will be restored.

Early 2025, to be confirmed

Half Moon Bay weekend sailings will be restored.

Alternative transport options

We are providing additional bus services to support ferry customers impacted by the changes.

Customers will be able to take the following alternative bus services:

Between Half Moon Bay and Downtown:

  • Ferry Bus Half Moon Bay (FBHM) from Half Moon Bay Wharf to Panmure Station, stopping at all stops from Half Moon Bay Wharf to Pakuranga Highway and then direct (no stops) to Panmure Station to connect to bus route 70 and trains to Waitematā Station (Britomart).

Between Gulf Harbour and Downtown

  • Route 988 to The Plaza, then route 982 or 983 to Hibiscus Coast Station, and then NX1 to Downtown.
  • Ferry Bus Gulf Harbour (FBGH) from Downtown at 5:30pm and 6:30pm to Gulf Harbour stopping at Fanshawe Street, The Plaza Shopping Centre and Manly.

Route 988 carries on to Hibiscus Coast Station on weekdays from 10am and 6pm. This extension is direct (no stops) between The Plaza and Hibiscus Coast Station.

Visit Journey Planner or download AT Mobile to find the route that works best for you.


From 12 February 2024, we’re adding a sailing between Downtown and Gulf Harbour each morning and evening, Monday to Friday.

Route 988 will meet to connect these additional ferry services.

City centre ferry replacement bus stop

The ferry replacement bus services leave from stop 1323 located opposite 6 Commerce Street, outside Kiwibank.

Ferry monthly passes

If you have a monthly ferry pass, you can use buses or trains in the zone that your existing ferry pass covers, and you will not be charged.

For example, you will not be charged extra if you travel to the city centre from Bayswater, Birkenhead / Te Onewa Northcote Point, Gulf Harbour, or Half Moon Bay. Additionally, if the bus or train you take at the end of your ferry trip falls within the same zone, it is included in your pass.

You will only be charged extra if you travel out of zone.

Gulf Harbour ferry survey

From 6 to 25 December 2023, AT and Fullers360 conducted an online survey to better understand time preferences when travelling on the Gulf Harbour ferry.

We asked respondents what time they’d want to arrive in the city and what time they’d want to arrive at Gulf Harbour.

The survey was advertised on the ferry and at the Gulf Harbour and Downtown ferry terminals. It was also promoted via the AT Mobile app and social media.

New morning and afternoon sailings were added from 12 February 2024. We used information from the 588 submissions we received to determine the departure times of these sailings.

View survey results

About the ferry accelerated training programme

Fullers360 need to train approximately 12 full sets of crew to operate all ferry routes. Typically, the pathway to become a skipper is 3 to 5 years, but this programme works to fast track up to 30 crew into qualified positions (deckhand or skipper) over 14 to 18 months.

Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi are also investing in upgrading vessels and bringing in new electric ferries, which will reduce the number of breakdowns and maintenance issues that also impact ferry reliability.

Ferries have an important role to play in offering travel choices and we appreciate the inconvenience this causes for our communities that rely on our ferry network. During the programme, we will work hard to ensure that buses have enhanced capacity to support customers. 

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