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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 have been 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

From 1 October 2023, the Gulf Harbour and Half Moon Bay ferry services will operate with reduced timetables. Additional bus services are available.

Ferry timetables effective from 1 October 2023.

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:

Half Moon Bay to Downtown:

  • Replacement bus 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 route 70 or RBE (all stations replacement bus) to Waitematā Station (Britomart).
  • Routes 72C or 72M to Panmure Station to connect to route 70 or the rail replacement service RBE (all stations replacement bus) to Waitematā Station (Britomart).

From 22 January 2024, you’ll be able to take the Eastern Line train from Panmure Station to Waitematā Station (Britomart), instead of RBE. Your alternative journey to the city centre will be much faster.

RBE (all stops) will continue through the annual Christmas network closure until 14 January 2024.  

Gulf Harbour to Downtown

  • Replacement bus Ferry Bus Gulf Harbour (FBGH) during peak times from Gulf Harbour to Downtown stopping at Manly, The Plaza Shopping Centre and Fanshawe Street.
  • Route 988 to The Plaza, then route 982 or 983 to Hibiscus Coast Station, and then NX1 to Downtown.

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.

As a result, ferry replacement buses (FBGHHM) from Britomart to Gulf Harbour to Downtown will no longer run in the mornings. The FBGH trip from Downtown to Gulf Harbour at 4:30pm is also cancelled.

We will continue running FBGH evening service from Downtown to Gulf Harbour at 5:30pm and 6:30pm.

Route 988 will meet to connect these additional ferry services.

The ferry replacement bus stop has moved 

The ferry replacement bus services have moved from stop 7005 outside H&M, Customs St West, to stop 1323 located opposite 6 Commerce Street, outside Kiwibank.

This stop will be used for buses replacing ferries only, taxis will continue to depart from Queens Wharf, just outside Downtown Ferry Terminal.

Stop 1323 will be better suited for our replacement ferry services as fewer services use this stop, as well as better protection from the elements, with access to a bus shelter and seating.

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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