It’s hard to believe that SeaLink was once a start-up company with small offices on Greenhill Road.
In 1989, a Malaysian company invested in Philanderer Ferries and renamed it SeaLink.
Several years later it was brought back to South Australian ownership, and now it is the biggest marine tourism transport company in Australia, transporting 8 million customers on 80 vessels and over 60 coaches across 14 Australian destinations each year.
Here is SeaLink Kangaroo Island’s Philanderer III unloading vessels at Penneshaw in 1991, well before any ferry terminal facilities were built. It was a 38-metre twin-hulled catamaran which could carry about 200 passengers and 30 cars.
In 1998, SeaLink replaced the Philanderer III with the Sealion 2000, followed by the introduction of the Spirit of Kangaroo Island in 2003.
Specially built for the Cape Jervis to Penneshaw route, the Sealion 2000 and Spirit of Kangaroo Island are modern twin-hulled vessels with licensed cafes and multiple decks. They can carry up to 354 passengers per trip and operating up to 12 return ferry services
The modern ferry terminals weren’t opened until a few years later. The ferry terminal at Cape Jervis (pictured below) was opened in 2006, while the ferry terminal at Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island officially opened in March 2014 by the Hon Gail Gago, Minister of Regional Development at the time.
It’s time to celebrate SeaLink Kangaroo Island’s 30th Birthday! To celebrate this amazing milestone, SeaLink are offering 30% off passenger fares for people travelling to Kangaroo Island from 30 April to 30 September 2019. Check the SeaLink website for details.