Kangaroo Island

KI residents to see ferry fares drop and services increase under new deal

SeaLink has won a contract to operate their ferry services between KI & the mainland, with reduced fares for residents, and a new fleet of carriers to be introduced.

Cheaper fares for residents, more services and two new larger state-of-the-art vessels are part of a renewed long-term contract with SeaLink, that’ll continue to run its ferry services between the mainland and Kangaroo Island for the next 50 years.

The charter company has won a competitive market-based tender, meaning it will operate ferry services to and from KI until at least June 2039, with two further five year performance based extension options.

As part of the new deal, SeaLink has agreed to slash fares for KI residents from as early as March next year despite the current contract not expiring until 2024, with a standard adult fare to drop from $31 to $6.80 and the standard vehicle fare to plunge from $98 to $65.

The new contract will come into effect on 1 July 2024 and will have SeaLink working to achieve:

  • 40% increase in services provided over the year
  • 78% reduction in KI resident adult and child fares (to be introduced from March 2022)
  • Up to 68% reduction in KI resident vehicle fares
  • 37% reduction in freight charges
  • Two new modern larger vessels with improved passenger amenity, reduced motion sicknessand drive through capability for vehicles (drive on – drive off with no turning required)
  • Investment in new port infrastructure
  • 50% increase in freight & vehicle capacity
  • Customer technology innovations including: automatic resident ID checks, self-servicepurchase and check-in, Commuter App and licence plate recognition
  • Commitment to upgrade the passenger terminal facilities at Cape Jervis and Penneshaw
  • Continued and increased commitment to KI tourism, including a significant investmentbudget in collaboration with the SA Tourism Commission.“We have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with tourism and hospitality operators during the pandemic and we are focused on ensuring both sectors are ready to take full advantage of our strong position as we emerge from the COVID shadow,” Premier Steven Marshall said.“These new prices will be exciting news to the hip pockets of KI residents and the increase in services will further entice tourists to one of the most beautiful locations in the nation.”

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Corey Wingard said the new contract was a big win for Kangaroo Island and all South Australians.

“This new contract with SeaLink is fantastic news for tourism, local business and for residents on Kangaroo Island, with more services, cheaper fares for residents, cheaper freight and new larger capacity vessels making the Island an even more desirable destination”, Minister Wingard says.

“Once the new contract has fully come into effect, it will be easier than ever to visit and experience the natural beauty and pristine environment of KI”, he says.

“There will also be 11 services each direction per weekday from September through April under the new contract”, he continues.

Two brand new larger vessels will also be made available to those travelling to and from the island, with the new ferries having improved passenger amenity, reduced motion sickness and drive through capability for vehicles (drive on – drive off with no turning required).

“SeaLink will design, build and commission the new ferry vessels within the next few years and this will be accompanied by an upgrade to the wharf and harbour infrastructure to enable these new vessels to operate”, Mr Wingard says.

CEO of SeaLink’s parent company Kelsian Group Limited, Clint Feuerherdt, says the charter group will drive new investment and visitation to SA, while delivering an incredibly affordable, reliable and regular transport outcome for Kangaroo Island residents.

“We have a 32-year history of the safe and reliable delivery of this critical ferry service across the treacherous and exposed Backstairs Passage and under this new contract we will continue to serve the residents, businesses and tourists of Kangaroo Island until at least 2039″, Mr Feuerherdt says.

“We will also deliver a significant increase in our schedule and capacity that will help sustain the future growth of the Kangaroo Island economy. The additional capacity and confidence we have in continuing to build visitation is the key to being able to offer cheaper fares to residents on this route”.

For more information on their services, plus timetables and ticketing, visit the SeaLink website.

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