Port Phillip Ferries to launch Geelong city departures to Melbourne

A daily commuter ferry between the Geelong CBD and Docklands will become a reality in December, Port Phillip Ferries says.

The service that may take 90 minutes has capacity to carry more than 400 people and will operate between Victoria Harbour, Docklands and the Geelong waterfront.

The schedule for the $10 million ‘Geelong Flyer’ will include a 6:30am departure from Geelong, an evening peak service from Docklands and two services during the day aimed at tourists.

Port Phillip Ferries owner Paul Little said the service will benefit daily commuters, and boost tourism and business in the Geelong region: “It will deliver a unique, comfortable and reliable alternative means of travelling between Melbourne and Geelong.”

The Geelong Flyer is being built by Tasmanian-based high-speed ferry manufacturer Incat and will have free WiFi, a cafe, bike racks and charging stations for electronic equipment. Port Phillip Ferries CEO Murray Rance said the service will be reduced to 90 minutes if the speed limit on the Yarra River is increased.

Rance said the company is working to establish parking for commuters near the Geelong waterfront but was tight-lipped on a location: “Parking will be a very good solution. It won’t be a park and ride. Over time (the cost of) parking will be gradually introduced.”

Rance has previously said about 130 commuters needed to use the ferry daily for the service to be viable: “We believe given the response we had to the trials that there’s not only a commuter market but also a really strong tourism market.”

About 17,000 Geelong commuters travel to Melbourne each day with about 12,000 going via road and 5000 choosing the train. A one way to ticket is expected to cost $18.