SALEM – The ferry service between Boston and Salem returns on Friday.
Boston Harbor Cruises has started taking reservations for the Salem Ferry, which typically runs between Boston and Salem during warmer months. The service saw massive disruptions under the COVID-19 pandemic last year, including less than 10% ridership, a delayed start of July, and a premature end of the timed season with Labor Day instead of typical November end date.
Salem Harbormaster Bill McHugh recently announced the return of the ferry saying that the 149 passenger Nathaniel Bowditch ferry has received “a very good facelift” in the off season. Landing’s ferry terminal and neighboring concession stand are also undergoing renovations which are expected to be completed by Memorial Day, May 31.
“It was a temporary building. It’s a dozen years old,” McHugh said of the terminal, which he described as being a double-width trailer. “They’re going to spruce up. I think it’s going to be a lot better, but in the end, it’s a double-width trailer that’s been used well.”
The ferry ticket page via CityExperiences.com allows the purchase of tickets from Friday May 21 to Sunday October 31. The ferry usually suspends service after the end of the Haunted Happenings tourist season.
The service was suspended on September 8 last year after officials saw a drop of more than 90% in ridership comparing the number of passengers last July and August to those periods in 2018.
Kate Fox, executive director of Destination Salem, celebrated the news.
“It will be great to get it to work again, and it’s a benefit for residents and tourists,” Fox said. “The ferry is an important component for our leisure travelers and day trippers. We promote it to visitors who wish to take a day trip from Boston and offer it to those who wish to stay in Salem and there. add a day. “