IT’S full steam ahead for the new operators of the Tea Gardens Ferry service to Nelson Bay.
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Since Teresa and Shane Charchalis took over in December of last year, they’re very pleased to say they’ve only missed two trips and that was due to bad weather.
“We’re really enjoying what we do and the passengers are loving it too,” Shane told News Of The Area.
“We’ve got a new sound system on board, so there’s music and often singalongs, it’s just great,” Teresa said.
Shane and Teresa have also made a promise to passengers to never leave anyone behind.
“In the past, we’ve heard stories of passengers being stranded, that will never happen now.”
The couple has also introduced a ‘Sunset Cruise’ out of Nelson Bay from the start of June.
Return tickets are just $20 and its running 7 days a week.
“It leaves Nelson Bay at 3.30pm and departs Tea Gardens at 5pm,” Teresa said.
“We’re happy for people to bring their fish and chips on board for the trip back.”
The couple is also in talks with a local bus operator hoping to link the ferry with a sightseeing trip that will take passengers around Hawks Nest, Winda Woppa and Mungo Brush.
“We’ve started restoration works on both timber ferries, and will be working throughout the quieter months to re-paint and get them looking much nicer,” Teresa said.
“There is a lot of maritime history attached to both vessels, and we would love to get them heritage listed.”
Port Stephens Ferry Service is running three services a day, 7 days a week and you can book online or sms.
Ferry Cancellations are posted on their Facebook page from 7.30am.
By: Margie TIERNEY