THE new ferry service between Geelong and Melbourne is on the move, with the Geelong Flyer making its first official crossing of Port Phillip Bay on Monday this week.
Port Phillip Ferries is now operating the service twice daily between the Geelong waterfront and Docklands.
The 400-seater ferry features an on-board licensed café, bike racks, charging stations and free Wi-Fi.
Free car parking at Cunningham Pier is also be available to the first 75 passengers on the 6.45am service, daily from Monday to Friday (car parks must be pre-booked).
The vessel was officially christened with champagne on November 28 in a ceremony at Cunningham Pier by Jane Hansen, wife of Port Phillip Ferries owner Paul Little.
Speaking at the ceremony before the Geelong Flyer took a short journey around Corio Bay for the assembled guests, Mr Little made a quip about the ferrys price.
It doesnt seem a lot for $10 million, does it? But Im sure its good value.
He said the ferry performed admirably in its sea trials and made the journey from the shipyard of Hobart builder Incat in record time.
Mr Little said the ferrys sister ship, the Bellarine Express, had gone from zero to 6,000 passengers a month in three years, and there were similar aspirations for the Geelong Flyer.
While today cars and trains dominate, obviously, the movement of commuters between Geelong and Melbourne, Port Phillip Ferries remain very confident that we will see a strong demand for a safe, comfortable and reliable passenger ferry service to help circumvent the congestion issues currently faced by cars and trains.
About 70 per cent of the Geelong Flyers crew are Geelong locals.