SeaStreak is a private ferry company operating in the Port of New York and New Jersey and in New England. It provides high-speed commuter service between points on the Raritan Bayshore in Monmouth County, New Jersey and in Manhattan in New York City as well as special event and sightseeing excursions in the harbor and seasonal service to the New England coast.
|Headquarters||Atlantic Highlands New Jersey, United States|
|New York City|
|Parent||New England Fast Ferry|
In 1994 all of TNT maritime assets where acquired by Holyman Brothers of Australia and the ferry service name was changed to Express Navigation. In 1999 Sea Containers acquired Express Navigation. The company was renamed SeaStreak. Following Sea Containers filing for bankruptcy in 2006, SeaStreak was sold to New England Fast Ferry in 2008.
SeaStreak operates a fleet of seven diesel-powered double-hulled catamarans. The SeaStreak Highlands, SeaStreak Wall Street, SeaStreak New Jersey, and SeaStreak New York are all 141 foot vessels owned by SeaStreak; each has a capacity of 400 passengers and travels at a service speed of 38 knots (44 mph). The vessels were built by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding of Somerset, Massachusetts.
The Ocean State is a 65-foot vessel owned by New England Fast Ferry; it has a capacity of 149 passengers and can travel up to 34 knots (39 mph). It is used as the ferry for the seasonal Providence to Newport route. The vessel was built by Merrifield-Roberts of Bristol.
The Martha's Vineyard Express and "Whaling City Express" are 95-foot vessels owned by New England Fast Ferry and is operated by SeaStreak from September through May; it has a capacity of 149 passengers and can travel up to 29 knots (33 mph). The vessel was built by Derecktor Shipyards of Mamaroneck and is the sister ship of New England Fast Ferry's Whaling City Express. It operates between New Bedford and Martha's Vineyard during the summer months.
Past vessels have included the SeaStreak Manhattan, the SeaStreak Brooklyn, and the SeaStreak Liberty, among a few others. All of these catamaran ferries were designed by Incat Crowther.
SeaStreak announced construction of a 600-passenger high-speed luxury ferry in September 2016 for service between the Jersey Shore and Manhattan, anticipated to enter service in 2017. Construction took longer than planned, and the vessel, named SeaStreak Commodore, was launched in March 2018, with its entry into service the following month.
SeaStreak routes connect the towns of Atlantic Highlands and Highlands in Monmouth County, New Jersey with Pier 11 at Wall Street and the East 34th Street Ferry Landing on the East River in Manhattan. During the morning rush hour the trip from the Raritan Bayshore to Manhattan takes approximately 40 minutes and there is limited shuttle service to Battery Park City Ferry Terminal.
From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, service is also provided to the public beaches in Sandy Hook a few times each day. Service is also provided to Yankee Stadium for selected New York Yankees games and to Citi Field for New York Mets games on weekends. The company has long offered "special event cruises" such as sightseeing excursions, sunset cruises, and trips to Broadway matinees, college football games at West Point, the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and to see the fall foliage in the Hudson Valley.
On July 17, 2009, SeaStreak began providing weekend service between New York City and Martha's Vineyard. One ferry departs New York City on Friday afternoon and returns on Sunday night. The trip through Long Island Sound and along the shoreline of Rhode Island and Massachusetts takes a little over five hours. The service will continue through Labor Day weekend and was implemented following the success of a trial run held over the Fourth of July weekend. Before launching its service to Martha's Vineyard, SeaStreak had expressed an interest in providing a similar service on summer weekends to Sag Harbor in the Hamptons, but there were concerns over traffic and ferry service is a non-permitted use in the village code.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which on October 29, 2012 caused massive infrastructure damage to the New York City Subway system's IND Rockaway Line A train branch south of the station at Howard Beach – JFK Airport, severing all direct subway connections between the Rockaway Peninsula and Broad Channel and the Queens mainland for many months, SeaStreak began running a ferry service between a makeshift ferry slip at Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive in Rockaway Park, Queens and Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan. The service ran from Monday through Friday  for a fare of $3.50, with five morning Rockaway-to-Manhattan trips between 5:40 a.m. and 9:25 a.m., with three morning return trips from Pier 11 back to Rockaway between 6:35 a.m. and 8:35 a.m. The fare, subsidized by the city government, was originally set at $2, but was raised to $3.50 on Feb. 1, 2014 after the service was extended.
All five of the Rockaway-to-Manhattan trips first included a stop at the ferry landing at the Brooklyn Army Terminal industrial complex on 58th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, which was added to the schedule in August 2013 due to extensive Sandy-related damage to the nearby BMT Broadway Line R-Train infrastructure and the resulting disruptions to service between Brooklyn and Manhattan from the repair work, although the morning Rockaway-bound ferry return trips did not also stop there. The morning runs to Manhattan all also included an additional stop at East 34th Street. The three earliest trips required a transfer to another waiting vessel, while the two later trips continued straight through with no transfer. There was no morning return service to downtown, Brooklyn or Rockaway from East 34th Street. In the afternoon/evening, SeaStreak ran five Manhattan-to-Rockaway trips between 2:45 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., originating at East 34th Street, with stops at Pier 11 downtown and the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Four of those five trips required a transfer after the short trip from East 34th Street to Pier 11 to another vessel for the longer trip back to Brooklyn and Rockaway. There were also three return trips in the afternoon/evening from Rockaway to Manhattan between 4:35 p.m. and 6:50 p.m., although these runs did not include stops at either Brooklyn Army Terminal or East 34th Street. Free parking was available for commuters in lots across the street from the Rockaway ferry slip and on the large ferry pier at Brooklyn Army Terminal.
In December 2013, it was reported that since its inception a little more than a year earlier, the run between Rockaway and Manhattan had attracted an average of about 730 passengers per day, on top of the approximately 250 daily passengers traveling between Brooklyn and Manhattan. The ferry by that time had carried nearly 200,000 passengers since its inception, according to city officials.
Originally intended as a stopgap alternative transportation measure only for the months until subway service was restored at the end of May in 2013, the ferry service proved to be popular with locals, and the city's contract with SeaStreak was initially extended until July 2013  and then was subsequently extended again, first till mid-October 2013 and then until Jan. 31, 2014. Community organizations, activists and elected officials in Rockaway and Brooklyn campaigned for a permanent extension of the subsidized service.
In late January 2014, the city elected to extend the Rockaway-Brooklyn-Manhattan ferry service for another three months, until early May, and would at that time consider a further three-month extension, until Aug. 1, to give officials time to evaluate the ridership numbers and to determine whether to establish the service on a permanent basis. The fare was raised to $3.50 per ride during the extension period from $2 previously. Local officials and activists in Rockaway and in Brooklyn planned to intensify their efforts to boost ferry ridership during this interim period in hopes of gaining a favorable decision on the possibly permanent extension of the service. The service was extended again through August; however, when the city government announced its budget in late June for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1, the ferry only received a $2 million further appropriation, enough to temporarily extend it again through October, but did not receive the approximately $8 million appropriation needed to keep the service running for the full fiscal year ending on June 30, 2015. Local officials and community activists expressed dismay with the decision, saying it was a blow to the Rockaways as the area continued to struggle economically in the aftermath of the 2012 hurricane. A spokesperson for the city government's Economic Development Corporation said that “We will continue to examine ridership and seek a sustainable funding stream that can support the $25-$30 subsidy per trip — the highest by far of any public transportation in the city.” 
Full service on the Montague Street Tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan was restored in mid-September 2014, but many commuters continued to take the ferry, despite its extra $1 cost over the subway fare. In mid-October, Mayor Bill de Blasio visited Rockaway and declared that the time had come to end the ferry service, since all of the subway service that it had replaced was now back in operation. He said the city would seek longer-term transportation alternatives, possibly including ferry service, but offered few specifics. The ferry began telling its riders that service would end on Oct. 31. The mayoral announcement produced renewed dismay among local officials and activists, who began an intense 11th-hour lobbying campaign, including the use of social media and barrages of phone calls to city agencies, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer to try to convince de Blasio to reverse his decision or convince the other officials to advise him to do so. Several days later, the mayor said that he might be open to accepting state funding to continue the ferry service, and a week after his original announcement came word that the mayor would meet with Rep. Gregory Meeks and other local officials, just days before the ferry's scheduled ending date, to discuss its possible future beyond that. However, the ferry last ran on October 31, 2014, after SeaStreak was unsuccessful in procuring an extension of the service. The temporary ferry dock in Rockaway was closed and dismantled several days later. de Blasio said in February 2015 that a comprehensive citywide ferry service would begin some time in 2017, including historically underserved communities such as the Rockaways. Local activists and elected officials subsequently advocated for an early return of the ferry before 2017. Rockaway ferry service resumed on May 1, 2017 as part of the NYC Ferry service, which is operated by Hornblower Cruises.
On January 9, 2013, at around 8:45 a.m., Seastreak Wall Street, arriving at Pier 11 from Atlantic Highlands, rammed into the mooring as it was docking, leaving a visible gash in the ferry stretching several feet above the water line. The president of the ferry company, James R. Barker, told NBC News that morning that there were 300 aboard and that many of those injured were thrown from their seats. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear. Eighty-five people were injured, two critically. According to the captain, the control system of the boat failed to respond. Lawsuits seeking damages have been brought by injured passengers. As of May 16, 2013, the deadline for filing, thirty-seven claims had been made against the company. The case will be heard in admiralty court since the accident took place on navigable waters.
In popular cultureEdit
The ferry is seen during a romantic moment passing underneath the Brooklyn Bridge in the movie Step Up 3D. It is seen still operating in the year 2021 in the movie Click. A ferry is also seen moving down the East River in the final shot of the 2002 film Gangs of New York, in which the Brooklyn Bridge and the World Trade Center can be seen.
In "New York Shark" , an online game where a shark destroys boats and aircraft, one of the larger SeaStreak vessels is featured. The vessel has Sea"Steak" written on the side.
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