New Fast Ferry Route Launches Wednesday

SEATTLE — A new fast ferry will offer riders an easy way to travel between Seattle’s waterfront with Des Moines by water, offering service five days a week during a two-month trial run. The Chilkat Express, first built in 2001 as a passenger ferry for Alaska cruises at 40 knots and takes about 40 minutes to make the trip between Seattle’s Bell Habor Marina and the Des Moines Marina.

The boats will run Wednesday through Sunday, starting Aug. 10, charted by Puget Sound Express. The first week will be free, and fares afterward will run $10 each direction through Oct. 9, and half price for seniors and active military members. Children 13 and under can ride free. According to Des Moines officials, riders will have four times to choose from each day, departing northbound at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., and southbound from Seattle at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Officials said current crew levels limit service to ten hours per day, but could add more crew members and an additional morning trip if demand is high. The city is also working with the Highline School District to source deckhands, which will provide students with paid internships and hands-on experience in the maritime industry, which is actively seeking a new generation of workers.

Source: Bellevue Patch