With summer nearly upon us, get ready to embrace the warmth and embark on excitement and adventure, as Fullers360 makes the annual switch to its peak timetable, as well as introducing a new ferry service.
On Monday, 16 October, Fullers360 is moving to our summer timetable, which includes 54 additional walk-up sailings every week to and from Waiheke Island and a daily service to Rangitoto Island. On the Waiheke Walk-up service there will be capacity to transport approximately 12,000 – 20,000 passengers per day across 326 services per week.
To complement our service, Fullers360 is pleased to introduce a new ferry service - Waiheke Reserve. The Waiheke Reserve ferry is a new service available from Fullers360, launching in November to give visitors the opportunity to pre-book the date and departure times in advance.
Once booked, seats are secured on Waiheke Reserve. Passengers are welcome to board the service any time up to 20 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time, allowing more flexibility prior to travel. The Waiheke Reserve ferry will depart from a different pier, separate to the ferry for the Walk-Up service, which will help to reduce queuing congestion for commuters and visitors.
Mike Horne, Fullers360 CEO is excited for the summer season ahead and is looking forward to seeing Waiheke Reserve in action.
“We know last summer was busy and expect to see similar volumes this summer. That’s why I’m excited to see Waiheke Reserve launch today, as a great solution for customers who have a special occasion or fixed travel schedules that require the certainty of a booked space. Our existing Waiheke Island ferry service has always operated on a demand walk-up basis, albeit with significant frequency throughout the day, and I’m thrilled we are now implementing a complementary service that has been designed to respond to increased visitor demand, operating at key times to transport visitors to the island,” says Mr Horne.
Waiheke Reserve has been welcomed by our partners including travel and cruise ship operators. Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Head of Visitor Economy, Annie Dundas, is thrilled to see Fullers360 implementing a new visitor service which will further bolster Auckland’s tourism economy.
“Waiheke Reserve is a welcome new offering from Fullers360 that will help support positive outcomes for the Waiheke Island and Tāmaki Makaurau economies and communities. Waiheke Island is a much-loved destination for locals and visitors to our region and we’re pleased to see a new bookable service that will contribute to a positive visitor experience while reducing congestion on the Waiheke Walk-up for those that call the island home.”
Mr Horne acknowledges the challenges the industry-wide maritime skills shortage has presented. “The last year we have been focused on taking action to address the industry wide shortage of marine crew. While we’re progressing in this space, with several initiatives now underway, including record pay increases, overseas recruitment, and a bespoke accelerated training programme, we are still not able to operate at full capacity.
“Our summer plans, including introducing Waiheke Reserve, are in place with the available workforce we have, who are an amazing bunch. Fullers360 is committed to its customers and getting you where you need to be, and I’m so pleased we can continue to provide a peak season timetable for Waiheke Island this year,” says Mr Horne.
Earlier in the year Fullers360 announced the permanent introduction of off-peak fares. Customers can head to Waiheke Island for only $29.50 return when they choose to travel off peak, with the offer available seven days a week. There is now a significant range of ferry fares and available offers for those travelling to Waiheke Island. With increased frequency in the peak season timetable, as well as Waiheke Reserve and off-peak tickets available, Fullers360 are looking forward to opening the doors to your unforgettable summer experience.
Previous summer seasons have been busy for Waiheke Island, and Fullers360 Chief Operations Officer, Paul Trotman, expects this summer demand for services will continue, particularly as international visitors continue to return to our shores.
Fullers360 Chief Operations Officer, Paul Trotman says, "As we prepare for the upcoming holiday season, we're looking forward to giving international visitors a kiwi welcome, along with residents and domestic tourists. We know this summer is going to busy and are asking our customers to plan ahead, buy tickets online, arrive early for your sailing, or consider travelling off peak. Alternatively, booking a space on the Waiheke Reserve ferry is a great option if you have a special occasion,” says Mr Trotman.
“We’re excited to get the summer season underway. We’ve had a bunch of summer ambassador and crew recruits through our doors and are gearing up for a busy season. As always, we do ask customers to be patient and kind to our teams who are working incredibly hard to get everyone where they need to go. Fullers360 is your passport to a memorable holiday, and we're thrilled to share the beauty of Auckland's stunning islands with travellers from around the world.” Says Trotman.
About Waiheke Reserve: The Waiheke Reserve ferry will give visitors the opportunity to pre-book the date and departure times in advance, and passengers are welcome to board the service anytime up to 20 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. A return ticket on the Waiheke Reserve ferry service is $95 per person. Read more here https://www.fullers.co.nz/destinations-and-experiences/experiences/ferry-experiences/waiheke-reserve/.
Waiheke Island Walk-up service summer timetable and Rangitoto timetable effective 16 October can be found here: https://www.fullers.co.nz/news-updates/customer-updates/2023-10/peak-timetable-changeover/