By Shea Crawford, JOUR 3000
|Hawai‘i Pacific University students spoke
about their excitement of the Superferry’s arrival which
will provide students an opportunity to visit other islands at
a cheaper rate. The Superferry homeport will be located on the
island of O‘ahu while daily travel will be available to
Hawai‘i Superferry recently received financial support
by a $140 million federal loan as well as a $71 million loan
from ABN-Amro Bank which will allow the Superferry to begin services
early in 2007, according to hawaiisuperferry.com. With the monetary
investment secured, Hawai‘i Superferry can move forward
with their two ferry productions taking place in Mobile, Alabama.
The second Superferry will begin service in 2008 which will allow
it to travel to Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i on alternating
The Hawaiian Islands have struggled to find an economical way
for individuals to travel between the islands. “Hawai‘i
is a big step closer to ending its long standing as the only
archipelago in the world without ferry service between its major
islands,” said Tim Dick, president and one of the founders
of Hawai‘i Superferry.
Amber Vega, a senior at HPU who has lived in Kailua her entire
life, is very excited to hear about the Superferry’s arrival.
She believes that the Superferry will reduce the distance gap
the Hawaiian Islands have suffered for many years. “I would
travel on the Superferry every weekend if I could,” says
Vega. “The Superferry would allow me to surf other islands
and explore more breaks.”
Currently, local interisland round trip flights range in price
from $180-$250, according to airline Web sites. The Superferry
would allow one to travel round trip to another island with a
vehicle for a price ranging between $105 and $130 depending on
the season, according to hawaiisuperferry.com.
The ability to transport vehicles on the Superferry will allow
travelers to take their own vehicle with them as they travel.
However, traveling interisland with one’s own vehicle raises
concerns. Concerns include the ability to traffic drugs, and
also there are many invasive species indigenous to specific Hawaiian
Islands. The ability to control the drug trafficking as well
as invasive species is yet to be determined but still many see
this as an opportunity.
I would save so much money. Not only would I save money on the
price of the Superferry ticket, but I wouldn’t have to
rent a car,” says Mike Mellilo. Mellilo is a senior political
science major at HPU and has lived in Hawai‘i for the past
five years and had the opportunity to visit several of the islands. “I
don’t have a car, but taking a trip to visit the other
islands would only cost me around $80 and I could take my motorcycle
with me. I can’t wait.”
Maui will be the only island visited by the Superferry until
the second vessel is finished. Beginning in 2008, a second ship
will provide services to Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i on alternating
days, according to hawaiisuperferry.com.
Another concern is the Superferry’s possible affect on
whales and other marine animals. Since 1975, there have been
22 reported whale/vessel collisions in Hawaiian waters. Many
of these vessels were traveling under 18 knots and were less
than 100 feet long. Studies show that it only takes a vessel
240 feet long traveling at 14 knots (16 mph) to permanently cripple
a 45-ton whale, according to the Pacific Whale Foundation on
The Hawai‘i Superferry will be 340 feet long, traveling
at 45 mph and carrying 900 people and up to 280 vehicles, according
to The Superferry’s Web site.
Attempts to speak with Hawai‘i Superferry representatives
for this story were unsuccessful.
There are currently an estimated 5,000 whales that travel the
Hawaiian waters. There are six times as many whales traveling
Hawaiian waters than in 1975, when the first whale/vessel collisions
began to be reported.
Whales travel the Hawaiian waters yearly to feed, breed, and
raise their young. The calves are more susceptible to collision
because they have to resurface more frequently to breathe.
Environmental groups are protesting the progress of the Superferry because of
its possible threat to the migrating whales. Groups such as the Pacific Whale
Foundation believe that by introducing the Superferry to Hawaiian waters, whale/vessel
collisions will increase.
Fourth year HPU student James Fowler, who has lived on Maui for the majority
of his life, disagrees.
“Hawai‘i is surrounded by water and ships
are the only way for the islands to receive goods. There are vessels in the waters
all the time and if the Superferry will allow me to see my family more frequently,
then I am for it.”