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New Pensacola ferry service set to begin Friday

New Pensacola ferry service set to begin Friday

The Pensacola Bay ferries open up to the public on Friday. On Wednesday, local dignataries and partners took their first cruise aboard the Pelican Perch on the Bay.

The boats will be serving food and beverages. They are already talking about dinner cruises in the future. Cruisers can catch the ferries in downtown Pensacola, Fort Pickens, or Pensacola Beach. It takes about 45 minutes to get to each stop.

Gulf Islands National Seashore Park Superintendent Dan Brown is most excited about this allowing Fort Pickens to be accessed in a whole new way.

Brown said, "Fort Pickens Road is so much at-risk and was damaged so many times. After 2004, 2005 hurricane season it was closed for five years. If the road is destroyed again, or even more so, when it is destroyed again, people will be able to continue to come out via ferry boat."

Captain George Aswad will be operating the ferry boats. He also runs ferry boats in North Carolina and said it's been a huge success. He hopes to replicate that here.

He said, "In North Carolina, we increased it by double of what they expected, and business has thrived."

Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward feels the region will see more visitors due to the ferries. It will bridge a gap between downtown Pensacola and the beach.

"You will bring in new clientele when it comes to education and so many parents want to educate their children and talk about history and how Pensacola is such a big part of our history. The caveat, 'oh, by the way, the most beauitful beach in world, and oh by the way, we have this amazing downtown,'" Mayor Hayward said.

The ferry boats open to the public on Friday.

Click here for to see the ferry's schedule, pricing, and more.

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