Cape May-Lewes ferry sees strong summer, shoulder season


Cape May-Lewes Ferry officials announced what they see as encouraging trends during the summer season.

Summer traffic was close to 2019 pre-Covid highs, while initial fall data (September and October) is more impressive, showing ferry traffic during the shoulder season to be the highest in more than five years. 

Based on passenger survey results compiled by Customer by Design, LLC, Fair Lawn, NJ on behalf of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry system, it is clear that passengers feel very safe riding the ferry, despite the summer uptick in Covid-19 cases due to the Delta variant, a release stated.

“Over 90% of passengers surveyed indicated that they felt very safe riding the ferry,” said Heath Gehrke, director of ferry operations at the Delaware River Bay Authority. “One advantage we have over other modes of transportation is that – for the most part – the trip across the Delaware Bay can be an outdoor experience, where they can enjoy the bay breezes and fresh air with plenty of distance from other passengers.”

“The total number of passengers per ferry crossing this past summer was very close to 2019 summer highs,” added Gehrke, indicating that the ferry system remains a preferred mode of transportation for visitors and residents alike as they travel to the many destinations on either side of Delaware Bay.

“Even more encouraging is that the strong summer season really seems to have carried over into the current shoulder season, with vehicle traffic up 12% over 2019 highs in October, and passenger traffic up 5% over the same period. While these trends support broader travel and tourism patterns, the widespread recognition of the ferry system as a safe way to travel has no doubt helped us achieve these near historical highs,” concluded Gehrke.

For October 2021, vehicle and passenger counts were the highest for the month since 2007 and 2008.

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