Eastern launches ferry for service on Long Island Sound

(PANAMA CITY, Fla.) — Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) on Friday launched the ferry Long Island (ESG Hull 228) at its Allanton Shipyard in Panama City. The new passenger and vehicle ferry will operate between Bridgeport, Conn., and Port Jefferson, N.Y., traversing Long Island Sound.

The ceremony was attended by representatives from vessel owners Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Co., a subsidiary of McAllister Towing. The 302-foot vessel was christened by Rosemary McAllister, director of strategy.

“This launch is a testament to the dedication and expertise of our team at Eastern Shipbuilding Group,” said Joey D’Isernia, CEO and chairman of ESG. “We are honored to partner with our friends at McAllister Towing and contribute to enhancing the transportation infrastructure for the residents and tourists of Long Island. This ferry will not only serve as a vital link between communities, but also exemplify our commitment to delivering excellence to our valued customers.”

Eastern Shipbuilding Group photo

The ferry features EPA Tier 4 main engines, increased crew capacity, and an upgraded furniture package. Scheduled for delivery later this year, Long Island will join a company fleet that includes two other Eastern-built ferries: P.T. Barnum (1999) and Grand Republic (2003). McAllister Towing has been a longstanding partner with ESG, having commissioned more than a dozen vessels from the shipbuilder.

The Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Co. provides service across Long Island Sound for hundreds of thousands of passengers and cars every year. The addition of the ferry Long Island will upgrade and expand the service.

“P.T. Barnum, the founder of the ferry, once said that the noblest art is that of making others happy,” said Buck McAllister, president of the ferry company. “All of those who have worked to make the ferry service what it is today can be very proud of their role helping drivers on the I-95 and Long Island Expressway. Eastern Shipbuilding has provided our company with over a dozen high-quality vessels and transformed the maritime services we can offer. We are very thankful to Eastern Shipbuilding and the D’Isernia family for the happiness this new vessel will bring to our employees and customers for generations to come.”

The addition of Long Island will help ensure that a three-vessel schedule can be provided for the peak periods when demand is most critical.

– Eastern Shipbuilding Group

By Professional Mariner Staff