Hawaii Superferry Shipwrecked By Court Ruling?


The owners of the controversial Hawaii Superferry will suspend operations after the state Supreme Court ruled that it should not have been given permission to start without an environmental review.

The Honolulu Advertiser reports this morning that this shutdown may be permanent. The company will begin laying off workers on Thursday.

Legal challenges forced the high-speed Superferry to cease operations after a rocky start in the summer of 2007. It resumed service between Oahu and Maui in December 2007, but was blocked by a grass-roots campaign when it tried to begin sailing to Kauai. Service to the Big Island had been scheduled to begin in 2009, and then was pushed back to 2010.

Opponents of the Superferry said it endangered marine life, including whales, and created traffic problems on shore. Supporters said it was good for tourism and for the economy in general.

In any event, the only public transportation between the Hawaiian islands is, once again, on airlines.


5 thoughts on “Hawaii Superferry Shipwrecked By Court Ruling?

  1. JEssie Clarke

    I am sorry to hear about this. We took the super ferry last year and REALLY enjoyed the experience. I was planning on sending my son and his fiance to Hawaii for a graduation gift from medical school and this was part of my plan. Sorry to see it go, it was like a mini cruise….without spending a week in the ocean…I don’t understand how a cruise ship is allowed and this is not? How can this be more environmentally damaging? sorry to hear about this….JEssie Clarke

  2. Jill

    This ship is good for nothing accept creating more problems for Islands like Kaua
    Cruise ships run sloweer around islands
    There are not cars aboard Cruise ships.
    No one from Cruise ships can tool around the islands and create traffic and security problems.
    A full EIS is needed before Superferry can sail

  3. Michael Chu

    The Supreme Court Judges may feel they interpreted the letter of the law correctly but in my opinion they used very poor judgement (or none at all) in weighting the potential impact of their collective decision on the social, economic and business conditions facing the State of Hawaii (i.e. the ‘bigger picture’).
    These Judges live in an ivory tower, well paid and appointed for life, removed from the daily hardships and stuggles faced by ordinary citizens and businesses.
    There may be plenty blame to go around for this fiasco but the bottom line is the Supreme Court Judges exercised poor judgement in accepting to hear the case, set a bad legal precendant and rendered an even worst decision.

  4. Anonymous

    Several cruiselines, and other businesses such as Young Brothers share the same ports with the Superferry. The Superferry has been singled out because this service provided an option to the locals to travel from island to island at a very low rate for a 3 hour voyage each way. Competitors didn’t want to lower their prices to compete with the Superferry, so everyone loses when the Superferry are forced out of business. Thus, the same Businesses (airlines,etc.) will keep more of the consumer’s money and with less benefits for the money spent. For example, I almost took Young Brothers last year and they were going to charged me several HUNDREDS of dollars to just move my stuff in my truck. I had called the Superferry and I only paid $29 dollars (one way) for myself and $59(one way) for my truck loaded full w/furniture and belongings. The Superferry had several sales throughout the two years they were able to operate and I took advantage of this option. I had saved tons of money. My family and friends enjoyed this perk of traveling back and forth to Maui at a very low cost. In addition the staff and the Alakai was an experience I will never forget. During rough seas, I was compensated and takened care of very well.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the environment, but I don’t like hearing people taking this to the full extent when other businesses similar to the Superferry are still in service and how are they any different from other cargo ships, cruislines, and military ships.
    Courts are just means for the rich to get richer and the poor stay poor. Judges can be seriously influenced and so can people.
    The people of Hawaii needs to “Wake UP” and smell the cocoa, because we are allowing the rich to stay rich, and not fighting for our own rights to travel by different means and at low costs. More business options for “US” means lower prices. Businesses such as Walmart has helped our community because of their low prices and we should expect the same for our transportation options. We as a locals should not allow the SAME businesses dictate what is best for ALL of us. Hawaii is already too expensive to live in, and we have a VOICE let the Superferry stay.
    The Superferry has provided several options for local businesses to transport goods from island to islands easily and the people have enjoyed the low cost of these products. I guess the ‘environment’ issue, isn’t the real issue its all about the same businesses getting richer

  5. Jessica

    I live on Kauai and the people here do not want it. Our roads are already so crowded. How much more can this little island take? My friend was on the ferry and he seriously claims the ferry hit a whale and everyone was talking about it. Interesting that never made the papers. The ferry uses more fuel than an airplane! This was an illegal opporation. They made a law only to help the superferry? Unconsituional. Thank goodness this is not running anymore.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *