Commuters | East by West Ferries


Avoid the traffic and use East by West Ferry to transport you to and from work or school.

Ticket types for commuters:

  • Monthly passes: Adult and Tertiary Student passes available. These run for 30 consecutive days from the date of purchase.
  • 10-trip tickets: Adult, tertiary student and child tickets available. These do not have an expiry date and can be used for up to two people at a time. 
  • All tickets can be purchased on board the ferry with Cash, EFTPOS or Credit Card.  Check out our Timetable and Fares page for full fare information.


Due to weather or other unexpected issues, we do cancel one or both ferries from time to time. 

On occasion we need to go to a restricted timetable, if the conditions are too rough for our smaller vessel. Usual restricted timetable below (subject to change):

  • Departing Queens Wharf: 6.20am, 7.15am, 8.20am, 10am, 12pm, 2.05pm, 4.30pm, 5.30pm, 6.30pm
  • Departing Days Bay Wharf: 6.50am, 7.45am, 8.45am, 10.40am, 12.45pm, 3.15pm, 4.55pm, 6pm, 6.55pm
  • When we are on restricted sailings we do not call into Seatoun at all.

If we go to a full cancellation because of weather conditions, replacement mini vans will operate to the below timetable:

  • Depart Days Bay Wharf: 6.50am, 7.45am, 8.45am.
  • Depart Queens Wharf (outside Mojo café): 4.30pm, 5.30pm, 6.30pm.
  • There are also replacement shuttle vans for Wellesley Students (departing Queens Wharf at 8.20am and Days Bay at 3.15pm). 

Text alerts:

We offer a free text service for commuters through Metlink. This service sends out text messages if there are any cancellations to our services. If you travel to or from Days Bay you can sign up to this through Metlink. If you travel to and from Seatuon or have a child at Wellesley College, you can email to subscribe to the relevant database.

We only send out commuter text messages during peak travel times (between 6am - 9.30am and 3.30pm - 8pm) Monday - Friday. For cancellations at all other times, please call our daily status line, 04 494 3339.


If you would like to receive emails from time to time with news about the ferries and anything else we think you may like to know, you can email and just let us know you would like to be added to our newsletter list. You can also subscribing directly by using the subscribe form on this page.

New electric ferry for Wellington

Wellington Harbour Ferry to go fully electric

The sustainable future of waterborne passenger transport will soon become a reality on Wellington harbour following plans launched today by the East by West Wellington Harbour Ferry service, for a fully electric, zero emission ferry.

 The $4 million 19m metre long 135 passenger ferry will begin construction early next year for completion in December 2019.

East by West Managing Director Jeremy Ward said today the new vessel will be New Zealand’s first all-electric, carbon-free, zero emission  passenger ferry and the first in the Southern Hemisphere.

“The new vessel will be powered by twin electric engines which will enable a 20 knot operational speed and three return back to back peak-hour trips on one charge before a second one hour charge is required.”

“A key to this efficiency is the hull design which needs to be quite different from conventional diesel powered vessels, with a displacement hull made from flat carbon fibre panels with only the lower hulls requiring moulding.”

“The flat panel topsides lend to a chiselled look and in this way tooling costs are minimised, assembly times reduced, and structural weight reduced to enable the electrical propulsion system to be viable. The new ferry will cut through the harbour like the proverbial hot knife through butter”

The adoption of full carbon/foam construction is the enabling technology which when combined with the highly efficient canoe-stern hull form, reduces resistance and allows the weight (and therefore cost) of batteries to be minimised.

 In real terms the annual operational cost of the existing ferries by replacing diesel, will be massively reduced., not to mention the major benefits of zero emissions.

Mr Ward said East by West is in discussions to partner with a major New Zealand electricity generator.

The project will also spawn a new boat building industry in Wellington’s Seaview, with East By West taking the initiative to form the Wellington Electric Boat Building Company (WEBB), to be headed by experienced Boat Builder, Fraser Foote, previously of Whangarei, who built East by West’s second ferry, Cobar Cat in 2006.

The new WEBB warehouse and yard at Gracefield Road, Seaview, will employ around a dozen people and will be supported by the project’s designers and naval architects SSC Marine, with McKay Electrical providing the electrical engineering expertise.

Early national and international interest for SSC and WEBB’s innovative approach has already been received and the new vessel is expected to generate further orders.

East by West’s ferries have been running on Wellington Harbour for nearly 30 years and it’s commuter services are renowned as a relaxing and stress free start to the working day.

“With the new electric powered ferry the only sound passengers will hear will be the gentle splashing of the sea – we may have to wake passengers on arrival!” quipped Mr Ward.

Background information

  • East by West has been operating ferry services on Wellington Harbour since 1989 and we're coming up for our 30th birthday next March (So we're planning a year of celebration which will culminate in the launching of our new state of the art electric ferry.)
  • To date the service has carried over 4.5 million passengers and completed close to 150,000 trips across the harbour.
  • We currently operate two catamaran passenger ferries, Cobar Cat and City Cat. They carry 99 and 91 passengers respectively. The ferries currently operate at a cruising speed of 17-18 knots.
  • Our ports of call are Queens Wharf, Days Bay, Matiu Somes Island, and Seatoun.
  • Annually we are completing over 200,000 passenger trips and we expect this to grow by approx. 5% per annum with tourism increasing and also increasing road congestion leading to our alternative commuter option by harbour ferry. Presently our commuter base is approximately 250 daily, i.e. 500 commuter trips per weekday.
  • In addition to daily passenger services we also offer charter services for lunch dinner or other cruises and these are hugely popular for corporates especially so in November and December and the following summer months.
  • The existing ferry service is part of Wellington's Public Transport Network (Metlink) and EBW is contracted to Greater Wellington to provide services. EBW has been working towards a much needed third ferry for some time now and is currently working collaboratively with GW to negotiate a long term contract for future public ferry services on Wellington Harbour.