Our New Vessel Harbour Master

Visitors to Western Australia’s favourite holiday island will benefit from a significant boost in ferry capacity this summer, thanks to the acquisition of a new vessel by Rottnest Fast Ferries.

Harbour Master, a high-speed catamaran, will be the newest and most spacious ferry to service Rottnest Island across all three operators and will be the largest of Rottnest Fast Ferries’ existing fleet with a capacity of 420 passengers.

Scheduled to commence service on 26 December 2020, Harbour Master will operate from Rottnest Fast Ferries’ base at Hillarys Boat Harbour, servicing all suburbs north of Perth and tourists staying in Perth city.

Rottnest Fast Ferries is Western Australia’s only locally owned Rottnest ferry operator and Managing Director James Mulholland said the new vessel would enhance the experience for passengers.

“Since taking over the business with fellow director Luke Crispin in 2012, we’ve strived to enhance the experience for customers through continual investment,” he said.

“We feel immensely proud that in eight short years we have been able to deliver a third vessel to our fleet, a vessel that represents the very best Australian passenger ferry design and shipbuilding.

Recent major investment by Rottnest Fast Ferries includes two new coaches used to provide free pick up and drop off services from Perth CBD, the Crown precinct, Northbridge and Scarborough hotels; and the purchase of 200 new custom-built bikes.

“We’re focussed on retaining and growing our reputation for being the friendliest ferry operator,” James said. “With this in mind, we’re pleased to announce the launch of a new daily Kids Travel Free offer to celebrate the Harbour Master’s arrival. This will mean that two children per adult ferry fare can travel to Rottnest free any day of the week.

The 37.2 metre Harbour Master has a variety of appealing indoor and outdoor spaces for passengers including multiple decks, three passenger deck levels, a spacious airy cabin, oversized windows, plus private areas which will also be helpful while social distancing is still in place.

“Being a twin hull catamaran, the vessel provides increased stability, and we believe it will be the smoothest ride to Rottnest,” he said.

The vessel is currently undergoing a refit in WA to create maximum passenger comfort. Improvements will include a dedicated bike and luggage storage, disabled access, charging stations, WIFI connectivity and a snack bar.

WA Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said Rottnest Fast Ferries’ new Harbour Master vessel would add yet another reason for locals and visitors alike to take a trip to Western Australia’s island paradise.

“The State Government has been very focused on elevating the Rottnest Island experience above and beyond what we have settled for in years past, and this state-of-the-art vessel will make the experience even more enjoyable for travellers to the island,” Minister Papalia said.

“I’d like to congratulate Luke and James from Rottnest Fast Ferries on continuing to evolve their proudly Western Australian owned-business to improve what Rottnest has to offer and I look forward to taking a trip over on Harbour Master myself soon.”

Also supporting Harbour Master’s acquisition was Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob, who said the service offering from Hillarys would add to the experience for Rottnest visitors.

“Hillarys Boat Harbour is undoubtedly the premier gateway to Rottnest Island. I congratulate Rottnest Fast Ferries on their latest acquisition, which will increase connectivity between Hillarys and Rottnest and value-add to the customer experience,” Mayor Jacob said.

“Global disruption to travel resulting from the COVID-19 challenge has exposed how much national and local economies rely on visitors.  The City of Joondalup is no exception.

“This good news story helps the City further its aspiration to grow the visitor economy and further positions Hillarys Boat Harbour as a global tourism hotspot.”

Expansion of Rottnest Fast Ferries’ fleet will also provide new business event and charter opportunities for island events and special occasions. With multiple decks and interior options, Harbour Master will be appealing for local, interstate and international corporate and incentive markets, and will provide the largest whale watching vessel in Perth.


Click here to sign up to our kids travel free offer.