It will be hard to miss the new Bay Ferry when it hits the water this week "“ the Bay Steamer colours will ensure the new ferry will be sighted as it makes its way between Tauranga and Mount Maunganui.

United Kingdom migrants Roger and Jean Leigh's new company "“ Bay Ferries and Harbour Cruises "“ will be ready to sail on Saturday 29 October. Roger and local Launch Master Stu will skipper the ferry on its journeys, while his wife Jean and tour guide Liz will crew and provide commentary.

The Leighs have been working hard over the past year to get the new business up and running. The service will target both locals looking for an option to beat the traffic rush between Tauranga and Mount Maunganui and tourists opting for a scenic trip.

Orca the catamaran will accommodate 28 passengers and a one-way trip between the pick up spots at Salisbury Wharf in Mount Maunganui and the southern pontoon to the right of The Kestrel in Tauranga is approximately 13 minutes.

The timetable should suit commuters and visitors alike, with four departures every morning from the Tauranga CBD at 0720, and four departures from Salisbury Wharf commencing at 0740

A lunch ferry will depart from Tauranga CBD at 1230 and from Salisbury Wharf at 1250. The evening service will include four departures every evening from Tauranga CBD commencing at 1615, and four departures from Salisbury Wharf commencing at 1635.

While the 10.7m Orca isn't busy shuttling commuters, it will give scheduled 45-60 minute harbour cruises, which will depart from the South Pontoon of the Strand in Tauranga in the mornings- to the right hand side of the Kestrel floating restaurant, and in the afternoon from Salisbury pier at the Mount.

Prices are set to accommodate students, seniors and children, and a 10-trip weekly ticket is available for $29.00. A rest room is available on board and complimentary light refreshment will be served on the harbour cruise. Bookings for corporate and educational tours are available.

For enquiries ring 0800 FERRY1 or email

This press releases comes to us from Tourism Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.