BY SHERI TRUSTY
This season’s mild winter has resulted in very little snow shoveling, a lack of Lake Erie ice fishing and fewer-than-usual event cancelations. Now the unusual winter weather has offered Port Clinton another perk: An early start of the ferry service to the Lake Erie Islands.
Taking advantage of the winter that wasn’t, Miller Ferries resumed service to Put-in-Bay on Wednesday, March 1.
“The running of the Miller Ferry signals that spring is coming and the season is upon us,” said Wendy Chambers, Executive Director of Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau. The Put-in-Bay Visitors & Convention Bureau, which is operated by the Put-in-Bay chamber, opens on May 1.
The ferry will leave Put-in-Bay at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. It will depart Catawba at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. One-way Put-in-Bay fares cost $8.50 for adults and $1.50 for children 6 to 11. Children under six are free. Active U.S. military personnel and veterans receive discounted rates. Season passenger passes will be valid beginning on Friday, March 17, and commercial vehicle reservations begin on Thursday, March 23. The ferry schedule is subject to weather conditions.
Trips to Middle Bass Island will be added on the weekend of March 24-26. The ferry will leave Middle Bass Island at 8:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. and will depart Catawba at 9:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Reservations for the Middle Bass Island trips in March will be accepted beginning Thursday, March 9.
A full list of packages and discounts can be found at www.millerferry.com. Season passes can be purchased at 800-500-2421.
The Miller Boat Line includes its newest addition and largest vessel, the Mary Ann Market, which joined the fleet last September. The fleet’s oldest ferry, the Islander, became Miller Boat Line’s first drive-on, drive-off ferry when it was added in 1983. The Islander will celebrate its 40th birthday in May.
Starting this week, passengers can join the generations of islanders and mainlanders who have relied on Miller Ferries to cross Lake Erie for personal, recreational, educational and professional trips. The Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce features a full season of events, starting with Earth Week at Put-in-Bay on April 17-22 and the 25th Anniversary of the Whiskey Light Celebration on April 23. A full list of events can be found at www.visitputinbay.com.