Superferry Takes Guests On Practice Run - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Superferry Takes Guests On Practice Run

Kelii Franco Kelii Franco

By Minna Sugimoto

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- After boasting about its capabilities, the Hawaii Superferry is put to the test. It welcomed guests and their vehicles on board Tuesday, and set sail for the first time.

It's like a dress rehearsal before opening night. With just one week left until the Hawaii Superferry's inaugural voyage, workers go through a practice run.

"This is a fantastic day," John Garibaldi, Hawaii Superferry president, said. "You know, we're having people on board with our crew on board that's been training for weeks now."

Invited guests check in.

"Hi, do you have your ID with you?" a worker asked.

After security sweeps are completed, passengers can drive their vehicles, with everything in them, on board. It's an exciting experience for Kelii Franco and his family.

"It is an option if you're doing something like kayaking, backpacking, hiking, stuff like that because then, you know, at least you can bring your car," the Manoa resident said. "You can bring your stuff with you."

But not everything goes smoothly.

"The process was a little long," Franco said.

Some struggle to keep their balance during the sometimes bumpy ride, while others face significant delays at the food counter.

"We're going to be fine-tuning the product all along," Garibaldi said. "We really appreciate all the feedback."

Officials say the 350-foot long vessel can accommodate 866 passengers and up to 282 subcompact cars. Overall, it's thumbs up from six-year-old Mailani Franco.

"I like it," she said, smiling.

"You like it? What do you like about it?" this reporter asked.

"It's big and you can walk around and they have plenty seats," she replied.

The Superferry plans to conduct two more Oahu test runs Wednesday, before hitting the neighbor islands later this week. The inaugural voyage is scheduled to take place next Tuesday.

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