The first vessel in over a century to ferry passengers from Hunstanton to Skegness is expected to set out on its maiden voyage this Friday.
After a number of postponed attempts, Norfolk based tour-operator Searles is now able to make the Wash crossing - weather permitting - paving the way for what is hoped to become a regular commercial ferry route.
Company owner William Searle will be taking is family and crew on the historic crossing in ‘Whizzy’ the amphibious craft, due to arrive on Skegness beach at 11am.
“This tour is the final part of the feasibility study into starting a Seatours service in Skegness for the 2014 season,” he said.
“I wish to acknowledge the enormous help, encouragement and enthusiasm from East Lindsey district councillors and officers, Skegness town councillors and officers of the Skegness, East Coast and Wolds Hospitality Association, which has been overwhelming and humbling.”
Upon arrival, the passengers will be greeted by various dignitaries including the Mayor of Skegness Coun Jim Carpenter and representatives from SECHWA and the district council.
The venture was first suggested by Skegness councillor Carl Macey at a town council meeting in April and has provoked great excitement in both resorts ever since.
Mr Searles recently announced that more than 400 people in Hunstanton had expressed an interest in using the service and said the uptake could be ‘huge’.
“There’s a lot of excitement over here - it could be really big for both resorts,” he said.
Pending various financial considerations, including sponsorship offers, Searles hopes to begin full operation next summer, offering hour-long crossings for fares costing between £25 and £40.
“During the autumn we will be completing our assessments and very much hope these justify the project,” said Mr Searles.
“The final decision in one for all the directors of Searles Leisure.”
To register your interest in using the service or offering sponsorship, contact Searles on 01485 535455.