The writer and his family were guests of the Little Ferry Company.
What a difference people make. The experiences we have when we travel are always made better by the people we meet. Those who greet us, escort us, serve us and manage our expectations turn a good time into a great adventure.
Skipper Kevyn, the owner and operator of the Little Ferry Company, may not be as pretty as his two little vessels but he’s a man of passion for his craft and his river.
The Little Ferry Company operates two electric vessels on the Swan River. The design of the boats is inspired by the Gatsby era of the 1920’s. A brass bell, curved windows and elegant cedar trim are decadent maritime styling and stepping aboard is a wonderful feeling of comfort and nostalgia.
Casting off from Elizabeth Quay is a bit confusing for the ears. Expecting a chug-chug from the engines there is nothing to hear. It’s quieter than a Prius. It’s also more fun.
The two German electric motors operate on lithium batteries. The Germans learnt how to make electric marine motors for their renowned U-boat fleets of World War I and World War II. It’s a long way from the North Sea to the Swan River but the heritage is clear to see, hear and smell. These are vessels that are void of vibration, fumes and noise.
As we make our way out of Elizabeth Quay on yet another blue sky Perth day, we turn to port and make our way up river. Sticking with the river channel boat traffic, there’s no getting away from the fact that these boats attract a lot of attention. Perth boating traffic is always a bit friendlier than the road variety and the smiles and waves are certainly evidence of how attractive these vessels are.
Skipper Kevyn gives impressive commentary ranging from the past, the present and the future. He talks passionately about the history of the Western Australian Rowing Club building, the current buildings along the foreshore and those that are up and coming, such as the remarkable Ku De Ta restaurant site on Point Fraser and the imposing Perth Stadium on the eastern bank opposite Claisebrook Cove.
For the kids, the vessels are a delight in not having to sit still. There are windows to stick heads out of, plenty of comfortable seats to try out and a skipper who’s only too happy to give a young sailor the opportunity to ring the brass bell as we enter Claisebrook Cove.
Claisebrook Cove is an opportunity to grab a coffee from the numerous cafes or a beer and a meal from the Royal Hotel. Doing a walk around the precinct, including Trafalgar Bridge which spans the inlet, takes about 15 minutes and stretches the legs nicely before the return trip back to Elizabeth Quay.
There’s a great feeling of optimism about Skipper Kevyn and his Little Ferry Company. With the increase of services and attractions on the Swan River, the opportunity to travel to fresh new destinations in vessels that are beautiful and comfortable will appeal to day trippers, overseas tourists, wedding parties and old salts just wanting to get on the water.
The two vessels cruise the Swan Rover every day between 10am and 5:30pm and are located in Elizabeth Quay. The ferry can be boarded one way or return from Elizabeth Quay or Claisebrook Cove in East Perth.
Single fares for adults are $12 while a return fare is $22. A family fare return is $58.
For details on Little Ferry Company special offers and news call Kevyn on 0488 777 088 or check out the website on www.littleferryco.com.au