First, Shortest, Largest
The world's largest car ferry is the MS Ulysses, operated by Irish Ferries between Ireland and Wales.
On 11 October 1811 inventor John Stevens' ship the Juliana, began operation as the first steam-powered ferry (service was between New York City, and Hoboken, New Jersey).
The Elwell Ferry, a cable ferry in North Carolina travels a distance of 110 yards (100 m), shore to shore, with a travel time of five minutes.
The oldest ferry service in continuous operation is the Rocky Hill - Glastonbury Ferry, running between the towns of Rocky Hill and Glastonbury, Connecticut. Established in 1655, the ferry has run continuously since, only ceasing operation every winter when the river freezes over. The oldest continuously running salt water ferry service may be the Halifax/Dartmouth ferry, running between the cities of Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, which has run year-round since 1752, and is currently run by the region's transit authority, Metro Transit.
Another contender for oldest ferry is the Mersey Ferries service from Liverpool to Birkenhead, England. There is evidence that there has been a ferry service over the river for over 800 years. Liverpool's city charter in 1207 specifies rights of passage across the river payable by a toll.
Two of the world's largest ferry systems are located in the Strait of Georgia, in the Canadian province of British Columbia, and Puget Sound, in the U.S. state of Washington. BC Ferries in British Columbia operates 36 vessels, visiting 47 ports of call, while Washington State Ferries owns 28 vessels, travelling to 20 ports of call around Puget Sound. Sydney Ferries in Sydney, Australia operates 31 passenger ferries in Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour), carrying 18 million passengers annually. It operates catamarans and other types of ferries on these routes, with the most famous likely being the Circular Quay-Manly route. Between 1938 and 1974 this route operated the South Steyne, billed at the time as the largest and fastest ferry of its type. Sydney Ferries became an independent corporation owned by the government in 2004.
Some of world's busiest ferry routes include the Star Ferry in Hong Kong and the Staten Island Ferry in New York City.
Metrolink Queensland operates 21 passenger ferries on behalf of Brisbane City Council, 12 being single-hulled ferries and 9 CityCats (catamarans), along the Brisbane River from the University of Queensland through the city to Brett's Wharf.
The catamaran ferry Shinas is the world's fastest ferry, in service between Shinas and Musandam in Oman: its maximum speed, achieved in sea trials, was 52 knots (96 km/h; 60 mph). Two identical sister ships carry 208 passengers and 56 cars along the 180-nautical-mile (330 km; 210 mi) route.
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