About Us - Searoad Ferries
Port Phillip Bay Ferry
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About Us

Searoad Ferries is the iconic car and passenger ferry service sailing Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay between Sorrento and Queenscliff.

Searoad Ferries was originally known as Peninsula Searoad Transport and has been operating the car and passenger ferry service between Sorrento and Queenscliff since 1987. The service first crossed Port Phillip Heads on 13th September 1987 and was the culmination of 30 years of dreaming, planning and lobbying by many people and organisations in both communities of southern Port Phillip Bay.

The first purpose built 35 vehicle vessel was built in Carrington NSW. Despite scepticism about the viability of the service, especially during winter months, from September 1987 the “M.V. Peninsula Princess” rarely missed a scheduled crossing. A ticket office and transit lounge were built in Queenscliff during January 1990 and in Sorrento in April 1992.

Encouraging growth in the first five years meant planning for the future. During 1993 a larger ferry, the M.V “Queenscliff” was designed in Tasmania and built in Port Lincoln, SA. It commenced service on Port Phillip Bay on the 28th December 1993 and gradually took over from the “Peninsula Princess”. The “Queenscliff” not only more than doubled the vehicle capacity of the “Peninsula Princess” but introduced a new level of comfort and enjoyment for the 700 passengers it can transport each crossing.

Between 1993-95 berthing and passenger facilities were upgraded at Queenscliff as well as additional queuing lanes and a new ticketing office at Sorrento. Growing patronage, and our desire to better serve the communities on both sides of the Bay, prompted the build of the M.V. “Sorrento” which took shape over 11 months at Southern Marine Shiplift in Launceston, Tasmania. She began operation during late March 2001 and was officially launched by the Deputy Premier, the Hon. John Thwaites, MP, on April 22nd, 2001.

Searoad Ferries has been operating the car and passenger ferry service for over 30 years

Encouraging growth in the first five years meant planning for the future. During 1993 a larger ferry, the M.V “Queenscliff” was designed in Tasmania and built in Port Lincoln, SA. It commenced service on Port Phillip Bay on the 28th December 1993 and gradually took over from the “Peninsula Princess”. The “Queenscliff” not only more than doubled the vehicle capacity of the “Peninsula Princess” but introduced a new level of comfort and enjoyment for the 700 passengers it can transport each crossing.

Between 1993-95 berthing and passenger facilities were upgraded at Queenscliff as well as additional queuing lanes and a new ticketing office at Sorrento. Growing patronage, and our desire to better serve the communities on both sides of the Bay, prompted the build of the M.V. “Sorrento” which took shape over 11 months at Southern Marine Shiplift in Launceston, Tasmania. She began operation during late March 2001 and was officially launched by the Deputy Premier, the Hon. John Thwaites, MP, on April 22nd, 2001.

In 2011, PST launched the new brand ‘Searoad Ferries’ and established new initiatives including online bookings, packaging, new retail section, and Food & Beverage offering as well as and major upgrades to vessels, terminals and customer experiences.  In the past 5 years both ferries have been refurbished, and significant infrastructure upgrades have occurred. 

Searoad Ferries is the proud recipient of many major awards including three time winner of the Victoria Tourism Award for Major Transport and Tour Operator, 2013, 2014 and 2015, entering the Hall of Fame, as well as winning the coveted 2015 Australian Tourism Award.

Searoad Ferries also own and Operate the following Businesses; Western Port Ferries– Passenger ferries connecting French Island and Phillip Island to the Mornington Peninsula (Stony Point).  www.westernportferries.com.au

 Naturaliste Tours – Unique small group 4x4 tours on French Island. Get in touch with nature on one of Australia’s most unknown Islands. www.naturalistetours.com.au

Explore Australia- Day Tours from Melbourne exploring the best of the Mornington Peninsula, Bellarine, Geelong, French and Phillip Islands.  www.exploreaustraliatours.com.au