Providence to Newport ferry is back for a seventh season

Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee poses for pictures with tourists as the ferry from Providence arrives at Newport’s Perrotti Park June 17, 2022. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

By Steve Klamkin WPRO News

A summer staple returned to Rhode Island as the state-run Providence to Newport ferry began operating, the ferry arriving in sun-splashed Newport Harbor early Friday afternoon.

“The ride was absolutely beautiful,” said state Transportation Director Peter Alviti as he stepped off the ferry at Newport. “We got some beautiful sun, some nice views of the bay, of the bridges.” He said he spoke with a number of out-of-state visitors on board during the ride.

“I think it was amazing,” said Mario Pinto of Alabama, who was making the return trip to Providence after riding on the first ferry to Newport earlier on Friday morning. Pinto said he was visiting with family in Rhode Island.

“This morning it was a little cloudy, but other than that, it’s a beautiful day right now, and I’m excited to take it back,” he said.

Governor Dan McKee was dockside at Newport’s Perrotti Park to greet arriving visitors, posing with pictures with some of them.

In its seven years, the ferry has proven to be an economic plus for Newport, said Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano.

“It’s been very good for our economy. In fact, it’s been good for the economy of the whole state, in my opinion. She said that she often rides to Providence to do some shopping, bringing along visitors from time to time.

The ferry, operated by Seastreak makes four round-trip journeys a day between India Point in Providence and Perrotti Park in Newport. Stops will be added at Bristol for the Fourth of July parade, and the ferry service will continue through the summer until Columbus Day, according to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation.