Cape May – Lewes Ferry Celebrates 40th Birthday of the MV Delaware
Kicks Off 50th Anniversary Summer Season
(Cape May, New Jersey) On April 1, 1974, the MV Delaware was launched at Todd Shipyards located in Houston, Texas. More than six weeks later on May 17, she was delivered to Cape May and began service shortly thereafter. During her forty years of service, Cape May – Lewes Ferry officials estimate that she has operated more than 80,000 crossings between Cape May, NJ and Lewes, DE and has over 120,000 hours taking passengers across the Delaware Bay during her lifetime. The MV Delaware was the first of the current fleet to begin operations.
In preparation for this year’s 50th Anniversary of the Cape May – Lewes Ferry, the fleet, particularly the MV Delaware, has undergone improvements to better serve our customers. Done in-house by Cape May – Lewes Ferry employees, the MV Delaware improvements include new onboard passenger seating; new flat panel televisions in the cabin, 40 new Adirondack chairs on the bow of the Second Deck, extensive painting of the vessel – including her new retro racing stripe - and new 11’ x 11’ 50th Anniversary logos installed on the stacks. More than 720 man hours and 226 gallons of paint were used on the project.
MV Delaware40.jpg: Pictured with Lower Township Mayor Michael Beck (third from far left), Councilman Jim Neville and Director of Ferry Operations Heath Gehrke (far right) are members of the maintenance crew involved in the project including Dave Oat Edward Williams, Nate Grant, Josh Hansen, Luke McCann, Bill Rickards, Michael F. Rosenberg, Joe Safaryn, Mike Trojan, Tony Rodriquez, Greg Aikens and Sue Wiggins.
MVDE_Birthdaycake.jpg: Ronald Goldstein, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May, Vicki Clark, President of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce, and Kathy Louderback, Second Vice President of the Lower Township Chamber of Commerce cut the MV Delaware’s birthday cake following the brief ceremony.
The Cape May – Lewes Ferry, which is operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority and serves the Twin Capes region of Cape May, NJ and Lewes, DE, began operations on July 1, 1964. On that historic date, the first ferry vessel departed the Lewes terminal at 6:47 a.m., carrying eight vehicles and fifteen passengers. Over the years, the Ferry has transported more than 43 million people and 14 million vehicles across the Delaware Bay. Cars from each of the 50 states and numerous foreign countries have made the ferry trip and over one billion miles have been covered during the 50 years of round trip travel.