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Cross Bay Ferry sets sail between Tampa and St. Petersburg Oct. 21

The seasonal service runs through May 22, 2022.
Guests line up to board the Cross Bay Ferry docked at the Tampa Convention Center on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020 in Tampa. The season service returns Oct. 21, 2021.
Guests line up to board the Cross Bay Ferry docked at the Tampa Convention Center on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020 in Tampa. The season service returns Oct. 21, 2021. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Oct. 15

It’s anchors aweigh for the Cross Bay Ferry, beginning Oct. 21.

The seasonal ferry service between the downtowns of Tampa and St. Petersburg returns for its fifth year of operation. It is the first year of a new four-year contract that calls for extending the service annually. The ferry will operate for the next seven months, ending May 22, 2022, and eventually will become a year-round operation in October 2024.

Besides the extra month of service, the ferry will have an expanded daily schedule with later evening runs. Final departure times from Tampa will be 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

The service is underwritten by Hillsborough and Pinellas counties and the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg.

“Thanks to a great partnership between four local governments, one of the most exciting and reliable ways to travel across Tampa Bay is back,” Matt Miller, HMS Ferries president, said in a released statement. “The Cross Bay Ferry offers an incredibly accessible and affordable transportation option between two of the hottest spots in downtown Tampa and downtown St. Pete. What’s more, passengers get treated to some amazing views of the bay and both cities.”

The Cross Bay Ferry will operate from the same terminal locations as last season — the docks are at the Tampa Convention Center and at North Straub Park, near the Vinoy Marina. The schedule calls for two departures on Tuesday and Thursday, four on Friday and Saturday and three on Sunday.

The ferry vessel, named Provincetown III, is a twin-hull aluminum catamaran. It can carry 149 passengers at an average speed of 30 mph.

Adult tickets are $10 for one way or $20 roundtrip. Discounts are offered for senior citizens, children, veterans, active military personnel and college students. Tickets are available at www.thecrossbayferry.com or at the dockside ticket booths in Tampa and St. Petersburg.