On deck for Monday’s start on the Waiheke run are Island Direct skipper George Bourke, directors Peter Bourke and David Todd, skipper Jack Lucas and operations manager Sam Gould. Photo Liza Hamilton

Waiheke’s new Island Direct ferry service started sailings this week, bringing competition to the lucrative Mātiatia-Auckland run currently dominated by Fullers.

Locally owned and operated, Island Direct is an alliance between family friends, Waiheke’s David and Tanya Todd and the Bourke family, operators of the Hauraki Express water taxi and charter business.

Visiting from the United States, sisters Muriel Jamison and Sabrina Stephens were some of Island Direct’s first customers. Stepping onto pier three at Mātiatia from the 50-seater catamaran, they gave the service a thumbs up. • Liza Hamilton

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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