Hudson-Athens ferry service returns
The Columbia County city of Hudson and Greene County village of Athens are reconnecting with a ferry service that carries people back and forth across the Hudson River.
Hudson Cruises began offering the Friday-Saturday ferry service on June 1, and it will run through Aug. 31 this year, owner and captain Guy Falkenheimer said last week. He said the ferry, which operates rain or shine, runs Fridays and Saturdays starting at 5 p.m. and leaves every hour on the hour from the city dock in Hudson and returns on the half-hour from Athens Riverside Park. The last trip leaves Hudson at 10 p.m., Falkenheimer said.
“It’s been growing since Day 1,” Falkenheimer said of interest in the service. He said restaurants and shops on both sides of the river are seeing increased business as a result of the ferry and that people can use the service to attend events in either community, such as the recent Flag Day event in Hudson.
“And it’s a nice ride for $10,” Falkenheimer said.
He said the ferry goes past the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse during its trip between the two communities.
Falkenheimer said the ferry only carries people, not vehicles, though riders can bring bicycles and kayaks on board.
When Hudson Cruises’ larger boat, Spirit of Hudson, is not cruising the river, it will be open as a dockside cafe for people to have a drink and take in the view while waiting for the ferry, Falkenheimer added.
Falkenheimer said he and his partner, Noor Rahaman, started the ferry service because they wanted to reconnect Hudson and Athens. He said they tried to offer the service six years ago, but it did not take off because there was not enough going on to attract visitors to the Athens side of the river. But that’s changed, Falkenheimer said, noting, for instance, that the Crossroads Brewing Co. is a big draw.
People had also “intermittently” asked about a ferry service being started, Falkenheimer said.
“We’re just keeping our fingers crossed that it continues to grow,” he said. Continued...
A ferry connected the two communities in the early 1900s, but it went out of service after the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, connecting Catskill and Greenport, opened in July 1935.
A different company, Hudson River Cruises, operated a water taxi service between the Rondout Creek in Downtown Kingston and the hamlet of Rhinecliff in Dutchess County starting in 2010, but that service is not currently being offered.
For more information about the Hudson-Athens ferry, go to www.hudsoncruises.com.
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