TAMPA BAY, FL — The Cross-Bay Ferry announced that it is offering a new promotion on Wednesdays and Thursdays during February.
Riders who buy one ticket will get one ticket free. In addition, kids ages 12 and under ride for free with an adult.
The promotions will allow the ferry to better serve customer demand for its mid-week service, build on its Community Partner Program, and mark another step in the ferry’s development as a long-term transportation option for travel across the bay, said Matt Miller, president of HMS Ferries, the company that operates the ferry.
The BOGO promotion allows one customer to get up to three free tickets with the purchase of three full-price tickets on Wednesdays and Thursdays during February, excluding days of Tampa Bay Lightning home games.
The days that the offer is valid include Feb. 1-2, Feb. 8, Feb. 15-16, Feb. 22 and Feb. 25-26. To redeem the BOGO offer, customers must use the promo code “CROSSBAYWEEKDAY” when purchasing their tickets online or in person. Tickets are available for purchase online or at dockside ticket booths in Tampa and St. Petersburg.
Similarly, the kids-ride-free promotion allows up to two kids ages 12 and under to ride free with an adult on Wednesdays and Thursdays during February, excluding days of Tampa Bay Lightning home games. The valid dates are the same as for the BOGO promotion. To redeem the offer, customers must enter the promo code “KIDSRIDEFREE23” when purchasing their tickets online or in person. All children must have their own ticket and be accompanied by an adult.
“Our new BOGO and kids-ride-free promotions will offer substantial savings for people looking for mid-week travel options,” said Miller. “We are excited to welcome even more new riders to the Cross-Bay Ferry with these promotions.”
The promotions add to another rider benefit, the ferry’s Community Partnership Program, that was launched in December. This program enables local businesses to post their logo and a special offer on the Cross-Bay Ferry website to entice ferry riders to visit their locations. Riders redeem offers simply by showing proof of purchase of a ferry ticket. Businesses participate by going to the Cross-Bay Ferry’s Post a Deal page and submitting their logo artwork and promotional message. Once approved by the ferry, the offer is published and promoted on the Cross-Bay Ferry website at no cost to the business.
“Just as our new promotions offer the benefit of big savings to individual riders, our new Community Partnership Program offers the benefit of a quick, easy and free economic development tool for local small businesses and destinations,” said Miller. “The partners that have joined since the program’s launch confirm the Cross-Bay Ferry’s role as an economic driver and as a reliable regional travel option for reaching the area’s most popular restaurants, museums, events and shopping destinations in Tampa and St. Petersburg. It’s a win-win for both Tampa Bay businesses and ferry riders.”
Businesses and venues taking part to date include the Tampa Bay History Museum, Fairgrounds at St. Pete, Henry B. Plant Museum, The Florida Aquarium, Imagine Museum, Glazer Children’s Museum, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art, the Chihuly Collection, Bay Bikes, Great Explorations, St. Petersburg Museum of History, Bavaro’s Pizza Napoletana & Pastaria, Birch & Vine, Dirty Laundry, American Social, Tryst, Driftwood Cafe, Park & Rec, Kava Culture, the Ale and the Witch, No Vacancy, Avenue and the Hunger Thirst Group — all offering BOGO deals, complimentary food and drinks and discounts.
The Cross-Bay Ferry will not be able to provide service on the day of the 2023 Gasparilla Pirate Fest and parade on Jan. 28 because of US Coast Guard restrictions.
“For safety reasons, on the day of the Gasparilla Parade, we, unfortunately, are unable to make trips to or from our normal dock in downtown Tampa,” Miller said. “However, we’re continuing to work with the authorities to explore options for offering service on Gasparilla Day in the future.”
The Cross-Bay Ferry is a regional collaboration among Hillsborough County, the city of Tampa, the city of St. Petersburg and the Florida Department of Transportation.
This season’s service began on Oct. 19 and will continue until May.
The ferry normally offers four trips daily between Tampa and St. Petersburg on Wednesdays and Thursdays, eight trips daily on Fridays and Saturdays, and six trips daily on Sundays.
In Tampa, the ferry departs from the dock at the Tampa Convention Center and in St. Petersburg from the dock at North Straub Park, near the Vinoy Basin.