Sydney’s iconic Freshwater ferries are returning to daily harbour services, less than a year after the first vessel was pushed out.

Transport Minister David Elliott on Thursday announced the reintroduction of weekday operations.

“As we head into the warmer months the demand for the F1 services increases,” he said.

“The reintroduction of the Freshwaters gives tourists, ferry enthusiasts and commuters additional travel options between Manly and the city.”

The second-generation Emerald-class ferries brought to replace the Freshwater ferries have been plagued by operational issues.

Cracks were found in hulls, windows shattered on the water and they struggled to operate safely in high swells or dock at very low tides.

Adding the Freshwater ferries to the daily timetable will add an extra 30 services per week between Circular Quay and Manly.


One Freshwater ferry, either the MV Collaroy or MV Freshwater, will run every two hours Monday to Sunday, in addition to the Emerald class ferries.

The MV Queenscliff ferry, the first of the four to be pushed out of service in October last year, will be refurbished and return to service in 2023.

It will replace the MV Collaroy, which will be retired along with the MV Narrabeen, which had its engine refitted in December instead of being retired this year.

The disposal plan for the MV Collaroy and MV Narrabeen is yet to be finalised.

Mr Elliott said that while the second-generation Emerald-class ferries have had their issues, seeing them operate on the harbour side-by-side with the Freshwater ferries “showcases these iconic vessels alongside our modern fleet”.

Opposition transport spokeswoman Jo Haylen said the reintroduction of the Freshwater class was an admission of failure by the government.


“The overseas-built Emerald Class 2 ferries just can’t deliver,” she said.

“The government’s own asset plans show that the Freshwaters will last until the end of the decade.”

Ms Haylen said the state should be getting as much value out of the Freshwaters as possible “not letting them rust at Cockatoo Island.”

Want more? Listen to this best bit from Jonesy & Amanda!