The M/V NJ departs Cape May

Cape May - Lewes Ferry Welcomes 50 Millionth Passenger!

Celebrating a Milestone at the Lewes Terminal

It has been nearly sixty years since the first trip across the bay for the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. The first crossing on July 1, 1964 at 6:47 a.m. carried eight vehicles and fifteen passengers. On October 13, 2023, MV New Jersey sailed with 100 vehicles and 200 passengers - a sold-out sailing on the vehicle deck. There was also something special happening on the boat that day. 

Shortly before 11:00 a.m., the 50 millionth passenger to ride the Ferry arrived to fanfare, VIPs, and the media. When Zach Kaltenbach purchased a ticket for the 11:15 a.m. departure bound for Cape May, New Jersey, he had no idea what would happen. Kaltenbach, originally from Long Beach Island, New Jersey, along with his girlfriend, Jody, and daughters Finley and Harbor, all now living in Millsboro, Delaware, were headed to Cape May for a baby shower. 

Surprised as they arrived at the Lewes Terminal our 50millionth Passenger is Celebrated


"You're not in trouble..."

After arriving at the tolls, the DRBA Police escorted the family to the front of the lot, where Ferry Director Heath Gehrke first clarified that the family was not "in trouble"  and then revealed that Kaltenbach was the 5o millionth, passenger to embark on the Ferry since it started sailing in 1964! The family travels aboard the Ferry multiple times monthly to visit Zach's parents residing in Cape May.

Gehrke, joined by DRBA Executive Director Tom Cook and DRBA Commissioner Ted Becker, then presented two tote bags filled with gifts including Cape May - Lewes Ferry logo items, free passage that day on the Ferry, and a certificate valid for future travel aboard the Cape May – Lewes Ferry. 

Director of Ferry Operations. Heath Gehrke, is interviewed by the media about the milestone 50,000,000th Passenger on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry

Today culminated months of planning by the Ferry team as they prepared to celebrate this remarkable milestone. It was a joyous moment for all in attendance and a delight to those waiting to board the Ferry. It's been a great first 60 years, here's to the next 60 and beyond.

50,000,000th Passenger Zach Kaltenbach with Jody, Finley and Harbor


Read the press release for the event here on the Delaware River and Bay Authority website


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