The Steamship Authority has postponed summer reservation bookings due to ‘technical challenges’


The new booking dates have not been announced.

A Steamship Authority ferry arrives at Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard coming from Woods Hole in June, 2021. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Travelers needing summertime ferry service to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard will wait longer for reservations after the Steamship Authority postponed its opening booking dates due to “technical challenges.”

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The Steamship Authority, the largest ferry service to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, scrapped its opening dates for summer vehicle reservations on Friday after experiencing technical issues last week, according to a press release. The scheduled opening dates were Jan. 23 for Nantucket customers and Jan. 30 for Martha’s Vineyard customers.

New opening dates for summer reservations have not yet been announced.

The agency says the decision to postpone came after islanders faced technical issues while booking. Island residents can book travel for the busy summer season ahead of the general public using the Headstart program, which ran from Jan. 16-22.

“We know it’s been a challenging week for our Head Start customers,” wrote the agency on X (formerly known as Twitter).

“Each year our IT team takes preparing for these days very seriously, and they have been hard at work for several weeks performing multiple load tests of our reservation process and testing our waiting room product,” said Robert B. Davis, general manager of the Steamship Authority, in a statement.

There had been no indication that there would be problems, Davis said, and the team is investigating and performing further testing. The new booking dates won’t be determined “until the internal review work is complete,” he said.

“I want to be completely sure we have identified and addressed any remaining issues before we make the decision to open reservations,” said Davis, in a statement. “These reservation opening days are the start of our customer’s summertime journey with us, and we always strive to make it as smooth a process as possible. We look forward to announcing new opening dates to our customers as soon as possible.”

The agency faced technical difficulties and frustrated customers last year on opening day of summer reservations.