Daniel Island Ferry cruises to its own course

What’s the best thing about a ferry business? According to Daniel Island Ferry co-owner Colby Hollifield: everything – except for maybe the weather. 
Hollifield grew up boating on Charleston Harbor. His love of the water eventually landed him on Daniel Island in 2006. He works alongside partners Captain Chip Deaton and Captain Scott Connolly. Deaton and Connolly met working at the Charleston Harbor Marina before the two took on the Charleston Water Taxi 15 years ago. In 2018, the three collaborated to create the popular ferry service.
“When we finally reached critical mass with enough residents on the island to support a passenger ferry, we decided the timing was right and kicked it off with the water taxi boats while our custom catamaran, Indigo, was being built,” Hollifield said.
For the partners, the ferry is more a hospitality business than a transportation business. “I’d say the thing we enjoy the most is seeing people excited about getting out on the water,” Hollifield said. “It’s a unique experience taking a boat to dinner downtown and then back to DI. When people are on it for the first time, you see it kind of click for them – about the time you pass the port and they’re looking at dolphins and seeing the ships up close. It’s such a fun experience, it’s rewarding to be able to provide that for people.” 
Tyner Lollis has taken about half a dozen trips on the ferry including the Cookies with Santa Cruise and the First Day of School Moms’ Mimosa Cruise. The whole family loves the ferry ride, especially going under the Ravenel Bridge. 
“There’s just something so amazing about seeing it (Ravenel Bridge) from the water,” Lollis said. “The ferry is such an asset to the new Waterfront. So convenient to hop on board right around the corner from the house. The crew is always friendly and hospitable, the ride is stunningly beautiful, and the convenience can’t be beat. And being able to enjoy a drink on the way is never a bad deal.” 
Erin Tonnsen’s ferry highlights include the Moms’ Mimosa Cruise and the cruise on her birthday. “We like taking the ferry to avoid any possible traffic, we enjoy the views, and the drop off location is perfect and convenient to all of downtown. Colby and his team show great hospitality and always make passengers feel welcome and comfortable.”
Jeff Leonard, president/broker in charge at Daniel Island Real Estate, said his favorite thing about taking the ferry is meeting new people. “Everyone is having a wonderful time out on the water and it’s a great place to make new friends. The staff are the best and so engaging with their guests. Taking the ferry downtown is a wonderful experience but not only fun it’s an enjoyable way to avoid traffic. The importance it provides to the Waterfront is most meaningful when the roads are backed up and you need to be downtown.” 
Starting this month, Craft Beer Thursdays will feature local craft beers. Plans also include a Fall Concert and Cruise, along with Santa and Christmas Carol cruises. A second boat is in the works to expand the ferry schedule. 
For all upcoming events, visit diferry.com. 
If there are any local merchants you’d like to see featured in an upcoming column send an email to marie@thedanielislandnews.com.

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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