This morning, we are on the ceremonial first trip on the NYC Ferry, which opens officially May 1st. Following up our inside look inside the ferry vessels before they got their US Coast Guard stamp of approval on Thursday, this time we rode with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, community leaders and elected officials on the ceremonial first rip from the Rockaways at the Beach 108th Street landing to Pier 11, Wall Street in Manhattan.

Speaking on the Rockaway ferry landing, de Blasio praised the speed of everyone involved in the NYC Ferry project, particularly operator Hornblower that delivered early. “”Sometimes government may not as efficient as you might think…[but] the folks who put this together managed to bring it in on budget and ahead of schedule.”

De Blasio mentioned some of the boat names, christened by second graders in the New York City school system who live near one of the ferry stops. Among them, “Lunch Box,” “Shiny,” and “Urban Journey,” which is the boat we’re on today.  De Blasio also spoke of the ferry as a return to the city’s waterfront: “Our city made a mistake. Turned away from the water, turned to the automobile.” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz thanked the community leaders and everyday activists of the Rockaways, stating that the NYC Ferry will be “a better way to get to work. A better way to get around…Predictability [of transportation] will be a huge boost for the Rockaways.”

A bottle of champagne was broken on the rail and de Blasio announced “It’s official, the boat is now christened, congratulations everyone.”

See photos of the interior of the NYC Ferry!