All aboard: Ferry service coming in 2017

Pensacola is one step closer to having a ferry service.

Gulf Islands National Seashore Superintendent Dan Brown announced Thursday the National Park Service has awarded the contract for the design, construction and delivery of two 150-passenger catamaran ferry boats to All American Marine in Bellingham, Wash.

Ferry service is expected to begin in March of 2017 and will run between Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Fort Pickens. The contract is worth more than $5 million and was provided by the Natural Resource Damage Assessment funding as a result of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

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