To Learn more about Put-in-Bay Boat Line Company, and the Jet Express, it is important to first look at the company's history. Put-in-Bay Boat Line Company was established in 1961 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2011. The roots of the company were in the transportation of goods and services between Port Clinton, OH and the village of Put-in-Bay, OH on South Bass Island. The company utilized conventional ferries to move the freight and vehicle traffic the 12 ½ miles from dock to dock. On a good day, the crossing would take 1 ½ hours each direction.
A new ownership group took over, and in the fall of 1988, the idea to move from conventional, freight/car hauling ferries, to the modern, catamaran, water-jet propelled, high-speed ferries was conceived, and the vision of the Jet Express was born. More than just an ordinary ferry boat ride, the Jet Express has become an attraction itself. The 12 ½ mile crossing remains the same, but the time was cut from 1 ½ hours to 20 minutes, and much more exciting and comfortable. All weather, protected indoor seating, and twin hull design, make the Jet Express ferry the smoothest, fastest, most comfortable ride across Lake Erie.
Put-in-Bay Boat Line Co. featuring "The Jet Express", was established in 1988 and began its first season of operation in the spring of 1989, by four partners with the vision to create an innovative ferry service that would provide outstanding customer service, late night service to Put-in-Bay, as well as the fastest passenger ferry service on the Great Lakes.
The company began with a new $3.2 million water-jet powered catamaran, the M.V. Jet Express, and soon added the Jet Express II in 1992. A partnership with the Put-in-Bay Port Authority aided in the addition of the Jet Express III in 2002, and in 2009, a partnership with the Lorain Port Authority, brought Jet Express IV to the fleet. All four Jet Express vessels were built by the Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding Company in Somerset, Massachusetts.
Jet Express service has expanded from its original Port Clinton to Put-in-Bay route, to include the mainland ports of Sandusky and Lorain, with regular service to Kelleys Island and Put-in-Bay. Additionally, Jet Express offers its Excursion Adventure Cruises. These cruises are theme based and visit a variety of U.S. and Canadian ports, from Detroit to Cleveland.
The Jet Express serves approximately 300,000 passengers per year, employs over 100 seasonal crew (including many local students and retirees), supports many great causes, and strives to be a great contributor and local neighbor, in the ports it calls homes.
Over the years, the Jet Express has evolved into one of the premier first-class, family oriented attractions in Ohio. Offering a wholesome, welcoming image and providing red carpet service for all of our passengers.