Update: Steamship Authority Resolves Tech Issues as Nantucket Reservations Open

M/V Gay Head. Courtesy of the Steamship Authority.

Updated 7:30 pm January 17, 2023

FALMOUTH – Steamship Authority officials say that technical issues that caused booking issues on their website today have been resolved, and they are now looking into the root cause of the issue. 

Despite the site’s virtual waiting room posing issues for some customers before 12:30 pm, the Authority processed approximately 8,550 transactions totaling $4,535,000 in revenue by the end of the day.

Officials said that there is no evidence of a cyberattack, but the cause of today’s incident is still under investigate. 

The full statement from the Steamship Authority can be found below:

The issues affecting the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority’s website today that made it difficult for customers to book summer vehicle reservations to Nantucket have been resolved, and the Authority is dedicated to investigating the root cause of the incident and remedying it in a timely fashion.

When the Authority opened its website to summer reservations on the Nantucket route at 5 a.m. today, the site did not perform as expected. While the site was never completely down, most customers experienced difficulty proceeding through the virtual waiting room to the main site. When they were able to access the main website, many customers then experienced difficulty completing the reservation process.

By 12:30 p.m., the site was functioning normally. As of 5:30 p.m., the Authority had processed approximately 8,550 transactions totaling $4,535,000 in revenue. This total represents about 95% of the volume done at approximately the same time of the comparable day in 2022.

On the 2022 Nantucket opening, , the Authority processed a record 9,499 transactions representing nearly $4.7 million in revenue. In 2021, it processed 5,530 transactions representing $2.7 million in revenue.

The Authority will work with its IT team and vendors to fully understand the cause of Tuesday’s incident and identify necessary steps that must be taken to address it, said General Manager Robert B. Davis. Additional information on the review will be released when it is complete. It is important to note, however, that there is no evidence of a cyberattack related to today’s events.

“This is obviously an unexpected and unacceptable performance for one of our biggest single days of the year,” Davis said. “It is not what our customers expect, and it is not what I expect. I apologize to our customers for their experience today, and I want them to know it will be my top priority to address it before the next phase of our summer reservation openings.”

The online reservation opening for travel on the Vineyard route from May 18, 2023, through October 23, 2023, will begin at 5 a.m. EST on January 24, 2023.

The reservation webpage can be found here.

The ferry service recently acquired three new vessels to replace the oldest of its aging fleet, but is also considering a fourth.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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