The Washington Island Ferry’s newest vessel passed all the tests in its first winter of operation. The ferry line christened the Madonna last June as one of its largest passenger vessels in addition to being its second icebreaker. The crew was able to get used to the Madonna’s nuances during its first months on the water. Washington Island Ferry President Hoyt Purinton said last month they only held back on using the Madonna during some of the tougher ice days so they did not meet a point of resistance with passengers on board. He added they had opportunities to run both ice breakers at the same time during the winter.
The addition of a second icebreaker and a shorter than usual ice season allowed the Washington Island Ferry Line to add extra trips over the course of the winter when demand called for it. The Washington Island Ferry Line added Friday night trips ahead of the Easter weekend and will expand its schedule from six daily roundtrips later this week.