Eighteen months after first gauging interest in a regular service from Melbourne to Geelong, Port Phillip Ferries’s long-awaited commuter ferry made its maiden voyage on Monday morning.

The 400-seater, dubbed the Geelong Flyer, runs twice daily between the two cities; departure times vary depending on the day. Ferries depart from Geelong at 6.45am and from Docklands at 5.30pm every weekday. The timetable is altered on weekends and public holidays.

The brand-new, purpose-built ferry, by Tasmanian shipbuilder Incat, is decked out with free wi-fi, an on-board cafe, bike racks and device-charging stations.

The journey takes 90 to 100 minutes (so factor some leeway into your travel plans), which is longer than the hour-long train trip from Geelong Station to Southern Cross Station, but more appealing than the car trip (which can clock in at up to two hours, depending on traffic).

It leaves from Steampacket Quay (beside the Carousel) on the Geelong Waterfront and docks at Victoria Harbour (opposite Marvel Stadium) in Docklands. Tickets are $18 for adults one-way and $36 return, and $10 one-way and $20 return for kids. We recommend booking in advance, particularly for weekend trips.

Full timetable and tickets here.