FERRIES 2021: Contactless ticketing and lessons learned

Written by Marine Log Staff
Cameron Clark

Cameron Clark

Marine Log’s FERRIES 2021 conference is set to kick-off in just over a month as the first in-person ferry event in over 18 months.

The event will take place November 9-10 on the New York Harbor waterfront in Jersey City, N.J., in partnership with the Passenger Vessel Association. As its theme says, “The ferry industry is poised to rebound in 2022.”

During the past year, digital adoption on ferries has advanced as much as in the previous 10 years combined. As we approach a post-COVID world, Hornblower is preparing to greet guests who are returning to commuting by ferry with an intuitive and frictionless personalized journey, including the use of contactless ticketing.

To discuss this topic further, Cameron Clark, chief strategy and business development officer for Hornblower will discuss in-depth:

  • How Hornblower has developed its own proprietary ticketing platform, companion apps for guests and other innovative technology for a seamless ticketing experience;
  • Info on an intuitive online booking system and mobile app that the company uses in partnership with City Experiences, a Hornblower company;
  • How the company continues to explore various opportunities to add to its portfolio through technological investments, diversified operations and an array of expertise; and more.


A California Maritime Academy graduate with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon, Clark has been involved with Hornblower’s business development and engineering projects for over 17 years. Of note, he worked on the expansion of Hornblower’s hybrid-electric and zero-emission fleet and its operations, including Alcatraz Cruises, Niagara Cruises, Statue Cruises and NYC Ferry.

Spearheading Hornblower’s entrance into software development, Clark assembled Hornblower Encore Studio to develop the industry’s leading SaaS tours and activities booking and operating platform.

Today, he works to ensure the growth and long-term success of the company and its portfolio of businesses. This includes development and expansion of its ferry and transit service offerings and land-based experiences, supporting both the company’s existing water-based and overnight cruise experiences. He and his team evaluate technological investments, diversified operations and strategic partners to build new and innovative offerings for our guests.


The venue, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking ferry traffic on the Hudson River, is a quick ferry ride from New York City.

Marine Log has partnered with the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) to plan what will be the industry’s first live event in 18 months.

In addition to two days of in-person discussions and dynamic Q&A sessions, the event will feature ample opportunities for networking.

Over the next several years, the ferry industry is expected to experience rapid growth and innovation. The collaboration between Marine Log and the PVA enables both organizations to share resources and industry knowledge in support of the ferry industry at this critical juncture.

As ever, a focus of the program will be on lessons learned from hard-earned, real-life experience. In addition, the program will explore new ways to meet economic and environmental targets through advances in technology, innovative approaches to operating a vessel, and the latest trends in ferry design.


A highlight of this year’s event will be an in-person tour of the first of the three new Ollis Class ferries being delivered to New York Harbor this fall for the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Staten Island Ferry Division. The ferries—designed by Elliott Bay Design Group in Seattle, Wash.—were built by Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s Allanton, Fla., shipyard.

Conference attendees will get a guided tour of the vessel’s pilothouse, engineroom, and its passenger spaces.

NYCDOT will also allow guests to explore its full mission pilothouse simulator. Designed as a close reproduction of the Ollis Class pilothouse, the simulator features the same Furuno radars and Transas ECS units as the ferries.

A Q&A session will conclude the tour on the saloon deck of the ferry prior to returning to the hotel for the remainder of the conference.

Currently, the growing list of event sponsors includes Cummins and Soundown (platinum sponsors); UES Seating (tour sponsor); Hornblower (lunch sponsor); Glosten, ABB, and Siemens Energy (gold sponsors); NCP Coatings, MTU – A Rolls-Royce Solution, BMT, Elkon, EMS Marcon, Beier Integrated Systems, RocketRez, The Shearer Group, and Thrustmaster (silver sponsors); and Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Elliott Bay Design Group, Derecktor, Karl Senner, Rigidized Metals, All American Marine, R.A. Mitchell, and BAE Systems (bronze sponsors).

Registration for the event is now open

For questions on sponsorships, please contact David Harkey at [email protected]

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