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Cape May-Lewes Ferry welcomes 50 millionth passenger

Five individuals along with two dogs hold a banner saying "Cape May-Lewes Ferry 50,000,000th Passenger" in front of a ferry port.
Sarah Petrowich
Delaware Public Media
Cape May-Lewes Ferry Director of Operations Heath Gehrke stands with 50 millionth ferry passengers Zach, Jody, Harbor and Finnley Kaltenbach along with DRBA Executive Director Tom Cook and DRBA Commissioner Ted Becker.

Zach Kaltenbach drove to the Lewes Ferry Terminal expecting just another trip across the bay to visit family in New Jersey.

But once he arrived, he and his family followed a police escort to the vehicle loading ramp to find out they are the ferry’s 50 millionth passenger.

Zach, along with his wife, Jody, their two daughters, Harbor and Finnley, and their two dogs, Daxx and Kiwi, received gift packages from Delaware River and Bay Authority representatives, along with reimbursement for their trip and a voucher for a future ferry ride.

Zach’s favorite part about taking the ferry is simple.

“Not having to drive," he said.

The ferry’s Director of Operations Heath Gehrke says the past six decades are just the beginning, and he is confident in the continued sustainability of the ferry.

“Everytime we hit a milestone like this, it reminds us of the vitality of this service and how happy we are to serve the communities on either side of the bay," Gehrke said.

Zach and his family are headed to a baby shower and say they plan to use the voucher for their return trip to Delaware.

Before residing in Dover, DE, Sarah Petrowich moved around the country with her family, spending 8 years in Fairbanks, AK, ten years in Carbondale, IL and 4 years in Indianapolis, IN. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2023 with a dual degree in Journalism and Political Science.