In 2020 M2M Ferries started its operation and successfully established itself as the First Ropax Ferry service in Maharashtra. M2M can carry over 500 passengers and 120 cars, along with 80 motorcycles/cycles. Additionally, it even welcomes pets and buses onboard. The ship has 3 seating categories which are named after Skoda vehicles. The Skoda Kushaq zone has a cafeteria, indoor and outdoor spacious seating options. The Skoda Octavia Deck has a bar and gives the most stunning views of Mumbai harbour. The final and most exclusive zone is Skoda Superb Lounge which offers a premium service for 25 exclusive customers in every journey. The service operates daily between Ferry Wharf, Mumbai and Mandwa, with 2-3 trips on a weekday and 4-5 trips on weekends.
Back in 2014, when the government, for the first time, wanted to revamp the piers and waterfronts as a pilot project, M2M ferries voyage began. This budding venture converted Mandwa jetty, located 10 nautical miles away from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai, into this recreational and leisure pitstop. Further introduced a one-of-a-kind waterfront restaurant, converting 20 shipping containers to retail and eateries. The footfall to this destination in 2014 was at an average of 2000 people per day, which grew to over 20,000 people a day by 2018. Further, there was a significant gap in the market to have a service that connected Mandwa and Alibaug region to Mumbai throughout the year, which M2M Ferries have removed.
M2M Ferries has helped and benefited Alibaug, Mandwa, and Mumbai. Travellers can visit ALibaug for tourism, work and as an easy getaway from the busy city of Mumbai. It has also benefitted people by looking at this sleepy beach town of Alibaug as a destination for their second home and first home option and commute to Mumbai for work. At the same time, locals from Alibaug can visit Mumbai for better job opportunities, education and health facilities. It helps uplift a region’s economy and promotes local and regional development.‘The idea of M2M Ferries was born to give people the ease of bringing their vehicle across the bay and at the same time have accessibility 365 days of the year’
Devika Saigal, the CEO of M2M Ferries, talked about the challenges she overcame, “The journey has been nothing short of challenging. From launching in the middle of the covid pandemic, our services had to be discontinued due to unfortunate circumstances. Being the 1st operator in the state also has its kind of challenges: ensure we get all the due diligence done for our vessel and give the customers the best experience possible. No ready model was available to follow, whether it came to the kind of service or the operational requirements. Everything has been chartered and drafted out by us alongside the government”.
Sharing about the future plan Saigal said, “We are here only to give a transport service but delivering an experience as well. The adventure starts from the moment you board this ferry in Mumbai and set sail out. We are also working with hospitality groups and kids’ play areas and speaking to the retail store to bring an entire experience at the pier at Mandwa Jetty. The year 2023 will have lots of exciting additions to the Terminal at Mandwa. It will be the perfect getaway for every traveller, domestic or international tourist, as must be done at the waterfront in Mandwa. Like pier 39 in San Francisco, we are going to deliver a fantastic experience for all age groups at Mandwa Pier.