NEW YORK — Murray Hill is getting a direct link to Sweden.
The country's home goods emporium IKEA is test-driving a new pick-up and drop-off ferry location for its free weekend shuttle service, which will schlep shoppers this weekend from a new water taxi pickup location at the East 35th Street Terminal on the East River to the IKEA store in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
The service already shuttles Manhattan customers from a Downtown pick-up spot at Pier 11 to Red Hook.
The added stop debuted this past weekend, and a spokeswoman for the company said the ferry was packed.
The East 35th Street service will be offered again on Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20. If demand from customers on the East Side ferry stop is high enough, company officials said they will consider making the East 35th Street spot a permanent part of IKEA's free weekend water taxi shuttle service.
"More than half of New Yorkers do not own a car, so the water taxi offers a unique experience and a fun day out that begins with travel for our customers," said Fredik Rabe, store manager of the IKEA in Brooklyn, in a statement.
To go with the new stop on the shuttle service, IKEA also redesigned its water taxi, covering the inside of the boat with vinyl versions of the store’s printed textile designs.
"We wanted to give the interior water taxi cabin a homelike feel to extend our customer's experience," said Patrick Houle, IKEA Brooklyn’s interior design manager, in a statement.
"It’s typically Swedish to use printed textiles to revitalize your home," Houle added.
"The lack of daylight during the long winters in Sweden can be dull and grey; the use of bright and colorful textiles brings energy back into the home."
The IKEA water taxi schedule is available at www.nywatertaxi.com.