FERRIES could soon be providing passenger services on Lake Wendouree with its return to capacity.Ballarat City Council has advertised for expressions of interests from people to operate commercial passenger ferries for the lake.City of Ballarat director of development and infrastructure Eric Braslis said they would be issuing a limited number of five-year licences to suitably qualified parties who could deliver passenger ferry services.So far the council has only advertised on their website and in The Courier and Mr Braslis said they do hope to attract a local operator."We really do hope we'll get a number of applications ... but I think in fairness we need to go through that open process so that either the existing operators or any others have the opportunity to come back to council with their application," he said.Mr Braslis is referring to the Golden City Paddle Steamer and Begonia Princess, which both operated on the lake until it dried up in the early 2000s.The Golden City team is working furiously to prepare the boat so it is ready to hit the lake, while the Begonia Princess owner Greg Austin will not be returning."It hasn't been removed but it is going to be shortly, it won't be operating there again," he said. "We're going to revamp it and do it up. We're still negotiating whether it will be used as a house boat or as a ferry, but it won't be in Ballarat."The Begonia Princess has been the source of much controversy after it became stuck in the dry lake bed and was unable to be removed, blocking the entrance to a boat shed.Now the water has risen allowing the boat to float, Mr Austin said he hopes to have it out within the next few weeks.Paddle steamer society vice-president Barry Burnett said they were nearing completion, following the huge effort to rebuild the Golden City Paddle Steamer after it was destroyed by fire in 2006."The decking is three-quarters completed and we need to mount the seats," he said. "Next is the the red and white canvas roofing, but there's no point putting it on until we get it on the water."Council hopes to see some form of passenger boat on the lake by March in time for the Begonia Festival and has committed funds to build a new mooring for the vessel."We are looking at installation of another mooring at that pocket by Loreto where the tram lines stop," Mr Braslis said. "That way the tourists could utilise a tram and see the rest of the lake on the water." Expressions of interest close at midday on Tuesday, February 8.