Ferries in Washington State

Washington, the Evergreen State, is home to the largest ferry system in the United States, Washington State Ferries, a division of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). However, there are other ferry services outside of those operated by WSF. Some of which we list on this page. The state’s ferry history dates back to the early 20th century and ferry transportation has been essential to the residents of Washington ever since.

Ferry routes in Washington state

There are a number of ferry routes in the state of Washington. They connect communities that are separated by water and provide access to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the Pacific Northwest. In the table below are public and private ferry services you can take in the state of Washington. 

Route nameRoute operatorDescription
Anacortes-Sidney B.C. FerryWashington State Ferries
Anacortes-San Juan Islands FerryWashington State FerriesPassenger and car ferry service between Anacortes, Lopez Island, Shaw Island, Orcas Island, and Friday Harbor (San Juan Islands).
Bremerton Fast FerryKitsap TransitPassenger-only ferry service between Bremerton and Seattle.
Edmonds-Kingston FerryWashington State FerriesPassenger and car ferry service between Edmonds and Kingston.
Fauntleroy-Southworth FerryWashington State FerriesPassenger and car ferry service between Fauntleroy and Southworth.
Fauntleroy-Vashon FerryWashington State FerriesPassenger and car ferry service between Fauntleroy and Vashon Island.
Gifford-Inchelium FerryConfederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
Guemes Island FerrySkagit County
Keller FerryWashington State Department of Transportation
Kingston Fast FerryKitsap TransitPassenger-only ferry service between Kingston and Seattle.
Lummi Island FerryWhatcom CountyWeekday, weekend, and select holiday service between Lummi Island and Gooseberry Point.
Mukilteo-Clinton FerryWashington State FerriesPassenger and car ferry service between Mukilteo and Clinton.
Point Defiance-Tahlequah FerryWashington State FerriesPassenger and car ferry service between Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, WA, and Tahlequah on Vashon Island.
Port Townsend-Coupeville FerryWashington State FerriesPassenger and car ferry service between Port Townsend and Coupeville, a historic town located on Whidbey Island, in Island County, Washington.
Seattle-Bainbridge Island FerryWashington State FerriesPassenger and car ferry service between Bainbridge Island and Seattle.
Seattle-Bremerton FerryWashington State FerriesPassenger and car ferry service between Bremerton and Seattle.
Southworth Fast FerryKitsap TransitPassenger-only ferry service between Southworth and Seattle.
Southworth-Vashon FerryWashington State FerriesPassenger and car ferry service between the community of Southworth in Kitsap County, WA, and Vashon Island, WA.
Victoria B.C.-Port Angeles FerryBlack Ball Transport
Ferry routes in Washington (state)

Planning your Washington ferry trip

Scheduling and reservations

For routes operated by Washington State Ferries, it is easy to check schedules and make reservations through their website or mobile app. Not all WSF operated routes require reservations, however. Most routes are first come first served, but it is still recommended to purchase your tickets ahead of your departure for popular routes and during peak travel times. Even for routes not operated by WSF, it is still easy to purchase tickets from the ferry operator’s website.

Fares and pricing

Fares for most ferry routes in Washington vary depending on your destination, vehicle type and length, and the time of year. Bicycles typically cost extra, too. However, discounts are usually available for seniors, military personnel, people with disabilities, and children.

Boarding and onboard amenities

Passengers should plan to arrive at least 20 minutes before your scheduled departure time. Be sure to follow all crew member instructions to ensure a smooth boarding process.

Onboard amenities include ample seating, restrooms, snack bars, and Wi-Fi on select routes. Some vessels also offer designated pet areas and quiet rooms for relaxation.

Why use a ferry in Washington state?

Scenic beauty and wildlife sightings

One of the more enjoyable reasons to take a ferry in Washington state is it gives you a chance to immerse yourself in the region’s breathtaking natural beauty. Most vessels serving the routes are equipped with outdoor passenger decks giving you panoramic views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. It’s also not uncommon to see wildlife and marine life like bald eagles, orcas, and sea lions.

Environmental benefits

Ferries are an eco-friendly mode of transportation. The boats emit fewer greenhouse gases per passenger mile compared to cars. Traveling on them reduces your carbon footprint and protects the environment. In fact, Washington State Ferries is currently seeking a shipbuilder to convert their Jumbo Mark II class vessels, the MV Puyallup, MV Tacoma, and MV Wenatchee, to hybrid electric, reducing their carbon footprint by more than 20%.

Accessibility and convenience

Ferries in Washington state provide convenient connections between major cities, coastal communities, and popular tourist destinations. Their frequent and reliable service offers an accessible and hassle-free way to explore the region.

Tips for a smooth ferry experience

  • Arrive early to ensure a spot on the boat, especially during peak travel times.
  • Make reservations in advance if a route offers it.
  • Dress in layers. It can get chilly on the water.
  • Bring your camera to capture the stunning scenery and wildlife.
  • Be mindful of vehicle height restrictions and weight limits if traveling with an RV or trailer.

Riding the ferries in Washington state offers a unique and enjoyable way to explore the Pacific Northwest. With scenic routes, convenient connections, and numerous onboard amenities, they’re an essential part of the region’s transportation network. So, whether you’re a local or a visitor, consider taking a ferry on your next adventure and experience the beauty of Washington state from a new perspective.


How can I find the ferry schedule for a specific route?

Visit our individual schedule pages listed in the table above for up to date ferry schedules and route information.

Can I bring my pet on the ferry?

Most ferries in Washington state allow pets to be brought on board as long as they remain leashed, in carriers or in designated pet areas.

Are bicycles allowed on ferries?

Yes, bicycles are allowed on ferries, but usually require an additional fee.

Can I purchase food and drinks on the ferry?

Most of the ferries operated by WSF offer food service on board their vessels. Smaller ferries or some private ferry companies may not. It’s a good idea to check their website ahead of time to see what services and amenities are offered on board.

Are there any discounts available for ferry fares?

Most ferry routes offer discounts on fares for people with disabilities, seniors and military personnel. Many allow children under a certain age to ride free, as well.