Washington State Ferries

The largest fleet of ferries for autos and for passenger transportation is the Washington State Ferries. With service to the San Juan Islands and across the Puget Sound, a ride on a Washington State Ferry is not only scenic, but provides the added convenience of saving time and a gasoline-consuming ride down around Tacoma and the south Sound to reach the Olympic Peninsula.

Seattle used to have the promise of bridges stretching across Puget Sound and linking it to its neighbors to the west. This has never happened, so the Washington State Ferries fill the void, with ten different routes serving 20 terminals. This fleet of 29 ferries also goes to Canada. One of the Washington State Ferry boats stops at Sidney, BC.

A ride on the Washington Ferries is not only convenient for locals and visitors who want to travel to Washington"s western reaches. This is also a great attraction for tourists, who love seeing the Seattle skyline from the sounds and savor the maritime feel of its waterfront.

Getting to the Washington State Ferry terminal is easy. If you"re downtown, its location at Pier 52 near downtown Seattle is easily accessible on foot, by bus, or by following the clearly marked signs until you get to the waterfront.

The busiest time at the Washington State Ferries is about 3pm, when commuters begin to fill the vessels. Vehicles riding on the Washington Ferries are advised to arrive half an hour to an hour in advance. Cars line up in the parking lot and are loaded onto the ferry in order of arrival. To ensure a spot on the ferry, give yourself enough time to have a good spot in line. At times when the ferries are not full, 20 minutes should be enough time to allow. If you're a passenger without a vehicle, arriving 15 minutes prior to sailing is a good rule of thumb.

The Seattle terminal of the Washington State ferries is served by the ferry that provides service between Seattle and Bremerton, and Seattle to Bainbridge Island. The fares are very reasonable. If you are going over to the Olympic Peninsula from Seattle, you can save yourself hours of drive time going south of I-5, through Tacoma, then going up north. If you"re starting a road trip, there's nothing that more fun that starting your trip off with a scenic ride on the Washington Ferries.

Other places you can access on the Washington State Ferries are West Seattle, Vashon Islands, Anacortes, Orcas Island, Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, and Sydney, BC. If you're wondering how often the ferries run and at what time of day, you can download a PDF of the Washington State ferry schedule. This brochure has useful information about security and other things you need to know if you"re going to ride on a Washington State Ferry. A Washington State ferry schedule is good to have because it tells you how much time you have if you've just missed your ferry. Generally, the Seattle terminal has ferries arriving and departing about once an hour. It's convenient to have a Washington State ferry schedule so that you can make the most of your time, and perhaps take a stroll down the waterfront while you"re waiting to get on the next trip out west.

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