Travel on the Washington State Ferries

You’ve seen the images on television, in movies….those big green and white ferries gliding across the Puget Sound, skimming along the islands, docking in the shadow of the Seattle skyline. No trip to Washington state is complete without a carefree trip on the water and there is no better way to do it then on a Washington State ferry.

If you are staying in Seattle, the scenic 30-minute sailing to Bainbridge Island is a great way to add a ferry ride to your adventure. Walk on, then once there, stroll the town, have lunch, shop…then just walk on the ferry and return to Seattle.


For more adventure, drive north to Anacortes and catch the ferry to the San Juan Islands. This 1 ½ hour ride slips through the San Juan archipelago, stopping at several islands, Lopez, Shaw, Orcas and San Juan. The islands are a vacation in themselves. Find the best price on lodging in the San Juans and book today!


Here are a few Washington State Ferry Facts
  1. The ferry system is the largest in the US with 20 terminals and 23 ferries.
  2. Washington State Ferries can transport walk on passengers and vehicles.
  3. Ferries run year around, but the schedules change based on the season.
  4. The only ferry to Canada is to Sidney, BC, from Anacortes, April through December.
  5. Yes, you need a passport to travel to Canada.
  6. Fares are round trip with the exception of the sailings to and from Sidney BC and the Port Townsend/Coupeville run.
  7. Yes, you can pre-purchase your ferry ticket or purchase at the terminal.
  8. They accept cash and most major credit cards.
  9. For some ferries, reservations are a must. For others, no reservation needed.
  10. Make a reservation for the Anacortes/San Juan Island ferry and the Port Townsend/Coupeville ferry.
  11. You never need a reservation as a walk on passenger.
  12. Bikes and kayaks are welcome on the ferry.
  13. Restrained pets are allowed on the ferries but check their website for specific rules for specific routes.
  14. Yes, there are bathrooms on the ferries.
  15. All ferries have vending machines, but some offer self-service dining room options.


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