Washington State Ferries (WSF) is a popular passenger and vehicle transportation service along the Washington state coast. With its unique variety of intercity connections, Washington State Ferries takes prominence in the country’s transportation system. It connects important ports and serves thousands of travelers every day.
One of the largest ferry systems in the US, Washington State Ferries operates services across Puget Sound and its surrounding waterways. With a fleet of 21 vessels, WSF carries over 23 million passengers each year. When it began operations in 1951, it consisted of a small fleet of steamer lines. WSF also operates the Fauntleroy–Southworth route, Seattle–Bremerton, to name a few.
For many, the ferry system was the only way to get to their homes or workplaces on the Puget Sound/Seattle region. The ferry system also provides a vital link for commerce and transportation between the mainland and the islands. It is a popular alternative to driving. It accommodates the growing number of vehicles that are using the system each year by adding additional vessels and more services.
One of Washington’s largest and most important transportation agencies, WSF is committed to providing dependable services at reasonable fares while protecting the marine environment and native lands. The ferry system offers a variety of services for passengers, including vehicle and walk-on service, as well as reservations for foot passengers. Amenities include a cafe, gift shop, information center, elevators, waiting rooms, and restrooms.
For parking, Washington State Ferries offers a variety of options, including paid and free. For those planning to park and walk, you can receive parking information for Pioneer Square and Waterfront neighborhoods at downtownseattle.org.
During peak commute hours, drivers of carpools or vanpools may enter the ferry terminal on the right when other vehicles are unable to do so. Priority loading for carpools and vanpools begins 10 minutes before the scheduled sailing time. At the end of loading, late passengers will be loaded based on the space available. Motorcycles are not considered a preferential loading category, but they are sometimes loaded before automobiles for operational reasons. If motorcycles arrive at the dock after vehicle loading has already begun, they must wait until all cars have been loaded.
How to Book Tickets
You can purchase tickets in advance online to save time. There is a staffed ticket booth as well as self-service kiosks in the enclosed walkway that leads into the passenger building. In the passenger building, there is also a self-serve kiosk. The only place to purchase tickets with cash is the ticket booth. Note that it is not guaranteed that you will get a ferry seat with your ticket. It will be entirely based on first-come, first-served basis.
For vehicle reservations, you can choose only the routes Anacortes/San Juan Islands, British Columbia, and Port Townsend/Coupeville. There are discounts available on all routes except those sailing from and to Sidney, British Columbia. Ticket passes are available at the terminals and are printed on a single ticket. It is also possible to order and print passes online. There are passes available for passengers, vehicles and motorcycles. For more savings look for monthly passes that are valid during the calendar month. If you frequently travel on WSF, buy a ReValue Card online which will automatically refill when rides are used. Note that children under five can travel for free.
You may be entitled to a refund from Washington State Ferries if you were overcharged, you discovered an error with the fares paid at the terminal, you requested a refund for an unused online order, or you were charged an extra fee associated with your vehicle reservation. If you would like to request a refund, you can do so online or by phone.
Know Ferry Routes
Washington State Ferries schedules are available at wsdot.wa.gov by route or time. On the Schedule section, you can see the currently active and inactive schedules. Depending on crew availability, active schedules may change daily, so make sure to monitor email alerts and check the Travel Alert Bulletins page for updates.
The number of people traveling by boat and by water taxis around Washington is continuing to increase. Owing to this, there are several growing terminals and services. The connecting terminals include Anacortes, Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Clinton, Coupeville, Edmonds, Fauntleroy, Friday Harbor, Kingston, Lopez Island, Mukilteo, Orcas Island, Point Defiance, Port Townsend, Seattle, Shaw Island, Sidney B.C., to name a few.
The popular boat services are MV Tillikum, MV Kaleetan, MV Yakima, MV Spokane, MV Walla Walla, MV Issaquah, MV Kittitas, MV Kitsap, MV Cathlamet, MV Chelan, MV Sealth, MV Tacoma, MV Wenatchee, MV Puyallup, MV Chetzemoka, MV Salish, MV Kennewick, MV Tokitae, MV Samish, MV Chimacum, and MV Suquamish.
How to Contact
The Washington State Ferries office is located at 2901 Third Ave., Suite 500 Seattle, WA 98121-3014. You can reach the customer support via phone on +1 206-464-6400 or 888-808-7977. The support staff are available from 7am to 5.30pm. You can reach them for queries on tickets, schedule, cancellation, refund or lost baggage. To give your feedback via email, you can write to [email protected].