Ferries in Washington state
Due to Washington's unique topography, featuring large, deep bodies of water with many peninsulas and islands, ferries are a natural means of connecting communities in the region.
Washington State Ferries
Washington State Ferries, owned and operated by the Washington State Department of Transportation, serves communities on Puget Sound and in the San Juan Islands. It is the largest fleet of passenger and automobile ferries in the United States and the third largest in the world.
Other ferries in Washington
- The Guemes Island ferry from Anacortes 5 minutes north to Guemes Island is operated by Skagit County, Washington.
- Wahkiakum County operates the Wahkiakum County Ferry between Puget Island, Washington and Westport, Oregon on the lower Columbia River.
- The Colville Confederated Tribes operates the M/V Columbia Princess a.k.a. the Gifford-Inchelium Ferry on the upper Columbia River.
- Pierce County operates the Steilacoom-Anderson Island Ferry providing service between Steilacoom, Anderson Island and Ketron Island, using two vessels, the Christine Anderson and the Steilacoom II.
- The Washington State Department of Corrections also operates a ferry from the same dock to the McNeil Island Corrections Center.
- The Lummi Island Ferry, also known as the M/V Whatcom Chief, from Gooseberry Point to Lummi Island is operated by Whatcom County.
- Kitsap Transit operates a passenger-only ferry between Port Orchard and Bremerton.
- The Sanpoil, also known as the Keller Ferry, is operated by WSDOT separately from the Washington State Ferry system on Puget Sound and crosses Lake Roosevelt on the Columbia River in eastern Washington.
- High-speed catamarans, geared to tourists, run from Seattle to Victoria, British Columbia, and are operated by Victoria Clipper.
- Black Ball Transport operates the M/V Coho auto/passenger ferry between Port Angeles and Victoria.
- The M/V Charlie Wells crosses Case Inlet from the Key Peninsula (south of Vaughn, Washington) to Herron Island, a privately owned and operated island.
- Hat Express operates daily between the Everett Marina and Gedney (Hat) Island Marina.
- The King County Ferry District operates two passenger-only ferry services known as the King County Water Taxi with service from Downtown Seattle to Vashon Island and West Seattle.
- The small Jetty Island Ferry runs the short distance between the Everett Marina and the man made, unpopulated Jetty Island in the summer months for tourists.
- The Lady of the Lake ferry runs year-round from Chelan to Stehekin on Lake Chelan.
- Drayton Harbor Maritime operates MV Plover between Blaine and Semiahmoo Resort during summer months.
- From 2004 to April 2007, a private company, the Kitsap Ferry Co., provided passenger-only ferry service between Bremerton and Seattle, during weekday commute times. The service was canceled due to high costs and lack of support from Kitsap Transit, whose district voters failed to pass a sales tax increase for the foot ferry.
- The most recent run between Kingston and Seattle, called Aqua Express, shut down after two years of unprofitable service. Port of Kingston's SoundRunner service operated Spirit of Kingston between Kingston and downtown Seattle, but it too has ceased operations and the Spirit of Kingston has been purchased by the King County Ferry District. West Seattle to the Seattle central business district and Bremerton to Seattle have been other passenger-only routes attempted by private enterprise.
- The M/V El Matador crossed the channel of Grays Harbor, from Ocean Shores to Westport during summer months. It was discontinued in 2008 due to the fact that the Ocean Shores Marina has not been dredged, and the vessel is unable to enter without having problems.
- Vessels geared to tourists ran from Port Angeles to Victoria, British Columbia, and were operated by Victoria Express until it ended its passenger service in 2010.
- "Guemes Island Ferry". Skagit County, Washington.
- "Pierce County's Ferry fleet". Pierce County, Washington.
- "McNeil Island Ferry Schedule". Washington State Department of Corrections.
- "Kitsap Transit Foot Ferry". Kitsap Transit.
- "The Keller Ferry in Eastern Washington". WSDOT.
- Coho ferry
- Hat Island Community (2009). "Ferry Info". Retrieved 20 September 2009.
- "King County dives into foot ferries", Seattle Times November 14, 2007 (accessed May 31, 2008)
- "Ocean Shores-Westport summer ferry service grounded", The Daily World via The Seattle Times (Aberdeen, Washington), April 16, 2008