Washington State Ferries
Tips for making ferry reservations
Getting here is half the fun aboard a Washington State Ferry and reservations are now available at www.takeaferry.com to help make trip planning easier and more predictable. Here are some tips for making your ferry travel stress free:
* We highly recommend making a reservation, especially from May through September and for holiday weekends.
* If you can’t get a reservation on your desired day or sailing, no worries, reservations are released in 3 tiers to accommodate long and short-term planning by visitors and residents.
- The first 30% are released 2 months before the start of each of the four seasonal sailing schedules, for all sailings during that season, meaning that these reservations may be available up to 5 months in advance. (Reservations for summer sailings from now to Sept. 19 are available.)
- The second 30% are released 2 weeks prior to the specific sailing date.
- The third 30% are released 2 days prior to the specific sailing date.
- Each tier release of space opens online at 7:00 a.m.
- The remaining 10% on each sailing is set aside for emergency vehicles, customers with medical documentation, and drive ups. (Drive-up/stand-by space is often available on many ferries, so if you don't have a reservation, don't let this stop you from visiting. See this "Best Times to Travel" chart from last summer.)
* Arrive in line for your reserved sailing 60-90 minutes in advance of the sailing departure time due to staging requirements, and bring your printed reservation sheet with barcode for easy scanning.
* There is no extra charge for a reservation, however, to secure a reservation you must provide a debit or credit card which will only be charged $10 if you are a ‘no show.’ (Ferry tickets are purchased separately at the Anacortes terminal or online. Tickets include a round trip.)
* There are several sailings each day to and from each of the 4 islands which almost assures that you’ll get your first, second or third choice of sailing time with a reservation.
* Reservations are available to all 4 islands from Anacortes, but only from Orcas Island and Friday Harbor/San Juan Island returning to Anacortes. Reservations are not available, or typically needed, on the inter-island ferry.
* You can make a reservation up until 3 hours prior to a sailing, provided there is space available.
* Changes and cancelations can be made within specific timeframes; please see info at www.takeaferry.com.
* In the event that a sailing is canceled, WA State Ferries will communicate the cancelation(s) via travel alerts to your mobile phone or email address you submitted when you made the reservation. Those who choose to travel will still be prioritized once service is reinstated. If you choose not to travel you won’t be charged a ‘no-show’ fee.
Questions? Call 1-888-808-7977
To help plan your trip, you'll find everything you'll need at www.takeaferry.com. From this page, you can also find more information about Washington State Ferry terminals, including addresses and directions, ferry cams, amenities and ADA information to make your trip go more smoothly. Web cameras are also available to view the ferry lines at Anacortes, Orcas Island, Friday Harbor/San Juan Island, and Lopez Island. You can also view an aerial image of the Anacortes terminal to find parking, toll booths, and more.
Directions to the Anacortes ferry terminal from Seattle
- Take I-5 north
- Take Exit 230 to Burlington/Anacortes (or Exits 221 or 226 through scenic Skagit Valley)
- At the first light, turn left toward Anacortes onto Highway 20 west
- Follow Highway 20 west to Anacortes for about 16 miles
- Once you reach Anacortes merge right into the traffic circle and another right onto Commercial Ave.
- Take a left at 12th St,, where signs point you to the San Juan Islands ferry, and follow for about 2 miles to the terminal
Allow a comfortable 1-1/2 to 2 hours to enjoy the drive and the scenery from Seattle, or Vancouver B.C., to the Anacortes ferry terminal.
Board a Washington State Ferry in Anacortes, Washington, for a spectacular, scenic cruise to Lopez, Orcas, Shaw or San Juan Islands. You can also take a ferry to Sidney, B.C., just north of Victoria. In addition, you can "island hop" between our four, ferry-served islands. You can walk on with or without a bicycle, or drive your car on. Schedules change each season; visit our website for schedules, fares, parking, etc.
At the Lopez Ferry Landing, you can find maps and information for your stay on Lopez. You can also rent a bike and enjoy a hotdog and soda or beer at the Landing. Odlin County Park is just a mile down the road on the way to Lopez Village, about 4.5 miles away, where you'll find cafes, galleries and shops, as well as a well-stocked Chamber of Commerce office with friendly locals to help you find what you need. [more...]
The Orcas Island ferry lands at Orcas Village, a tiny hamlet with a few shops, a post office, historic hotel and an excellent grocery store. Although generally quiet, "the Landing," as it is called by locals, is a meeting place for travelers and commuters. On Friday nights at Octavia's Bistro, named after the Orcas Hotel's first owner - and renown cook - you can enjoy jazz and a glass of local wine. [more...]