Washington State Ferries
We are delighted that you have chosen to travel with us. To ensure your trip is a safe and enjoyable one, please take a moment to read the following WSF guidelines.
Understanding Our Schedule
On the printed schedule, times in color are for morning departures and in black for afternoon/evening departures. Noon is noted as 12:00 a.m. and one minute past noon as 12:01 p.m. Midnight is noted as 12:00 p.m. and one minute past midnight as 12:01 a.m. The schedule is presented as a sailing day which begins with the first printed sailing time for that day and progresses consecutively through the last printed sailing time even though the last sailing may be past midnight and technically on the following day. Please pay special attention to annotations next to a sailing time. You can view our schedule online or download a PDF of the printed schedule on our schedule page.
Hard copies of the schedule are available at terminals, tollbooths and on board the vessels. We also mail copies to other transit agencies, tourism bureaus and local libraries. You can call our information staff or fill out our request form to have one mailed to your home or business. If you need 50 or more please contact Certified Folder in Seattle at 206-870-2470 for bulk mailings.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information: The WSF sailing schedule may be obtained in alternative forms by calling 206-515-3460, or one of the information numbers. Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may access Washington State Telecommunications Relay Service by dialing 711 (WA) and asking to be connected to 206-515-3460.
Weekend or Holiday Schedules
Extra service may be provided for special event traffic on any of the routes. Please watch for notices on the vessels, at the terminals, or call one of the information numbers.
Security regulations require that all passengers and vehicles are subject to possible security screening. Additional security measures appear on our security page and in the Loading and Offloading section below.
Smoking is not allowed on WSF vessels. All smoking materials must be extinguished before boarding the vessel. No smoking is allowed within 25 feet of the entry to WSF ferry terminal facilities.
Read about prohibited/restricted items on our security page and WSF alarm and ship's whistle meanings on our safety page.
Loading and Offloading
Times listed in the schedule are departure times, unless otherwise noted. Vessels may cease loading two minutes in advance of sailing, except where noted. Walk-on passengers should be on board five minutes prior to departure time. A crew member will announce or signal passengers and bicyclists to board.
Vehicles are loaded in order of arrival with a few exceptions; vehicles that are over 7’6” tall or over 20’ long, including those with tall antennas, may be loaded out of sequence and must pay a surcharge. Vehicles without 12 inches of clearance from the ground may not be loaded during extreme tidal conditions.
Security requirements dictate that once loading has begun, the Captain’s permission is required to disembark the vessel.
Vehicles should be in line at least 20 minutes prior to scheduled departure time. On some routes, vehicles must be moved frequently while in line. Please monitor your vehicle. Unaccompanied vehicles (vehicles without drivers) are not permitted. Please turn off your vehicle in the holding lanes. Vehicle emissions can be harmful to the environment as well as to other customers.
Drivers should turn off cell phones and pay close attention to hand signals from crew members when loading or offloading. Stay in your own lane unless signaled to change lanes by a crew member. Drive 5 mph with your lights off during the day; at night, please use parking lights only. Pull as close as you can to the car in front of you, turn your engine off, and wait until traffic around you, including in the adjacent lanes, has stopped before opening your doors. Vehicle engines must be turned off while the vessel is under way.
Please deactivate your car alarm upon boarding a Washington state ferry. Vehicles and vessel crew members moving on the vehicle deck, as well as the normal movements experienced while a ferry is under way or docking, may cause car alarms to sound.
Listen for the announcement to return to your vehicle before the ferry docks. Turn your engine on when your lane begins to leave the boat. Remember that bicycles and passengers leave from the vehicle deck on many ferries, and they will disembark first. When waiting to disembark, walk-on passengers should wait near stairwells or in designated areas. A crew member will announce or signal passengers and bicyclists to prepare to disembark.
If you have a car problem or need assistance, please inform a crew member as soon as possible. All vehicles should be parked and shut off when the ferry is under way. Don't attempt to push your car or change a tire while the ferry is under way. If you need the assistance of a tow truck or locksmith, you may have to remain on the ferry for several trips until one is available.
See our loading FAQ page for more information.
Bicyclists and persons carrying kayaks or canoes should wait near the front of the loading area, as they are generally first to load. Once on board, secure bicycles in the place provided. Crews will direct passengers on placement of kayaks and canoes. When leaving the vessel, please watch for and stay out of the way of vehicles. Shoes with metal sports cleats are not permitted in passenger areas. See our bicycle page for more details.
Animals, except service animals, are not allowed in terminal buildings or above the vehicle decks, unless they are in a pet carrier; however, they are permitted on the exposed upper decks of vessels on some routes (see our pet policy page for details). Contact terminal staff for loading procedures as vessel and terminal configurations vary. Animals that are not people-friendly should be muzzled or transported in a pet carrier.
Accepted Forms of Payment
VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Cards as well as debit cards are accepted at all terminals. WSF does not accept unsigned credit cards. All terminals accept cash and traveler’s checks. WSF does not accept checks for fare payment. WSF accepts most transit vouchers (available from local transit companies to businesses throughout the Puget Sound). ORCA card E-purse may be used. See our Forms of Payment page for more information.
Receipts are to be issued for all sales. If no receipt is issued, or there is a discrepancy, please call 206-515-3460 or send a description of the transaction to:
WSDOT Ferries Division (WSF)
Attn: Operations, Revenue Control
2901 Third Avenue, Suite 500
Seattle, WA 98121-3014
Vehicle reservations are available and recommended for international travel between Anacortes and Sidney, B.C. and Friday Harbor and Sidney, B.C., as well as between Port Townsend and Coupeville. You can make reservations online or by phone. A deposit is taken by credit card and applied to the fare at the time of travel. Learn more about the vehicle reservations system.
On the Port Townsend/Coupeville route, vehicles over 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight must make a reservation. Maximum placard vehicle gross weight allowed is 80,000 pounds. Extreme tidal conditions may interrupt service on this route.
Travel in the San Juan Islands
For more information call our Information Staff:
- 206-464-6400 (in Seattle or from out-of-state)
- 888-808-7977 (WA & BC only)
- 511 (WA)
Lost and Found