Washington State Ferries (WSF) books nearly 100 memorials a year. Reservations are required for all memorials and must be made a minimum of 5 business days ahead. It is recommended for an event during the summer months; you give as much notice as possible when calling to schedule, and have a couple of dates in mind, in case your first date is not available. Please phone 206-264-3556 to schedule during regular office hours: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday. If you call after hours, or over the weekend, someone will get back to you as soon as they are in the office.
The following is a list of our policies for having a Memorial Event on a ferry. This is to minimize disruptions in regular service.
- Ashes must be contained in a certified biodegradable water burial urn, (often termed a “journey urn”), with the entire urn to be released into the Sound intact from the ferry
- Memorial Events happen on limited routes. The approved routes are:
- Port Townsend/Coupeville (summer months only)
- Anacortes/Friday Harbor
- Memorial Events are made during limited and specific non-peak sailing times, which are as follows:
- On weekdays, the activity may only be scheduled between 10 am-1 pm.
- On weekends, memorials may only be scheduled from the first sailing through 10 am.
- WSF will schedule no memorials on holidays or holiday weekends. Please contact WSF in regards to what holiday are affected.
- WSF will schedule no more than one memorial per day on any one route.
- Memorial activities must take no longer than five minutes to minimize disruptions to regular service.
- A scheduled memorial may not occur if a Captain determines it is not safe or there are unforeseen operational issues. In the event of substantial service delays, a memorial may be moved to another vessel operating on the same route
- The vessel’s horn is sounded solely at the discretion of the Master.
- Please use the Memorial Event Scheduling Form to help aid you in preparing the information needed to schedule your event.
Weddings on Ferries
Weddings should be planned for non-peak times and we will need to know the exact time and route so we can alert the crew. Ceremonies are not allowed in the non-public areas of our vessels. Our captains are not legally authorized to perform weddings so plan to arrange for a justice of the peace or pastor to conduct the service.
We recommend small weddings. Larger weddings require reserved space and we cannot guarantee that other, non-invited customers will not inadvertently become part of the wedding party.
Here are some other things to be aware of:
- Outside catering services are not allowed.
- There are no private rooms for clothes changing, etc.
- We do not recommend driving onboard the ferry unless the wedding will be completed by the time the vessel reaches its destination. All vehicles that have boarded a ferry must be driven off once the vessel reaches its final destination.
- If the wedding party has special requests such as using live musicians, electrical power on the ferry, etc., those requests must be made at the time initial arrangements are made with the ferry system.
- Special wedding day photos of the bridal party may not be possible. Ferry crews cannot obstruct pathways for picture taking so bridal pictures may include a photo of a wandering ferry commuter who accidentally gets in your picture.
If you would like more information or would like to make arrangements for your special event, please contact Operations Programs Staff Aide Johanna Karlin at 206-264-3556.
Birthdays on Ferries
Washington State Ferries frequently become the gathering place for birthday celebrations, and we'll try to accommodate your request provided you arrange to travel during non-peak times. We'll need to know the route, date, time of travel and size of your group to be able to alert the crew. You need to know that while you can bring your own food, outside catering is not permitted, there are no kitchen privileges and open flames (even candles on a cake) are not allowed.
If you would like more information or would like to make arrangements for your special event, please contact Operations Programs Staff Aide Johanna Karlin at 206-264-3556 .