Washington State Ferries

Getting here is half the fun aboard a Washington State Ferry! Take a scenic ride through the islands as you make your way to your final destination. You can drive your car right onto the boat, or board as a foot passenger and simply walk on. The ferries run year-round and there are several sailings each day to and from each of the four main islands - Lopez, Orcas, San Juan, and Shaw. An interisland ferry allows island hoppers to travel between the islands with their car, bike, or by foot. 

All San Juan Islands ferries depart from the Anacortes Ferry Terminal located at 2100 Ferry Terminal Rd, Anacortes, WA 98221. Allow a comfortable 2 - 3 hours to enjoy the drive and the scenery from Seattle or Vancouver B.C.  Make sure this includes enough time to arrive 30-60 minutes before departure for your reservation check-in.

FERRY ALERTS: Due to unexpected staffing or mechanical challenges, the ferries can sometimes run behind schedule or may need to be canceled. To be prepared and stay up to date for an upcoming trip, we recommend signing up with Washington State Ferries to get their latest service updates directly to your phone or email the day before your sailing. Sign up for ferry alerts at https://wsdot.wa.gov/Ferries/RouteAlerts/.

First Time Ferry Riders Guide

For questions or ferry reservation assistance, call WA State Ferries at 1-888-808-7977 

For Vehicles 

You'll need to make one or two reservations depending on the island you're visiting -- one coming to the Islands (westbound) and one leaving the Islands (eastbound) if you're visiting Orcas or Friday Harbor/San Juan Island (the system will prompt you to make a round-trip reservation). 

For Lopez and Shaw Island, you only need to make one reservation headed westbound. You do not need a reservation coming back from Lopez Island and Shaw Island as those spots are first-come, first serve and don't have vehicle reservations available. During the summer, the ferry line and wait time can be long on Lopez, so you'll want to be prepared and arrive early. You can also check the terminal cameras to scope out the line before your departure! 

From all islands, your tickets from Anacortes to the San Juan Islands will be a round trip fare. Eastbound sailings between the islands are also free (example: Friday Harbor to Orcas Island or Lopez Island), while westbound sailings between the islands (example: Orcas Island to Friday Harbor) have one-way fares that you can purchase in advanced online or at each island's terminal. On Orcas Island, you'll pay at the booth before getting an assigned lane. On Lopez Island, you can park in the designated lane first and walk down to the office to purchase a ticket - a ferry worker will scan it as you board, so have it ready when it's your turn to load.

You must check-in at the toll booth/ferry line at least 30 minutes ahead of your sailing time or you will lose your reservation and will travel standbyBring your printed reservation sheet or your confirmation email on your phone with the barcode for easy scanning. You can pay your ticket price at the toll booth, or purchase your ticket online in advance. 

For Commercial & Oversize Vehicles 

People driving commercial and oversized vehicles onto Washington State Ferries must take special precautions due to numerous variables associated with traveling on marine highways. Find more information here.

When Reservations Are Full

If you can’t get a reservation on your desired day or sailing - no worries! Check back exactly two weeks or two days before your desired departure date at 7:00 a.m. when reservations open each morning. Reservations are released in 3 tiers to accommodate long and short-term planning by residents and visitors.  (Reservations for vehicles over 30’ are only released in the First Tier.) 

Or try to Travel Stand-By. You can view how many drive-up spaces are available at each Island terminal. You can also park your car at the Anacortes Ferry Terminal in one of the parking lots and simply walk on the ferry - a great option for a day trip! 

Anacortes Terminal    Friday Harbor Terminal   Orcas Terminal   Lopez (unavailable)

When Your Ferry Is Late

If your ferry is running late, you can check the location and ETA at Vessel Watch.  https://www.wsdot.com/ferries/vesselwatch/default.aspx

When You're Visiting for the Day

Planning a day trip? Consider biking or walking on the ferry and using island transportation to get around. Enjoy the flexibility of no reservations while sightseeing and exploring via moped, trolley, transit, rental car, or bike!

Ferry Fares

Fares are based on the season, the route's geographical location, the length/width/height of your vehicle, as well as the length of time you will be traveling onboard the ferry. Fares are also calculated based on the age or disability of each passenger and are collected either for round trip travel or one-way travel, depending on the departure terminal. The driver is included in the vehicle fare, and passengers are added to the fare.


Contact Us:
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
1-888-468-3701 | (360) 378-9551
P.O. Box 1330, Friday Harbor, Washington 98250
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