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Martha's Vineyard Ferries

Martha's Vineyard Ferries

A comprehensive list of ferries that travel to and from Martha’s Vineyard, along with travel tips associated with each ferry.

Last Updated June 19, 2022

Taking a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard is the most common and economical way to arrive to the island, while the second and only other option would be to fly (it’s a true island after all!). This article will explain all the options in regards to ferries that travel to and from Martha’s Vineyard, along with travel tips associated with each ferry.

Note that other than the Steamship Authority which operates year round, many of the other ferries are seasonal and have specific dates associated with their services. Please make sure to check the official sites for the most updated information.

Traveling by ferry is a carefree way to arrive to the island, because you can eliminate the stress of driving and start your vacation as soon as you hop aboard. You’ll enjoy top-notch services on any of the ferries you board to the island. Note that boats will be canceled in inclement weather and high winds, so be sure to check the weather report and the individual ferry website for up-to-date information. While most inclement weather occurs in the winter months, some of the seasonal boats will cancel sailings in the summer months as well.

Steamship Authority (SSA) - Woods Hole, Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Martha’s Vineyard

Seasonality: Year-round

Dates of Operation: Daily, weather permitting

Travel Time: 45 minutes

Address: 1 Cowdry Rd., Woods Hole, MA

First and foremost, let’s start with the only vessel that allows you to bring a car on island and travels year round, the Steamship Authority. It is the largest ferry service to the island from Woods Hole on Cape Cod, offering the most frequent daily departures for passengers and automobiles. For all vehicle travel, advance reservations are required, as space is limited. The Steamship’s U.S. Coast Guard-certified crews are committed to the highest level of safety at sea, and their ferries include spacious seating, as well as snack bars with beer, wine, and mixed drinks, along with free public WiFi and TVs on board.

If you are solely coming on board as a passenger, meaning you are “walking on”, you do not need to purchase tickets in advance, unless you are traveling with a large group. Walk on passengers can purchase ferry tickets at the ticket terminal in Woods Hole on the day of sailing.

Online Tickets

New in 2022, you can purchase electronic tickets! Here’s how it works: “A eFerry ticket is similar to a traditional electronic ticket currently used on our high-speed ferry route, but uses contactless technology, which makes it faster, easier, and safer to use. You don’t need to show a barcode, and your eFerry ticket can even be automatically selected by the scanning device. eFerry tickets work with the iPhone, Apple Watch, or an Android device.First, you need to add your eFerry ticket to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay app. Then when you arrive at the gate it is as simple as tap-and-go by holding the top of your iPhone, Apple Watch, or Android device near the reader.” We love this advancement using technology, making passengers travel much easier!

Registering a Vehicle

If you are coming on board with a vehicle, know that you will need to register an account with the SSA and purchase tickets in advance. Car bookings are competitive during the busy summer months and holiday weekends and will normally be sold out months in advance. If you are looking to come on board the ferry with your car and do not have an advance reservation, you can join the standby line in your car and you’ll get on the following ferry that has space available. Be warned that in the summer that wait will typically be several hours.

The SSA ferries dock in Vineyard Haven year round and Oak Bluffs seasonally, typically from May to October. When purchasing your tickets make sure you are aware of the correct port of entry you want to visit and you board the boat to that specific destination as the terminals on Martha’s Vineyard (Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven) are several miles away from one another.

Travelling with Children

Children under 13 cannot travel unaccompanied, and anyone over the age of 13 pays the adult fare. Children between the ages of 5 and 13 pay the child rate, and kids under 5 are free.

Baggage Restrictions

There are no baggage restrictions for personal baggage such as coolers, strollers, duffel bags, or suitcases, but there may be an extra fee for bicycles, surfboards, and other large objects. Luggage racks are available for storing large bags for the duration of the ferry ride.

Transporting Pets

In regards to pets, pets are welcome on board and free of charge, but they must always be accompanied by a responsible passenger and be kept on leash or container. There is no size limit in regards to dogs.

Vehicle Restrictions

Fare increases are based upon the vehicle’s length over 17 feet. If you are towing a trailer you will be charged an additional fare. Motorcycles, bicycles, mopeds, golf carts, surfboards (including wind surfboards), kayaks and other large items are established at the SSA’s discretion. Tickets for the transportation of such items can be purchased on the day of sailing at any ferry terminal meaning you don’t need advanced reservations to travel with those types of vehicles.

Getting to the SSA Ferry Terminal & Parking

If you are a passenger walking on to an SSA ferry you have several options of getting to the terminal in Woods Hole but note that there is no parking available at the terminal where you board the boat. You have the option of driving to one of the SSA’s off-site parking lots, the Palmer Avenue Parking lot located at 286 Palmer Avenue in Falmouth, the Thomas B. Landers parking lot located at 22 Technology Park Drive in East Falmouth, or the Cataumet lot located on route 28A in Cataumet. The appropriate parking lot is determined by availability on the day of your arrival so be sure to check current/real time parking lot information as you approach the terminal by visiting SteamshipAuthority.com, calling the SSA’s Woods Hole Parking Information Line at (508) 457-PARK (7275), tuning into 1610 AM radio or watching for road signs on approaching highways. Please note parking at any of the lots comes with a daily parking fee of $10-20 a day depending on the season.

Once you park at the designated lot you will board a free shuttle provided by the SSA to the dockside Woods Hole terminal where you can purchase tickets and board the boat. During the summer season and holiday weekends, the SSA experiences high passenger and automobile traffic volume. Plan to arrive an hour before your departure trip to allow time to access their off-site parking and free shuttle service to and from the Woods Hole terminal. You can track the SSA’s shuttle buses via transloc.com or by downloading the Transloc App on your smartphone.

Bus Service to the Steamship Authority’s Woods Hole Ferry Terminal

Additionally bus service is available directly to the Woods Hole terminal courtesy of Peter Pan Bus Lines and the Plymouth-Brockton Bus Line from Boston as well as the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority from Hyannis. The CapeFLYER Train operates summer weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day from Boston. Visitors can stop at the Bourne station and take the SSA’s free shuttle service to the Woods Hole Terminal. Note that although the Steamship Authority strives to provide a convenient and reliable connecting service with these transportation companies under normal operating conditions, the bus, train and ferry connections are not guaranteed. Generally, the timing of these connections aligns well, but be prepared to board the ferry quickly after arriving in Woods Hole.

Prices

Walk-On Passengers:

  • Adult $9.50 one-way, $19 round-trip (Fares include Town Embarkation Fee of $0.50 one-way or $1.00 round-trip)
  • Child (ages 5-12) $5 one-way, $10 round-trip
  • Child (under 5) free

Active Military (Fares include Town Embarkation Fee of $0.50 one-way or $1.00 round-trip) Must present their Active Duty card and may travel in civilian clothes. Reserve Unit members must present their Reserve Card and must travel in uniform. A maximum of two tickets may be purchased at a time. $5 one-way, $10 round-trip.

Vehicles:

Depending on the time in the season, these vary, below is the range for roundtrip travel with a vehicle:

  • Under 17' in length: $73-106
  • 17' but less than 20' in length: $93-126
  • 20' but less than 22' in length: $103-136
  • Bicycles, Surfboards, and Wind Surfboards: $4 one-way, $8 round-trip

Fares vary and are subject to change. View the Steamship Authority Fares page for specific detail.

Hy-Line Cruises - Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Martha’s Vineyard

Seasonality: Typically early May through late October

Dates of Operation: Travel Time: 60 minutes

Address: 220 Ocean St, Hyannis, MA

Traveling from Hyannis on Cape Cod to Martha’s Vineyard is a great way to get on the island from the mainland, and gives you an opportunity to explore more of Cape Cod! Hy-Line Cruises is a seasonal ferry service that normally begins in early May and ends service at the end of October. Its “fast ferry” travels from Hyannis to Oak Bluffs in just one hour, making it a convenient way to add a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard while you’re on Cape Cod.

During the busy summer months, there are 4-6 daily departures from Hyannis and back, which eases travel when looking at day trips. On board, you’ll find a snack bar offering snacks, sandwiches, as well as alcoholic drinks, beer, and wine. It is a strictly walk-on ferry that does not allow for automobile transportation. Bicycles are permitted at an additional cost of $7 one-way or $14 round-trip. The ferry will dock in Oak Bluffs harbor where you will have easy walking access to shopping, dining, beaches and historic landmarks.

Things to know

Children under the age of 4 ride free with an accompanying adult boarding pass.

Pets are allowed for no additional fee but must be properly leashed or caged.

Bikes can be transported about the Hy-Line for an additional fee.

Parking for the Hy-Line ferry terminal from Hyannis to Martha’s Vineyard

Hy-Line owns and operates its own lots along Ocean Street, within walking distance of the ferry terminal. A limited portion of these on-site lots is available to book in advance. Reserve your parking along with your ferry tickets online or by calling (800) 492-8082. Additionally, other operators sell parking from lots along Ocean Street that are not affiliated with Hy-Line Cruises. Hy-Line also has an off-site parking lot with seasonal shuttle service available.

Prices

  • Adult Round-Trip $62
  • Child (5-12) Round-Trip $41
  • Bicycle Round-Trip $14
  • Children 4 years and under ride for free with an adult boarding pass

Prices are subject to change and include a town-imposed embarkation fee per ticket ($1 per roundtrip ticket).

Hy-Line Cruises - Nantucket, Massachusetts to Martha’s Vineyard, Inter-Island Ferry

Seasonality: Late May through early October

Dates of Operation: Daily, weather permitting

Travel Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Address: 34 Straight Wharf, Nantucket, MA

In an hour and ten minutes, you can easily visit Martha’s Vineyard from Nantucket, or vice versa! Book a ticket on the inter-island ferry by Hy-Line Cruises and you’ll depart Nantucket Harbor and arrive in Oak Bluffs Harbor in no time. This ferry travels seasonally from late May through early October, ideal for those visiting during spring, summer, and fall.

Prices

  • Adult Round-Trip $68
  • Child (5-12) Round-Trip $47
  • Bicycle Round-Trip $14
  • Children 4 years and under ride for free with an adult boarding pass

Prices are subject to change and include a town-imposed embarkation fee per ticket ($1 per roundtrip ticket).

Seastreak Ferry - New Bedford, Massachusetts to Martha’s Vineyard

Seasonality: Late April through early January

Dates of Operation: Daily, weather permitting

Travel Time: 50 minutes

Address: 49 State Pier, New Bedford, Massachusetts

Typically running from late April through January 1st, the Seastreak Ferry that departs New Bedford on Massachusetts’ mainland and arrives in Oak Bluffs harbor on Martha’s Vineyard in just 50 minutes!

Seastreak ferries have plenty of amenities to make your trip to Martha’s Vineyard luxuriously comfortable. Plush seating with spacious legroom, climate controlled cabins and an open-air top deck, 360-degree panoramic windows to take in the sights, private bathrooms, free high-speed WiFi, and a full-service cash bar with cocktails, beer, wine, fountain drinks, tea, coffee, and plenty of snacks for purchase.

As a reminder, Seastreak ferries are passenger only ferries, meaning they cannot transport any sort of motor vehicle including cars, motorcycles, or mopeds. Bicycles are permitted for an additional fee.

Pet Policy (Pets Allowed)

Cats and dogs are welcome aboard, but solely on the outside deck. Smaller pets can be inside, within a carrier. Service dogs are always permitted on board.

Parking for the Seastreak Ferry to Martha’s Vineyard

Throughout the season Seastreak offers convenient valet parking from their New Bedford terminal. Simply show up and hand your keys off and alert the service via text on your ferry back and your car will be waiting for you. The SeaStreak also offers offsite parking at their Whales Tooth parking lot which is accessible to the terminal via a complimentary shuttle service. Passes may be reserved ahead of time through Seastreak, or purchased at the Whale's Tooth parking lot booth (subject to availability).

Prices

  • Adult Round Trip $79
  • Child (ages 3-12) Round Trip $48
  • Infants (ages 2 and under) Round Trip Free
  • Island Resident and Military Round Trip $66 (both need to be purchased at the terminal, requires government issued picture ID)
  • Bicycle Round Trip $14

Seastreak Ferry - Highlands, New Jersey to Martha’s Vineyard

Seasonality: Memorial Day Weekend, mid-June through Labor Day Weekend

Dates of Operation: Daily, weather permitting

Travel Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Address: 326 Shore Drive, Highlands, NJ

Another offering from Seastreak is the route that starts in Highlands, New Jersey, makes a stop at East 35th St. in New York City and continues to Martha’s Vineyard, which makes it the ideal route to take if you don’t want to fly and want to avoid all the road traffic.

Pet Policy (No Pets)

Note that unlike the New Bedford to MVY ferry, pets are not permitted on this Seastreak trip from New York/New Jersey to Martha’s Vineyard. Trips depart NJ/NY weekly on Friday afternoons and return on Sunday afternoons.

Parking for the Seastreak in Highlands, NJ

Free daytime parking is available at the Seastreak Ferry Terminal at Highlands main parking lot at 326 Shore Drive and their satellite parking lot at 348 Shore Drive. Overnight parking is available at their satellite parking lot but not allowed at their main parking lot. Free shuttle service from their satellite parking lot and ferry terminal may be available depending on dates of travel.

Prices

  • Adult Round trip Regular $240, Holiday $310
  • Child (ages 3-12) Round Trip Regular $135, Holiday $310
  • Infants (ages 2 and under) Round Trip Free
  • Bicycle Round Trip $30

Seastreak Ferry - New York City, New York to Martha’s Vineyard

Seasonality: Memorial Day Weekend, mid-June through Labor Day Weekend

Travel Time: 5 hours, 15 minutes

Address: East 35th St. and FDR Drive, New York, NY

Another offering from Seastreak is the opportunity to travel by boat from convenient midtown Manhattan’s eastside. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a trip to the Island from the big city.

Pet Policy (No Pets)

Note that unlike the New Bedford to MVY ferry, pets are not permitted on this Seastreak trip from New York/New Jersey to Martha’s Vineyard. There is no provided parking available for those visitors boarding in New York City.

Prices

  • Adult Round Trip Regular $240, Holiday $310
  • Child (ages 3-12) Round Trip Regular $135, Holiday $310
  • Infants (ages 2 and under) Round Trip Free
  • Bicycle Round Trip $30

Island Queen - Falmouth, Massachusetts to Martha’s Vineyard

Seasonality: Memorial Day Weekend through early October

Travel Time: 35 minutes

Address: 75 Falmouth Heights, Rd. Falmouth, MA

Looking for a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard while visiting the Cape? Hop on the Island Queen Ferry, which travels between Falmouth and Oak Bluffs harbor in just 35 minutes! The Island Queen Ferry is family owned and operated by Island Commuter Corp. in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

Parking for the Island Queen

Available and located just a short walk from the ferry terminal. Parking is available on a first-to-arrive basis and is not reserved with your ferry booking. Day and overnight parking is available for a rate of $20 per calendar day, cash is the only form of payment accepted. Credit cards are accepted at the Falmouth Dock Ticket Windows. In July and August and on holiday weekends, plan to arrive at least 30-minutes prior to the boat’s departure.

Prices

  • Adult Round trip $25
  • Youth (ages 5-12) $15
  • Child Round trip (ages 4 and under) free
  • Active Military Round trip $18
  • Bicycle Round trip $8
  • Kayak and/or Paddleboard Round trip $12

Falmouth-Edgartown Ferry (Pied Piper Ferry) - Falmouth, Massachusetts to Martha’s Vineyard

Seasonality: Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend

Travel Time: 60 minutes

Address: 278 Scranton Avenue, Falmouth, MA

The Pied Piper Ferry is a 72-foot luxury ferry and the only ferry that sails into Edgartown Harbor seasonally, making it a direct connection to Edgartown Harbor and the town itself, where you can unwind, relax, shop boutique stores, dine in some of the finest restaurants, and explore this quaint New England seaside town.

The Pied Piper is strictly a walk-on passenger ferry and while advanced reservations are not required, they are suggested to ensure space onboard.

Parking

The Falmouth-Edgartown Ferry does provide valet parking on site at 278 Scranton Avenue. The boat offers boat and beverage along with the option to bring your leashed or caged pet as well as your bike, for an additional fee.

Prices

  • Adult round trip $72
  • Children (ages 6-12) round trip $48
  • Children 5 years and under, free
  • Bicycles round trip $16

Patriot Party Boat / Vineyard Shuttle and Water Taxi - Falmouth, Massachusetts to Martha’s Vineyard

Dates of Operation: Daily (except federal holidays), plus can be charted for private groups 24/7.

Travel Time:

Address: 227 Clinton Ave, Falmouth, MA

Patriot Party Boats, Inc. is a family-owned and operated business started over 40 years ago. “The Patriot” operates on a consistent schedule, which can be found here. The boat docks in Oak Bluffs Harbor, just steps away from shopping, dining, and more!

Need a water taxi? This is the ultimate life-saver when you miss the boat, need to get on or off island quickly, or have a non-medical emergency that requires traveling to and from Martha’s Vineyard, their 24-hour water taxi is available to charter and can transport up to 40 people at a time.

Parking

The Patriot offers parking at their 343 Dillingham Avenue Lot for $20 per calendar day. There is no parking in their dockside Clinton Avenue lot from Memorial Day Weekend until after Columbus Day. Long-term and overnight parking are available in their Dillingham lot. The Patriot also offers a convenient shuttle to and from the Falmouth Mall, home of Walmart, TJ Maxx, Christmas Tree Shops and more, for those visitors trying to get some big box shopping in during their stay.

Prices

  • $28 round trip, $14 one-way

Tickets are available on the boat, no advanced reservations required.

Martha’s Vineyard Fast Ferry - North Kingston / Quonset Point, Rhode Island to Martha’s Vineyard

Seasonality: Memorial Day Weekend through early October, daily in July and August

Travel Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Address: 1347 Roger Williams Way, North Kingstown, RI

Business-class amenities await when you travel on the “Ava Pearl” by the Vineyard Fast Ferry, which include outside sundeck seating, plush-interior seating, climate controlled interior deck with full-service bar and snacks. Departing from Quonset Point helps you avoid the Providence and Cape Cod traffic easily, plus they offer dockside parking for $15 a day, which is very convenient!

Getting to the Martha’s Vineyard Fast Ferry

For those visitors who live between New York City and Providence, Rhode Island consider taking an Amtrak train to Providence station where you’ll be only 35 minutes from the Martha’s Vineyard Rhode Island Fast Ferry Terminal in Quonset Point. The Providence Amtrak Station is well-served by Uber and Lyft, and there is a taxi stand located at the Amtrak Station.

Also those visitors coming from Boston can consider taking the train as the MBTA offers a commuter train from Boston that stops in Providence too. The ferry service has previously offered shuttle service from the train station but service has been interrupted recently so check their website for up-to-date shuttle information.

Additionally if you are traveling via Peter Pan bus or the Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority there are connection options in Providence similar to those offered above.

Prices

Off-season round trip rates:

  • Adult (ages 12-59) round trip $89
  • Senior (ages 60 and over) $84
  • Children (ages 3 to 11) $66
  • Infants (ages 0-2) $33
  • Bicycles $16
  • Bicycles with trailers $24

Peak trip round trip rates:

  • Adult (ages 12-59) round trip $109
  • Senior (ages 60 and over) $104
  • Children (ages 3 to 11) $86
  • Infants (ages 0-2) $53
  • Bicycles $16
  • Bicycles with trailers $24

Expect the Unexpected: Ferry Cancellations

Ferry cancellations mostly happen for two reasons: inclement weather and mechanical issues. Each ferry service has their own way of handling each type of cancellation, so it is best to view the ferry’s website directly in regards to cancellations and real-time information.

Weather

Inclement weather will typically cancel boats, with the Steamship Authority or “big boat” being the last service to be canceled. In general, the Steamship Authority ferries will be canceled once winds exceed 25/30 miles per hour. The smaller, seasonal boats will get canceled earlier than that, with The Patriot generally being the last smaller boat to cancel. Some locals will tell you of some wild (but safe!) rides aboard The Patriot in angry seas so consider your options, and your tolerance for sea sickness appropriately.

Mechanical Issues

Mechanical issues are normally announced previously and at times, they will offer a replacement vessel, but if not available, the trip would be canceled until further notice. While the ferry services make every effort to operate the ferries, mechanical issues can happen unexpectedly, so it is best to be prepared.

Conclusion

Generally speaking a boat ride to Martha’s Vineyard is one of the most magical parts of the trip, and offers you sweeping views of our gorgeous coastlines and picturesque harbors. For the ultimate Martha’s Vineyard ferry ride don’t miss the chance to ride the Chappy Ferry once you’ve arrived to Martha’s Vineyard. The Chappy Ferry transports passengers a short 527 feet from Edgartown Harbor to the rural oasis that is Chappaquiddick. The Chappy Ferry runs year round and accommodates walk-on passengers, bikes and automobiles–but only three at a time on their small barge style boat. There’s no advance reservations but ferry lines can get long in the summer, especially for beachgoers looking to enjoy the unspoiled stretches of sand on Chappy.

No matter what boat moves you, happy sailing, and remember it’s always worth the ride!

Explore Martha's Vineyard Towns

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