Source: Washington State News 2
Ian Sterling, communications, 206-714-1556
WSF media hotline, 206-402-8070
If you must ride, review schedules as many are different from years past
SEATTLE – With statewide restrictions in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the public is being asked to limit rides on state ferries to essential purposes only over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season.
“With guidance to limit gatherings during a time we normally spend with family and friends, the holidays will be different for many this year,” said Amy Scarton, head of Washington State Ferries. “If you must ride our ferries, remember that masks are required aboard our vessels and throughout our terminals in compliance with the state’s health order (pdf 315 kb) to help keep people safe.”
Customers who must take a ferry for essential travel should review sailing schedules in advance. Several routes are operating on modified timetables under WSF’s COVID-19 Response Service Plan (pdf 166 kb) that are different from years past:
- Seattle/Bainbridge, Seattle/Bremerton and Mukilteo/Clinton: Final daily round trip suspended
- Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth: Two-boat schedule instead of three; late-night sailings suspended
- Edmonds/Kingston: Final round trip suspended on Fridays and Saturdays
- Anacortes/San Juan Islands: Winter schedule (no Sidney, British Columbia service)
On Friday, Dec. 25 and Friday, Jan. 1, there will be a few schedule changes for the Edmonds/Kingston, Mukilteo/Clinton and Point Defiance/Tahlequah routes. The Seattle/Bainbridge Island route will operate on a Saturday timetable on both days. Holiday sailings are marked on the schedule page for each route.
Busy travel times
Lengthy wait times are possible for people who must drive a vehicle onto a vessel over the holidays. With Christmas falling on a Friday this year, the Wednesday and Thursday before, and the Saturday and Sunday following the holiday are expected to be the busiest. Delays are possible in both directions on several routes. Historically, far fewer people catch a ferry during the week of the New Year’s holiday.
To reduce or eliminate waiting, riders may consider taking an early morning or late evening sailing. To maintain physical distance standards, WSF will enforce reduced occupancy in terminals and on sailings for walk-on passengers.
People using state highways to get to the ferry terminal should plan ahead for potential backups and delays with real-time traffic information on the WSDOT traffic app for mobile devices.
WSF, a division of the Washington State Department of Transportation, is the largest ferry system in the U.S. and safely and efficiently carries nearly 24 million people a year through some of the most majestic scenery in the world. For breaking news and the latest information, follow WSF on Twitter and Facebook.