Your Cape Cod Ferry Guide: Schedules, Information and More!

CAPE COD FERRY GUIDE

We have your one stop Cape Cod Ferry Guide!

Getting to Cape Cod’s neighboring islands, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, has never been easier with high speed ferries and year-round service. Whether you’re traveling from Hyannis, Falmouth, Harwich, or elsewhere, a variety of ferries offer cost efficient and easy ways to get away from the mainland.

Cape Cod Ferry

THE STEAMSHIP AUTHORITY

In 1960, the Steamship Authority was empowered by the state to operate the boat line out of Woods Hole and Hyannis between the Cape and islands. The service was created to provide “adequate transportation of persons and necessaries of life for the Islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.”

The islands depend on the Steamship Authority to carry commercial trucks that bring goods across Nantucket Sound.

The Steamship Authority runs daily service to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and offers the lowest rates on the Cape.

It is the only ferry service in the islands that can carry vehicles.

Nine ferry vessels comprise the Steamship Authority’s fleet, with four of them accommodating vehicles. The ferries that carry vehicles require advance reservations, particularly for summer trips when the boats can book up months in advance.

The boats provide a comfortable experience with free Wi-Fi, TVs, and snack bars that serve beer, wine, and mixed drinks.

Besides cars and trucks, Steamship Authority ferries to both islands can accommodate bikes and pets.

The Steamship Authority’s route to Martha’s Vineyard runs out of Woods Hole and is a 45-minute boat trip.

One-way passenger rates are $8 for adults, $4.25 for children 5 to 12. The trips out of Woods Hole begin at 6 am and run until 9:45 pm. Some of the boats go to Vineyard Haven and some go to Oak Bluffs, so you need to check the schedule before boarding.

Service to Vineyard Haven is provided year-round, while Oak Bluffs service runs Memorial Day to Labor Day.

For those traveling from Woods Hole without their car, extra parking spaces during the summer are located in overflow lots on Palmer Avenue and on Gifford Street in Falmouth and in Cataumet.

Free shuttles run between the lots and the ferry dock in Woods Hole.

The Steamship Authority runs high-speed service to Nantucket from Hyannis Harbor and mid-April through December.

The high speed ferry takes just over an hour and costs $36.50 each way for adults. Round-trip tickets cost $69. For children 5 to 12, one-way tickets are $18.75 and round-trip tickets are $35.

The traditional vehicle/passenger ferry takes two hours and 15 minutes to make the trip.  One way tickets for adults are $17.50 and round-trip tickets are $35. Tickets for children on the traditional ferry  to Nantucket cost $9 one-way and $18 round-trip.

Some hotels on Nantucket give small discounts for ferry tickets too.

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ISLAND QUEEN

If you’re headed to Martha’s Vineyard from Falmouth, the Island Queen is a convenient option to keep in mind. The Island Queen docks in Falmouth Harbor and makes trips seasonally to Martha’s Vineyard. Considered “the best bargain on Cape Cod,” the ferry is known for being immaculate with a very friendly staff.

The 35-minute trip brings passengers, pets, and bikes across the Vineyard Sound starting in May through mid-October. The first boat leaves Falmouth at 9 am and the last one is at 6 pm, making the final trip back from Oak Bluffs at 6:45 pm. The Island Queen is convenient because of its location. A round trip costs $20, but remember to bring cash because the Island Queen doesn’t accept credit cards! Consider taking the Island Queen whether it be a day trip to the Vineyard or a longer vacation.

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HY-LINE CRUISES

Celebrating 50 years of operation recently, Hy-Line Cruises was founded in 1962 by Richard and Robert Scudder and Raymond Taylor. They began with a boat they found through a newspaper ad, and started a sightseeing business around Hyannis Harbor. Their business progressed to include deep-sea fishing.

In 1972, Hyannis Harbor Tours bought Nantucket Boat Company, giving Hyannis Harbor Tours three vessels, docks, parking lots, and the ticket office, providing the foundation of what Hy-Line Cruises is today.

With this purchase, Hy-Line began operating boats to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

Living up to its philosophy of “opportunity through growth,” Hy-Line purchased a new boat, “Great Point” in 1996.

Licensed through the Steamship Authority, this 800-seat boat was introduced as demand for year-round service and a high-speed ferry increased.

Hy-Line has grown ever since, now operating cruises on the Cape Cod Canal and a division called Cape Cod Custom Tours.

The Hy-Line Cruises now offers service in Hyannis Harbor to Nantucket and the Vineyard on traditional and high-speed ferries.

The Lady Martha, Hy-Line’s high-speed boat, makes the trip to Martha’s Vineyard in 55 minutes and operates five trips a day starting at 8:15 am.  Trips cost $36 one-way and $72 round-trip. It operates May to October with five trips daily in high season.

Also operating from May to October, the traditional ferry from Hyannis to Martha’s Vineyard takes an hour and ten minutes and costs $22.50 one-way and $45 round-trip. It operates twice daily.

As for Nantucket, fares for the traditional ferry are $45 round-trip, substantially less expensive than the $77 high-speed.

From Hyannis to Nantucket, the Great Point traditional ferry takes one hour and 50 minutes, with boats departing at 9:30 am, 1:40 pm and 6:20 pm. It costs $22.50 one way and $45 round-trip. Children under 12 ride for free on the traditional ferry. The slow boat to Nantucket operates May to October.

Operating year-round, Hy-Line’s high-speed service from Hyannis to Nantucket, the Grey Lady, takes about an hour and costs $41 one-way and $77 round-trip. Children 5 to 12 years old are $29 one-way and $51 round-trip.

Hy-Line Cruises recommends reservations for passengers and parking in the summer because the ferries do book up well ahead of time.

Hy-Line Cruises runs an inter-island route between Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket during the summer months into September. This is a convenient way to explore both islands, bringing passengers into Oak Bluffs on the Vineyard. Loyal customers say Hy-Line always brings high quality service – consistently on time and fast, an overall pleasant experience.

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OTHER FERRIES

Another way to get to the islands is by Seastreak, a ferry line that runs from New Bedford, New Jersey, and New York City.

Seastreak is unveiling a new route between New Bedford and Nantucket, with a stop at Martha’s Vineyard on the way.

A different Sunstreak vessel departs from Highlands, New Jersey and makes a stop at the 35th Street pier in Manhattan before traveling to Martha’s Vineyard. The travel time is five hours for the once a day trip.

Experiencing the Seastreak is a luxurious trip on a catamaran with food and beverages, 12 flat-screen TVs, and beautiful scenery from New York up the coast.

Though Seastreak’s trips to the islands are seasonal, the boat is a great option for people in the tri-state area.

The Rhode Island Fast Ferry takes customers from Kingston, Rhode Island to Martha’s Vineyard in one hour and 35 minutes.

This high speed ferry accommodates 400 passengers. This boat makes three trips a day during the height of the season.

A one-way passenger ticket costs $51 each way with a reservation in advance. The Rhode Island Fast Ferry is a great way to avoid Cape traffic.


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