Follow us:

Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

Category: Ferries
July 11, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Vehicle reservations coming for ferries to San Juan islands

If you’ve waited in frustratingly long lines for ferries to and from Washington’s San Juan Islands, relief is on the way. Starting next year travelers will be able to get vehicle reservations on ferries. Reservations will be available for sailings from Anacortes to Orcas, San Juan, Shaw and Lopez islands and for the return voyage from…

More

Comments | More in Ferries | Topics: lopez island, orcas island, san juan island

October 8, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Be prepared for high fares on BC Ferries

A BC Ferries ships sails amid the Gulf Islands. (Brian Cantwell photo / Seattle Times, 2010)

A  ferry sails amid British Columbia’s Gulf Islands. BC Ferries’ fares are far higher than Washington’s.  (Brian Cantwell photo / Seattle Times, 2010)

We all love to gripe about Washington ferries. They’re too expensive. They’re too crowded. They need a reservation system on more routes.

But after riding some ferries in British Columbia recently, I’m singing the praises of Washington State Ferries — especially of their far cheaper fares.

British Columbia has privatized its ferries in recent years, and the fares have soared as

More

Comments | More in Ferries | Topics: BC Ferries, British Columbia, Washington State Ferries

July 9, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Poll: Should state ferry rates go up for adults but down for kids?

A state ferry transits the San Juan Islands, with Mount Baker in the background. (photo by Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)

A state ferry transits the San Juan Islands, with Mount Baker in the background. (photo by Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)

The round-trip fare for a standard car and driver riding on Washington State Ferries to Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands would top the ouch-worthy $60 mark by next summer under proposed fare increases. But a family of four including two teenagers would pay a little less than they’re paying this summer for that same trip.

The fare break for families is part of a special provision in the fare package now being aired in a slate of hearings by the Washington State Transportation Commission.

The plan calls for a 2-percent passenger rate increase and 3-percent vehicle fare increase in October, followed by another 2-percent passenger increase and 2.5-percent vehicle increase next May. The increases would affect all routes, not just the San Juans, and the Transportation Commission says rates must go up to meet legislative mandates. See the full proposal here.

But while other rates go up, the passenger fare for youths, ages 6-18,

More

Comments | More in Ferries, Northwest | Topics: ferry discount for kids, ferry fare increase, ferry fares

July 2, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Stuck waiting for a San Juans ferry? Take a lovely waterfront walk

A sculpture called "Cormorant Drying Her Wings" stands along the boardwalk near the Anacortes ferry terminal (in background).  (Kristin Jackson photo / The Seattle Times)

A sculpture called “Cormorant Drying Her Wings” stands along the trail  near the Anacortes ferry terminal (in background).
(Kristin Jackson photo / The Seattle Times)

Going to the San Juan Islands? You can get stuck in the ferry line, sometimes for hours,  on summer weekends.

I had a couple hours to kill at the Anacortes ferry terminal recently after missing a ferry to Orcas Island. Bored with sitting in the car,  I scrambled down a narrow dirt path to the beach just below the vehicle lanes (Washington State Ferries hasn’t been able to  build a proper trail yet). 

It’s a rocky, nice little beach where families waiting for the ferries play. But what I really enjoyed is a nearby new boardwalk and gravel pathway that meander through

More

Comments | More in Ferries, Northwest | Topics: Anacortes ferry terminal, Guemes Channel Trail, san juan islands