Your Ultimate Guide to the San Juan Island Ferry Schedule

Night Ferry in annacortes When planning your vacation at Tucker House Inn, you will need to become familiar with the San Juan Island ferry schedule. The ferry is one of the most popular forms of transportation to arrive on the island, for visitors and locals alike. Other options include seaplane and private charter and boat. The ferry is not only the main form of transportation to the island but also a scenic and idyllic ride that will get you in the mood for your entire vacation. Feel the chilly breezes, watch for whale tails below or bald eagle wings above, and absorb yourself in the surrounding nature. Before you climb aboard, however, you will need to know the San Juan Island ferry schedule.

What You Need to Know About the San Juan Island Ferry

The route to San Juan Island begins in Anacortes, Washington. This is where you will begin your adventure. These large car ferries will give you the opportunity to bring your rental car across with you. The San Juan Island ferry schedule alternates between seasons. Since summer is busier, there are more departures and arrivals on the island. The Anacortes ferry travels to Lopez Island, Shaw Island, and Orcas Island as well as making a stop in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. You will get the full tour en route during this trip, which lasts between one and two hours typically, depending on the number of stops. Don’t worry, though. There are plenty of fun things to do while onboard!

Making Reservations

The ferry is first come first serve, and you can hop on anytime. However, if you would like to make reservations to guarantee your place aboard, then you can by visiting www.takeaferry.com. Reservations are particularly recommended between May and September and on holiday weekends. When you make your reservation, you will need to make one coming onto the islands and one leaving the islands for a full round-trip. If you can’t seem to get a reservation on your desired day at the desired time, don’t panic. 

Reservations are released in three tiers to accommodate long and short-term planning by both visitors and residents. The first 30 percent are released two months in advance, the second 30 percent are released 2 weeks in advance, and the third 30 percent are released 2 days in advance. The remaining 10 percent are set aside for those without reservations, forming about 15 to 20 drive-up or stand-by spaces. Be sure to check in for your reservation at least 30 minutes ahead of your sailing time or you will lose your spot! 

San Juan Island Ferry Schedule

The Summer 2016 schedule has more sailings than other time of year because of the influx of people to the San Juan Islands. There are around 20 departures from Anacortes on a typical summer day, though not all of them anchor in Friday Harbor. You will have to check the schedule for updates so you know when you will arrive. The Fall 2016 schedule has a few less times each day leaving westbound from Anacortes, though there are still frequent stops throughout the day, starting at 4:15am and ending in Friday Harbor just after midnight. If you’re planning a late night out, be sure to check when the last ferry leaves and get there in plenty of time!

You’ve Arrived!

After planning out your route to the island according to the San Juan Island ferry schedule, you will arrive in Friday Harbor! Check in at Tucker House Inn and we will make sure you have a splendid San Juan Island vacation. For more information on planning your trip, download our free vacation guide!