WSF has tips for Labor Day weekend ferry travel

||| from Washington State Ferries

If your holiday weekend travel plans include a ride on our ferries, double check our sailing schedules and plan for long waits if coming aboard in a vehicle. Several routes are still operating on modified schedules dependent on our COVID Response Service Plan. As many take advantage of the great weather forecast over the long holiday weekend, I remind everyone that most counties remain under essential or limited non-essential travel orders under the Safe Start reopening plan. I continue to ask that you ride our ferries only if absolutely necessary.

Photo of people wearing face coverings while on the outdoor deck of a ferry

For anyone not inside a vehicle, a face covering is required on all our ferries. Anyone in a vehicle should put on a mask if they have to exit their vehicle during the sailing.

If you have to catch a ferry right now, I suggest signing up for email alerts, checking terminal conditions, reading our COVID-19 travel updates and making a reservation for our Anacortes/San Juan Islands or Port Townsend/Coupeville routes.

New mask signs going up on ferries, at terminals

We’re working to increase compliance of the state’s facial coverings order aboard our ferries and at our terminals. We are replacing the posted Centers for Disease Control-provided signs with one that specifically states that masks are required at our all our facilities and on our vessels – inside or outside.

Image of face covering required signThis sign is going up throughout our fleet and facilities. We are also working to get this message to people coming to our terminal tollbooths and making frequent announcements about mask wearing and safe physical distancing. 

Nearly $2 million in fuel savings

We have saved nearly $2 million in fuel over the past two years thanks to the work of our captains and chief engineers! In response to a 2018 executive order from the governor, which challenges Washington State Ferries to implement operational improvements to conserve energy, our crews worked to optimize the speed of our vessels to reduce fuel consumption. Since then, we have saved more than one million gallons of fuel with minimal effects to on-time performance. Thank you to all involved for helping us meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals and save money during our current COVID-19 budget constraints.

Photo of ferry

Reducing the speed of our on-time vessels by just one knot has resulted in a decrease of 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

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Tracy McQueen
18 days ago

Hey WSF, this statement on your website puzzles me! Is there now no such thing as Standby on these busy days?
Ana/SJs- No Standby Space Available Out of Anacortes Today After 1 p.m.
Standby travel will be suspended for all sailings out of Anacortes starting at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4. All customers who arrive to the tollbooth after the cutoff without a reservation will be turned away and will need to travel on a different day.
We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Tracy McQueen
18 days ago

Well I got an answer from WSF on Twitter. Hard to believe but this is true:
Reservation system glitch allowed overbooking on sailings. There’s not enough standby space to accommodate them plus any additional standbys. To avoid large crowds waiting for space that may never materialize, we suspended standby travel to everyone not affected by system error.”

R R Davis
18 days ago

And right below the no standby paragraph is the famous…”customers are advised to limit ferry travel to essential purposes, as per governors stay home stay safe orders”. Total BS.

Sharon Donague
18 days ago

What happened to WSF. They used to be a pillar of excellence. On time, every time. Full galley service, great food offerings… a real pleasure to be a part of back in the day. Now it seems to be run by monkeys. Ridiculously late every day, no galley much of the year, glitchy, expensive, regular mechanical breakdowns affecting service, etc Time for a leadership and management change for anyone involved in the ferry system, starting with Inslee. I understand there are challenges, but there were challenges 20 years ago as well. Need competent leadership to fix WSF.

Michael Johnson
17 days ago

”customers are advised to limit ferry travel to essential purposes, as per governors stay home stay safe orders”.

Whatever happened to people… they used to exhibit some common sense? Want some practical information to help guide you thru the ferry system this busy holiday weekend? Stay home.

Michael Johnson
17 days ago

It’s time for fewer people!