Four places to catch a ferry to the islands

The Island Queen leaves Falmouth Harbor bound for Martha's Vineyard. Photo by John Fitts.

If you are staying on Cape Cod and considering a day trip to Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard, there are a few options when it comes to getting there.

If you are in the Mid Cape area, head to Hyannis Harbor on Ocean Street to catch a ferry. Hy-Line Cruises offers high speed service to both islands. Board the Grey Lady IV or the Grey Lady for passage between Hyannis and Nantucket or the Lady Martha or the Vineyard Lady to travel between Hyannis and Martha's Vineyard. 

The Steamship Authority offers ferry service to both islands from Hyannis and Woods Hole.  The Steamship Authority has the most frequent daily service, year-round. Travel aboard a Steamship Authority vessel from Hyannis to Nantucket or Woods Hole to Martha's Vineyard. Both traditional and high speed service is available. The Steamship Authority is the only ferry service to offer both passenger and vehicle transport to the islands.

Two companies ferry visitors to Martha's Vineyard from Falmouth: the Falmouth Edgartown Ferry and the Island Queen. Both offer seasonal passenger ferry service from Falmouth Harbor to Martha's Vineyard. Falmouth Edgartown Ferry gets you to Martha's Vineyard in about an hour, Island Queen makes the trip in about 35 minutes.

Many visitors to Cape Cod know you can catch a ferry to the islands from Woods Hole and Hyannis and Falmouth, but did you know you can travel from Harwich to Nantucket by ferry?

Nantucket Ferry Freedom Cruise Line offers seasonal service from picturesque Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich Port to Nantucket.  Parking at the Harwich Port terminal is free for daytrippers to the island.

Note, all ferry service schedules differ by season. Operation days and number of trips per day will vary from summer to fall, winter and spring. Most offer snacks and drinks on board, some even offer free WiFi. Travel with dogs and bikes is also permitted in most cases. If you are taking a passenger ferry and leaving your car behind, parking fees may apply. Read your ferry company's FAQs before booking a reservation.

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