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For the latest COVID-19 health guidance, statistics and resources, visit Coronavirus.wa.gov.

Safety is Washington State Ferries’ number one priority, and this includes the health and well-being of our passengers and employees. WSF is taking a number of steps to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus) and keep our facilities as safe as possible. Please read below for some information regarding travel and check back later as we will continue to provide updates as they are available.

What is WSF doing to limit the spread of COVID-19?

All common-touch areas on our ferries and terminals are being routinely cleaned, and workers are reminded to practice good hygiene. These are high touch public spaces, and it’s important for the public to also do your part to protect yourselves and others by practicing good hygiene and reconsider traveling if you are sick.

Are there any changes to the current schedule or travel restrictions due to COVID-19?

Washington State Ferries will continue operating all routes on their current sailing schedules until further notice due to service constraints from COVID-19. Service is subject to change in response to the pandemic, and customers are advised to check the WSF schedule page for the most current schedule information. Customers may also sign up to receive travel alerts by email.

Vehicle reservations

Reservations for the Port Townsend/Coupeville and Anacortes/San Juan Islands/Sidney, B.C. routes are available through September 26. Customers are encouraged to look at the sailing schedules to plan their travel in advance before trying to book a reservation.

International service to and from Sidney, B.C. is cancelled until further notice because of continued travel restrictions. Customers will not be able to book travel for this route.

Why isn’t WSF increasing service for the summer months?

COVID-19 has placed many challenges on state agencies, and it has been no different for WSF. As many other organizations have done, WSF has had to adjust our way of doing business to keep people safe and healthy during this pandemic.

Even though ridership has been slowly increasing, travel is still limited to “essential” purposes as part of the Governor’s Safe Start plan. And despite heavy demand during peak travel periods in the mornings and afternoons, we’re currently carrying about 45% fewer riders across the entire system.

However, ridership will not be the only variable that determines when we will be able increase service. Before any service increase is implemented, four important factors need to be present:

  1. Ridership: As already mentioned, ridership remains at historic lows. As more restrictions are lifted and non-essential travel is restored, we anticipate more riders will come back to the ferries. It is difficult to predict at what rate they will return, but we know that there will be more demand for service as we move through the Governor’s Safe Start plan.
  2. Crew availability: Washington State Ferries is federally required to have a certain number of qualified crew members to operate each sailing. We currently have about 150 crew members who are “high risk” and unable to sail because of COVID-19 concerns. This has made it a challenge to even maintain this current level of service. Until we have a full workforce available, we will be unable to sufficiently crew the vessels and increase service.
  3. Funding: Finally, WSF cannot increase its level of service without the funding to operate that service. With decreased ridership, fare revenues have also decreased, and overall transportation revenue throughout the State of Washington is projected to have decreased by about $100 million per month.
  4. Vessels: The number of boats that are available also dictate our ability to provide service. If there are not enough boats due to a combination of planned and unplanned maintenance, we cannot operate a full schedule.

We recognize that ferry service provides a critical lifeline for many people. Despite these challenges, we are committed to providing as much service as possible given our very constrained resources.

Do I have to wear a mask traveling on a ferry?

Passengers are asked to comply with the Governor’s statewide order requiring that face masks and coverings be worn in public to limit the spread of COVID-19. The requirement includes both indoor and outdoor spaces. It takes effect on Friday, June 26.

Customers traveling by vehicle are encouraged to remain in their vehicles for the duration of their trip, while those in the cabin should practice safe physical distancing.

What’s the best way to purchase tickets at this time?

To better protect our customers and employees against the spread of COVID-19, WSF encourages all customers to purchase their tickets in advance online. Tickets can be purchased at Wave2go.com. Pre-purchasing tickets minimizes the amount of contact and money exchange that needs to take place at tollbooths.

To make it easier for customers to purchase tickets online, WSF has made all of its fares available, including those that normally require in-person purchase and proof of eligibility. These include youth, senior, and disabled fares.

Can I get a refund for my unused travel?

While WSF is unable to extend the 90-day period for tickets and travel passes at this time, customers who are unable to use tickets or travel passes because of COVID-19 concerns may be eligible for a refund for the unused portion of their fare. All refund requests can be submitted online. Please note that it may take longer than the typical 6-8 weeks to process your request due to significantly higher volumes.

Customers with monthly ReValue passes who have curtailed their travel should cancel their account to avoid future payments. Multi-ride ReValue pass users should suspend their accounts to stop payments and reactivate their account when they resume travel. Any remaining rides on either pass are still valid through the expiration date after cancelling or suspending the account.

During this time, no-show fees will also be waived on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands and Port Townsend/Coupeville reservation routes until further notice. If you are unable to travel using your reservation or have to cancel your reservation at the last minute, you will not be charged a no-show fee. While no-show fees will automatically be waived, we ask that you please continue to cancel reservations online or by phone at 206-464-6400 if you know that you will not be traveling. This helps WSF plan for and respond to ridership needs.

Will the customer service call center remain open?

The WSF call center is operating with limited service while agents work remotely based on COVID-19 health recommendations. Customers can call 206-464-6400 to speak with an agent or receive automated schedule and fare information. However, agents will not have the ability to take credit card numbers over the phone. Therefore, they will not be able to make reservations or assist customers with ticket purchases.

Vehicle reservation will need to be made, changed or cancelled online. Refund requests can also be submitted online, and customers are highly encouraged to do so. Customers may also experience longer than normal hold times depending on call volumes.

Why do I have to hand over my ticket at the tollbooth?

Unfortunately, wireless or hands-free ticket scanning is not available at all of our terminals, so it would be very difficult for staff to completely avoid handling money or transit passes. Other times, the ticket may be positioned in a way that makes it difficult for a scanner to reach it. However, we have installed sneeze guards at tollbooths, and staff will be using selfie sticks to limit the need for hand-to-hand contact. But we still need customers’ help too. The best defense against spreading germs is for everyone to practice good personal hygiene, especially hand-washing and using hand sanitizer.

How can I practice social distancing onboard a ferry?

On top of maintaining good hygiene habits and washing your hands, we encourage passengers to follow health officials’ recommendations for social distancing when possible. There are several options for ferry riders to maintain a healthy amount of separation from fellow passengers:

Can I travel internationally between Anacortes and Sidney, B.C.?

No. Service between Anacortes and B.C. is suspended until further notice due to ongoing international travel restrictions.

* Please note that this does not affect domestic service. WSF will continue to make its regularly scheduled domestic stops in the San Juan Islands.

Are the galleys open on the boats?

All galleys on Washington State Ferries will be closed until further notice in an effort to protect the health and safety of employees and customers. Food vendors at the Anacortes terminal will also be closed. However, vending machines will still be available.

Can I still schedule a memorial, fundraiser or have my organization’s posters placed on a ferry?

WSF is temporarily suspending all memorial, fundraiser, filming shoot, onboard activities at its facilities until at least August 1 to better protect our employees and customers. Activities scheduled through July 31 will be rescheduled for a later date, and we will be contacting affected customers.

We apologize for the inconvenience and will resume these programs as soon as we are able.