Is there a more unique, beautiful, relaxing commute than the ferry from Bainbridge to Seattle?
The 35-minute trip frames downtown in the morning and the spectacular Olympic Mountains in the evening. And because you’re not driving, you can use your time to read, browse the internet, sip a local coffee or craft beer, even chat with friends and neighbors.
The ferry funnels much of the island’s population on any given day, a unique dynamic which creates a vibrant, close-knit community. If you commute regularly, you’ll soon recognize many islanders by sight. And most commuters agree that their social circles sprouted on the M/V Wenatchee or Tacoma.
Here are some tips to make the most of your crossings:
Avoid wait times Walk-ons, bicycles, and motorcycles are virtually never turned away and always get on a boat that is loading. Cars, however, can be delayed one or two sailings at peak times. The most crowded sailings are commute hours (7am – 9am and 4pm – 6pm weekdays), plus weekend escapees (Friday afternoon/evening departing Seattle, Sunday afternoon/evening departing Bainbridge). Be prepared for wait times if traveling by car, or plan your trip on foot, bicycle, or motorcycle, if possible. Ferry schedules and Bainbridge Island terminal cameras and space available.
Sports heaven Planning on attending a Seahawks, Sounders, or Mariners game? It’s an easy walk from the Seattle terminal to the stadiums. Leave that car in the garage!
Galley grub The ferry galley is open from 5am to 9:15pm M-F, 5:30am to 9:30pm weekends (subject to change by season). The galley offers craft beer and Washington wines by the glass, which must be consumed in the galley area. Food selections are limited to a variety of ready-made deli items, Ivar’s clam chowder, popcorn, and warm pretzels. Try the chili!
Where to hide out Done with people for the day? As you take the stairs up from the car deck, continue up one more flight past the main passenger cabin. There you’ll find the quiet room, where talking will earn you frowns from those who are there to read, reflect, or relax.
The thrifty commuter Multi-ride passes are available for every passenger-type and offer a significant discount from single passage fares. Also, walk-ons, bicycles, and motorcycles can get a pass that automatically replenishes. For commuters, it’s the ultimate in ferry convenience and savings. Fare information.
Connecting to Wifi Washington State Ferries do not offer wifi service aboard the boats or at the terminals, but you can use the cellular connection on your phone as a hot spot. Using a cable or a Bluetooth connection, you can get decent service in most conditions, excluding a brief dead spot just before the turn into Eagle Harbor.