Getting here is half the fun aboard a Washington State Ferry and reservations are now available at to help make trip planning easier and more predictable. Here are some tips for making your ferry travel stress free:


  • We¬†recommend making a reservation, especially from May through September and for holiday weekends.
  • You’ll need to make 2 reservations — one coming to the islands (west bound) and one leaving the islands (east bound)¬†if you’re visiting¬†Orcas¬†or San Juan islands. The system will prompt you to make a round-trip reservation. (Lopez and Shaw islands only have west-bound reservations.)
  • If you can‚Äôt get a reservation on your desired day or sailing,¬†no worries, reservations are released in 3 tiers to accommodate long and short-term planning by visitors and residents. Walk-ons don’t need a reservation; see below.
  • The first 30% are released¬†2 months¬†before the start of each of¬†the four seasonal sailing schedules,¬†for all sailings during¬†that season, meaning that these reservations may be available up to 5 months in advance.¬† Click¬†here¬†for more details.
  • Each tier release of space opens online and by phone¬†at 7:00 a.m.,¬†¬†or 1-888-808-7977.
  • Proirity for those without reservations,¬†emergency vehicles, and customers with medical documentation.¬†Approximately 15-20 drive-up/stand-by spaces are often available on¬†most ferries, so if you don’t have a reservation, don’t let this stop you from visiting.¬†See the¬†“Anacortes Terminal & Cameras”¬†web page to view the approximate number of available spaces on sailings that day.
  • You must¬†check in at the toll booth at least 30 minutes ahead of your sailing time or you will lose your reservation and will¬†travel standby. It is recommended that you arrive in line for your reserved sailing 45-90 minutes in advance of the sailing departure time due to possible long lines,¬†staging requirements, and loading time. Bring your printed reservation sheet with barcode for easy scanning.
  • There is no extra charge for a reservation, however, to secure a reservation you must provide a debit or credit card which will only be charged $10 if you are a ‚Äėno show.‚Äô¬†(Ferry tickets are purchased separately at the Anacortes terminal or¬†online. Tickets¬†include a round trip, although be sure to make 2 reservations — one coming and one leaving the islands, as mentioned above.)
  • There are several sailings each day to and from each of the 4 islands which almost assures that you‚Äôll get your first,¬†second or third choice of sailing time with a reservation.
  • Reservations are available to all 4 islands from Anacortes, but only from Orcas Island and Friday Harbor/San Juan Island returning to Anacortes. Reservations are not available, or typically needed, on the inter-island ferry.
  • You can make a reservation up until 2¬†hours prior to a sailing, provided there is space available.


Check the website of Washington State Department of Transportation for ferry schedule, see the map and cameras and more details.