Traveling to the San Juan Islands has become so much more convenient, for both visitors and residents, since the introduction of the reservation system on Washington State Ferries last year.
Reservations: Turn Ferry Terminal Wait Times From Hours To Minutes
Before we had reservations, travelers could expect to spend several hours waiting to arrive to or depart from the San Juan Islands, especially on heavy traffic days. Friday afternoons to the islands and Sunday departures would make travelers cringe! Sometimes spending 4-6 hours to make a sailing to head back home was not the way you wanted to conclude your trip to the islands. Now, just about 45 minutes is the wait time for those that take a couple of minutes to reserve a sailing.
Reserve Your Spring Sailings Tomorrow Morning
Reservations for the Spring sailing will be available tomorrow (January 20th) for sailings taking place between March 20, 2016 and June 11, 2016. Reservations.
Tiered Release of Space Throughout the Season
As a reminder, reservations are released in 3 tiers to accommodate both longer and shorter term planning.
- The first 30% of reservations are released 2 months before the start of each of the seasonal sailings, for all sailings during that season. That means that some reservation dates might be available for booking up to 5 months in advance.
- The second 30% is released 2 weeks prior to the specific sailing date.
- The third 30% is released 2 days prior to the specific sailing date.
- The remaining 10% capacity is set aside for emergency vehicles, customers with medical documentation and 'drive up' customers without reservations.
Do You Really Need Reservations?
The San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau recommends travelers make reservations during the months of May-September, and for any holiday weekend. Also, if you're visiting the islands for just a few days, then your time is precious. Make the most of it by setting up your reservation in advance.
How To Reserve Your Sailing
It's simple to make reservations and doesn't cost a dime (unless you don't show up without cancelling).
Visit the Washington State Ferry website for full details on reservations. Their website is www.takeaferry.com or you can call 1-888-808-7977 to speak with a WSF service agent.