Memorial Day marks the start of summer season for ferries

Memorial Day traditionally means the arrival of summer crowds desiring to board a Washington State Ferry en route to a long weekend of fun. Adding sunshine and blue skies to this three-day weekend can mean traffic backups on Friday afternoons and evenings westbound and again on Monday, eastbound, as travelers return home. To meet these additional demands, WSDOT Ferries Division will provide extra service on key routes but travelers should still expect some delay at their ferry dock.

On Thursday, May 22, the Sealth, which is working as the inter-island ferry in the San Juan Islands, will drop off traffic at Lopez Island at 7:05 p.m. and head to Anacortes to make an extra 8 p.m. sailing to Friday Harbor. The Hyak will pick up traffic at Lopez at 7:25 p.m. On Friday, May 23, the Chelan will make an extra sailing to Lopez Island at 3 p.m.

On Monday, May 26, the Anacortes/San Juan Islands routes will operate on a Sunday schedule, which will provide an additional sailing from Orcas Island in the afternoon at 4:15 p.m. The inter-island ferry Sealth will pick up Anacortes bound vehicles out of Friday Harbor at 5:40 p.m., Orcas vehicles bound for Anacortes at 6:30 p.m., Shaw traffic at 6:45 p.m. and Lopez traffic at 7:05 p.m. (after dropping off any inter-island traffic) and will sail to Anacortes, arriving at 7:45 p.m. The Hyak will pick up inter-island traffic from Lopez Island at 7:25 p.m.

Reservations for all sailings can be made for the Port Townsend/Keystone route for this busy three day weekend. Call 1-888-808-7977 (in state), 206.464.6400, or dial 511 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

On Monday, May 26, the holiday sailing schedule will be in effect for the following routes: Mukilteo/Clinton, Seattle/Bainbridge, Edmonds/Kingston, and Point Defiance/Tahlequah.

There are no tidal cancellations on the Port Townsend/Keystone route for the remainder of this month of May.

For information on schedules and up-to-date traffic information, check the ferries web site at or call 1-888-808-7977 or 511.