If you plan to take a ferry during the holiday season, be sure to keep a close eye on the sailing schedules.
The Washington State Department of Transportation says due to an ongoing staff shortage, the Seattle / Bainbridge Island, Edmonds / Kingston and Mukilteo / Clinton routes will remain on a single boat, with a second boat added daily according to the availability of crews.
Washington State Ferries will slowly begin to restore normal service
“Due to our recent hiring efforts and new crew agreements with our working partners, we have been able to add service almost daily over the past month on our central strait routes and operate a full fall program of four boats on our Anacortes / San Juan Islands route, but challenges remain. “Patty Rubstello, director of Washington State Ferries, said in a press release.” I encourage bikers to sign up for our runner alerts to receive an update every night and morning on the schedule we operate on each route.
Sign up here to receive passenger alerts and check terminal conditions here before you leave.
Most ferry routes were switched to alternate service schedules on October 16 to avoid last minute cancellations due to a lack of available crew members. The staff shortage, the WSF says, is due to many variables, including a global shortage of sailors exacerbated by the pandemic, an aging workforce, and COVID-19 cases and quarantines.
For the holiday weekends ahead, expect long waits on most races. Since Christmas and New Years are on Saturdays this year, the busiest days should be Thursday and Friday before and Sunday after each holiday.
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On Friday December 24 and Friday December 31, the Fauntleroy / Vashon / Southworth ferry line will operate on a Saturday schedule. All routes will operate on a typical Saturday schedule for December 25 and January 1.
If you need to get to the ferry via a national highway, expect travel delays and delays. Check real-time traffic information on the WSDOT travel map.