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How Long Is The Ferry Ride To Martha’s Vineyard?


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Catlaina Word



Welcome to the beautiful island of Martha’s Vineyard! Located just off the coast of Massachusetts, Martha’s Vineyard is a popular vacation destination known for its pristine beaches, charming small towns, and picturesque landscapes. Whether you’re a local looking for a quick getaway or a tourist eager to explore this idyllic island, one question that often comes to mind is: how long is the ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard?


Martha’s Vineyard can be reached by ferry from various points along the Massachusetts coastline, including Cape Cod and New Bedford. The ferry ride not only serves as a means of transportation but also offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the chance to spot dolphins and other marine life. The duration of the ferry ride can vary depending on the route, the ferry company, and other factors. In this article, we will explore the different ferry routes to Martha’s Vineyard, the ferry companies operating them, and the factors that can affect the duration of the ferry ride.


Whether you’re planning a day trip or an extended stay on Martha’s Vineyard, understanding the ferry options available to you and the time it takes to get there is essential for a seamless and enjoyable journey. So, let’s dive in and discover how long it takes to reach this enchanting island!


Ferry Routes to Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard can be accessed by ferry from a few different locations along the Massachusetts coastline. The most popular ferry routes to the island are from Cape Cod and New Bedford. Let’s take a closer look at these routes:

  1. Cape Cod Ferry: The Cape Cod ferry is a common choice for travelers coming from Cape Cod, which is just a short distance from Martha’s Vineyard. The ferry departs from several Cape Cod towns, including Woods Hole, Falmouth, and Hyannis. This route offers convenient access to the island and is operated by multiple ferry companies.
  2. New Bedford Ferry: If you’re located further west, the New Bedford ferry provides another option for getting to Martha’s Vineyard. Departing from the historic city of New Bedford, this ferry route offers a scenic journey across the Vineyard Sound, allowing passengers to take in the coastal beauty before arriving on the island.

Both ferry routes provide a convenient and enjoyable way to reach Martha’s Vineyard, with each offering its own unique experience. Whether you prefer the proximity of Cape Cod or the charm of New Bedford, you’ll find a ferry route that suits your needs.


Ferry Companies

Several ferry companies operate the routes to Martha’s Vineyard, each offering their own schedules, amenities, and ticket prices. Here are a few of the prominent ferry companies that serve the island:

  1. Steamship Authority: The Steamship Authority is the primary ferry operator to Martha’s Vineyard, offering year-round service from Woods Hole on Cape Cod. They provide both passenger-only ferries and ferries that transport vehicles, accommodating visitors with different travel needs. With frequent departures and a long-standing reputation for reliability, the Steamship Authority is a popular choice among travelers.
  2. Island Queen: If you’re departing from Falmouth on Cape Cod, the Island Queen ferry is a convenient option. Operating from May to October, this passenger-only ferry offers a shorter crossing time, making it an ideal choice for day trips or those with limited time.
  3. Falmouth Ferry: Another ferry company serving Martha’s Vineyard from Falmouth is the Falmouth Ferry. They provide passenger-only service and have a schedule that caters to both day trippers and overnight travelers.
  4. Flyer’s Boat Rental: For those looking for a unique and adventurous experience, Flyer’s Boat Rental offers the option to rent a small boat and navigate the waters to Martha’s Vineyard independently. This gives travelers the freedom to explore at their own pace and enjoy a personalized journey to the island.

Each ferry company has its own website where you can find information about schedules, ticket prices, and any additional services they offer. It’s advisable to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your spot on the ferry and avoid any last-minute disappointments.


Ultimately, the choice of ferry company will depend on your departure point, preferred amenities, and personal preferences. Regardless of which company you choose, the journey to Martha’s Vineyard promises to be a memorable experience.


Ferry Departure Points

When planning your trip to Martha’s Vineyard, it’s important to know the departure points for the different ferry routes. Here are the main departure points for the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard:

  1. Woods Hole, Cape Cod: Woods Hole is a bustling village situated at the southwestern tip of Cape Cod, and it serves as the primary departure point for ferries to Martha’s Vineyard. The Steamship Authority operates multiple ferries from Woods Hole, providing easy access to the island.
  2. Falmouth, Cape Cod: Falmouth, located in the upper portion of Cape Cod, is another departure point for Martha’s Vineyard ferries. The Island Queen and Falmouth Ferry both operate from Falmouth, offering convenient options for travelers in this area.
  3. Hyannis, Cape Cod: Hyannis, a vibrant town in Cape Cod, also offers ferry service to Martha’s Vineyard. The Steamship Authority operates ferries from Hyannis, providing a convenient departure point for those located in this area.
  4. New Bedford, Massachusetts: Located on the mainland of Massachusetts, New Bedford is another departure point for ferries to Martha’s Vineyard. The New Bedford ferry provides a unique and scenic journey for those coming from the west.

Each departure point offers its own advantages and may be more convenient depending on your location and travel plans. It’s important to check the ferry schedules and consider factors such as parking availability, proximity to your starting point, and overall travel logistics when choosing your departure point.


Additionally, many of these departure points offer amenities and services to enhance your pre-ferry experience. You’ll find a variety of restaurants, shops, and other attractions in the surrounding areas, allowing you to make the most of your time before boarding the ferry.


Overall, knowing the departure points for the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard will help you plan your journey more effectively and ensure a smooth and enjoyable start to your island adventure.


Duration of Ferry Rides to Martha’s Vineyard

The duration of the ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard can vary depending on a few factors, including the departure point, the route, and the ferry company. Here is an overview of the typical durations for the ferry rides:

  1. From Woods Hole, Cape Cod: The ferry ride from Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard usually takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour. This is the most common departure point, and the ferries operate frequently, providing convenient options for travelers.
  2. From Falmouth, Cape Cod: If you depart from Falmouth, the ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard is shorter compared to Woods Hole. The Island Queen ferry takes approximately 35 minutes, offering a quick and efficient way to reach the island.
  3. From Hyannis, Cape Cod: Ferries from Hyannis to Martha’s Vineyard generally take around 1 hour and 15 minutes. The duration is slightly longer compared to Woods Hole due to the distance between the two locations.
  4. From New Bedford, Massachusetts: The ferry ride from New Bedford to Martha’s Vineyard usually takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes. Despite the longer duration, this route offers a scenic journey across the Vineyard Sound, providing passengers with beautiful views along the way.

It’s important to note that these durations are approximate and can vary depending on weather conditions, sea traffic, and other unforeseen circumstances. It’s always a good idea to check the ferry company’s schedule and allow some flexibility in your travel plans to account for possible delays.


If you’re concerned about seasickness or prefer a quicker option, the passenger-only ferries tend to have shorter durations compared to the ferries that transport vehicles. Additionally, the ferry ride itself is often seen as an enjoyable part of the experience, as you can relax and take in the stunning views of the ocean during the journey.


Regardless of the duration, the ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard allows you to disconnect from the mainland and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the island. So sit back, unwind, and get ready to embark on a memorable journey to Martha’s Vineyard!


Factors Affecting Ferry Ride Duration

While the estimated durations for ferry rides to Martha’s Vineyard provide a general idea of the travel time, it’s important to understand that several factors can influence the actual duration of the journey. Here are some of the main factors that can affect the ferry ride duration:

  1. Weather Conditions: Inclement weather, such as heavy rain, strong winds, or fog, can impact the speed and safety of the ferry. In extreme cases, ferry services may be temporarily suspended until the conditions improve. It’s always recommended to check the weather forecast and any advisories before your scheduled departure.
  2. Sea Traffic: During peak travel seasons, the number of ferries and other vessels in the area can increase, leading to potential delays or slower travel speeds. This can be more noticeable on busier routes like Woods Hole. Planning your departure outside of peak travel times can help mitigate the impact of sea traffic.
  3. Vessel Type: Different ferry companies may operate vessels with varying speeds and capabilities. Passenger-only ferries tend to be faster, while ferries that transport vehicles may take longer due to boarding and offloading procedures. Consider the type of ferry you’ll be using when estimating the duration of your journey.
  4. Departure Point and Route: The departure point and route you choose can affect the overall duration of the ferry ride. Departing from Falmouth, for example, will generally result in a shorter travel time compared to Woods Hole or Hyannis. Similarly, the New Bedford route may have a longer duration due to the distance between the departure point and Martha’s Vineyard.
  5. Seasonal Variations: The duration of the ferry ride may vary depending on the time of year. During the summer months, when Martha’s Vineyard experiences higher tourism, ferry services may operate more frequently or have additional vessels, potentially reducing waiting times and overall travel duration.

It’s important to take these factors into consideration when planning your trip to Martha’s Vineyard. While some variables like weather conditions are beyond anyone’s control, being aware of the other factors can help you make informed decisions and manage your expectations regarding the duration of the ferry ride.


Remember to check the ferry company’s website or contact their customer service for the most up-to-date information on schedules, delays, and any other factors that may affect travel duration. By doing so, you can ensure a smoother and more enjoyable journey to Martha’s Vineyard.



The ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard offers a scenic and convenient mode of transportation to this stunning island off the coast of Massachusetts. The duration of the ferry ride can vary depending on factors such as the departure point, the route, and external circumstances. However, with a general understanding of the different ferry routes, ferry companies, and the factors that can affect the duration, you can plan your trip more effectively and enjoy a seamless journey.


Whether you’re departing from Cape Cod or New Bedford, there are numerous ferry options available, each with its own schedule, amenities, and ticket prices. The primary departure points like Woods Hole, Falmouth, Hyannis, and New Bedford provide easy access to the island, ensuring a smooth start to your Martha’s Vineyard adventure.


It’s important to keep in mind that factors such as weather conditions, sea traffic, vessel type, and seasonal variations can impact the actual duration of the ferry ride. Being aware of these factors and staying informed about any changes or delays can help you plan accordingly and have a more enjoyable experience.


So, whether you’re looking for a quick day trip or a longer stay, the ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard offers a chance to relax, soak in the beauty of the ocean, and anticipate the wonders that await you on this enchanting island. Don’t forget to book your ferry tickets in advance and prepare for an unforgettable journey to the captivating shores of Martha’s Vineyard!