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How Long Is The Ferry Ride From Port Orchard To West Seattle


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Robenia Mccloskey



Washington state is known for its stunning natural beauty, vibrant cities, and unique transportation options. One of the most iconic and picturesque ways to travel in Washington is by taking a ferry ride. The ferry system in Washington is not only a mode of transportation, but it also offers a scenic and memorable experience for both locals and tourists.


In this article, we will dive into the details of the ferry ride from Port Orchard to West Seattle. Whether you are a visitor exploring the area or a local looking for a different way to commute, this route offers a fantastic opportunity to traverse the waters of Puget Sound while taking in breathtaking views.


As you embark on your journey, you’ll have the chance to witness the grandeur of the Olympic Mountains, the beauty of the Seattle skyline, and the serenity of the surrounding islands. This ferry ride is not just a means of getting from point A to point B; it’s an adventure that adds a touch of magic to your travel experience.


So, let’s delve into the details of this enchanting ferry ride and discover everything you need to know to make the most of your trip.


Route Overview

The ferry route from Port Orchard to West Seattle operates across the waters of Puget Sound, connecting the Kitsap Peninsula to the mainland. It offers a convenient and scenic way to travel between these two locations, whether for commuting or leisure purposes.


The route takes passengers from the Port Orchard ferry terminal, located in Kitsap County, to the Fauntleroy terminal in West Seattle. The journey covers a distance of approximately 7.5 nautical miles, which translates to around 8.6 land miles. As you sail through the shimmering waters, you’ll have the opportunity to take in panoramic views of the surrounding islands, coastal landscapes, and city skylines.


The Port Orchard to West Seattle ferry route holds significant importance as it serves as a vital link for commuters traveling between the Kitsap Peninsula and the Seattle metropolitan area. It provides a convenient alternative to driving, especially during peak traffic hours, and offers a relaxing and enjoyable travel experience.


Whether you are heading to work, exploring the attractions of West Seattle, or simply wanting to soak in the scenic beauty of Puget Sound, this ferry route is the perfect choice. The route also offers connections to other destinations, such as Vashon Island and Southworth, giving passengers more options for their travel plans.


It’s important to note that the ferry route is subject to weather conditions and other factors that may affect its operation. It’s always a good idea to check the schedule and any updates before planning your journey to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.


Schedule and Frequency

The ferry service from Port Orchard to West Seattle operates on a regular schedule, providing frequent departures throughout the day. The exact schedule may vary depending on the day of the week and season, so it’s advisable to check the official Washington State Ferries website for the most up-to-date information.


Typically, the ferry service runs from early morning until late evening, ensuring that commuters and leisure travelers have ample opportunity to catch a ride. During peak hours, such as morning and evening rush, there may be more frequent departures to accommodate higher passenger volumes.


On weekdays, the ferry service generally operates on a fixed interval schedule, with departures every 30 minutes or so. This ensures a convenient and timely travel option for those commuting between Port Orchard and West Seattle for work or school. During weekends and holidays, the frequency of departures may vary, with slightly longer intervals between sailings.


It’s worth noting that the ferry schedule may be subject to changes or disruptions due to unforeseen circumstances, such as severe weather conditions or mechanical issues. In such cases, the Washington State Ferries provide updates as soon as possible to keep passengers informed.


If you’re planning a trip and want to ensure a smooth journey, it’s advisable to check the ferry schedule in advance and allow extra time for potential delays. Arriving at the terminal a bit early can also give you the chance to explore the amenities and enjoy the anticipation of your ferry ride.


By staying aware of the schedule and planning your trip accordingly, you can make the most of your ferry experience and enjoy a hassle-free journey across the waters of Puget Sound.


Duration of the Ferry Ride

The duration of the ferry ride from Port Orchard to West Seattle varies depending on several factors, including weather conditions, tides, and the specific vessel being used for the journey. On average, the crossing takes approximately 30 minutes, providing passengers with a short and enjoyable trip across Puget Sound.


While 30 minutes may seem like a fleeting moment, the ferry ride offers passengers a chance to relax and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Whether you choose to enjoy the fresh sea breeze on the outdoor deck or find a cozy spot inside, the journey provides an opportunity to unwind and soak in the natural beauty of the region.


It’s worth noting that during peak travel times or inclement weather conditions, the duration of the ferry ride may be slightly longer. Factors such as increased passenger traffic or navigational adjustments due to adverse weather can impact the overall travel time. However, rest assured that the crew strives to ensure a safe and smooth journey for all passengers.


If you’re concerned about time constraints or have specific plans in West Seattle, it’s advisable to check the schedule and factor in the estimated duration of the ferry ride. By allowing ample buffer time, you can ensure a stress-free travel experience and make the most of your time on the ferry.


Ultimately, the duration of the ferry ride from Port Orchard to West Seattle is relatively short, making it a convenient option for both commuters and leisure travelers. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the picturesque views as you make your way across the scenic Puget Sound.


Scenic Views

One of the highlights of taking the ferry ride from Port Orchard to West Seattle is the opportunity to witness stunning scenic views along the journey. As you sail across the waters of Puget Sound, you’ll be treated to a visual feast of natural landscapes, iconic landmarks, and picturesque coastal beauty.


From the moment you step on board the ferry, you’ll notice the breathtaking surroundings that unfold before your eyes. As you leave the Port Orchard terminal, you’ll have a chance to take in the serene beauty of the Kitsap Peninsula and its lush greenery. The sights of vibrant waterfront communities and marinas will whisk you away into a world of tranquility.


As the ferry navigates its way towards West Seattle, you’ll be greeted with panoramic views of the Seattle skyline. The magnificent skyscrapers, including the iconic Space Needle, stand tall against the backdrop of the majestic Olympic Mountains. This juxtaposition of urban and natural beauty is a sight to behold, especially during the golden hours of sunrise or sunset.


Throughout the journey, keep an eye out for marine wildlife that may make an appearance. Puget Sound is home to a diverse range of sea creatures, including seals, sea lions, porpoises, and even whales. Spotting these majestic creatures in their natural habitat adds an extra element of wonder and magic to the ferry ride.


Whether you’re a photography enthusiast seeking the perfect shot or simply a nature lover in awe of the world around you, the scenic views offered on the Port Orchard to West Seattle ferry route will not disappoint. Don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone to capture these memorable moments and create lasting memories.


As with any outdoor experience, the views you encounter may vary depending on weather conditions and the time of year. Regardless of the season, however, the ferry ride promises a tapestry of beauty that showcases the best of the Pacific Northwest.


Amenities on Board

When you embark on the ferry ride from Port Orchard to West Seattle, you’ll find that the vessels are equipped with a range of amenities to enhance your travel experience. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack, a comfortable seating area, or even a play area for children, the ferry has you covered.


One of the essential amenities on board is the cafeteria or snack bar, offering a variety of refreshments to satisfy your hunger or cravings. From hot coffee and tea to sandwiches, salads, and other grab-and-go options, you’ll have plenty of choices to fuel up during your journey. Enjoy a light meal while watching the views go by or grab a snack to take outside and savor the fresh sea breeze.


For those seeking a quiet and comfortable space to relax, many ferries have cozy seating areas where you can unwind during the crossing. Find a seat by a window and immerse yourself in the scenic beauty outside, or cozy up with a good book or magazine. Some ferries even offer designated quiet zones, perfect for those who wish to have a more tranquil environment.


If you’re traveling with children, you’ll appreciate the presence of a play area on board. Kids can burn off some energy as they explore the designated play space, complete with toys and games. This amenity can be a true lifesaver for parents, providing entertainment and a chance for their little ones to stretch their legs during the ferry ride.


Restrooms are also available on every ferry, ensuring the comfort and convenience of passengers throughout the journey. These facilities are well-maintained and provide a clean and accessible space for travelers to freshen up during the crossing.


It’s important to note that the availability of amenities may vary depending on the specific vessel and the route you’re traveling on. Some larger ferries may offer additional amenities such as Wi-Fi connectivity, wheelchair accessibility, and bike racks. Be sure to check the individual ferry’s amenities to see what is available on your particular journey.


These onboard amenities contribute to making your ferry ride from Port Orchard to West Seattle an enjoyable and relaxing experience. Whether you’re looking to satisfy your taste buds, find a comfortable spot to relax, or keep little ones entertained, the ferry provides a range of amenities to meet your needs.


Ticket Information

When it comes to ticketing for the ferry ride from Port Orchard to West Seattle, there are a few important details to keep in mind. Understanding the ticketing process will ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience as you embark on your waterfront journey.


To board the ferry, you will need to purchase a ticket. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket booth at the Port Orchard terminal before boarding. It’s recommended to arrive a little early to allow time for purchasing your ticket and familiarizing yourself with the boarding process.


The cost of the ticket will depend on various factors, including your age, mode of transport, and the specific fare category. Washington State Ferries offer different fare options, such as single passenger fares, vehicle and driver fares, and fares for motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians.


If you plan to bring a vehicle on board, it’s important to note that vehicle reservations are not available on the Port Orchard to West Seattle ferry. It operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so arriving early is advisable, especially during peak travel times.


Passengers can purchase round-trip tickets, allowing for a seamless return journey, or one-way tickets if you have alternative transportation plans for your trip back. The ticket is valid for the specific route you have chosen and is not transferable between different ferry routes.


It’s worth mentioning that Washington State Ferries offer several payment options, including cash, credit cards, and contactless payment methods. Having multiple payment options ensures convenience for passengers and allows for a smoother ticketing process.


Before your journey, it’s a good idea to double-check the Washington State Ferries website for the most up-to-date ticket prices and any potential changes to the fare structure. It’s also advisable to consider purchasing your ticket in advance if you anticipate a busy travel period or if you want to guarantee a spot on the ferry.


By familiarizing yourself with the ticketing process and ensuring you have the appropriate fare, you can enjoy a seamless and stress-free experience as you embark on your ferry ride from Port Orchard to West Seattle.


Tips for a Smooth Ferry Ride

When it comes to enjoying a smooth and stress-free ferry ride from Port Orchard to West Seattle, a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way. Here are some valuable tips to enhance your experience:

  1. Arrive Early: To ensure you have enough time to purchase tickets and board the ferry, it’s recommended to arrive at the terminal a bit early, especially during peak travel times. This will give you peace of mind and allow for a seamless transition onto the ferry.
  2. Check the Schedule: Before heading to the ferry terminal, make sure to check the ferry schedule, as it may be subject to changes due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances. Being aware of any updates or delays will help you plan your journey accordingly.
  3. Consider Off-Peak Hours: If your travel plans allow for flexibility, consider taking the ferry during off-peak hours. This can significantly reduce wait times and increase the chances of securing a preferred seating area on the vessel.
  4. Pack Essentials: Depending on the duration of your journey, it’s a good idea to pack essential items like snacks, water, medications, and entertainment to keep yourself comfortable during the ride. Don’t forget your camera to capture the scenic views!
  5. Dress Accordingly: Puget Sound weather can be unpredictable, so it’s advisable to dress in layers. Having a jacket or sweater on hand will ensure you stay comfortable regardless of any temperature changes during the journey.
  6. Be Mindful of Surroundings: Whether you’re traveling solo or with a group, it’s important to be respectful of your fellow passengers. Keep noise levels to a minimum, clean up after yourself, and be mindful of personal space to ensure a pleasant experience for everyone on board.
  7. Stay Informed: Stay updated with announcements from the ferry crew, as they may provide important information about safety procedures, changes in the journey, or any other relevant updates. Pay attention to any signage or instructions provided throughout the terminal and on board.
  8. Enjoy the Journey: Most importantly, take the time to embrace the experience of sailing across Puget Sound. Step outside to enjoy the refreshing sea breeze, marvel at the stunning views, and create lasting memories along the way.

By following these tips, you can maximize your enjoyment and ensure a smooth and memorable ferry ride from Port Orchard to West Seattle. Sit back, relax, and let the ferry transport you to your destination while you appreciate the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.



The ferry ride from Port Orchard to West Seattle offers more than just a means of transportation; it provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. With its scenic views, convenient schedule, and onboard amenities, this route showcases the best of what Washington state has to offer.


As you traverse the waters of Puget Sound, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of the Seattle skyline, the Olympic Mountains, and the picturesque coastal landscapes. The short duration of the ferry ride allows you to relax and take in the surrounding beauty, making it a unique and enjoyable way to travel.


Whether you’re commuting between the Kitsap Peninsula and West Seattle or embarking on a leisurely journey, being prepared with ticket information, checking the schedule, and following useful tips will ensure a smooth and stress-free experience.


Take advantage of the amenities on board, such as the cafeteria for a snack or meal, comfortable seating areas, and play areas for children. It’s the small details that can make the journey all the more enjoyable.


Whether you’re a local looking for an alternative commute or a traveler seeking an immersive experience, the ferry ride from Port Orchard to West Seattle offers a memorable adventure. Soak in the breathtaking views, capture the beauty with your camera, and embrace the delight of traversing the sparkling waters of Puget Sound.


As you disembark at the Fauntleroy terminal in West Seattle, you’ll leave with a sense of tranquility and the knowledge that you’ve experienced a unique and unforgettable way to travel in Washington state. So, hop aboard and let the ferry transport you to your destination while you savor the beauty of the journey.