Track state ferries in real-time using mobile app to navigate July Fourth travel rush

700,000 riders expected June 28 to July 7 with smaller-than-normal vessels

SEATTLE – If travelers want to sail aboard a state ferry a bit more smoothly during the Fourth of July travel rush, there’s an app for that.

About 700,000 people are expected to ride Washington State Ferries from Friday, June 28, through Sunday, July 7. To help navigate the crowds, customers are encouraged to download and use the Washington State Department of Transportation’s mobile app.

The app allows users to:

Those boarding a vessel in a vehicle should use the app or visit the WSF website before heading to the terminal.

Smaller-than-normal vessels

The busy Seattle/Bainbridge, Edmonds/Kingston and Mukilteo/Clinton crossings are operating with two boats on each route. One of the two boats assigned to each route has a smaller-than-normal summer season car capacity due to a lack of available ferries. Boarding wait times for customers in vehicles may be longer than previous July Fourth travel periods, especially if car capacity is downsized further for unexpected vessel maintenance, which includes ongoing repairs for crab pot line damage to the 144-car Suquamish.

“We run a complex operation of roughly 400 daily sailings,” said WSF Assistant Secretary Steve Nevey. “Our online tools let customers take control of their ferry travel to help plan a trip and know what to expect before they get in a ferry waiting line.”

Busy travel times

The busiest sailings for vehicles will likely be westbound (or onto an island) through Wednesday, July 3, then eastbound (or off island) starting Friday, July 5. To reduce or eliminate waiting, riders may consider taking an early morning or late-night sailing or by using transit to walk or bike onto the ferry if possible.

Holiday schedules

On Independence Day, July 4, there will be a few holiday changes to the daily schedules for the Anacortes/San Juan Islands, Edmonds/Kingston and Point Defiance/Tahlequah routes. The final Port Townsend/Coupeville run will operate a normal weekday schedule with no 10 and 10:40 p.m. sailings. The Seattle/Bainbridge Island and Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth routes will be on weekend timetables.

As a reminder, it is against the law to set off or transport illegal fireworks aboard a state ferry.

People using state highways to get to the ferry terminal should plan for potential holiday travel backups and delays by checking real-time traffic information on the WSDOT mobile app or online using the WSDOT travel map feature.

WSF, a division of the Washington State Department of Transportation, is the largest ferry system in the U.S. and safely and efficiently carries tens of millions of people a year through some of the most majestic scenery in the world.

166,800 electric vehicle

registrations in Washington in 2023, up from 114,600 in 2022.

87 wetland compensation sites

actively monitored on 918 acres in 2023.

25,000 safe animal crossings

in the Snoqualmie Pass East Project area since 2014.