School groups

Washington State Ferries welcomes school groups aboard our ferries and we can help make your next school outing as easy and enjoyable as possible.

Requirements to qualify for school group travel and discounted fares:

  • Public or private K-12 school groups on school-sponsored travel, including travel for extracurricular activities
  • Home schools who have a Declaration of Intent to Provide Home-Based Instruction form filed with their school district
  • University or college groups on school-sponsored travel that serves a cultural or academic purpose
  • Preschools do not qualify for the school group rate. However, children under 6 years old travel free
  • Education-focused nonprofit programs/organizations do not qualify. The school group rate only applies to school-sponsored activities.

Follow these steps to make sure your school group gets on the boat and benefits from all the discounts and privileges WSF offers for schools and students:

  1. Fill out the WSF school discount authorization letter (pdf 217 kb) and be sure you have it with you when you arrive at the terminal.
    • The school group rate is $5 one way and $10 roundtrip per passenger group, plus the applicable vehicle fare if driving onto the ferry
    • Each walk-on group or vehicle needs to have an authorization letter with original signature (no copies)
    • If taking multiple vehicles, each vehicle group is required to pay vehicle fare plus the school group rate.
  2. Fill out our advanced travel notification and student safety form a minimum of 72 hours before travel.
    • We need this information to make sure we have the right number and size of life preservers onboard as required by the U.S Coast Guard
    • On routes without reservations, this notification will inform the terminal of your arrive and help to ensure we have space for you on board
  3. Make a vehicle reservation.
    • If you are taking a vehicle on the following routes a reservation for each vehicle is strongly recommended:
      • Port Townsend/Coupeville
      • Anacortes/Lopez Island
      • Anacortes/Shaw Island
      • Anacortes/Orcas Island
      • Anacortes/Friday Harbor
      • Anacortes/Sidney, British Columbia
    • Reservations can be made online or by calling WSF customer service at 1-888-808-7977.
    • Reservations are not available for other routes, but the terminal will be notified of your travel plans when you submit our advanced travel notification and student safety form from step 2.

Contact WSF customer service at 206-464-6400 or online if you have questions about school group travel or if you need assistance scheduling your trip.