About our fleet

Learn about our fleet, which includes 21 ferries across Puget Sound and the greater Salish Sea.

We operate the largest ferry system in the United States. From Tacoma, Washington, to Sidney, British Columbia, our routes act as a marine highway for businesses, tourists and daily commuters.

Our vessels

Learn more about our vessels:

About our team and vessel crew

There are approximately 1,800 passionate and dedicated employees who make Washington State Ferries operate each day. On the ground, we have employees who ensure operations run smoothly, answer calls to assist callers with a variety of things such as trip planning and help passengers get their tickets at tollbooths.

In the fleet, the captain (or master) supervises the entire ship's operation from the pilothouse, which is the communications and navigation center of the ship. The chief mate assists the captain with the operation of the vessel, often including loading and unloading operations. Except when docking or in tight quarters, the steering of the ship is generally left to the quartermaster who follows the directions of the bridge officer. Able-bodied seamen and ordinary seamen work as deckhands, directing vehicles, securing lines when the ship docks, acting as lookouts, patrolling the vessel for safety hazards and cleaning the vessel.

Beneath the car deck, the engine room and control center are supervised by the chief engineer, who oversees repairs and maintenance to the vessel's mechanical and electrical equipment. The chief engineer and the assistant engineer also monitor all the control systems and in some instances, control the speed and direction of the vessel, following the captain's commands. The oiler assists the engineers by circulating through all the machinery spaces, ensuring that everything is operating correctly.

Traction tires are a special type of tire

manufactured with at least 1/8 of an inch tread. Traction tires are usually marked with a mountain/snowflake symbol, the letters M+S or “All Season.”

Carry chains, practice before leaving

Requiring chains keeps traffic moving during storms rather than closing a pass or roadway.

Prep your car. Fill up your gas tank,

pack jumper cables, ice scraper, warm clothing, snacks and water.