Special occasions

Find out how you can plan your event on our scenic waterways. Washington State Ferries allow memorial services, weddings, birthdays and other celebrations aboard some vessels.

Memorial services

Want a special way to remember a loved one? We offer memorials services during non-peak travel times (10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday and before 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays) on the following routes:

  • Anacortes/Friday Harbor
  • Anacortes/Orcas Island
  • Edmonds/Kingston
  • Mukilteo/Clinton
  • Port Townsend/Coupeville
  • Seattle/Bainbridge Island
  • Seattle/Bremerton

Please note that we are operating alternate service on some routes until further notice. These changes help offer more predictable and reliable service systemwide in the face of crewing shortages due to a global shortage of mariners that has been worsened by the pandemic. We attempt to add service when possible, however, memorials will only be scheduled on alternate service sailings on our Edmonds/Kingston, Mukilteo/Clinton Seattle/Bainbridge Island and Seattle/Bremerton routes to ensure the sailing will be available on the date of the request.

Only one memorial per day/per route will be scheduled, so filling out our memorial request form up to a month in advance is suggested during spring and summer seasons. We charge a $150 fee for providing memorial services. The fee, which will be collected at the time of confirmation, covers administrative costs and helps keep the service accessible to the community.

Ashes must be contained in a certified biodegradable container that can be dropped intact from a ferry. Such containers are sometimes referred to as “journey urns” and are designed to dissolve quickly after contact with water. A floral tribute may also be released but must contain only biodegradable material (no plastic or wire attachments or ribbons, etc.). Memorials occur at the sole discretion of the vessel's captain and a scheduled memorial may not occur if a captain determines it is not safe due to weather or other unforeseen operational issues. A memorial may be moved to another operating vessel or may need to be rescheduled.

Masks are optional for the public inside our vessels and terminal; however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.

Once aboard, a member of the memorial group shall contact a vessel crew member and present a printed copy of their memorial confirmation email. The crew member will confirm with the captain that the activity is operationally permissible (no training drills, Coast Guard quarterly inspections, etc.) and weather is conducive. If the captain approves the memorial, the group is led to the vehicle deck on the stern (back) of the vessel. A crew member will accompany one memorial group member beyond the restricted area while the biodegradable container/floral tribute is dropped into the water. Memorials must take no longer than five minutes to minimize disruption to regular service and vessel operations. Sounding of the vessel's whistle is at the sole discretion of the captain.

If you need assistance completing the form, or have questions about the process, please call 206-515-3464.

Weddings

Our captains are not allowed to legally perform weddings, however couples are allowed to get married by an officiant of their choice.

Ferries are open to the public at all times: We do not offer private changing rooms or separate event space on the ferry. For this reason, small wedding parties during non-commuter sailings are recommended.

Outside catering and alcohol policy: All alcohol must be purchased and consumed in the galley. Wedding parties may not bring outside caterers or alcoholic beverages on board.

Birthdays and celebrations

Passengers are welcome to bring cake and prepared food aboard, but outside catering is not permitted. Due to fire safety regulations, open flames, including birthday candles, also are not allowed.

Advance arrangements are required for memorial services only. Call 206-464-6400 (1-888-808-7977 toll-free, in state) for any other questions about your event.

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Improved access to 98.2 miles of upstream fish habitat

through 15 fish passage projects in 2021.

28% increase in the value of exports and imports 

from $90.2 billion in 2020 to $115.5 billion in 2021.