Not many vacations begin with a breathtaking journey across wide open waters with amazing cityscape and mountain views. The relaxing 35 minute ride on the Bainbridge Island Ferry sets the mood for your stay on our beautiful island. From the convenient Seattle location, your trip begins at Colman Dock and ends in downtown Winslow, Bainbridge Island. Take in the awesome views as the massive vessel glides across Puget Sound. On warmer, sunny days brave the windy sun deck for sweeping views of the Seattle skyline with the iconic Space Needle. Then look southeast for Mount Rainier and north for Mount Baker as well. If you’re very lucky our local orca pod may even swim by.
After a serene crossing on the Bainbridge Island Ferry, walk to the charming city center with great restaurants, shops and cafes. The Eagle Harbor Inn offers intimate, unique “petit hotel” lodging at the center of Bainbridge Island’s active downtown. Walk to wonderful dining, museums, and local winery or brewery tasting rooms from our convenient location. Book your island getaway and escape on a tranquil ride on the Bainbridge Island Ferry.
Fascinating Bainbridge Island Ferry History and Facts
What began in the early 1900’s called the “Mosquito Fleet” has become the largest passenger and auto fleet in the United States. The original collection of small steamer lines could not meet the growing demand of the Seattle community. This lead to the purchase of all Black Ball’s ferry assets in 1951. That acquisition added diesel-electrics, steamers, and diesel-powered boats to the ferry system. Around 1977 the ferry fleet became part of the existing Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). After decades of growth a new jumbo-class vessels was introduced answering the need for more capacity.
The “Tacoma” and “Wenatchee” Jumbo Mark II class vessels service the Bainbridge Island Ferry route today. These massive ships measure 460 feet long and can carry up to 2,499 passengers and 202 vehicles. The ferry offers over 20 crossings to Bainbridge Island each day, beginning before sunrise and into the late hours of the evening. The scenic journey is one of the many pleasures when visiting Bainbridge Island.
3 Awesome Things about a Bainbridge Island Ferry Ride
Once on the Bainbridge Island Ferry passengers feel calm and relaxed. The Bainbridge locals call this living on “island time.” Discover the great perks of a Bainbridge Island Ferry ride:
- The View – Simply put, a Bainbridge Island Ferry trip offers the absolute best view of the Seattle skyline. The mix of historic and modern architecture, not to mention the iconic Space Needle, tower over Puget Sound. Majestic Mount Rainier dominates the open sky as the ferry leaves the city. While the Cascade Mountain Range appears behind the buildings. Halfway through the journey the distant peak of Mount Baker can be seen. As you approach Bainbridge Island the snow-capped Olympic Mountain Range becomes clear.
- Wildlife Sightings – Puget Sound is home to abundant wildlife. Harbor Seals bob and dive near Colman dock. While bald eagles hunt near Bainbridge Island’s coastline. However nothing tops spotting a local orca pod. The captain usually makes an announcement so no one misses this breathtaking sight.
- Ride in Comfort – The ferries feature large comfortable seats and cozy booths to watch the scenery go by. A fully stocked galley serves Ivar’s famous clam chowder and other savory or sweet snacks. Adults can enjoy a glass of local beer or wine in the galley seating area. On warmer days go topside for open air sweeping views. It’s the best place to get your vacation photos of the Seattle skyline and surrounding mountains.
The tranquil ride on the Bainbridge Island Ferry prepares visitors for the natural beauty of the island. With miles of beaches and forests to hike, Bainbridge Island is a peaceful retreat 35 minutes from downtown Seattle. Reserve your perfectly appointed guest suite or townhouse at the elegant Eagle Harbor Inn and escape to beautiful Bainbridge Island.