Reservations on the Washington State Ferry system allow travelers to reserve a single ‘car space’, for the sailing they would like to catch, up to two months prior to their planned departure. A valid debit or credit card is required when making a reservation online or over the phone, but payment is processed at the ticket booth on the day of the sailing. Once a reservation is made the customer can change the reservation to a different sailing time until 5 pm the day before the sailing, after which only one change is allowed and only up to three hours before the reserved departure time.
A ferry reservation is not a ferry ticket. Tickets can be purchased online or at the ferry landing ticket booth and pricing is determined by vehicle size and number of passengers. It is recommended that reservation holders be ticketed and in line 30-90 minutes prior to the sailing time. A single reservation is also not a round-trip sailing. Customers wanting to reserve round-trip times can do so by selecting “Book a Round Trip” on the reservation page.
Once a reservation has been made the customer will receive a PIN# that they must present at the ticket booth upon request. They can retrieve this number at any time by going to the reservation page on the WSDOT website and selecting “Change, Cancel, or View My Reservation”.
If a reservation holder misses their scheduled departure they will be charged a $10 no-show fee. However reservation holders who catch an earlier or later sailing the same day of their reservation should request that the ticket attendant waive the no-show fee.
Reservation space on each sailing is released in tiers with one-third of the space available for reservation two months before the sailing; another one-third made available two weeks before the sailing; and the last third made available two days before the sailing. It pays to check back later in the month if space on a preferred sailing is not currently available. Standby space is also kept available on every sailing for drive-ups and reservation holders traveling on a different sailing.
Any vehicles over 100 feet in length, over 13 feet in height, over 8 1/2 feet wide, or stenciled at more than 80,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight must make special travel arrangements by calling the customer service office at 1-888-808-7977 (in state) or 206-464-6400.
Click Here for more information on the Washington State Ferry Reservation System. Also check out our other web pages and links for general information on traveling to Orcas Island as well as purchasing a ferry reservation.