Current Promotion

Current Promotion

Current Promotion

2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19)

SSA Employee Face Mask

Last updated April 5, 2021

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

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• Watch a video outlining our COVID-19 safety protocols and procedures: COVID-19 travel information.

The latest 

• Starting immediately, we will accept proof of a vaccination appointment from island residents seeking to book a preferred space for vehicle travel in the same manner as if they were traveling for a medical appointment off island. This policy is subject to the following terms:

  • The individual making the reservation must have an active preferred or excursion profile with the SSA.
  • You must provide authentic documentation of your vaccination appointment that includes the customer's name and the time/date of your appointment.
  • Reservations are required to be made with a reservation supervisor. Call 508-477-8600 between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. daily to speak with a supervisor.
  • Due to demand, travel on at a specific trip may not be possible; however, we will make every effort to put you on a trip at the closest available time prior to your documented appointment time.
  • Travel for other medical appointments (doctor's appointments, surgeries, etc.) will receive priority over vaccination appointments.
  • The priority travel is for travel to the appointment only. Customers returning to their home island from a vaccination or medical appointment will either need a reservation or will travel in standby and will not be subject to priority boarding. 

Don’t forget that preferred or excursion profile holders can take advantage of the preferred spaces that open up seven days and one day ahead of travel to book passage for a medical appointment (or for any other purpose). If you still cannot find a suitable time by going through the standard reservation process or by attempting to book a preferred space, call our Reservation Office for assistance or email

EFFECTIVE MARCH 22, 2021: The Massachusetts Travel Order will be replaced by a Travel Advisory, the highlights of which are as follows. 

  • As of Monday, March 22, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival. 
  • Travelers are exempt from this advisory if they have a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts.  If not obtained before entry to Massachusetts, a test may be obtained after arrival, as long as travelers quarantine until a negative test result has been received.
  • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after an absence of fewer than 24 hours is exempt from this advisory.

  • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) are exempt from this advisory while they are commuting to or from or while at work.
  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago) and who do not have symptoms are exempt from this advisory.

For more information, visit


• Our passenger ferry service is running as scheudled through March 31, 2021. The Authority has modified its freight schedules in reduced to lowered demand for those trips. Updated schedules can be found by clicking here. Visit for the most up-to-date passenger ferry schedules.

• Pursuant to Gov. Baker's updated order effective November 6, 2020, and President Biden's Executive Order 13998, masks are now required at all times while in public, including at our parking lots, on our buses, at the terminals and while on board the vessels. There is no longer an exemption if you are able to socially distance yourself from other passengers or if you are traveling outside on the weather deck. Passengers who travel with a vehicle and remain there during the voyage may have their masks off, but they must put them on at any point when they step outside the vehicle.

The order also gives the Authority the right to deny passage to those who decline to wear a cloth face covering. Please plan accordingly. 

• Concessions sales have been suspended on all vessels and terminals. The decision to do so was made by our vendor Centerplate, with our consultation and approval, for the protection of their employees as well as our crews and passengers during the coronavirus outbreak. In the interim, please be sure to bring any food or drink you feel necessary on the boats for your voyage. Please note that eating and drinking is only allowed on the exterior seating areas of the vessels. Thank you.

• Mandatory mask orders are in effect in many towns on Martha's Vinyeard and on Nantucket. Please educate yourself on the policies in place before your travel. 

• Free COVID-19 testing is available on Martha's Vineyard without the need for a doctor's referral. Please visit for details. 


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What are we doing?

With the news surrounding on the spread of COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, changing at such a rapid pace, it is important to us at the Steamship Authority that we make it clear what steps we are taking on our No. 1 priority, ensuring the safety of our passengers and our crews.

Our crews already do an outstanding job of cleaning our vessel interiors in between trips, but we have instructed them, along with our bus, parking lot and terminal employees, to specifically disinfect all hand railings, table tops, door handles, seats, faucets, and toilets both in between trips and during trips as needed. We are well-stocked with cleaning supplies and have ordered extra hand sanitizers and other supplies for our customers to use while traveling with us.

We have put information on best practices regarding health measures on our internal Learning Management System for our employees. We also instructed our employees to wash their hands frequently and use hand sanitizer. And, most importantly, we have told them that under no circumstances should they be coming to work while they are sick, both for their safety as well as the safety of the crew. If any employee comes to work sick, they will be sent home – period. Even if it means having to cancel a scheduled trip, the risk is too great to take.

Although our operations are not ones that lend themselves easily to remote work, we are preparing to enact telecommuting procedures if necessary at our administrative offices in Falmouth. We are also making contingency plans to maintain service in the event that a significant number of our employees fall ill, but we have every confidence that we will continue to provide essential service to the islands throughout this time.

We are working closely with local, state, and federal officials to stay up to date on this quickly changing situation. So far, there have been no specific changes recommended for public transit agencies other than the best practices of instructing our employees to wash their hands, keep up a strict cleaning schedule and to stay home if they are sick. As guidance changes, we will act appropriately to keep everyone safe.

What can you do?

First, if you are traveling with a vehicle, please feel free to stay in your vehicle for as much of your trip as possible. We are lowering the vehicle capacities on our vessels to ensure there is adequate space to allow everyone to freely exit their vehicle, per Coast Guard regulations, while the vessel is under way.

If you are traveling without a vehicle, we encourage our passengers to spread out while sitting on board to maintain a safe distance from each other. The use of a cloth face covering is now required while on board.

Please take advantage of our handwashing stations in the restrooms and our hand sanitizers throughout the vessels. Staying clean is key to staying healthy.

Please continue to check our website for updates, as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages, our eNews and local media outlets. We will keep everyone informed of any changes that are planned so that our customers can continue to get where they need to go with as minimal a disruption as possible.

Most of all, thank you. We know the incredible stress everyone is under and we will do everything possible to get you where you need to go.

Detailed information about the Coronavirus can be found on the CDC website and the World Health Organization (WHO) CDC also provides information regarding Travel Health Notices.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has also developed a webpage with information on the virus.

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