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American Auto Transporters

Nationwide transport, BBB A+, Guaranteed pick up date, on time delivery

shipcar.com

Island Alpaca

Come visit and learn all about Martha's Vineyard alpacas.

http://www.islandalpaca.com/

American Auto Transporters

Nationwide transport, BBB A+, Guaranteed pick up date, on time delivery

shipcar.com

Visitor FAQs

Click here for the entire Customer Policies and Procedures Handbook

General Passenger Information

Passenger Tickets and Fares

Subscriptions to SSA Communications

High-Speed Passenger-Only Ferry Between Hyannis and Nantucket

Parking Information

Information for Passengers with Disabilities

Steamship Authority Security Procedures

General Information for Customers Traveling with Their Vehicles

Vehicle Fares

Vehicle Reservations

Customers Traveling with Vehicle Reservations

Traveling without Vehicle Reservations on the Martha's Vineyard Route

Traveling without Vehicle Reservations on the Nantucket Route

General Passenger Information

Are there any special precautions I should take while riding on the ferry?

The Steamship Authority has the largest, safest and most seaworthy vessels manned by U.S. Coast Guard-certified crews. However, as with any vessel, you should always conduct yourself with care while on-board and pay particular attention to any children traveling with you. In particular, when a ferry is approaching or docking at a terminal, position yourself as safely as possible so that you are not thrown off balance when the ferry reaches the dock. Please remember, passengers are not allowed to stand on any stairs of a vessel or at the top of any vessel stairwell while it is approaching or docking at a terminal.

Do any passengers have priority in boarding the ferry?

Although the Steamship Authority’s larger ferries will generally have sufficient capacity for all passengers who wish to travel on a particular trip, if the Steamship Authority determines that the vessel’s carrying capacity will be reached before sailing time, passengers traveling in vehicles with reservations have boarding priority over both passengers traveling in standby vehicles and walk-on passengers. In addition, passengers with vehicles traveling on a standby basis have boarding priority over walk-on passengers.

May I bring pets with me on the ferry?

Pets are welcome on board our ferries. Your pets are carried free of charge, but they must be accompanied by the passenger who is responsible for their care and conduct during the passage. Owners are required to clean up after their pets. All pets must be kept on a leash or in a container, and must be under the control of the passenger at all times. No pets (except for service assistance animals) are allowed in any food service area. No pets are allowed on any passenger seat or table.

Can I transport or consume alcoholic beverages aboard the ferry?

Massachusetts law also prohibits passengers from consuming alcoholic beverages aboard any Steamship Authority vessel other than those sold by our licensed concessionaire. Passengers are not allowed to bring alcoholic beverages on or off a vessel except for beverages that they are transporting as personal baggage in unopened containers, which may not be opened while the vessel is underway. Further, the Steamship Authority’s licensed concessionaire may not serve alcoholic beverages to any passenger while the vessel is at dockside or prior to casting off. Nor may alcoholic beverages be served on trips of more than two hours to any passenger within one-half hour before the vessel docks.

Can I smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes, marijuana or cigars on the ferry or at the terminals?

Under Massachusetts law, you are prohibited from smoking anywhere in or upon any Steamship Authority vessel. All smoking materials (including but not limited to matches, cigars, cigarettes, e-cigarettes and pipes) must be extinguished prior to boarding. Additionally, no person may smoke on any terminal ramps or in the vicinity of any passenger waiting queues, or in or upon any building, or in any other place on the terminal where smoking is specifically prohibited by the Authority.

Customers are allowed to smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes and cigars in designated areas at our terminals away from other passengers, but they are not allowed to smoke anywhere on any of our ferries, in any of our buildings, on any terminal ramps or in the vicinity of any passenger waiting queues, or in any other place on the terminal where we specifically prohibit smoking.

The smoking of or other use of marijuana is prohibited anywhere in or upon any of our vessels or on any Steamship Authority property.

How much baggage may I bring with me on the ferry?

Passengers may travel with their personal baggage, at no additional charge, except for bicycles, surfboards (including wind surfboards) and other large objects for which a fare may be charged. Please note, for security reasons, no baggage may be left unattended or placed on any passenger seat or table. Passengers traveling without vehicles may be required to place some or all of their baggage on luggage carts for the safety and convenience of other passengers. While luggage carts are provided at no additional charge, the Steamship Authority assumes no responsibility for any baggage placed on any luggage carts.

Am I required to make a passenger reservation for the traditional ferry to Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard?

Passenger reservations are not needed for our traditional ferries to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Passengers traveling without a vehicle may purchase their tickets at our terminals on the day of sailing.  

If you are planning to take your vehicle to either island then you are required to make an advance vehicle reservation.

If you are planning to take the high-speed passenger ferry to Nantucket, reservations are recommended especially during peak travel times including holiday weekends and the summer months of July and August.

Do I need a reservation for my bicycle?

No. Bicycles do not require reservations, and tickets for their transportation can be purchased on the day of sailing at the terminal. However, they will be transported only on a space-available basis.

Can children travel on the ferries unaccompanied?

Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult (a person 13 years of age or older) who is responsible for their care and conduct during the passage.

How do I access the SSA's News, including Current Project Updates, Board Meeting Summaries and Meeting Notices & Agendas?

To access the SSA's news, including Board Meeting Summaries and Meeting Notices and Agendas, please visit the About section of our website and navigate to the News link. Or simply click this link: https://www.steamshipauthority.com/about/news.

Are rental cars available at the mainland terminals?

Avis-Rent-a-Car services are available at the Hyannis Terminal and at the Palmer Avenue Parking Lot in Falmouth. Visit www.avis.com for details or call one of the numbers below:

Avis Rent-a-Car at the SSA's Hyannis Terminal: 508-771-4554

Avis Rent-a-Car at the SSA's Palmer Avenue Parking Lot in Falmouth: 508-548-2420

How do I access SSA's invitation for bids

Visit SteamshipAuthority.com/about/doing_business to view the latest work contracts, invitations for bids and awarded contracts.

Passenger Tickets and Fares

Can I receive a lower fare if I buy a book of multiple tickets?

Yes. We sell multi-ride cards for passenger travel on our traditional ferries to Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard which significantly lower the fare on a per-ticket basis.

For information about our 10-Ride Ferry Pass cards which includes the town-mandated embarkation fee and can be used by multiple people on the same trip, click the link below:

https://www.steamshipauthority.com/ferrypass

For information about our Lifeline cards which does not include the town-mandated embarkation fee and can be used by one person per trip, click the link below:

https://www.steamshipauthority.com/lifelinecard

We also sell 10-ride ticket books for the high-speed passenger ferry between Hyannis and Nantucket and 46-ride commuter Ferry Pass cards for the Martha's Vineyard route.

Are group fares available?

Yes. Generally, 20 or more individuals must travel together as a group in order for the individuals to be eligible for a regular group fare. All individuals in the group must travel together on the same dates, from the same point of origin to the same destination and back. One person in the group must be designated as the individual responsible for picking up the group’s tickets and for coordinating all other aspects of the group’s travel. Please consult the Customer Handbook for eligibility requirements. 

Are there any restrictions on the use of the 10-ride high-speed ferry ticket books?

Generally there are no restrictions on the use of these books. The 10-ride high-speed ferry ticket books are transferable among passengers, multiple tickets from the same ticket book may be used for travel for different passengers on the same trip and are valid forever on the Nantucket route. We also offer 10-ride Ferry Pass Cards for the traditional ferry on the Nantucket route and the Martha's Vineyard route. Please consult the customer handbook.

I have purchased individual passenger tickets at the regular fare. Are there any restrictions on their use?

Passenger tickets are transferable among individuals who are eligible for the fare charged. Generally, each ticket is valid for passage only if used within one year from the date the ticket is sold.

Do you charge the same fares for adults and children?

Individuals who are 13 years of age or over are charged the adult fare; children who are five (5) years of age or over and under thirteen (13) years of age are charged the child fare, unless eligible for a lower fare, but must be accompanied by an adult (a person 13 years of age or older) who is responsible for their care and conduct during the passage.

Is anyone eligible for a discounted fare?

Yes. Senior citizens (age 65 or older) who are residents of Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Barnstable or Falmouth are eligible for a senior citizen fare. Other individuals who are eligible for discounted fares include individuals with disabilities with Steamship Authority Transportation Access Passes and legally blind passengers (together with their helper or companion). Under certain circumstances, military and Coast Guard personnel in active service, as well as reservists, are also eligible for discounted fares. Please consult the Customer Handbook for eligibility requirements. 

Does the Steamship Authority have any special group fares for student and youth groups?

Yes. Individuals traveling as a group for student-related travel in connection with an event authorized by a school or a recognized youth group are charged the student group fare under certain conditions. Generally, 10 or more individuals must travel together as a group in order for the individuals to be eligible for this student group fare. Please consult the Customer Handbook for eligibility requirements.

Subscriptions to SSA Communications

How do I sign up to receive SSA's travel alerts via text messages?

If you wish to receive our Travel Alerts, such as trip delays or cancellations, via Text Message, visit our websiteat  www.SteamshipAuthority.com/email_lists. You will be prompted to enter your email address and security code. (If you don’t remember your security code, you can request for it to be emailed to you.) If you are already receiving our eNews, click on the link “Click here if you have already joined our list.” Once you are logged in, you can edit your preferences by scrolling down to the section “Text Alerts Via Text Message”. From there, enter your cell phone and choose your preferences. You also have the ability to restrict when you receive Travel Alerts to specific days, dates and times.

Don’t forget to hit the “Save Changes” button before leaving this page.

How do I sign up to receive waitlist notifications via text messages?

If you have a vehicle reservation and a profile account with the Steamship Authority, you can opt in to receive Waitlist Request Notifications via Text Message. Visit our website at www.steamshipauthority.com, and then log into your profile account. From there, navigate to the “My Profile” section. Under the cell phone field click the box “I want to receive Text Alerts for schedule changes and waitlist fulfillments.” Don’t forget to hit the “Save Changes” button before leaving this page.

How do I sign up to receive the SSA's e-News?

You may subscribe to our e-News by going to our website www.SteamshipAuthority.com/email_lists and choose to receive a specific e-News, which is sent out on a monthly basis. You may elect to receive all of our e-News, including the Martha's Vineyard Resident, Martha's Vineyard Traveler, Nantucket Resident or Nantucket Traveler, which often times have unique content.

How do I unsubscribe to SSA's e-News?

Visit www.SteamshipAuthority.com/email_lists and click on the link that reads; "Click here if you have already joined our list." You will need to enter your email address and password (if you don't remember your password, you can request for it to be emailed to you). Once you are logged in, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the buttom "Remove Me from List".

High-Speed Passenger-Only Ferry Between Hyannis and Nantucket

Can I change or cancel my high-speed passenger-only reservation?

You may change or cancel your reservation in person or by telephone during normal operating hours (or at any time on our website). Reservations cancelled at least two hours before the scheduled departure will be fully refunded. If the reservation was paid for with a ticket from a 10-trip ticket book, we will return a ticket to your ticket book for future use in lieu of a refund.

Can I make a passenger reservation to travel on a particular trip of the high-speed passenger-only ferry?

Yes. In fact, we encourage customers to make such reservations, especially during the summer and other popular times of year, as the high-speed passenger-only ferry between Hyannis and Nantucket often reaches its capacity during those times.

What happens if I simply do not use my high-speed passenger-only reservation?

Unfortunately, no refund can be issued for an unused reservation that was not cancelled or changed with advance notice. However, your ticket will remain valid for travel on a standby basis if it is used within one year from the date the reservation was originally booked. If the reservation was paid for with a ticket from a 10-ride ticket book, we will return a ticket to your ticket book for future use in lieu of a refund. There will be no one-year limitation on that ticket's validity.

When can I make a reservation for the high-speed passenger-only ferry?

Customers may make passenger reservations for our high-speed passenger-only ferry at any time of the year to the extent that we have made such reservations available. Reservations can be made up to two hours before the scheduled departure. Please note, our high-speed ferry service to and from Nantucket is seasonal, and generally operates from April through the end of December.

Parking Information

Can I obtain a parking permit instead of paying the daily parking rates?

Yes. Customers may purchase parking permits that allow them to park at specific parking lots on the mainland for a flat fee. We allow bona-fide students and teachers to have off-season permits which are valid for a time period that coincides with thier fall/winter semester. We do not offer a Student / Teacher permit during the summer months.

For information on how to purchase Woods Hole/Falmouth parking permits, please call the Steamship Authority’s Parking Lot office at (508) 548-5011, ext. 291. For Hyannis parking permits, please call the Hyannis Parking Lot Office at (508) 771-0418. Click Here to view the Parking Permits page.

What happens if I lose my parking ticket?

If you are unable to present a ticket for collection upon exiting the lot, we will have to charge you an amount equivalent to the aggregate of the charges that you would have incurred for parking in that lot for each calendar day your vehicle has been there, but no less than for a minimum of 7 calendar days. If you later submit your parking ticket showing that your vehicle was not parked in that lot for 7 calendar days, together with the receipt for the 7-day minimum amount you have paid, we will refund you the difference.

What do I do if the parking lot does not have an entrance or exit gate?

Vehicles parked at parking lots that are not equipped with parking ticket dispensers are still subject to parking charges. Upon entering the lot, it is your responsibility to inform the parking lot attendant on duty the number of calendar days (or portions thereof) that your vehicle will be parked there. You will then pay the appropriate parking charges for that time period in advance. Upon payment, the attendant will provide you with a receipt stating the time period for which you have paid.

In the event that you do not remove your vehicle within the time period for which the parking charges have been paid, you will be required to pay all additional parking charges due before you can remove your vehicle from the lot.

Further, we may tow any vehicle left in the lot beyond the time period for which a customer has paid for parking, and may then store the vehicle at any of our other facilities until the customer pays all additional parking charges due. In such an event, we may also require the customer to reimburse us for all reasonable towing and other expenses incurred. 

Can I park at the Nantucket Terminal?

Our Nantucket Terminal has only a few parking spaces for use by our customers. The spaces are made available on a first-come, first-served basis at the discretion of the Nantucket Terminal Manager and/or the Terminal Agent on duty. Parking for the first calendar day (or portion thereof) is free, but thereafter, you must pay parking charges for each subsequent calendar day or portion thereof that your vehicle is parked or stored there.

Can I park at the Vineyard Haven Terminal?

Parking spaces are limited at the Vineyard Haven Terminal and only available for medical emergencies. Should you need to park there for a medical emergency, you should contact the Vineyard Haven Terminal Manager or the Terminal Agent on duty. You may be required to provide documentation of such an emergency before being allowed to use any parking that may be available. You will also be required to pay parking charges for the use of the space.

What is the charge for parking?

Our daily parking rates vary depending on the time of year and the location of the parking facility. The rate is based on the number of calendar days-or portion thereof-that your vehicle is parked or stored there. Visit our mobile site SteamshipAuthority.com for current parking status.

Can I park at the Oak Bluffs Terminal?

No. There is no parking at the Oak Bluffs Terminal.

Where do I park if I am not traveling with my vehicle to either island?

For Martha's Vineyard Travelers

While there is no dockside parking available at our Woods Hole terminal,there are several off-site lots in Falmouth. We encourage you to arrive an hour before your departure time so you have the time you need to park your car and ride our free shuttle service to the terminal. For your convenience, all shuttle buses have bike racks, capable of accommodating two bikes during daylight hours. A bike shuttle bus is available every day throughout the summer season. Current/real-time parking lot information is readily available by logging onto our mobile website at SteamshipAuthority.com, by calling our parking information line at (508) 457-7275 (PARK), or tuning into 1610 AM on your radio.

For Nantucket Travelers

Because parking is limited at our Hyannis terminal - especially during the summer season and holiday weekends - we encourage you to arrive an hour before your departure time. That way, you'll have time to park in one of our off-site parking lots. To make that experience as stress-free as possible, we offer free shuttle service to and from our terminal. Current/real-time parking lot information is readily available by logging onto our mobile website at SteamshipAuthority.com, by calling our parking information line at (508) 775-7275 (PARK), or tuning into 1610 AM on your radio.

We strongly recommend that you check current parking availability on our mobile site prior to arriving at a specific parking lot.

Is parking available at your Woods Hole terminal or Hyannis terminal?

For Martha's Vineyard Travelers

While there is no dockside parking available at our Woods Hole terminal,there are several off-site lots in Falmouth. We encourage you to arrive an hour before your departure time so you have the time you need to park your car and ride our free shuttle service to the terminal. For your convenience, all shuttle buses have bike racks, capable of accommodating two bikes during daylight hours. A bike shuttle bus is available every day throughout the summer season. Current/real-time parking lot information is readily available by logging onto our mobile website at SteamshipAuthority.com, by calling our parking information line at (508) 457-7275 (PARK), or tuning into 1610 AM on your radio.

For Nantucket Travelers

Because parking is limited at our Hyannis terminal - especially during the summer season and holiday weekends - we encourage you to arrive an hour before your departure time. That way, you'll have time to park in one of our off-site parking lots. To make that experience as stress-free as possible, we offer free shuttle service to and from our terminal. Current/real-time parking lot information is readily available by logging onto our mobile website at SteamshipAuthority.com, by calling our parking information line at (508) 775-7275 (PARK), or tuning into 1610 AM on your radio.

We highly recommend that you check current parking availability prior to arriving at a specific parking lot.

Information for Passengers with Disabilities

Are the Steamship Authority's ferries accessible for passengers with disabilities?

All passenger areas of the following vessels are accessible by elevator for passengers with disabilities: the M/V Eagle, the M/V Island Home, the M/V Martha's Vineyard, M/V Woods Hole and the M/V Nantucket.

While the passenger areas of the following vessels are not entirely accessible by elevator, those that are accessible enable our passengers with disabilities to be provided with all amenities: the M/V Iyanough, the M/V Governor and the M/V Sankaty.

Because none of the passenger areas on the following vessels are accessible by elevator, passengers with disabilities will have limited access to passenger amenities: the M/V Gay Head and the M/V Katama. For more info, visit our Accessibility page.

I have a disability. Is there anything special I should do?

We attempt to accommodate the special reservations needs of customers with disabilities or those who are traveling with someone with a disability. If you require this type of assistance, please contact us so we can discuss your particular situation and review what accommodations we can provide.

If you’ll be traveling with a vehicle reservation and will require assistance because of a disability, our Reservation Office will add this information to your reservation so that our employees at the departure terminal will be alerted to your needs. Similarly, if you’re making your reservation online, you can check a box during the check-out process indicating that you will require assistance boarding a vessel and/or to access to the vessel's elevator. At the time of boarding, our terminal employees will also inform the vessel’s crew of any assistance you will require while aboard the vessel. For more info, check out the Accessibility page.

Does the Steamship Authority have any policies to assist individuals with disabilities?

Yes. We reserve a certain number of parking spaces at each of our terminals for use as handicapped parking spaces.

We also allow the preferential boarding of vehicles of individuals traveling on a standby basis and who must travel with the vehicles due to their disabilities, in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the Customer Handbook.

In certain emergency situations, we also allow the preferential boarding of a customer's vehicle so that an individual can receive emergency medical care on the mainland which is not available on the island, in accordance with the Authority's Emergency Transportation Policy.

Individuals with disabilities who receive a Steamship Authority Transportation Access Pass are eligible for discounted passenger fares. Blind passengers are also eligible to travel for free with proper identification from either the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind or a similar agency from another State. For more info, check out the Accessibility page.

Steamship Authority Security Procedures

Can I bring a firearm or other dangerous article with me on the ferry?

Firearms, other weapons, explosives, incendiaries and other dangerous articles will not be accepted for transportation except as specifically provided in Part J of the Customer Handbook.

Does the Steamship Authority have any security procedures?

Yes. In compliance with the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, we have developed and implemented certain policies to assure the security of our terminals and vessels, as well as the safe sailing for our passengers and crews. Although most of these security measures should not in any way inconvenience you, some will require your cooperation.

For example:

  • Only baggage accompanied by a ticketed passenger is permitted on the luggage carts.
  • Access to our vessels is limited to those individuals with tickets or official Steamship Authority identification.
  • Once boarded, passengers are not permitted to disembark without the Captain’s permission until the vessel has reached its destination. 

Will I be subject to screening?

At our discretion, we may randomly confirm passengers’ identification, and may randomly screen passengers, their belongings and their vehicles. Passengers who refuse to submit to such screening, searches and inspection will not be allowed to board any vessel.

May I travel on the Steamship Authority's ferries with any gasoline, propane or other flammable product?

Motor vehicles and motor boats transported on the Authority’s vessels may have gasoline in their fuel tanks, provided that their gas caps are secured. A motor boat may also have up to two other containers of gasoline not exceeding six gallons capacity each if they are in the motor boat, closed and in good condition, as more fully described in Part L of the Customer Handbook.

One propane tank, acetylene tank or oxygen tank may also be transported by a customer in a vehicle only in compliance with Part L of the Customer Handbook. No customer traveling without a vehicle may carry any gasoline, propane, acetylene or oxygen on board any vessel, unless a passenger needs oxygen for medical reasons.

General Information for Customers Traveling with Their Vehicles

Am I responsible for driving my own vehicle onto and off of the ferry?

Each customer transporting a motor vehicle is required to have a driver available to operate the vehicle at all times while it is on one of our properties or vessels. It is your responsibility to operate your vehicle whenever it is moved under its own power, including driving it on and off the vessel. The Steamship Authority is not responsible in any way for the operation of the customer's motor vehicle. However, on our Hyannis-Nantucket route only, we can provide drive-on/drive-off services subject to certain conditions and for an additional charge.

How do the drive-on/drive-off services work on the Hyannis-Nantucket route?

On the Hyannis-Nantucket route only, if you are unable to have someone on hand to drive your vehicle on or off the vessel, we can provide you with an employee to perform this service, for an additional charge, subject to certain conditions.

If you have purchased this service, you may remove your vehicle within 24 hours after the vehicle's arrival during the destination terminal’s hours of operation, without incurring any additional parking or storage charges. Vehicles remaining at the destination terminal for more than 24 hours are subject to parking and additional charges. For more information, check out the Fares page.

Note: During the months of July and August, customers whose vehicles are traveling on regular fares may not drop off their vehicles at the Hyannis terminal more than two calendar days in advance of their reservation.  As a result, a customer arriving with his or her vehicle at the Hyannis terminal during those months without a reservation will not be allowed to drop off their vehicle unless the terminal agent determines that it will be able to be shipped to Nantucket within24 hours.

My vehicle will be pulling a trailer. Are there any ferries that I should avoid traveling on?

Yes. Because customers traveling on the M/V Gay Head, the M/V Katama and the M/V Sankaty are required to back their vehicles on or off those vessels, we strongly discourage vehicles towing trailers (except tractor-trailers) from traveling on those vessels.

Should you decide to travel on any of those vessels with a vehicle towing a trailer, you will be responsible for loading and unloading your vehicle safely and quickly within the normal time constraints of the loading and unloading process. Failure to do so will result in the imposition of a drive-on/drive-off charge, if the Steamship Authority elects to load the vehicle and trailer on your behalf (available on the Hyannis-Nantucket route only) or in a refusal to allow you to board the vessel with your vehicle and trailer. This will result in the forfeiture of your reservation.

My car won't start and I need to transport it off-island for repairs. Can it be towed onto and off of the ferry?

Generally yes. We can provide you with towing/pushing services, where an employee and a vehicle (such as a tow motor) tows or pushes your vehicle onto or off of a ferry at the time of the vessel’s loading or unloading. This service is available for an additional charge and is subject to certain conditions (including the execution of a release and indemnification agreement).

We may refuse to move a vehicle that cannot be loaded onto or unloaded from a ferry under its own power if, for example, the loading of the ferry may be unduly delayed, or if the appropriate equipment is not available to tow, push or transport the vehicle safely.

If you utilize our towing/pushing service, you will be required to immediately remove your vehicle from the terminal upon reaching your destination, or you will be subject to parking and additional charges.

Vehicle Fares

Can I receive a lower vehicle fare if I buy a book of multiple tickets?

Yes. For trips between Woods Hole and Martha’s Vineyard, we sell 10-ride automobile ticket books that significantly lower the fare on a per-ticket basis. The tickets in these books are valid for transportation for one year from the date the ticket book is sold.

For trips between Hyannis and Nantucket, customers have a choice of two types of 6-ride automobile ticket books. One significantly lowers the fare on a per-ticket basis (with the tickets in the book valid for transportation for two years from the date the ticket book is sold). Though the second book is sold at a price that reflects no discount from our regular automobile fare, the tickets in that book have no expiration date. 

The use of all ticket books is restricted to no more than two passenger automobiles, with common ownership and registration numbers that are electronically recorded at the time of the ticket book's issuance. 

How are vehicle fares determined?

Generally, we charge different vehicle fares based upon whether a vehicle is a non-commercial vehicle (which we define as any vehicle that is less than 20 feet in length, designed and equipped primarily for carriage of passengers and not registered as a commercial vehicle) or a commercial vehicle.

Does the Steamship Authority also carry motorcycles and other items?

Yes. Fares for the transportation of motorcycles, bicycles, mopeds, golf carts, surfboards (including wind surfboards), kayaks and other large items are established at our discretion. Tickets for the transportation of such items can be purchased on the day of sailing at any ferry terminal.

What is included in the regular automobile fare?

A regular non-commercial automobile fare is for the transportation of the vehicle only. The fare does not include transportation for the vehicle's driver or any other passengers.

Is every automobile charged the same regular fare?

Automobiles under 17 feet in length are charged the regular fare.  Fare increases are based upon the vehicle’s length over 17 feet. The automobile’s length also includes any load on the vehicle extending beyond the front or rear bumper (including but not limited to a bicycle rack).

Will I pay more if I am towing a trailer?

Yes. We charge an additional fare for any trailer towed by an automobile.

Will I pay more if my vehicle is tall or if I have a container or a bicycle rack on top of my vehicle?

No. However, vehicles over 6 feet, 6 inches in height may be restricted to particular vessels, trips or spaces in vessels.

I am traveling in a camper. Do I pay a normal commercial fare?

No. Although we consider campers to be commercial vehicles, we have established special commercial vehicle fares for certain vehicles such as campers. Usually such special fares are still increased based upon their length and width, but they are generally lower than our normal commercial fares.

Vehicle Reservations

Can I cancel my reservation?

You may cancel a reservation online, by telephone, or in person at our Reservation Office during normal operating hours. 

The value of the cancelled reservation, less applicable charges, will be refunded to you, subject to certain conditions and restrictions:

  • Any reservation made and cancelled on the same day is fully refundable without the payment of any additional processing fee. Otherwise, if the cancellation notice is received at least 14 days in advance of the scheduled departure (or at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled departure for a commercial vehicle over 20 feet), you will be issued a full refund less a $10.00 processing fee, unless the reservation was previously changed with less than 14 days notice (or with less than 24 hours notice for a commercial vehicle reservation) prior to the previously scheduled departure.
  • No refund will be issued for a reservation cancelled later than 14 days (or later than 24 hours for a commercial vehicle over 20 feet) before the scheduled departure or for a reservation reflecting a change in a previous reservation with less than 14 days notice (or 24 hours notice for a commercial vehicle over 20 feet) prior to the previously scheduled departure.
  • Customers should be aware that pre-paid passenger fares might be eligible for a refund even if the associated vehicle reservation is not. Further, a customer will not be charged any processing fee and/or denied a refund if the reservation is cancelled due to an error on the part of our reservation clerks when making the reservation (but only if we have been notified of the error within 10 days after the reservation confirmation is issued to the customer), or because of a medical emergency or death in the customer's immediate family, or because of a missed connection due to adverse weather conditions, or because of an interruption or lack of boat service as reserved by the customer. 

Can I change my vehicle reservation?

Your vehicle reservation can be changed online, by telephone or in person during our Reservation Office’s normal operating hours, or in person at any of our ferry terminals, whenever those terminals are open.

All changes are subject to certain conditions and restrictions:

  • Reservations may be changed up to one hour before the scheduled departure, with the first date change at no charge. However, your change must be made at least 14 days in advance of the scheduled departure (up to 24 hours in advance of the scheduled departure for commercial vehicle reservations) for the revised reservation to be eligible for a refund if subsequently cancelled.
  • If the reservation date has already has been changed one or more times, you may change the reservation again only upon payment of an additional $10.00 charge. Certain changes are not subject to the above restrictions. For example, you may always change your license plate numbers, add or subtract passengers, and change your reservation to another trip on the same day without any additional charges or penalties.
  • If you wish to change a reservation to another date on which a different fare applies, you will generally have to pay the difference between the new fare and the previous fare.

In the event that your reservation is neither changed with at least one hour advance notice nor used as reserved, no refund shall be issued, although the reservation may be used for standby travel on the date for which the trip was scheduled or at our discretion, on the following day. 

Are there any restrictions on my vehicle reservation?

Yes. Vehicle reservations must be made in the name of the person traveling with the vehicle and are non-transferable from one person to another once made. Vehicle reservations also must be made for a specific vehicle. Inaccurate information about the vehicle traveling could result in the reservation being invalid for transportation and/or the imposition of additional charges.

Can I make a reservation to travel with a vehicle on a particular trip?

Yes, to the extent that space is available. We accept reservations for vehicles on all of our passenger/vehicle ferries and routes. (Some trips, however, may be restricted to vehicles carrying hazardous commodities.) We do not accept passenger reservations for those traveling on any of our passenger/vehicle ferries, as these generally have sufficient capacity for all passengers who arrive to sail on a particular trip.

Do I need a reservation for my motorcycle or bicycle?

Generally, motorcycles, bicycles and mopeds do not require reservations, and tickets for their transportation can be purchased on the day of sailing at any ferry terminal. However, they will be transported only on a space-available basis.

If you are traveling in a group with five or more motorcycles, we encourage you to make reservations to ensure that there will be sufficient space for your motorcycles on the vessel. 

What is a “Profile Account”?

A customer who provides us with certain identifying information will be issued a “Profile Account” number.  You can provide us with this number when making vehicle reservations either online or by telephone.

When can I make a vehicle reservation?

Customers may make reservations for vehicles at any time of the year to the extent we have made spaces available for such reservations. Reservations can be made up to one hour before the requested scheduled departure. For more information, check out the Reservation Openings page.

I am traveling in a rental car. Can I make a reservation even though I don’t yet have any information about the car?

Yes. Customers traveling in rental vehicles may make reservations in their own name. At the time of booking, you should provide as much vehicle information as possible regarding the rental vehicle. You may also use your name instead of a license plate number and for other information necessary to make the reservation. If you prefer, you may provide vehicle information about your own vehicle (as opposed to the rental vehicle). Once you arrive at the departure terminal, our employees can verify that you are the person for whom the reservation has been made. One caution: do not underestimate the length or height of your rental vehicle, as that could result in the forfeiture of your reservation.

Do I need to pay the fares for my passengers at the time I make my vehicle reservation?

No. If you are unsure about of the number of passengers who will be traveling in your party, you may want to pay the fare for the vehicle’s driver only and purchase additional passenger tickets upon arrival at our terminal.

What if I can't get a reservation for the particular trip I want? Does the Authority have a wait list for reservations?

Our computerized reservation system has a wait list capability. If you are unable to make a reservation for your desired date or time, you may request that your reservation be moved to other dates and/or times if they become available.

Do I need to have a written confirmation of my reservation?

Customers need only have their reservation confirmation or reservation number upon checking in at a terminal in the event the terminal employees are unable to confirm their reservations. Customers making reservations online may print copies of their confirmations on their own printers. Customers making reservations by telephone will be told their reservation numbers by our reservation clerks. Customers may also obtain copies of their reservation confirmations at any of our ferry terminals or Reservation Offices (upon presentation of proper identification). A new reservation confirmation (with the same reservation number) will be issued for any change made to a reservation. Although we do not routinely mail reservation confirmations, we will do so upon a customer’s request if the request is received more than 10 calendar days in advance of the scheduled sailing.

What happens if I simply do not use my reservation?

In the event a reservation is neither cancelled with at least 14 days advance notice (or with at least 24 hours advance notice for commercial vehicle over 20 feet), nor changed with at least one hour advance notice, nor used as reserved, no refund shall be issued for the reservation.

In these circumstances, the reservation shall be valid only for standby travel on the date for which the trip was scheduled. At our discretion, the reservation may instead be valid only for standby travel on the following day. In either case, the vehicle shall have no priority over other standby vehicles. 

Customers Traveling with Vehicle Reservations

Are there any circumstances in which other vehicles will be boarded instead of mine even though I have a reservation?

In certain circumstances, an ambulance or a private vehicle may be boarded on a preferential basis, in accordance with the provisions of the Steamship Authority's Emergency Transportation Policy. (Please refer to our Customer Handbook.) In that case, other vehicles with reservations may be bumped from their reserved trips in order to accommodate the ambulance or customer needing to travel on an emergency basis.

In an emergency, the Terminal Agent will first ask for volunteers, informing them when they will be transported if they agree to be bumped from that particular trip. If an insufficient number of customers volunteer to be bumped to meet the emergency situation, the Terminal Agent will then bump the last vehicle(s) which checked in at the terminal for that particular trip.

We will refund each affected customer's one-way fare for both the bumped vehicle and its passengers. Bumped vehicles will have priority for boarding on the next vessel leaving the terminal (except for vessels carrying hazardous cargo), and vehicles bumped as a result from that subsequent trip will similarly be considered as having been bumped due to an emergency situation. 

I have a vehicle reservation for a particular sailing. When should I arrive at the terminal?

If you have a vehicle reservation, you must be at the departure terminal and ready for boarding at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure, with your reservation confirmation and proper identification readily available.

What if I arrive later than 30 minutes before sailing but before the ferry leaves?

Those who arrive later than 30 minutes before the scheduled departure may still be boarded at the Terminal Agent’s discretion. This means that we have not yet completed loading vehicles for that trip and boarding this vehicle will not otherwise affect the loading of the vessel. 

No standby vehicles already selected for boarding will be bumped from a trip to allow the boarding of any late-arriving vehicle with a reservation. 

What happens if I miss the trip for which I have a reservation?

If a customer with a vehicle reservation is not boarded due to a late arrival at the departure terminal, the reserved space will be used for another vehicle, and the customer's vehicle will only be able to travel on a standby basis, on the date for which the reserved trip was scheduled. At our discretion, the customer's vehicle may instead travel on a standby basis the following day. In either case, the vehicle will have no priority over other standby vehicles. 

What happens if my trip is cancelled?

In the event of a disruption in service, customers with reservations on cancelled trips may make new reservations or travel on standby status when service resumes. Customer service is important to us and we will endeavor to help those customers make new reservations at the terminal, even though the general public may not be able to make reservations at that time. In these situations, we will also create a special standby line for customers holding reservations on cancelled trips. When service resumes, we will board vehicles in the order described in the Customer Handbook.

Traveling without Vehicle Reservations on the Martha's Vineyard Route

Can I travel with my vehicle between Woods Hole and Martha's Vineyard without a reservation?

Yes, except during our Reservation Only Periods. Traveling with your vehicle without a reservation is called traveling on a standby basis.


Vehicle travel on a standby basis is not available on the Martha's Vineyard route during the Memorial Day Weekend, the Independence Day Holiday Week, the Labor Day Weekend, the Columbus Day Weekend, and on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays during the summer from late June through Labor Day. For more information about our standby procedures, please click here.

How does standby work on the Martha's Vineyard route?

On days that customers can travel on a standby basis, standby vehicles are generally boarded onto vessels after vehicles with reservations, as long as space is available, in the order of their arrival and check in at the departure terminal. Exceptions are made for customers with disabilities who need to travel with their vehicles, emergency situations, disruptions in service and other unusual circumstances. Standby vehicles that are not transported by the end of the day are required to leave our property when the terminal closes for the night, and they are not given any priority for boarding the following day. For more information about our standby procedures, please click here.

Traveling without Vehicle Reservations on the Nantucket Route

Can I travel with my vehicle between Hyannis and Nantucket without a reservation?

Yes. Standby travel is available on the Nantucket route every day of the year. For more information about our standby procedures, please click here.

How does standby work on the Nantucket route?

Standby vehicles are accepted year-round for travel between Hyannis and Nantucket, though space is limited. If you desire to travel on a standby basis from Hyannis you are required to go in person to the terminal and place your name on the standby list. If you want to travel on a standby basis from Nantucket, customers must have a paid or pending reservation. You may either call or go in person to the terminal to place your name on the list. Your reservation will be a ssigned a standyby number.

You will receive a standby slip with your standby number and date. This standby slip contains a telephone number and website link where you can access the terminal's current vehicle standby status as well as the date and time that you should be at the terminal.

Once you receive your standby slip:

Nantucket Terminal:
Unless you are informed that you should remain at the terminal for possible travel on the next scheduled trip, you must depart with your vehicle from the Nantucket Terminal. (No spaces are available to accommodate standby vehicles at that terminal, and therefore there is no physical vehicle standby line there.) We will then email or text you when we can accommodate your vehicle. You can also check our website listed on your slip to find out when you should return to the terminal for possible travel on a standby basis. It is your responsibility to return to the terminal at the appropriate time, and your failure to do so will result in forfeiting your place and being dropped from the standby list.

Hyannis Terminal:
If the terminal is able to accommodate the parking of standby vehicles of customers using our drive-on/drive-off services, you may leave your vehicle at the terminal and it will be transported on a standby basis on the next available trip. Otherwise, you must depart with your vehicle from the terminal instead of waiting there for the next available trip. You must regularly check our website and/or call the telephone number on your standby slip to find out what time you must return to the terminal, potentially to travel on a standby basis. It is your responsibility to return to the terminal at the appropriate time, and your failure to do so will result in forfeiting your place and being dropped from the standby list.

Customers who are required to return to the terminal at a particular time are not guaranteed travel on the next scheduled trip, as we generally will require more standby customers to return to the terminal than can be accommodated on the next trip. Vehicles traveling on a standby basis are generally boarded onto vessels after vehicles with reservations, as long as space is available, in the order that they have been placed on the standby list. Exceptions are made for customers with disabilities who need to travel with their vehicles, emergency situations, disruptions in service and other unusual circumstances.

General Passenger Information

Passenger Tickets and Fares

Subscriptions to SSA Communications

Parking Information

Information for Passengers with Disabilities

Steamship Authority Security Procedures

General Information for Customers Traveling with Their Vehicles

Vehicle Fares

Vehicle Reservations

Customers Traveling with Vehicle Reservations

Traveling without Vehicle Reservations on the Martha's Vineyard Route

General Passenger Information

Are there any special precautions I should take while riding on the ferry?

The Steamship Authority has the largest, safest and most seaworthy vessels manned by U.S. Coast Guard-certified crews. However, as with any vessel, you should always conduct yourself with care while on-board and pay particular attention to any children traveling with you. In particular, when a ferry is approaching or docking at a terminal, position yourself as safely as possible so that you are not thrown off balance when the ferry reaches the dock. Please remember, passengers are not allowed to stand on any stairs of a vessel or at the top of any vessel stairwell while it is approaching or docking at a terminal.

Do any passengers have priority in boarding the ferry?

Although the Steamship Authority’s larger ferries will generally have sufficient capacity for all passengers who wish to travel on a particular trip, if the Steamship Authority determines that the vessel’s carrying capacity will be reached before sailing time, passengers traveling in vehicles with reservations have boarding priority over both passengers traveling in standby vehicles and walk-on passengers. In addition, passengers with vehicles traveling on a standby basis have boarding priority over walk-on passengers.

May I bring pets with me on the ferry?

Pets are welcome on board our ferries. Your pets are carried free of charge, but they must be accompanied by the passenger who is responsible for their care and conduct during the passage. Owners are required to clean up after their pets. All pets must be kept on a leash or in a container, and must be under the control of the passenger at all times. No pets (except for service assistance animals) are allowed in any food service area. No pets are allowed on any passenger seat or table.

Can I transport or consume alcoholic beverages aboard the ferry?

Massachusetts law also prohibits passengers from consuming alcoholic beverages aboard any Steamship Authority vessel other than those sold by our licensed concessionaire. Passengers are not allowed to bring alcoholic beverages on or off a vessel except for beverages that they are transporting as personal baggage in unopened containers, which may not be opened while the vessel is underway. Further, the Steamship Authority’s licensed concessionaire may not serve alcoholic beverages to any passenger while the vessel is at dockside or prior to casting off. Nor may alcoholic beverages be served on trips of more than two hours to any passenger within one-half hour before the vessel docks.

Can I smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes, marijuana or cigars on the ferry or at the terminals?

Under Massachusetts law, you are prohibited from smoking anywhere in or upon any Steamship Authority vessel. All smoking materials (including but not limited to matches, cigars, cigarettes, e-cigarettes and pipes) must be extinguished prior to boarding. Additionally, no person may smoke on any terminal ramps or in the vicinity of any passenger waiting queues, or in or upon any building, or in any other place on the terminal where smoking is specifically prohibited by the Authority.

Customers are allowed to smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes and cigars in designated areas at our terminals away from other passengers, but they are not allowed to smoke anywhere on any of our ferries, in any of our buildings, on any terminal ramps or in the vicinity of any passenger waiting queues, or in any other place on the terminal where we specifically prohibit smoking.

The smoking of or other use of marijuana is prohibited anywhere in or upon any of our vessels or on any Steamship Authority property.

How much baggage may I bring with me on the ferry?

Passengers may travel with their personal baggage, at no additional charge, except for bicycles, surfboards (including wind surfboards) and other large objects for which a fare may be charged. Please note, for security reasons, no baggage may be left unattended or placed on any passenger seat or table. Passengers traveling without vehicles may be required to place some or all of their baggage on luggage carts for the safety and convenience of other passengers. While luggage carts are provided at no additional charge, the Steamship Authority assumes no responsibility for any baggage placed on any luggage carts.

Am I required to make a passenger reservation for the traditional ferry to Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard?

Passenger reservations are not needed for our traditional ferries to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Passengers traveling without a vehicle may purchase their tickets at our terminals on the day of sailing.  

If you are planning to take your vehicle to either island then you are required to make an advance vehicle reservation.

If you are planning to take the high-speed passenger ferry to Nantucket, reservations are recommended especially during peak travel times including holiday weekends and the summer months of July and August.

Do I need a reservation for my bicycle?

No. Bicycles do not require reservations, and tickets for their transportation can be purchased on the day of sailing at the terminal. However, they will be transported only on a space-available basis.

Can children travel on the ferries unaccompanied?

Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult (a person 13 years of age or older) who is responsible for their care and conduct during the passage.

How do I access the SSA's News, including Current Project Updates, Board Meeting Summaries and Meeting Notices & Agendas?

To access the SSA's news, including Board Meeting Summaries and Meeting Notices and Agendas, please visit the About section of our website and navigate to the News link. Or simply click this link: https://www.steamshipauthority.com/about/news.

Are rental cars available at the mainland terminals?

Avis-Rent-a-Car services are available at the Hyannis Terminal and at the Palmer Avenue Parking Lot in Falmouth. Visit www.avis.com for details or call one of the numbers below:

Avis Rent-a-Car at the SSA's Hyannis Terminal: 508-771-4554

Avis Rent-a-Car at the SSA's Palmer Avenue Parking Lot in Falmouth: 508-548-2420

How do I access SSA's invitation for bids

Visit SteamshipAuthority.com/about/doing_business to view the latest work contracts, invitations for bids and awarded contracts.

Passenger Tickets and Fares

Can I receive a lower fare if I buy a book of multiple tickets?

Yes. We sell multi-ride cards for passenger travel on our traditional ferries to Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard which significantly lower the fare on a per-ticket basis.

For information about our 10-Ride Ferry Pass cards which includes the town-mandated embarkation fee and can be used by multiple people on the same trip, click the link below:

https://www.steamshipauthority.com/ferrypass

For information about our Lifeline cards which does not include the town-mandated embarkation fee and can be used by one person per trip, click the link below:

https://www.steamshipauthority.com/lifelinecard

We also sell 10-ride ticket books for the high-speed passenger ferry between Hyannis and Nantucket and 46-ride commuter Ferry Pass cards for the Martha's Vineyard route.

Are group fares available?

Yes. Generally, 20 or more individuals must travel together as a group in order for the individuals to be eligible for a regular group fare. All individuals in the group must travel together on the same dates, from the same point of origin to the same destination and back. One person in the group must be designated as the individual responsible for picking up the group’s tickets and for coordinating all other aspects of the group’s travel. Please consult the Customer Handbook for eligibility requirements. 

Are there any restrictions on the use of the 10-ride high-speed ferry ticket books?

Generally there are no restrictions on the use of these books. The 10-ride high-speed ferry ticket books are transferable among passengers, multiple tickets from the same ticket book may be used for travel for different passengers on the same trip and are valid forever on the Nantucket route. We also offer 10-ride Ferry Pass Cards for the traditional ferry on the Nantucket route and the Martha's Vineyard route. Please consult the customer handbook.

I have purchased individual passenger tickets at the regular fare. Are there any restrictions on their use?

Passenger tickets are transferable among individuals who are eligible for the fare charged. Generally, each ticket is valid for passage only if used within one year from the date the ticket is sold.

Do you charge the same fares for adults and children?

Individuals who are 13 years of age or over are charged the adult fare; children who are five (5) years of age or over and under thirteen (13) years of age are charged the child fare, unless eligible for a lower fare, but must be accompanied by an adult (a person 13 years of age or older) who is responsible for their care and conduct during the passage.

Is anyone eligible for a discounted fare?

Yes. Senior citizens (age 65 or older) who are residents of Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Barnstable or Falmouth are eligible for a senior citizen fare. Other individuals who are eligible for discounted fares include individuals with disabilities with Steamship Authority Transportation Access Passes and legally blind passengers (together with their helper or companion). Under certain circumstances, military and Coast Guard personnel in active service, as well as reservists, are also eligible for discounted fares. Please consult the Customer Handbook for eligibility requirements. 

Does the Steamship Authority have any special group fares for student and youth groups?

Yes. Individuals traveling as a group for student-related travel in connection with an event authorized by a school or a recognized youth group are charged the student group fare under certain conditions. Generally, 10 or more individuals must travel together as a group in order for the individuals to be eligible for this student group fare. Please consult the Customer Handbook for eligibility requirements.

Subscriptions to SSA Communications

How do I sign up to receive SSA's travel alerts via text messages?

If you wish to receive our Travel Alerts, such as trip delays or cancellations, via Text Message, visit our websiteat  www.SteamshipAuthority.com/email_lists. You will be prompted to enter your email address and security code. (If you don’t remember your security code, you can request for it to be emailed to you.) If you are already receiving our eNews, click on the link “Click here if you have already joined our list.” Once you are logged in, you can edit your preferences by scrolling down to the section “Text Alerts Via Text Message”. From there, enter your cell phone and choose your preferences. You also have the ability to restrict when you receive Travel Alerts to specific days, dates and times.

Don’t forget to hit the “Save Changes” button before leaving this page.

How do I sign up to receive waitlist notifications via text messages?

If you have a vehicle reservation and a profile account with the Steamship Authority, you can opt in to receive Waitlist Request Notifications via Text Message. Visit our website at www.steamshipauthority.com, and then log into your profile account. From there, navigate to the “My Profile” section. Under the cell phone field click the box “I want to receive Text Alerts for schedule changes and waitlist fulfillments.” Don’t forget to hit the “Save Changes” button before leaving this page.

How do I sign up to receive the SSA's e-News?

You may subscribe to our e-News by going to our website www.SteamshipAuthority.com/email_lists and choose to receive a specific e-News, which is sent out on a monthly basis. You may elect to receive all of our e-News, including the Martha's Vineyard Resident, Martha's Vineyard Traveler, Nantucket Resident or Nantucket Traveler, which often times have unique content.

How do I unsubscribe to SSA's e-News?

Visit www.SteamshipAuthority.com/email_lists and click on the link that reads; "Click here if you have already joined our list." You will need to enter your email address and password (if you don't remember your password, you can request for it to be emailed to you). Once you are logged in, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the buttom "Remove Me from List".

Parking Information

Can I obtain a parking permit instead of paying the daily parking rates?

Yes. Customers may purchase parking permits that allow them to park at specific parking lots on the mainland for a flat fee. We allow bona-fide students and teachers to have off-season permits which are valid for a time period that coincides with thier fall/winter semester. We do not offer a Student / Teacher permit during the summer months.

For information on how to purchase Woods Hole/Falmouth parking permits, please call the Steamship Authority’s Parking Lot office at (508) 548-5011, ext. 291. For Hyannis parking permits, please call the Hyannis Parking Lot Office at (508) 771-0418. Click Here to view the Parking Permits page.

What happens if I lose my parking ticket?

If you are unable to present a ticket for collection upon exiting the lot, we will have to charge you an amount equivalent to the aggregate of the charges that you would have incurred for parking in that lot for each calendar day your vehicle has been there, but no less than for a minimum of 7 calendar days. If you later submit your parking ticket showing that your vehicle was not parked in that lot for 7 calendar days, together with the receipt for the 7-day minimum amount you have paid, we will refund you the difference.

What do I do if the parking lot does not have an entrance or exit gate?

Vehicles parked at parking lots that are not equipped with parking ticket dispensers are still subject to parking charges. Upon entering the lot, it is your responsibility to inform the parking lot attendant on duty the number of calendar days (or portions thereof) that your vehicle will be parked there. You will then pay the appropriate parking charges for that time period in advance. Upon payment, the attendant will provide you with a receipt stating the time period for which you have paid.

In the event that you do not remove your vehicle within the time period for which the parking charges have been paid, you will be required to pay all additional parking charges due before you can remove your vehicle from the lot.

Further, we may tow any vehicle left in the lot beyond the time period for which a customer has paid for parking, and may then store the vehicle at any of our other facilities until the customer pays all additional parking charges due. In such an event, we may also require the customer to reimburse us for all reasonable towing and other expenses incurred. 

Can I park at the Oak Bluffs Terminal?

No. There is no parking at the Oak Bluffs Terminal.

Can I park at the Vineyard Haven Terminal?

Parking spaces are limited at the Vineyard Haven Terminal and only available for medical emergencies. Should you need to park there for a medical emergency, you should contact the Vineyard Haven Terminal Manager or the Terminal Agent on duty. You may be required to provide documentation of such an emergency before being allowed to use any parking that may be available. You will also be required to pay parking charges for the use of the space.

What is the charge for parking?

Our daily parking rates vary depending on the time of year and the location of the parking facility. The rate is based on the number of calendar days-or portion thereof-that your vehicle is parked or stored there. Visit our mobile site SteamshipAuthority.com for current parking status.

Where do I park if I am not traveling with my vehicle to either island?

For Martha's Vineyard Travelers

While there is no dockside parking available at our Woods Hole terminal,there are several off-site lots in Falmouth. We encourage you to arrive an hour before your departure time so you have the time you need to park your car and ride our free shuttle service to the terminal. For your convenience, all shuttle buses have bike racks, capable of accommodating two bikes during daylight hours. A bike shuttle bus is available every day throughout the summer season. Current/real-time parking lot information is readily available by logging onto our mobile website at SteamshipAuthority.com, by calling our parking information line at (508) 457-7275 (PARK), or tuning into 1610 AM on your radio.

For Nantucket Travelers

Because parking is limited at our Hyannis terminal - especially during the summer season and holiday weekends - we encourage you to arrive an hour before your departure time. That way, you'll have time to park in one of our off-site parking lots. To make that experience as stress-free as possible, we offer free shuttle service to and from our terminal. Current/real-time parking lot information is readily available by logging onto our mobile website at SteamshipAuthority.com, by calling our parking information line at (508) 775-7275 (PARK), or tuning into 1610 AM on your radio.

We strongly recommend that you check current parking availability on our mobile site prior to arriving at a specific parking lot.

Is parking available at your Woods Hole terminal or Hyannis terminal?

For Martha's Vineyard Travelers

While there is no dockside parking available at our Woods Hole terminal,there are several off-site lots in Falmouth. We encourage you to arrive an hour before your departure time so you have the time you need to park your car and ride our free shuttle service to the terminal. For your convenience, all shuttle buses have bike racks, capable of accommodating two bikes during daylight hours. A bike shuttle bus is available every day throughout the summer season. Current/real-time parking lot information is readily available by logging onto our mobile website at SteamshipAuthority.com, by calling our parking information line at (508) 457-7275 (PARK), or tuning into 1610 AM on your radio.

For Nantucket Travelers

Because parking is limited at our Hyannis terminal - especially during the summer season and holiday weekends - we encourage you to arrive an hour before your departure time. That way, you'll have time to park in one of our off-site parking lots. To make that experience as stress-free as possible, we offer free shuttle service to and from our terminal. Current/real-time parking lot information is readily available by logging onto our mobile website at SteamshipAuthority.com, by calling our parking information line at (508) 775-7275 (PARK), or tuning into 1610 AM on your radio.

We highly recommend that you check current parking availability prior to arriving at a specific parking lot.

Information for Passengers with Disabilities

Are the Steamship Authority's ferries accessible for passengers with disabilities?

All passenger areas of the following vessels are accessible by elevator for passengers with disabilities: the M/V Eagle, the M/V Island Home, the M/V Martha's Vineyard, M/V Woods Hole and the M/V Nantucket.

While the passenger areas of the following vessels are not entirely accessible by elevator, those that are accessible enable our passengers with disabilities to be provided with all amenities: the M/V Iyanough, the M/V Governor and the M/V Sankaty.

Because none of the passenger areas on the following vessels are accessible by elevator, passengers with disabilities will have limited access to passenger amenities: the M/V Gay Head and the M/V Katama. For more info, visit our Accessibility page.

I have a disability. Is there anything special I should do?

We attempt to accommodate the special reservations needs of customers with disabilities or those who are traveling with someone with a disability. If you require this type of assistance, please contact us so we can discuss your particular situation and review what accommodations we can provide.

If you’ll be traveling with a vehicle reservation and will require assistance because of a disability, our Reservation Office will add this information to your reservation so that our employees at the departure terminal will be alerted to your needs. Similarly, if you’re making your reservation online, you can check a box during the check-out process indicating that you will require assistance boarding a vessel and/or to access to the vessel's elevator. At the time of boarding, our terminal employees will also inform the vessel’s crew of any assistance you will require while aboard the vessel. For more info, check out the Accessibility page.

Does the Steamship Authority have any policies to assist individuals with disabilities?

Yes. We reserve a certain number of parking spaces at each of our terminals for use as handicapped parking spaces.

We also allow the preferential boarding of vehicles of individuals traveling on a standby basis and who must travel with the vehicles due to their disabilities, in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the Customer Handbook.

In certain emergency situations, we also allow the preferential boarding of a customer's vehicle so that an individual can receive emergency medical care on the mainland which is not available on the island, in accordance with the Authority's Emergency Transportation Policy.

Individuals with disabilities who receive a Steamship Authority Transportation Access Pass are eligible for discounted passenger fares. Blind passengers are also eligible to travel for free with proper identification from either the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind or a similar agency from another State. For more info, check out the Accessibility page.

Steamship Authority Security Procedures

Can I bring a firearm or other dangerous article with me on the ferry?

Firearms, other weapons, explosives, incendiaries and other dangerous articles will not be accepted for transportation except as specifically provided in Part J of the Customer Handbook.

Does the Steamship Authority have any security procedures?

Yes. In compliance with the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, we have developed and implemented certain policies to assure the security of our terminals and vessels, as well as the safe sailing for our passengers and crews. Although most of these security measures should not in any way inconvenience you, some will require your cooperation.

For example:

  • Only baggage accompanied by a ticketed passenger is permitted on the luggage carts.
  • Access to our vessels is limited to those individuals with tickets or official Steamship Authority identification.
  • Once boarded, passengers are not permitted to disembark without the Captain’s permission until the vessel has reached its destination. 

Will I be subject to screening?

At our discretion, we may randomly confirm passengers’ identification, and may randomly screen passengers, their belongings and their vehicles. Passengers who refuse to submit to such screening, searches and inspection will not be allowed to board any vessel.

May I travel on the Steamship Authority's ferries with any gasoline, propane or other flammable product?

Motor vehicles and motor boats transported on the Authority’s vessels may have gasoline in their fuel tanks, provided that their gas caps are secured. A motor boat may also have up to two other containers of gasoline not exceeding six gallons capacity each if they are in the motor boat, closed and in good condition, as more fully described in Part L of the Customer Handbook.

One propane tank, acetylene tank or oxygen tank may also be transported by a customer in a vehicle only in compliance with Part L of the Customer Handbook. No customer traveling without a vehicle may carry any gasoline, propane, acetylene or oxygen on board any vessel, unless a passenger needs oxygen for medical reasons.

General Information for Customers Traveling with Their Vehicles

Am I responsible for driving my own vehicle onto and off of the ferry?

Each customer transporting a motor vehicle is required to have a driver available to operate the vehicle at all times while it is on one of our properties or vessels. It is your responsibility to operate your vehicle whenever it is moved under its own power, including driving it on and off the vessel. The Steamship Authority is not responsible in any way for the operation of the customer's motor vehicle. However, on our Hyannis-Nantucket route only, we can provide drive-on/drive-off services subject to certain conditions and for an additional charge.

My vehicle will be pulling a trailer. Are there any ferries that I should avoid traveling on?

Yes. Because customers traveling on the M/V Gay Head, the M/V Katama and the M/V Sankaty are required to back their vehicles on or off those vessels, we strongly discourage vehicles towing trailers (except tractor-trailers) from traveling on those vessels.

Should you decide to travel on any of those vessels with a vehicle towing a trailer, you will be responsible for loading and unloading your vehicle safely and quickly within the normal time constraints of the loading and unloading process. Failure to do so will result in the imposition of a drive-on/drive-off charge, if the Steamship Authority elects to load the vehicle and trailer on your behalf (available on the Hyannis-Nantucket route only) or in a refusal to allow you to board the vessel with your vehicle and trailer. This will result in the forfeiture of your reservation.

My car won't start and I need to transport it off-island for repairs. Can it be towed onto and off of the ferry?

Generally yes. We can provide you with towing/pushing services, where an employee and a vehicle (such as a tow motor) tows or pushes your vehicle onto or off of a ferry at the time of the vessel’s loading or unloading. This service is available for an additional charge and is subject to certain conditions (including the execution of a release and indemnification agreement).

We may refuse to move a vehicle that cannot be loaded onto or unloaded from a ferry under its own power if, for example, the loading of the ferry may be unduly delayed, or if the appropriate equipment is not available to tow, push or transport the vehicle safely.

If you utilize our towing/pushing service, you will be required to immediately remove your vehicle from the terminal upon reaching your destination, or you will be subject to parking and additional charges.

Vehicle Fares

Can I receive a lower vehicle fare if I buy a book of multiple tickets?

Yes. For trips between Woods Hole and Martha’s Vineyard, we sell 10-ride automobile ticket books that significantly lower the fare on a per-ticket basis. The tickets in these books are valid for transportation for one year from the date the ticket book is sold.

For trips between Hyannis and Nantucket, customers have a choice of two types of 6-ride automobile ticket books. One significantly lowers the fare on a per-ticket basis (with the tickets in the book valid for transportation for two years from the date the ticket book is sold). Though the second book is sold at a price that reflects no discount from our regular automobile fare, the tickets in that book have no expiration date. 

The use of all ticket books is restricted to no more than two passenger automobiles, with common ownership and registration numbers that are electronically recorded at the time of the ticket book's issuance. 

How are vehicle fares determined?

Generally, we charge different vehicle fares based upon whether a vehicle is a non-commercial vehicle (which we define as any vehicle that is less than 20 feet in length, designed and equipped primarily for carriage of passengers and not registered as a commercial vehicle) or a commercial vehicle.

Does the Steamship Authority also carry motorcycles and other items?

Yes. Fares for the transportation of motorcycles, bicycles, mopeds, golf carts, surfboards (including wind surfboards), kayaks and other large items are established at our discretion. Tickets for the transportation of such items can be purchased on the day of sailing at any ferry terminal.

What is included in the regular automobile fare?

A regular non-commercial automobile fare is for the transportation of the vehicle only. The fare does not include transportation for the vehicle's driver or any other passengers.

Is every automobile charged the same regular fare?

Automobiles under 17 feet in length are charged the regular fare.  Fare increases are based upon the vehicle’s length over 17 feet. The automobile’s length also includes any load on the vehicle extending beyond the front or rear bumper (including but not limited to a bicycle rack).

Will I pay more if I am towing a trailer?

Yes. We charge an additional fare for any trailer towed by an automobile.

Will I pay more if my vehicle is tall or if I have a container or a bicycle rack on top of my vehicle?

No. However, vehicles over 6 feet, 6 inches in height may be restricted to particular vessels, trips or spaces in vessels.

I am traveling in a camper. Do I pay a normal commercial fare?

No. Although we consider campers to be commercial vehicles, we have established special commercial vehicle fares for certain vehicles such as campers. Usually such special fares are still increased based upon their length and width, but they are generally lower than our normal commercial fares.

Vehicle Reservations

Can I cancel my reservation?

You may cancel a reservation online, by telephone, or in person at our Reservation Office during normal operating hours. 

The value of the cancelled reservation, less applicable charges, will be refunded to you, subject to certain conditions and restrictions:

  • Any reservation made and cancelled on the same day is fully refundable without the payment of any additional processing fee. Otherwise, if the cancellation notice is received at least 14 days in advance of the scheduled departure (or at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled departure for a commercial vehicle over 20 feet), you will be issued a full refund less a $10.00 processing fee, unless the reservation was previously changed with less than 14 days notice (or with less than 24 hours notice for a commercial vehicle reservation) prior to the previously scheduled departure.
  • No refund will be issued for a reservation cancelled later than 14 days (or later than 24 hours for a commercial vehicle over 20 feet) before the scheduled departure or for a reservation reflecting a change in a previous reservation with less than 14 days notice (or 24 hours notice for a commercial vehicle over 20 feet) prior to the previously scheduled departure.
  • Customers should be aware that pre-paid passenger fares might be eligible for a refund even if the associated vehicle reservation is not. Further, a customer will not be charged any processing fee and/or denied a refund if the reservation is cancelled due to an error on the part of our reservation clerks when making the reservation (but only if we have been notified of the error within 10 days after the reservation confirmation is issued to the customer), or because of a medical emergency or death in the customer's immediate family, or because of a missed connection due to adverse weather conditions, or because of an interruption or lack of boat service as reserved by the customer. 

Can I change my vehicle reservation?

Your vehicle reservation can be changed online, by telephone or in person during our Reservation Office’s normal operating hours, or in person at any of our ferry terminals, whenever those terminals are open.

All changes are subject to certain conditions and restrictions:

  • Reservations may be changed up to one hour before the scheduled departure, with the first date change at no charge. However, your change must be made at least 14 days in advance of the scheduled departure (up to 24 hours in advance of the scheduled departure for commercial vehicle reservations) for the revised reservation to be eligible for a refund if subsequently cancelled.
  • If the reservation date has already has been changed one or more times, you may change the reservation again only upon payment of an additional $10.00 charge. Certain changes are not subject to the above restrictions. For example, you may always change your license plate numbers, add or subtract passengers, and change your reservation to another trip on the same day without any additional charges or penalties.
  • If you wish to change a reservation to another date on which a different fare applies, you will generally have to pay the difference between the new fare and the previous fare.

In the event that your reservation is neither changed with at least one hour advance notice nor used as reserved, no refund shall be issued, although the reservation may be used for standby travel on the date for which the trip was scheduled or at our discretion, on the following day. 

Are there any restrictions on my vehicle reservation?

Yes. Vehicle reservations must be made in the name of the person traveling with the vehicle and are non-transferable from one person to another once made. Vehicle reservations also must be made for a specific vehicle. Inaccurate information about the vehicle traveling could result in the reservation being invalid for transportation and/or the imposition of additional charges.

Can I make a reservation to travel with a vehicle on a particular trip?

Yes, to the extent that space is available. We accept reservations for vehicles on all of our passenger/vehicle ferries and routes. (Some trips, however, may be restricted to vehicles carrying hazardous commodities.) We do not accept passenger reservations for those traveling on any of our passenger/vehicle ferries, as these generally have sufficient capacity for all passengers who arrive to sail on a particular trip.

Do I need a reservation for my motorcycle or bicycle?

Generally, motorcycles, bicycles and mopeds do not require reservations, and tickets for their transportation can be purchased on the day of sailing at any ferry terminal. However, they will be transported only on a space-available basis.

If you are traveling in a group with five or more motorcycles, we encourage you to make reservations to ensure that there will be sufficient space for your motorcycles on the vessel. 

What is a “Profile Account”?

A customer who provides us with certain identifying information will be issued a “Profile Account” number.  You can provide us with this number when making vehicle reservations either online or by telephone.

When can I make a vehicle reservation?

Customers may make reservations for vehicles at any time of the year to the extent we have made spaces available for such reservations. Reservations can be made up to one hour before the requested scheduled departure. For more information, check out the Reservation Openings page.

I am traveling in a rental car. Can I make a reservation even though I don’t yet have any information about the car?

Yes. Customers traveling in rental vehicles may make reservations in their own name. At the time of booking, you should provide as much vehicle information as possible regarding the rental vehicle. You may also use your name instead of a license plate number and for other information necessary to make the reservation. If you prefer, you may provide vehicle information about your own vehicle (as opposed to the rental vehicle). Once you arrive at the departure terminal, our employees can verify that you are the person for whom the reservation has been made. One caution: do not underestimate the length or height of your rental vehicle, as that could result in the forfeiture of your reservation.

Do I need to pay the fares for my passengers at the time I make my vehicle reservation?

No. If you are unsure about of the number of passengers who will be traveling in your party, you may want to pay the fare for the vehicle’s driver only and purchase additional passenger tickets upon arrival at our terminal.

What if I can't get a reservation for the particular trip I want? Does the Authority have a wait list for reservations?

Our computerized reservation system has a wait list capability. If you are unable to make a reservation for your desired date or time, you may request that your reservation be moved to other dates and/or times if they become available.

Do I need to have a written confirmation of my reservation?

Customers need only have their reservation confirmation or reservation number upon checking in at a terminal in the event the terminal employees are unable to confirm their reservations. Customers making reservations online may print copies of their confirmations on their own printers. Customers making reservations by telephone will be told their reservation numbers by our reservation clerks. Customers may also obtain copies of their reservation confirmations at any of our ferry terminals or Reservation Offices (upon presentation of proper identification). A new reservation confirmation (with the same reservation number) will be issued for any change made to a reservation. Although we do not routinely mail reservation confirmations, we will do so upon a customer’s request if the request is received more than 10 calendar days in advance of the scheduled sailing.

What happens if I simply do not use my reservation?

In the event a reservation is neither cancelled with at least 14 days advance notice (or with at least 24 hours advance notice for commercial vehicle over 20 feet), nor changed with at least one hour advance notice, nor used as reserved, no refund shall be issued for the reservation.

In these circumstances, the reservation shall be valid only for standby travel on the date for which the trip was scheduled. At our discretion, the reservation may instead be valid only for standby travel on the following day. In either case, the vehicle shall have no priority over other standby vehicles. 

Customers Traveling with Vehicle Reservations

Are there any circumstances in which other vehicles will be boarded instead of mine even though I have a reservation?

In certain circumstances, an ambulance or a private vehicle may be boarded on a preferential basis, in accordance with the provisions of the Steamship Authority's Emergency Transportation Policy. (Please refer to our Customer Handbook.) In that case, other vehicles with reservations may be bumped from their reserved trips in order to accommodate the ambulance or customer needing to travel on an emergency basis.

In an emergency, the Terminal Agent will first ask for volunteers, informing them when they will be transported if they agree to be bumped from that particular trip. If an insufficient number of customers volunteer to be bumped to meet the emergency situation, the Terminal Agent will then bump the last vehicle(s) which checked in at the terminal for that particular trip.

We will refund each affected customer's one-way fare for both the bumped vehicle and its passengers. Bumped vehicles will have priority for boarding on the next vessel leaving the terminal (except for vessels carrying hazardous cargo), and vehicles bumped as a result from that subsequent trip will similarly be considered as having been bumped due to an emergency situation. 

I have a vehicle reservation for a particular sailing. When should I arrive at the terminal?

If you have a vehicle reservation, you must be at the departure terminal and ready for boarding at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure, with your reservation confirmation and proper identification readily available.

What if I arrive later than 30 minutes before sailing but before the ferry leaves?

Those who arrive later than 30 minutes before the scheduled departure may still be boarded at the Terminal Agent’s discretion. This means that we have not yet completed loading vehicles for that trip and boarding this vehicle will not otherwise affect the loading of the vessel. 

No standby vehicles already selected for boarding will be bumped from a trip to allow the boarding of any late-arriving vehicle with a reservation. 

What happens if I miss the trip for which I have a reservation?

If a customer with a vehicle reservation is not boarded due to a late arrival at the departure terminal, the reserved space will be used for another vehicle, and the customer's vehicle will only be able to travel on a standby basis, on the date for which the reserved trip was scheduled. At our discretion, the customer's vehicle may instead travel on a standby basis the following day. In either case, the vehicle will have no priority over other standby vehicles. 

What happens if my trip is cancelled?

In the event of a disruption in service, customers with reservations on cancelled trips may make new reservations or travel on standby status when service resumes. Customer service is important to us and we will endeavor to help those customers make new reservations at the terminal, even though the general public may not be able to make reservations at that time. In these situations, we will also create a special standby line for customers holding reservations on cancelled trips. When service resumes, we will board vehicles in the order described in the Customer Handbook.

Traveling without Vehicle Reservations on the Martha's Vineyard Route

How does standby work on the Martha's Vineyard route?

On days that customers can travel on a standby basis, standby vehicles are generally boarded onto vessels after vehicles with reservations, as long as space is available, in the order of their arrival and check in at the departure terminal. Exceptions are made for customers with disabilities who need to travel with their vehicles, emergency situations, disruptions in service and other unusual circumstances. Standby vehicles that are not transported by the end of the day are required to leave our property when the terminal closes for the night, and they are not given any priority for boarding the following day. For more information about our standby procedures, please click here.

Can I travel with my vehicle between Woods Hole and Martha's Vineyard without a reservation?

Yes, except during our Reservation Only Periods. Traveling with your vehicle without a reservation is called traveling on a standby basis.


Vehicle travel on a standby basis is not available on the Martha's Vineyard route during the Memorial Day Weekend, the Independence Day Holiday Week, the Labor Day Weekend, the Columbus Day Weekend, and on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays during the summer from late June through Labor Day. For more information about our standby procedures, please click here.

General Passenger Information

Passenger Tickets and Fares

Subscriptions to SSA Communications

High-Speed Passenger-Only Ferry Between Hyannis and Nantucket

Parking Information

Information for Passengers with Disabilities

Steamship Authority Security Procedures

General Information for Customers Traveling with Their Vehicles

Vehicle Fares

Vehicle Reservations

Customers Traveling with Vehicle Reservations

Traveling without Vehicle Reservations on the Nantucket Route

General Passenger Information

Are there any special precautions I should take while riding on the ferry?

The Steamship Authority has the largest, safest and most seaworthy vessels manned by U.S. Coast Guard-certified crews. However, as with any vessel, you should always conduct yourself with care while on-board and pay particular attention to any children traveling with you. In particular, when a ferry is approaching or docking at a terminal, position yourself as safely as possible so that you are not thrown off balance when the ferry reaches the dock. Please remember, passengers are not allowed to stand on any stairs of a vessel or at the top of any vessel stairwell while it is approaching or docking at a terminal.

Do any passengers have priority in boarding the ferry?

Although the Steamship Authority’s larger ferries will generally have sufficient capacity for all passengers who wish to travel on a particular trip, if the Steamship Authority determines that the vessel’s carrying capacity will be reached before sailing time, passengers traveling in vehicles with reservations have boarding priority over both passengers traveling in standby vehicles and walk-on passengers. In addition, passengers with vehicles traveling on a standby basis have boarding priority over walk-on passengers.

May I bring pets with me on the ferry?

Pets are welcome on board our ferries. Your pets are carried free of charge, but they must be accompanied by the passenger who is responsible for their care and conduct during the passage. Owners are required to clean up after their pets. All pets must be kept on a leash or in a container, and must be under the control of the passenger at all times. No pets (except for service assistance animals) are allowed in any food service area. No pets are allowed on any passenger seat or table.

Can I transport or consume alcoholic beverages aboard the ferry?

Massachusetts law also prohibits passengers from consuming alcoholic beverages aboard any Steamship Authority vessel other than those sold by our licensed concessionaire. Passengers are not allowed to bring alcoholic beverages on or off a vessel except for beverages that they are transporting as personal baggage in unopened containers, which may not be opened while the vessel is underway. Further, the Steamship Authority’s licensed concessionaire may not serve alcoholic beverages to any passenger while the vessel is at dockside or prior to casting off. Nor may alcoholic beverages be served on trips of more than two hours to any passenger within one-half hour before the vessel docks.

Can I smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes, marijuana or cigars on the ferry or at the terminals?

Under Massachusetts law, you are prohibited from smoking anywhere in or upon any Steamship Authority vessel. All smoking materials (including but not limited to matches, cigars, cigarettes, e-cigarettes and pipes) must be extinguished prior to boarding. Additionally, no person may smoke on any terminal ramps or in the vicinity of any passenger waiting queues, or in or upon any building, or in any other place on the terminal where smoking is specifically prohibited by the Authority.

Customers are allowed to smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes and cigars in designated areas at our terminals away from other passengers, but they are not allowed to smoke anywhere on any of our ferries, in any of our buildings, on any terminal ramps or in the vicinity of any passenger waiting queues, or in any other place on the terminal where we specifically prohibit smoking.

The smoking of or other use of marijuana is prohibited anywhere in or upon any of our vessels or on any Steamship Authority property.

How much baggage may I bring with me on the ferry?

Passengers may travel with their personal baggage, at no additional charge, except for bicycles, surfboards (including wind surfboards) and other large objects for which a fare may be charged. Please note, for security reasons, no baggage may be left unattended or placed on any passenger seat or table. Passengers traveling without vehicles may be required to place some or all of their baggage on luggage carts for the safety and convenience of other passengers. While luggage carts are provided at no additional charge, the Steamship Authority assumes no responsibility for any baggage placed on any luggage carts.

Am I required to make a passenger reservation for the traditional ferry to Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard?

Passenger reservations are not needed for our traditional ferries to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Passengers traveling without a vehicle may purchase their tickets at our terminals on the day of sailing.  

If you are planning to take your vehicle to either island then you are required to make an advance vehicle reservation.

If you are planning to take the high-speed passenger ferry to Nantucket, reservations are recommended especially during peak travel times including holiday weekends and the summer months of July and August.

Do I need a reservation for my bicycle?

No. Bicycles do not require reservations, and tickets for their transportation can be purchased on the day of sailing at the terminal. However, they will be transported only on a space-available basis.

Can children travel on the ferries unaccompanied?

Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult (a person 13 years of age or older) who is responsible for their care and conduct during the passage.

How do I access the SSA's News, including Current Project Updates, Board Meeting Summaries and Meeting Notices & Agendas?

To access the SSA's news, including Board Meeting Summaries and Meeting Notices and Agendas, please visit the About section of our website and navigate to the News link. Or simply click this link: https://www.steamshipauthority.com/about/news.

Are rental cars available at the mainland terminals?

Avis-Rent-a-Car services are available at the Hyannis Terminal and at the Palmer Avenue Parking Lot in Falmouth. Visit www.avis.com for details or call one of the numbers below:

Avis Rent-a-Car at the SSA's Hyannis Terminal: 508-771-4554

Avis Rent-a-Car at the SSA's Palmer Avenue Parking Lot in Falmouth: 508-548-2420

How do I access SSA's invitation for bids

Visit SteamshipAuthority.com/about/doing_business to view the latest work contracts, invitations for bids and awarded contracts.

Passenger Tickets and Fares

Can I receive a lower fare if I buy a book of multiple tickets?

Yes. We sell multi-ride cards for passenger travel on our traditional ferries to Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard which significantly lower the fare on a per-ticket basis.

For information about our 10-Ride Ferry Pass cards which includes the town-mandated embarkation fee and can be used by multiple people on the same trip, click the link below:

https://www.steamshipauthority.com/ferrypass

For information about our Lifeline cards which does not include the town-mandated embarkation fee and can be used by one person per trip, click the link below:

https://www.steamshipauthority.com/lifelinecard

We also sell 10-ride ticket books for the high-speed passenger ferry between Hyannis and Nantucket and 46-ride commuter Ferry Pass cards for the Martha's Vineyard route.

Are group fares available?

Yes. Generally, 20 or more individuals must travel together as a group in order for the individuals to be eligible for a regular group fare. All individuals in the group must travel together on the same dates, from the same point of origin to the same destination and back. One person in the group must be designated as the individual responsible for picking up the group’s tickets and for coordinating all other aspects of the group’s travel. Please consult the Customer Handbook for eligibility requirements. 

Are there any restrictions on the use of the 10-ride high-speed ferry ticket books?

Generally there are no restrictions on the use of these books. The 10-ride high-speed ferry ticket books are transferable among passengers, multiple tickets from the same ticket book may be used for travel for different passengers on the same trip and are valid forever on the Nantucket route. We also offer 10-ride Ferry Pass Cards for the traditional ferry on the Nantucket route and the Martha's Vineyard route. Please consult the customer handbook.

I have purchased individual passenger tickets at the regular fare. Are there any restrictions on their use?

Passenger tickets are transferable among individuals who are eligible for the fare charged. Generally, each ticket is valid for passage only if used within one year from the date the ticket is sold.

Do you charge the same fares for adults and children?

Individuals who are 13 years of age or over are charged the adult fare; children who are five (5) years of age or over and under thirteen (13) years of age are charged the child fare, unless eligible for a lower fare, but must be accompanied by an adult (a person 13 years of age or older) who is responsible for their care and conduct during the passage.

Is anyone eligible for a discounted fare?

Yes. Senior citizens (age 65 or older) who are residents of Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Barnstable or Falmouth are eligible for a senior citizen fare. Other individuals who are eligible for discounted fares include individuals with disabilities with Steamship Authority Transportation Access Passes and legally blind passengers (together with their helper or companion). Under certain circumstances, military and Coast Guard personnel in active service, as well as reservists, are also eligible for discounted fares. Please consult the Customer Handbook for eligibility requirements. 

Does the Steamship Authority have any special group fares for student and youth groups?

Yes. Individuals traveling as a group for student-related travel in connection with an event authorized by a school or a recognized youth group are charged the student group fare under certain conditions. Generally, 10 or more individuals must travel together as a group in order for the individuals to be eligible for this student group fare. Please consult the Customer Handbook for eligibility requirements.

Subscriptions to SSA Communications

How do I sign up to receive SSA's travel alerts via text messages?

If you wish to receive our Travel Alerts, such as trip delays or cancellations, via Text Message, visit our websiteat  www.SteamshipAuthority.com/email_lists. You will be prompted to enter your email address and security code. (If you don’t remember your security code, you can request for it to be emailed to you.) If you are already receiving our eNews, click on the link “Click here if you have already joined our list.” Once you are logged in, you can edit your preferences by scrolling down to the section “Text Alerts Via Text Message”. From there, enter your cell phone and choose your preferences. You also have the ability to restrict when you receive Travel Alerts to specific days, dates and times.

Don’t forget to hit the “Save Changes” button before leaving this page.

How do I sign up to receive waitlist notifications via text messages?

If you have a vehicle reservation and a profile account with the Steamship Authority, you can opt in to receive Waitlist Request Notifications via Text Message. Visit our website at www.steamshipauthority.com, and then log into your profile account. From there, navigate to the “My Profile” section. Under the cell phone field click the box “I want to receive Text Alerts for schedule changes and waitlist fulfillments.” Don’t forget to hit the “Save Changes” button before leaving this page.

How do I sign up to receive the SSA's e-News?

You may subscribe to our e-News by going to our website www.SteamshipAuthority.com/email_lists and choose to receive a specific e-News, which is sent out on a monthly basis. You may elect to receive all of our e-News, including the Martha's Vineyard Resident, Martha's Vineyard Traveler, Nantucket Resident or Nantucket Traveler, which often times have unique content.

How do I unsubscribe to SSA's e-News?

Visit www.SteamshipAuthority.com/email_lists and click on the link that reads; "Click here if you have already joined our list." You will need to enter your email address and password (if you don't remember your password, you can request for it to be emailed to you). Once you are logged in, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the buttom "Remove Me from List".

High-Speed Passenger-Only Ferry Between Hyannis and Nantucket

Can I make a passenger reservation to travel on a particular trip of the high-speed passenger-only ferry?

Yes. In fact, we encourage customers to make such reservations, especially during the summer and other popular times of year, as the high-speed passenger-only ferry between Hyannis and Nantucket often reaches its capacity during those times.

Can I change or cancel my high-speed passenger-only reservation?

You may change or cancel your reservation in person or by telephone during normal operating hours (or at any time on our website). Reservations cancelled at least two hours before the scheduled departure will be fully refunded. If the reservation was paid for with a ticket from a 10-trip ticket book, we will return a ticket to your ticket book for future use in lieu of a refund.

When can I make a reservation for the high-speed passenger-only ferry?

Customers may make passenger reservations for our high-speed passenger-only ferry at any time of the year to the extent that we have made such reservations available. Reservations can be made up to two hours before the scheduled departure. Please note, our high-speed ferry service to and from Nantucket is seasonal, and generally operates from April through the end of December.

What happens if I simply do not use my high-speed passenger-only reservation?

Unfortunately, no refund can be issued for an unused reservation that was not cancelled or changed with advance notice. However, your ticket will remain valid for travel on a standby basis if it is used within one year from the date the reservation was originally booked. If the reservation was paid for with a ticket from a 10-ride ticket book, we will return a ticket to your ticket book for future use in lieu of a refund. There will be no one-year limitation on that ticket's validity.

Parking Information

Can I obtain a parking permit instead of paying the daily parking rates?

Yes. Customers may purchase parking permits that allow them to park at specific parking lots on the mainland for a flat fee. We allow bona-fide students and teachers to have off-season permits which are valid for a time period that coincides with thier fall/winter semester. We do not offer a Student / Teacher permit during the summer months.

For information on how to purchase Woods Hole/Falmouth parking permits, please call the Steamship Authority’s Parking Lot office at (508) 548-5011, ext. 291. For Hyannis parking permits, please call the Hyannis Parking Lot Office at (508) 771-0418. Click Here to view the Parking Permits page.

Can I park at the Nantucket Terminal?

Our Nantucket Terminal has only a few parking spaces for use by our customers. The spaces are made available on a first-come, first-served basis at the discretion of the Nantucket Terminal Manager and/or the Terminal Agent on duty. Parking for the first calendar day (or portion thereof) is free, but thereafter, you must pay parking charges for each subsequent calendar day or portion thereof that your vehicle is parked or stored there.

What happens if I lose my parking ticket?

If you are unable to present a ticket for collection upon exiting the lot, we will have to charge you an amount equivalent to the aggregate of the charges that you would have incurred for parking in that lot for each calendar day your vehicle has been there, but no less than for a minimum of 7 calendar days. If you later submit your parking ticket showing that your vehicle was not parked in that lot for 7 calendar days, together with the receipt for the 7-day minimum amount you have paid, we will refund you the difference.

What do I do if the parking lot does not have an entrance or exit gate?

Vehicles parked at parking lots that are not equipped with parking ticket dispensers are still subject to parking charges. Upon entering the lot, it is your responsibility to inform the parking lot attendant on duty the number of calendar days (or portions thereof) that your vehicle will be parked there. You will then pay the appropriate parking charges for that time period in advance. Upon payment, the attendant will provide you with a receipt stating the time period for which you have paid.

In the event that you do not remove your vehicle within the time period for which the parking charges have been paid, you will be required to pay all additional parking charges due before you can remove your vehicle from the lot.

Further, we may tow any vehicle left in the lot beyond the time period for which a customer has paid for parking, and may then store the vehicle at any of our other facilities until the customer pays all additional parking charges due. In such an event, we may also require the customer to reimburse us for all reasonable towing and other expenses incurred. 

What is the charge for parking?

Our daily parking rates vary depending on the time of year and the location of the parking facility. The rate is based on the number of calendar days-or portion thereof-that your vehicle is parked or stored there. Visit our mobile site SteamshipAuthority.com for current parking status.

Where do I park if I am not traveling with my vehicle to either island?

For Martha's Vineyard Travelers

While there is no dockside parking available at our Woods Hole terminal,there are several off-site lots in Falmouth. We encourage you to arrive an hour before your departure time so you have the time you need to park your car and ride our free shuttle service to the terminal. For your convenience, all shuttle buses have bike racks, capable of accommodating two bikes during daylight hours. A bike shuttle bus is available every day throughout the summer season. Current/real-time parking lot information is readily available by logging onto our mobile website at SteamshipAuthority.com, by calling our parking information line at (508) 457-7275 (PARK), or tuning into 1610 AM on your radio.

For Nantucket Travelers

Because parking is limited at our Hyannis terminal - especially during the summer season and holiday weekends - we encourage you to arrive an hour before your departure time. That way, you'll have time to park in one of our off-site parking lots. To make that experience as stress-free as possible, we offer free shuttle service to and from our terminal. Current/real-time parking lot information is readily available by logging onto our mobile website at SteamshipAuthority.com, by calling our parking information line at (508) 775-7275 (PARK), or tuning into 1610 AM on your radio.

We strongly recommend that you check current parking availability on our mobile site prior to arriving at a specific parking lot.

Is parking available at your Woods Hole terminal or Hyannis terminal?

For Martha's Vineyard Travelers

While there is no dockside parking available at our Woods Hole terminal,there are several off-site lots in Falmouth. We encourage you to arrive an hour before your departure time so you have the time you need to park your car and ride our free shuttle service to the terminal. For your convenience, all shuttle buses have bike racks, capable of accommodating two bikes during daylight hours. A bike shuttle bus is available every day throughout the summer season. Current/real-time parking lot information is readily available by logging onto our mobile website at SteamshipAuthority.com, by calling our parking information line at (508) 457-7275 (PARK), or tuning into 1610 AM on your radio.

For Nantucket Travelers

Because parking is limited at our Hyannis terminal - especially during the summer season and holiday weekends - we encourage you to arrive an hour before your departure time. That way, you'll have time to park in one of our off-site parking lots. To make that experience as stress-free as possible, we offer free shuttle service to and from our terminal. Current/real-time parking lot information is readily available by logging onto our mobile website at SteamshipAuthority.com, by calling our parking information line at (508) 775-7275 (PARK), or tuning into 1610 AM on your radio.

We highly recommend that you check current parking availability prior to arriving at a specific parking lot.

Information for Passengers with Disabilities

Are the Steamship Authority's ferries accessible for passengers with disabilities?

All passenger areas of the following vessels are accessible by elevator for passengers with disabilities: the M/V Eagle, the M/V Island Home, the M/V Martha's Vineyard, M/V Woods Hole and the M/V Nantucket.

While the passenger areas of the following vessels are not entirely accessible by elevator, those that are accessible enable our passengers with disabilities to be provided with all amenities: the M/V Iyanough, the M/V Governor and the M/V Sankaty.

Because none of the passenger areas on the following vessels are accessible by elevator, passengers with disabilities will have limited access to passenger amenities: the M/V Gay Head and the M/V Katama. For more info, visit our Accessibility page.

I have a disability. Is there anything special I should do?

We attempt to accommodate the special reservations needs of customers with disabilities or those who are traveling with someone with a disability. If you require this type of assistance, please contact us so we can discuss your particular situation and review what accommodations we can provide.

If you’ll be traveling with a vehicle reservation and will require assistance because of a disability, our Reservation Office will add this information to your reservation so that our employees at the departure terminal will be alerted to your needs. Similarly, if you’re making your reservation online, you can check a box during the check-out process indicating that you will require assistance boarding a vessel and/or to access to the vessel's elevator. At the time of boarding, our terminal employees will also inform the vessel’s crew of any assistance you will require while aboard the vessel. For more info, check out the Accessibility page.

Does the Steamship Authority have any policies to assist individuals with disabilities?

Yes. We reserve a certain number of parking spaces at each of our terminals for use as handicapped parking spaces.

We also allow the preferential boarding of vehicles of individuals traveling on a standby basis and who must travel with the vehicles due to their disabilities, in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the Customer Handbook.

In certain emergency situations, we also allow the preferential boarding of a customer's vehicle so that an individual can receive emergency medical care on the mainland which is not available on the island, in accordance with the Authority's Emergency Transportation Policy.

Individuals with disabilities who receive a Steamship Authority Transportation Access Pass are eligible for discounted passenger fares. Blind passengers are also eligible to travel for free with proper identification from either the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind or a similar agency from another State. For more info, check out the Accessibility page.

Steamship Authority Security Procedures

Can I bring a firearm or other dangerous article with me on the ferry?

Firearms, other weapons, explosives, incendiaries and other dangerous articles will not be accepted for transportation except as specifically provided in Part J of the Customer Handbook.

Does the Steamship Authority have any security procedures?

Yes. In compliance with the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, we have developed and implemented certain policies to assure the security of our terminals and vessels, as well as the safe sailing for our passengers and crews. Although most of these security measures should not in any way inconvenience you, some will require your cooperation.

For example:

  • Only baggage accompanied by a ticketed passenger is permitted on the luggage carts.
  • Access to our vessels is limited to those individuals with tickets or official Steamship Authority identification.
  • Once boarded, passengers are not permitted to disembark without the Captain’s permission until the vessel has reached its destination. 

Will I be subject to screening?

At our discretion, we may randomly confirm passengers’ identification, and may randomly screen passengers, their belongings and their vehicles. Passengers who refuse to submit to such screening, searches and inspection will not be allowed to board any vessel.

May I travel on the Steamship Authority's ferries with any gasoline, propane or other flammable product?

Motor vehicles and motor boats transported on the Authority’s vessels may have gasoline in their fuel tanks, provided that their gas caps are secured. A motor boat may also have up to two other containers of gasoline not exceeding six gallons capacity each if they are in the motor boat, closed and in good condition, as more fully described in Part L of the Customer Handbook.

One propane tank, acetylene tank or oxygen tank may also be transported by a customer in a vehicle only in compliance with Part L of the Customer Handbook. No customer traveling without a vehicle may carry any gasoline, propane, acetylene or oxygen on board any vessel, unless a passenger needs oxygen for medical reasons.

General Information for Customers Traveling with Their Vehicles

Am I responsible for driving my own vehicle onto and off of the ferry?

Each customer transporting a motor vehicle is required to have a driver available to operate the vehicle at all times while it is on one of our properties or vessels. It is your responsibility to operate your vehicle whenever it is moved under its own power, including driving it on and off the vessel. The Steamship Authority is not responsible in any way for the operation of the customer's motor vehicle. However, on our Hyannis-Nantucket route only, we can provide drive-on/drive-off services subject to certain conditions and for an additional charge.

How do the drive-on/drive-off services work on the Hyannis-Nantucket route?

On the Hyannis-Nantucket route only, if you are unable to have someone on hand to drive your vehicle on or off the vessel, we can provide you with an employee to perform this service, for an additional charge, subject to certain conditions.

If you have purchased this service, you may remove your vehicle within 24 hours after the vehicle's arrival during the destination terminal’s hours of operation, without incurring any additional parking or storage charges. Vehicles remaining at the destination terminal for more than 24 hours are subject to parking and additional charges. For more information, check out the Fares page.

Note: During the months of July and August, customers whose vehicles are traveling on regular fares may not drop off their vehicles at the Hyannis terminal more than two calendar days in advance of their reservation.  As a result, a customer arriving with his or her vehicle at the Hyannis terminal during those months without a reservation will not be allowed to drop off their vehicle unless the terminal agent determines that it will be able to be shipped to Nantucket within24 hours.

My vehicle will be pulling a trailer. Are there any ferries that I should avoid traveling on?

Yes. Because customers traveling on the M/V Gay Head, the M/V Katama and the M/V Sankaty are required to back their vehicles on or off those vessels, we strongly discourage vehicles towing trailers (except tractor-trailers) from traveling on those vessels.

Should you decide to travel on any of those vessels with a vehicle towing a trailer, you will be responsible for loading and unloading your vehicle safely and quickly within the normal time constraints of the loading and unloading process. Failure to do so will result in the imposition of a drive-on/drive-off charge, if the Steamship Authority elects to load the vehicle and trailer on your behalf (available on the Hyannis-Nantucket route only) or in a refusal to allow you to board the vessel with your vehicle and trailer. This will result in the forfeiture of your reservation.

My car won't start and I need to transport it off-island for repairs. Can it be towed onto and off of the ferry?

Generally yes. We can provide you with towing/pushing services, where an employee and a vehicle (such as a tow motor) tows or pushes your vehicle onto or off of a ferry at the time of the vessel’s loading or unloading. This service is available for an additional charge and is subject to certain conditions (including the execution of a release and indemnification agreement).

We may refuse to move a vehicle that cannot be loaded onto or unloaded from a ferry under its own power if, for example, the loading of the ferry may be unduly delayed, or if the appropriate equipment is not available to tow, push or transport the vehicle safely.

If you utilize our towing/pushing service, you will be required to immediately remove your vehicle from the terminal upon reaching your destination, or you will be subject to parking and additional charges.

Vehicle Fares

Can I receive a lower vehicle fare if I buy a book of multiple tickets?

Yes. For trips between Woods Hole and Martha’s Vineyard, we sell 10-ride automobile ticket books that significantly lower the fare on a per-ticket basis. The tickets in these books are valid for transportation for one year from the date the ticket book is sold.

For trips between Hyannis and Nantucket, customers have a choice of two types of 6-ride automobile ticket books. One significantly lowers the fare on a per-ticket basis (with the tickets in the book valid for transportation for two years from the date the ticket book is sold). Though the second book is sold at a price that reflects no discount from our regular automobile fare, the tickets in that book have no expiration date. 

The use of all ticket books is restricted to no more than two passenger automobiles, with common ownership and registration numbers that are electronically recorded at the time of the ticket book's issuance. 

How are vehicle fares determined?

Generally, we charge different vehicle fares based upon whether a vehicle is a non-commercial vehicle (which we define as any vehicle that is less than 20 feet in length, designed and equipped primarily for carriage of passengers and not registered as a commercial vehicle) or a commercial vehicle.

Does the Steamship Authority also carry motorcycles and other items?

Yes. Fares for the transportation of motorcycles, bicycles, mopeds, golf carts, surfboards (including wind surfboards), kayaks and other large items are established at our discretion. Tickets for the transportation of such items can be purchased on the day of sailing at any ferry terminal.

What is included in the regular automobile fare?

A regular non-commercial automobile fare is for the transportation of the vehicle only. The fare does not include transportation for the vehicle's driver or any other passengers.

Is every automobile charged the same regular fare?

Automobiles under 17 feet in length are charged the regular fare.  Fare increases are based upon the vehicle’s length over 17 feet. The automobile’s length also includes any load on the vehicle extending beyond the front or rear bumper (including but not limited to a bicycle rack).

Will I pay more if I am towing a trailer?

Yes. We charge an additional fare for any trailer towed by an automobile.

Will I pay more if my vehicle is tall or if I have a container or a bicycle rack on top of my vehicle?

No. However, vehicles over 6 feet, 6 inches in height may be restricted to particular vessels, trips or spaces in vessels.

I am traveling in a camper. Do I pay a normal commercial fare?

No. Although we consider campers to be commercial vehicles, we have established special commercial vehicle fares for certain vehicles such as campers. Usually such special fares are still increased based upon their length and width, but they are generally lower than our normal commercial fares.

Vehicle Reservations

Can I cancel my reservation?

You may cancel a reservation online, by telephone, or in person at our Reservation Office during normal operating hours. 

The value of the cancelled reservation, less applicable charges, will be refunded to you, subject to certain conditions and restrictions:

  • Any reservation made and cancelled on the same day is fully refundable without the payment of any additional processing fee. Otherwise, if the cancellation notice is received at least 14 days in advance of the scheduled departure (or at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled departure for a commercial vehicle over 20 feet), you will be issued a full refund less a $10.00 processing fee, unless the reservation was previously changed with less than 14 days notice (or with less than 24 hours notice for a commercial vehicle reservation) prior to the previously scheduled departure.
  • No refund will be issued for a reservation cancelled later than 14 days (or later than 24 hours for a commercial vehicle over 20 feet) before the scheduled departure or for a reservation reflecting a change in a previous reservation with less than 14 days notice (or 24 hours notice for a commercial vehicle over 20 feet) prior to the previously scheduled departure.
  • Customers should be aware that pre-paid passenger fares might be eligible for a refund even if the associated vehicle reservation is not. Further, a customer will not be charged any processing fee and/or denied a refund if the reservation is cancelled due to an error on the part of our reservation clerks when making the reservation (but only if we have been notified of the error within 10 days after the reservation confirmation is issued to the customer), or because of a medical emergency or death in the customer's immediate family, or because of a missed connection due to adverse weather conditions, or because of an interruption or lack of boat service as reserved by the customer. 

Can I change my vehicle reservation?

Your vehicle reservation can be changed online, by telephone or in person during our Reservation Office’s normal operating hours, or in person at any of our ferry terminals, whenever those terminals are open.

All changes are subject to certain conditions and restrictions:

  • Reservations may be changed up to one hour before the scheduled departure, with the first date change at no charge. However, your change must be made at least 14 days in advance of the scheduled departure (up to 24 hours in advance of the scheduled departure for commercial vehicle reservations) for the revised reservation to be eligible for a refund if subsequently cancelled.
  • If the reservation date has already has been changed one or more times, you may change the reservation again only upon payment of an additional $10.00 charge. Certain changes are not subject to the above restrictions. For example, you may always change your license plate numbers, add or subtract passengers, and change your reservation to another trip on the same day without any additional charges or penalties.
  • If you wish to change a reservation to another date on which a different fare applies, you will generally have to pay the difference between the new fare and the previous fare.

In the event that your reservation is neither changed with at least one hour advance notice nor used as reserved, no refund shall be issued, although the reservation may be used for standby travel on the date for which the trip was scheduled or at our discretion, on the following day. 

Are there any restrictions on my vehicle reservation?

Yes. Vehicle reservations must be made in the name of the person traveling with the vehicle and are non-transferable from one person to another once made. Vehicle reservations also must be made for a specific vehicle. Inaccurate information about the vehicle traveling could result in the reservation being invalid for transportation and/or the imposition of additional charges.

Can I make a reservation to travel with a vehicle on a particular trip?

Yes, to the extent that space is available. We accept reservations for vehicles on all of our passenger/vehicle ferries and routes. (Some trips, however, may be restricted to vehicles carrying hazardous commodities.) We do not accept passenger reservations for those traveling on any of our passenger/vehicle ferries, as these generally have sufficient capacity for all passengers who arrive to sail on a particular trip.

Do I need a reservation for my motorcycle or bicycle?

Generally, motorcycles, bicycles and mopeds do not require reservations, and tickets for their transportation can be purchased on the day of sailing at any ferry terminal. However, they will be transported only on a space-available basis.

If you are traveling in a group with five or more motorcycles, we encourage you to make reservations to ensure that there will be sufficient space for your motorcycles on the vessel. 

What is a “Profile Account”?

A customer who provides us with certain identifying information will be issued a “Profile Account” number.  You can provide us with this number when making vehicle reservations either online or by telephone.

When can I make a vehicle reservation?

Customers may make reservations for vehicles at any time of the year to the extent we have made spaces available for such reservations. Reservations can be made up to one hour before the requested scheduled departure. For more information, check out the Reservation Openings page.

I am traveling in a rental car. Can I make a reservation even though I don’t yet have any information about the car?

Yes. Customers traveling in rental vehicles may make reservations in their own name. At the time of booking, you should provide as much vehicle information as possible regarding the rental vehicle. You may also use your name instead of a license plate number and for other information necessary to make the reservation. If you prefer, you may provide vehicle information about your own vehicle (as opposed to the rental vehicle). Once you arrive at the departure terminal, our employees can verify that you are the person for whom the reservation has been made. One caution: do not underestimate the length or height of your rental vehicle, as that could result in the forfeiture of your reservation.

Do I need to pay the fares for my passengers at the time I make my vehicle reservation?

No. If you are unsure about of the number of passengers who will be traveling in your party, you may want to pay the fare for the vehicle’s driver only and purchase additional passenger tickets upon arrival at our terminal.

What if I can't get a reservation for the particular trip I want? Does the Authority have a wait list for reservations?

Our computerized reservation system has a wait list capability. If you are unable to make a reservation for your desired date or time, you may request that your reservation be moved to other dates and/or times if they become available.

Do I need to have a written confirmation of my reservation?

Customers need only have their reservation confirmation or reservation number upon checking in at a terminal in the event the terminal employees are unable to confirm their reservations. Customers making reservations online may print copies of their confirmations on their own printers. Customers making reservations by telephone will be told their reservation numbers by our reservation clerks. Customers may also obtain copies of their reservation confirmations at any of our ferry terminals or Reservation Offices (upon presentation of proper identification). A new reservation confirmation (with the same reservation number) will be issued for any change made to a reservation. Although we do not routinely mail reservation confirmations, we will do so upon a customer’s request if the request is received more than 10 calendar days in advance of the scheduled sailing.

What happens if I simply do not use my reservation?

In the event a reservation is neither cancelled with at least 14 days advance notice (or with at least 24 hours advance notice for commercial vehicle over 20 feet), nor changed with at least one hour advance notice, nor used as reserved, no refund shall be issued for the reservation.

In these circumstances, the reservation shall be valid only for standby travel on the date for which the trip was scheduled. At our discretion, the reservation may instead be valid only for standby travel on the following day. In either case, the vehicle shall have no priority over other standby vehicles. 

Customers Traveling with Vehicle Reservations

Are there any circumstances in which other vehicles will be boarded instead of mine even though I have a reservation?

In certain circumstances, an ambulance or a private vehicle may be boarded on a preferential basis, in accordance with the provisions of the Steamship Authority's Emergency Transportation Policy. (Please refer to our Customer Handbook.) In that case, other vehicles with reservations may be bumped from their reserved trips in order to accommodate the ambulance or customer needing to travel on an emergency basis.

In an emergency, the Terminal Agent will first ask for volunteers, informing them when they will be transported if they agree to be bumped from that particular trip. If an insufficient number of customers volunteer to be bumped to meet the emergency situation, the Terminal Agent will then bump the last vehicle(s) which checked in at the terminal for that particular trip.

We will refund each affected customer's one-way fare for both the bumped vehicle and its passengers. Bumped vehicles will have priority for boarding on the next vessel leaving the terminal (except for vessels carrying hazardous cargo), and vehicles bumped as a result from that subsequent trip will similarly be considered as having been bumped due to an emergency situation. 

I have a vehicle reservation for a particular sailing. When should I arrive at the terminal?

If you have a vehicle reservation, you must be at the departure terminal and ready for boarding at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure, with your reservation confirmation and proper identification readily available.

What if I arrive later than 30 minutes before sailing but before the ferry leaves?

Those who arrive later than 30 minutes before the scheduled departure may still be boarded at the Terminal Agent’s discretion. This means that we have not yet completed loading vehicles for that trip and boarding this vehicle will not otherwise affect the loading of the vessel. 

No standby vehicles already selected for boarding will be bumped from a trip to allow the boarding of any late-arriving vehicle with a reservation. 

What happens if I miss the trip for which I have a reservation?

If a customer with a vehicle reservation is not boarded due to a late arrival at the departure terminal, the reserved space will be used for another vehicle, and the customer's vehicle will only be able to travel on a standby basis, on the date for which the reserved trip was scheduled. At our discretion, the customer's vehicle may instead travel on a standby basis the following day. In either case, the vehicle will have no priority over other standby vehicles. 

What happens if my trip is cancelled?

In the event of a disruption in service, customers with reservations on cancelled trips may make new reservations or travel on standby status when service resumes. Customer service is important to us and we will endeavor to help those customers make new reservations at the terminal, even though the general public may not be able to make reservations at that time. In these situations, we will also create a special standby line for customers holding reservations on cancelled trips. When service resumes, we will board vehicles in the order described in the Customer Handbook.

Traveling without Vehicle Reservations on the Nantucket Route

Can I travel with my vehicle between Hyannis and Nantucket without a reservation?

Yes. Standby travel is available on the Nantucket route every day of the year. For more information about our standby procedures, please click here.

How does standby work on the Nantucket route?

Standby vehicles are accepted year-round for travel between Hyannis and Nantucket, though space is limited. If you desire to travel on a standby basis from Hyannis you are required to go in person to the terminal and place your name on the standby list. If you want to travel on a standby basis from Nantucket, customers must have a paid or pending reservation. You may either call or go in person to the terminal to place your name on the list. Your reservation will be a ssigned a standyby number.

You will receive a standby slip with your standby number and date. This standby slip contains a telephone number and website link where you can access the terminal's current vehicle standby status as well as the date and time that you should be at the terminal.

Once you receive your standby slip:

Nantucket Terminal:
Unless you are informed that you should remain at the terminal for possible travel on the next scheduled trip, you must depart with your vehicle from the Nantucket Terminal. (No spaces are available to accommodate standby vehicles at that terminal, and therefore there is no physical vehicle standby line there.) We will then email or text you when we can accommodate your vehicle. You can also check our website listed on your slip to find out when you should return to the terminal for possible travel on a standby basis. It is your responsibility to return to the terminal at the appropriate time, and your failure to do so will result in forfeiting your place and being dropped from the standby list.

Hyannis Terminal:
If the terminal is able to accommodate the parking of standby vehicles of customers using our drive-on/drive-off services, you may leave your vehicle at the terminal and it will be transported on a standby basis on the next available trip. Otherwise, you must depart with your vehicle from the terminal instead of waiting there for the next available trip. You must regularly check our website and/or call the telephone number on your standby slip to find out what time you must return to the terminal, potentially to travel on a standby basis. It is your responsibility to return to the terminal at the appropriate time, and your failure to do so will result in forfeiting your place and being dropped from the standby list.

Customers who are required to return to the terminal at a particular time are not guaranteed travel on the next scheduled trip, as we generally will require more standby customers to return to the terminal than can be accommodated on the next trip. Vehicles traveling on a standby basis are generally boarded onto vessels after vehicles with reservations, as long as space is available, in the order that they have been placed on the standby list. Exceptions are made for customers with disabilities who need to travel with their vehicles, emergency situations, disruptions in service and other unusual circumstances.

Click here for the entire Customer Policies and Procedures Handbook