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Ferry Question

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Chicago, Illinois...
posts: 7
reviews: 10
Ferry Question

I need some opinions on our vacation plan to the Vineyard in July.

After perusing all the threads I think I have figured out the easiest, most cost effective route into MV, for our family of 8 (including 2 elderly and 2 children, several of whom have motion sickness issues).

We arrive on Sunday, 7/6 @ 1:30 in Providence.

I believe we should charter a van to take us to New Bedford for the Fast Ferry to MV (this is $160 - anyone know if two taxis would be cheaper?). I am told the travel time from the airport to NB should be 35 - 45 minutes, depending on traffic, which would mean most likely we would have no problem making the 3:45 ferry to Vineyard Haven. This trip would be an hour, and one less likely to be a problem for our family members who have motion sickness. If, for some reason we missed this ferry, we would still have time to catch the 6:30 into Oak Bluffs.

I believe car rentals are probably cheaper if transacted at the MV airport (which is fairly near our rental house). Is this a safe assumption? I know renting a car at either VH or OB port is convenient, but my sense is that you also pay more there.

Does anyone think this game plan is not sound? Anyone think there is a better, easier or cheaper way to get us all where we need to go? I'm still trying to work it all out!

7 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Boston
posts: 13,087
reviews: 1
1. Re: Ferry Question

If avoiding motion sickness is the main criteria, why wouldn't you leave from Falmouth, which is a much shorter ferry ride?

Martha's Vineyard
Destination Expert
for Martha's Vineyard
posts: 742
reviews: 94
2. Re: Ferry Question

If you have family members who easily get motion sickness, you've picked the best ferry option, closest to Providence. It's also the least time-consuming option. A cheaper option would be to take the Peter Pan bus to Woods Hole then take the ferry over from Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven. The Peter Pan bus would have you waiting around for a few hours and then you'd catch the 8:30 boat into Vineyard Haven. I don't know about the rental car prices being different at the various locations, so I can't help with that at all. Have you looked at renting a car from the Providence airport and bringing it over?

Chicago, Illinois...
posts: 7
reviews: 10
3. Re: Ferry Question

Thanks for the feedback, getting to Falmouth from Providence is not worth the driving time - my sister in law has said she thinks she can handle an hour.

I did check the Peter Pan bus lines, and the times don't line up with our flights at all.

We got a quote from Yes We Van for $160 to take all 8 of us to NB from the airport (35 minutes to get there). We should be able to catch the 3:45 ferry, and still have the back up of the 6:30 if we are delayed.

Only question now is whether two cabs might be cheaper than the van. My sense is we might save $25 bucks or so with the cabs, but with the van we will have reserved our transportation both ways and not have to wait for cabs.

We decided to rent the cars in MV - easier than trying to transport them over on the Woods Hole ferry.

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for North Conway
posts: 10,790
reviews: 36
4. Re: Ferry Question

Have you thought about flying to mv?

Chicago, Illinois...
posts: 7
reviews: 10
5. Re: Ferry Question

Flying into MV is another $250 a person, and that is all on my father-in-law's tab, so it isn't an option.

Chicago, IL
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod
posts: 8,543
reviews: 19
6. Re: Ferry Question

Wendy, make your car reservations now and then keep checking the rates up to as close in as a week prior. You know that you can cancel whatever reservations you don't need and those who reserve in advance will pay less than those who rent the day they arrive. Maybe I've misunderstood your plans though.

Chicago, Illinois...
posts: 7
reviews: 10
7. Re: Ferry Question

Just a follow-up to my original post - since we have now completed our trip to the Vineyard. After much back and forth, we chose to fly into Providence from Chicago (even though the fare was more than into Logan, we did not want to handle a long drive with traffic into Woods Hole). We arranged van service from the airport to New Bedford (Yes We Van was AWESOME!!) The ride to the ferry dock was @35 minutes, no traffic, and we were charged $160 one way for all 8 of us (pricing for two cabs was about $20 more without tip). We chose the New Bedford ferry (SeaStreak) because other travelers mentioned it was a gentler ride (in terms of motion sickness), and only an hour crossing. Everything was perfect. The airport in RI was small and easy to navigate - got our luggage quickly, were met by the van company and were in New Bedford in no time. Our ferry ride was totally smooth, and uneventful. All family members were comfortable. The same happened on the return trip - smooth ride, easy transitions, no crowds, little traffic, small airport, no waiting. If you do not want to take a car with you, this is the route I would recommend, especially if you are traveling on Sunday - when the crowds tend to be worse.

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