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Ferry to Whidbey Island

Atlanta, Georgia
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Ferry to Whidbey Island

We will be taking the ferry to Whidbey Island on a weekday in mid July. Do we need to make reservations or do they even take reservations? Thanks

San Juan Island...
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for San Juan Islands
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1. Re: Ferry to Whidbey Island

No reservations on the ferry from the mainland nearest Seattle to Whidbey island (Mukilteo / Clinton)

You'll find the current schedule at wsdot.com/ferries/… When you wait for this ferry from Mukilteo be sure to get into the far right lane sometimes way, way before the ferry landing so that you are indeed behind the last car right from the very first moment because that run is well known locally here for people getting into trouble on occasion with http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/hov/hero.htm if you are seen violating any lane rule...and that includes if you miss seeing the end of the line by a few cars and someone signals you in, you could then be reported by someone else as a lane jumper. It happened to us the first time we took that ferry on what turned out to be a busy day and to other people we have heard of since then too.

San Juan Island...
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2. Re: Ferry to Whidbey Island

In looking over the rules they have on the WSDOT website about line rules I see that the written consequences for violating them is officially mild (a warning letter) but in reality what has happened to us and others I've spoken to in past years has been if you are seen/reported as violating any line rule when you get to the ticket booth no matter how long you've been in line or what the circumstances are, the ticket seller says you have to turn around and go all the way back to the end of the car line and come down again. That added over an hour extra time for us as we had been waved into the line a few cars from the top when we spotted how far back cars were on the right (no signs on the road said the lines started so far back) and it took us a half hour to inch down to the ticket booth only to be forced to go back to the top again. When I've spoken of this in the past when discussing Whidbey island with locals I've been told this same type of thing has happened to a number of people.

Atlanta, Georgia
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3. Re: Ferry to Whidbey Island

OK thanks so much. Only ferry we have ever taken is one on US1A in Mayport, FL and it is so small you do not have to worry about lanes, etc.

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4. Re: Ferry to Whidbey Island

The ferry to Whidbey is a very fun and scenic ride. Coupeville and Langley are fun places to explore there. :)

Port Townsend...
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for Olympic National Park, Port Townsend
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5. Re: Ferry to Whidbey Island

Did you mean the Port Townsend/Coupeville ferry?

In that case you can and should make reservations.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Ferry to Whidbey Island

This piqued my interest (only taken this ferry once and didn't have any problems) and so I had a look on Google maps. If you open it in satellite view and zoom in, you can see the painted lane on the right side of the road. I can see how managing it would be difficult with all of those cross streets.

San Juan Island...
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7. Re: Ferry to Whidbey Island

The line sometimes starts way *before* the ferry lanes actually start. That's what happen to us and to quite a few other people I have spoken to both out here on the SJI and locally on Whidbey over the past 10 or so years.

Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: Ferry to Whidbey Island

Yeah, and while we are generally a placid and non-confrontational people, ferry line violators risk serious (if passive aggressive) sanctioning. We are world champs at passive-aggressive - just try to re-enter the queue.

Atlanta, Georgia
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9. Re: Ferry to Whidbey Island

Well I will be sure and get into the far right lane way before I get to the ferry terminal. Thanks for the info.

Langley on Whidbey...
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10. Re: Ferry to Whidbey Island

Just a heads up: On Tuesday, July 2, there was a two-hour wait in Mukilteo for the ferry to Clinton (Whidbey Island). Mainly due to the upcoming long Fourth of July weekend. This summer the lines seem to be much longer than in seasons past. I've lived on the island since 1975, and the waits have been painful. Locals plan their trips on and off the island accordingly. Sunday afternoons and evenings leaving the island are particularly painful! Just be prepared with reading materials, music, etc. Whidbey Island is well worth the wait!