Seattle to Bainbridge Ferry

Seattle Travel Guide › Bainbridge Ferry
Updated: October 3, 2021
By Santorini Dave

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Seattle to Bainbridge Ferry

The ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island is a short, fun, and easy day trip.

Seattle to Bainbridge Ferry Schedule – Weekday Schedule

The Seattle to Bainbridge route runs about every 50-55 minutes from Monday through Friday. The first ferry departs the terminal at Coleman Dock/Pier 52 at 5:30 a.m., and the last ferry leaves at 1:35 a.m., technically the next day. The last three ferries late at night are scheduled 1 hour 20 minutes apart, at 10:55 p.m., 12:15 a.m., and 1:35 a.m. Crossing time is 35 minutes.

Bainbridge to Seattle Ferry Schedule – Weekday Schedule

Ferries departing from Bainbridge begin earlier than those on the Seattle side to accommodate people who live on the island and work in the city. The first ferries leave at 4:45, 5:20, and 6:20 a.m. From the 7:05 a.m. ferry onward, they run about every 50-55 minutes throughout the rest of the day. The last few ferries at night are spread further apart at 9:45 p.m., 11:35 p.m., and 12:55 a.m. the following day. Crossing time is 35 minutes.

Seattle to Bainbridge Ferry Schedule – Weekend/Holiday Schedule

On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, the ferry runs a little later, with the first trip to Bainbridge leaving at 6:10 a.m. and the final trip departing at 2:10 a.m. the following day. Between the first and second ferry in the morning, there is a 1 hour 45 minute gap, with the second ferry leaving at 7:55 a.m. After that the ferries run about every 50-55 minutes throughout the day until late at night. The last few ferries are more unevenly spaced at 10:40 p.m., 11:15 p.m., 12:45 a.m., and 2:10 a.m. Crossing time is 35 minutes.

• Always double check the official website for holiday schedules, as they are subject to change.

Bainbridge to Seattle Ferry Schedule – Weekend/Holiday Schedule

On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, the ferry departs later in the morning and runs until later in the night. The first departure is at 5:20 a.m. and the final one is at 1:25 a.m. the next day. The first few ferries leave at irregular intervals: 5:20, 7:05, 8:45, and 9:45 a.m. From then on, then ferries run about every 50-55 minutes until 9:45 p.m. The last few late night ferries have longer gaps between them, departing at 10:30 p.m., midnight, and 1:25 a.m. the next day. Crossing time is 35 minutes.

• Always double check the official website for holiday schedules, as they are subject to change.

Seattle-Bainbridge Ferry Prices

The ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island costs $8.50 for adults. Fares for seniors (over 65) and children (6-18 years) are half price, only $4.25. Children 5 and under ride free.

Rates are for one-way tickets. The return trip from Bainbridge back to Seattle is free of charge.

Tickets may be purchased at the terminal on the day of travel using cash or card. Senior, disabled, and child tickets are not available at the self-serve kiosk; they must be purchased at the ticket window. Reservations cannot be made in advance, but it is rare that a ferry will fill up completely for walk on passengers. On busy days it may fill up with cars, though, so plan on arriving at least 20 minutes early if traveling with a vehicle. Boarding for walk-on passengers ends 5 minutes before the ferry’s scheduled departure time.

Though reservations cannot be made ahead of time, single or multi-ride tickets for adults may be purchased online in advance with a credit or debit card and received via email. They are valid for 90 days after purchase. Tickets for seniors and children are not available online.

Adult: $8.50
Child (6-18): $4.25
Child (0-5): Free
Seniors (65+): $4.25

Buying Tickets in Advance for the Seattle-Bainbridge Ferry

Tickets may be purchased online in advance of travel. This is not necessary, but it does save time by avoiding the ticketing line at the terminal, which can be long; especially on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday afternoons in July and August. Though tickets may be bought in advance, reservations may not be made. The ferry operates on a first come, first served basis.

Ferry Wait Times & Delays

Ferries are almost never sold out for walk on passengers, including those bringing bicycles. But for those driving onto the ferry, there is occasionally some congestion – especially during the summer months. The busiest times for drivers headed from Seattle to Bainbridge are Fridays from 2:00 to 7:30p.m. and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Midday Sunday and weekday evening rush hours can see a good deal of car congestion, too.

From Bainbridge to Seattle, the most congested times are on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Leave early in the morning to avoid heavy car traffic. Saturdays can be congested in the late afternoons, and weekday mornings from 6:30-9:30a.m. are also busier than average.

Despite these busier times, significant delays are rare. The Seattle-Bainbridge route typically leaves on time or within two minutes past scheduled departure. It is very rare for the ferry to leave more than ten minutes late.

Seattle-Bainbridge Ferry with Vehicle

The Seattle-Bainbridge Island ferry does not take reservations for drivers. Anyone planning on ferrying over with their vehicle should arrive at least 20 minutes before the ferry’s scheduled departure time – an hour or more in advance during commonly congested times in the summer. Usually cars are loaded in the order of arrival, though sometimes vehicles may be shuffled to accommodate oversized trucks. Vehicle boarding ends two minutes before the ferry’s scheduled departure time.

The rate for compact cars (up to 14 feet) is $12.05, inclusive of the driver’s fare. For standard sized cars, SUVs, and mid-sized trucks (up to 22 feet), the rate is $15.35. Disabled and senior driver rates for the same vehicles as above are $9.90 and $13.20, respectively.

Motorcycle and scooter rates, inclusive of driver, are $6.60 for adults and $4.45 for senior and disabled drivers.

In peak season, from May 1 to September 30, there is a slight increase in vehicle fares. During this time, the rate for compact cars (up to 14 feet) plus driver is $14.30. For standard sized cars, SUVs, and mid-sized trucks (up to 22 feet), the rate is $18.20. Disabled and senior driver rates for the same vehicles as above during peak season are $12.25 and $16.15, respectively. Motorcycle and scooter rates are $7.90 for adults and $5.85 for senior and disabled drivers.

If traveling with bikes racked on the car, there is no extra charge, as long as the total length does not exceed the 14 foot or 22-foot size limits.

Seattle-Bainbridge Ferry with Kids

The ferry is always an exciting ride for kids, and downtown Winslow offers tons of family friendly sights, attractions, and dining. Rates for children ages 6-18 are only $4.25 from Seattle to Bainbridge; the return trip is free of charge. Kids 5 years and under ride free both ways.

There is no official minimum age for kids to travel without parents; however, there is no staff member to accompany minors on board. With that in mind, a day trip to Bainbridge can be a fun and safe trip for teens to explore on their own or with their younger siblings tagging along.

Taking a Bike On Board the Seattle-Bainbridge Ferry

Biking is one of the best ways to explore Bainbridge Island. It’s easy to bike through all of downtown to explore the local shops. Coastal trails, an estuary, and rolling hills offer a variety of options for beginning and expert cyclists. Travelers can rent a bike on the island or simply bring one over on the ferry. Bringing a bike costs only $1 for one-way or $2 for a round trip.

Cyclists board first and disembark first. Arrive twenty minutes early to board the ferry ahead of cars; late bike arrivals will have to wait to board until after all other vehicles have been loaded. Cyclists will enter through the marked bicycle entrance through the tollbooth on the far right, then ride to the designated waiting area ahead of the cars. After riding onboard, you’ll park at the bow end of the car deck and lock up. Arrival will be announced by loudspeaker, and cyclists will head back down to retrieve their bikes and ride off into downtown Winslow.

Food On Board Ferry (or at the ferry terminal)

There is a variety of restaurants and cafes inside the Seattle ferry terminal, from quick grab-and-go snack shacks to a chill wine bar and a casual coffee shop. Fast food options include Subway, Taco del Mar, Wasabi Express, and the Waterfront Creamery. Puget Sound Provisions offers beer, wine, soda, and snacks to go, plus things you might’ve forgotten to pack, like sunscreen or sunglasses.

Once on board, travelers will find a small cafeteria-style restaurant, serving Ivar’s chowders and soups, bakery sweets and ice cream, pre-made salads and snacks. Beer, wine, and cider area also served but must be consumed before disembarking. There is also a small espresso bar serving hot, fresh coffee and tea. Several vending machines here offer snacks, soda, and coffee. All of the food options are located midship in the main passenger lounge area.

Location of Terminal/Getting to Terminal

The ferry terminal is just a 5 minute walk from Pioneer Square and a 15 minute walk from Pike Place Market and Downtown. To get there by bus, take the 101, 150, 255, or the Link Light Rail from Westlake Station tunnel and get off at Pioneer Square Station. From there, walk west on Yesler Way for 8 minutes to arrive at the ferry terminal at Pier 52/Colman Dock. Another option is to take a surface bus via route 3, 7, 14, 40, 62, or 70 from 3rd Avenue & Pine Street. Get off at Marion Street and walk 6 minutes southwest, taking the elevated pedestrian bridge to the ferry terminal. Any of these buses will get you there in 13-18 minutes and costs $2.50.

Location of Bainbridge Ferry Terminal

The Seattle-Bainbridge ferry terminal (also called Colman Dock, or Pier 52) is located at 801 Alaskan Way on the northwest corner of Pioneer Square at the south end of the Waterfront. From the terminal, 10 minutes’ walk north will get you to the Seattle Great Wheel and Wings Over Washington; another 5 minutes will get you to the Seattle Aquarium. The Smith Tower is directly east of the ferry, just 5 minutes on foot via Yesler Way. To the southeast of the terminal, just 10 minutes’ walk away, you’ll find the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood, with trendy restaurants, bars, and attractions like the Klondike Gold Rush Museum and the Underground Tour. Just 5 more minutes walking in the same direction leads to Chinatown/International District, with several unique shops and museums, great food, and the historic Panama Hotel.

Parking at Seattle Ferry Terminal

The closest parking to the ferry terminal is the Commuter Centre lot (811 Western Ave) with rates of $5.00 per hour. This is a good option for half day trips. A great option is just two blocks away at the ABM First and Columbia Garage (721 1st Ave). This spot offers parking at a better rate, only $3.00 per hour, but they have a four hour limit. After four hours, cars are charged $25.00, whether parked for 4 or 24 hours. A third option at Waterfront Place (1101 Western Ave) offers great rates for longer trips, at $18.00 for 6 hours, $21.00 for 10 hours, or $24.00 for 24 hours. For short trips, their rates are high at $6.00 for one hour. Only park here for full day trips to Bainbridge.

If you don’t mind a little further walk, there are several garages offering lower rates in the Pioneer Square and Waterfront neighborhoods. Try the Courtyard Seattle Downtown/Pioneer Square (612 2nd Ave) or the LAZ- Butler Garage (160 James Street), both offering full day rates for $20.00. These two lots, as well as the aforementioned ABM First and Columbia Garage, take reservations; book ahead online.

Street parking is available near the terminal, but there is a time limit of 2 hours. Though parking is free on Sundays, the time limit is still enforced. Seattle Parking Enforcement does not mess around and will ticket cars parked over the time limit! Street parking is not recommended when taking the Bainbridge ferry.

Taking the Ferry to Bainbridge Island

View of the Seattle Waterfront from the Pier 52 Ferry Terminal, facing north. The ferry terminal is within walking distance of the Great Wheel, waterfront restaurants, and the Seattle Aquarium.

Bike shares parked in front of the Seattle Ferry Terminal, facing south. The elevated pedestrian bridge connects the terminal to downtown at 1st Avenue and Marion Street.

Vehicles at the tollbooth. Bicycle entry is at the far right booth where the bike is painted on the lane.

Cyclists can also reach the tollbooth area via this smaller gateway just north of the main vehicle entry. This path leads directly to the bike tollbooth.

Entrance to the ferry terminal for walk on passengers with no vehicle or bike.

The walk on passenger entry leads straight to the food court with lots of different choices.

There’s even a classy little wine bar, Commuter Comforts.

…and Waterfront Creamery, an ice cream shop!

The Ferry Information desk is in the middle of the food court area. If you have any questions, ask here. But this is not the spot for buying tickets.

All ticket types can be bought at the ticket windows. Self-serve kiosks are located in front of the ticket windows and to the right, under the sign marked ATM (the actual ATM machine is on the other side of the pole.) The waiting area for the Bainbridge Ferry is to the right, extending behind the ticket windows.

Self-serve ticket kiosks offer many (but not all) ticket options.

Youth, disabled, and senior citizen tickets can only be purchased at the ticket windows, because they need to verify that the buyer fits the criteria for special rates.

Self-serve kiosk with options for adult passengers, vehicles, and multi-ride tickets. All tickets are valid for 90 days from the date of purchase.

Passengers for Bainbridge can sit in the waiting area here near the turnstiles and boarding gate.

Passengers can also wait outside, standing above the vehicle entry, to watch the ferry approach, dock, and unload.

The ferry approaching the terminal.

The ambulance gets a priority exit.

Cyclists are the first passengers to disembark.

Motorcycles exit second.

Cars are the last to leave the boat.

Bikes wait in the shade below the passengers exiting the ferry. Motorcycles and cars wait alongside them, in lanes marked with the order of their boarding.

Cyclists board first and are directed to the bike parking area in the bow of the ship.

Motorcyclists board second.

Vehicles board last. Walk on passengers board via a covered walkway above the car deck.

Walk on passengers wait to board.

Walk on passengers slide their tickets through a scanner on the top right-hand side of the turnstiles to gain entry.

Passengers boarding the ferry via covered walkway. They arrive on the main passenger level, where the restaurant, restrooms, and most of the seating are. Upstairs is the sun deck; downstairs is the car deck.

The Sun Deck is the most popular level on clear, sunny days for its amazing views. It can get pretty chilly up here when the boat is moving, even on warm days.

View of downtown Seattle from the Sun Deck.

Crew only is allowed on this level above the Sun Deck.

There is a covered area on the Sun Deck that still has open sides for viewing.

There is also a fully enclosed area on the Sun Deck. This is usually a quiet spot to ride.

One floor down, the Passenger Deck is mostly enclosed, but there are a few spots on this level that are outside and offer stunning views as the ferry navigates toward Bainbridge Island.

Most of the seating is in the enclosed area of the Passenger Deck. Interior seats are mostly chairs with some tables, while window seats are mostly spacious booths.

In the middle of the seating area, there are information stations with maps about the island and things to do in the area.

The ferry has a small restaurant onboard with hot soups, prepared salads and sandwiches, pastries, and snacks. They also have a small selection of beers and wines by the glass.

Nearby there are a couple of vending machines.

A coffee shop is usually available for guests.

Near the restaurant and coffee stand, there are several tables and chairs.

The Passenger Deck is also where the restrooms are located. These are normal, full-sized restrooms, not the usual small, awkward heads found on smaller tour boats. ADA accessible stalls and baby changing stations are here, too.

The bottom level of the boat is the Car Deck, where passengers drive their own vehicles aboard. There are two levels of parking for vehicles on the Car Deck.

Bikes are parked and tied up at the bow end of the boat on either level to make it easy for cyclists to disembark first.

Motorcycles park here, too.

Bikes are free to bring aboard if they fit in or on your vehicle without making the total length exceed 22 feet.

Bainbridge Island! View from the outdoor Passenger Deck.

The ferry approaches the Bainbridge Island terminal.

Bainbridge Ferry Terminal, view from ferry on arrival.

Walk-on passengers disembark from the passenger deck, and proceed down an enclosed walkway.

As you exit the ferry terminal building, look left to find the Bainbridge Island information booth. Here you’ll find maps, transportation information, and an attendant who can answer any questions you have.

In the warmer months, there is a “free” golf cart available just outside the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal to get travelers into downtown Winslow. They operate on tips, so bring a little cash if you plan on using it. This is a great option for people with mobility issues. For people who prefer to walk, it’s only 5 minutes to walk to downtown.

There’s a bus stop at the ferry terminal, too. Buses pick up hourly, and will shuttle passengers to all points on the island. Exact fare or an Orca card is needed. Children under six ride free.

Bike rentals are also available just at the outer edge of the ferry terminal lot.

Waking or riding from the ferry terminal, you’re in downtown as soon as you hit Winslow Way. The police station will be to your right.

. …and the Bainbridge Art Museum (free admission!) sits catty corner from the cop shop. Hang a left on Winslow Way to reach most of the town’s restaurants and shops.

From Winslow Way, turn right on Ericksen to find the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum.

Once you cross Madrone Lane on Winslow, the shops become smaller and quainter. The free cart will drop you right here.

Downtown Winslow is perfectly walkable and full of fun shops and bites. You’ll find bookstores, record shops, bakeries, bars, ice cream parlors, antique shops, and much, much more.

To get the Winslow Wharf Marina, hang a left at the church on Madison Avenue. It’s at the end of a gorgeous residential street.

At the Wharf, check out all the different types of boats, sea birds, and fun rock sculptures on the water’s edge.

From the Wharf, follow the posted signs to find the Waterfront Trail, winding gently through the woods and along the coastline, all the way back to the Bainbridge Ferry Terminal.

Walk on passengers can enter through the main indoor ferry terminal. There are restrooms and maps here, but no restaurants. Boarding from the Bainbridge side is much quicker, since tickets are not required.

Just outside the passenger terminal, there’s a small coffee stand that sells beverages and pastries.

There is also a walk on ramp to the left of the vehicle boarding area.

The vehicle boarding area is smaller on the Bainbridge side.

Cyclists must wait for an attendant in a covered area to the right of the walk on ramp and left of the vehicle waiting area.

Boarding proceeds in the same order as on the Seattle side: bikes first, then motorcycles, then cars.

Bainbridge Island views from the Sun Deck.

View of Bainbridge Island’s edge with Seattle in the distance.

View of Mt Rainier from Seattle Bainbridge Ferry.

The Bainbridge Island ferry is a great spot to catch Mount Rainier views when (as the locals say) “the mountain is out.”

View of Downtown Seattle from Seattle to Bainbridge ferry.

View of the Seattle Skyline and ferry port.

About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Santorini Dave was started in 2011 by a guy who loves Greece and Europe, travel and great hotels. We're now a small team of writers and researchers dedicated to providing the best travel content on the internet. We focus on Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Greece, offering recommendations for top hotels, neighborhoods, and family-friendly hotels worldwide. Dave can be contacted at

  1. Seattle Ferry Guide

    Mr.Dave—thank you so much for this step-by-step guide. I’m very visual, although direction challenged, and this was EXTREMELY helpful so I will know how to navigate my upcoming trip.
    Thanks again for helping us lost travelers who want to get out in the world and see new things!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I’m glad it’s been helpful. Thank you.

  2. Taking Truck on Bainbridge Ferry

    I have a 31 foot RV to take from Seattle to Bainbridge Island on the ferry. Is that doable and how much with 6 people.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There are many factors besides vehicle length that will affect ferry travel and fare. Depending on how wide and tall your RV is, and how much ground clearance it has, you may have to complete a travel request form in advance. You can find all the relevant info here:

  3. Large Trucks on Seattle-Bainbridge Ferry

    Renting a 26’ U-Haul truck to move. Can I take ferry to Bainbridge and how much does it cost?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, a 26′ moving truck is well within the limits but not sure on the cost.

  4. How long does it take to get from Seattle to Bainbridge Island by ferry?

    How long is the ferry ride from Seattle to Bainbridge?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It takes 35 minutes for the ferry to get from Seattle to Bainbridge Island.

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