Logo   Ferryboats to Nantucket Island, MA
You can get to Nantucket by passenger or car ferry from Hyannis MA, or passenger ferry from Harwich Port MA, both on Cape Cod, or from Martha's Vineyard island.

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Nantucket Island is 30 miles (48 km) south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts (map), a voyage of about 1 hour for a fast catamaran passenger ferry, 2 to 2-1/4 hours for a traditional passenger ferry, or 2-1/2 hours for a car ferry.

Passenger Ferries

In summer, passenger ferryboats run to Nantucket several times daily from Hyannis and Harwich Port on Cape Cod, from New Bedford MA, and from the neighboring island of Martha's Vineyard.

Hyannis, New Bedford or...

If you're on Cape Cod, Hyannis is the obvious choice; but if you're not, New Bedford's Seastreak ferry offers advantages. Summer traffic to and on Cape Cod can be heavy, slow and tedious, but an easy breeze to New Bedford with no traffic bottlenecks like the Cape Cod Canal bridges. Ferry fares may be somewhat lower for the shorter voyage from Hyannis, but parking is cheaper in New Bedford.

In summer, especially on weekends, it's a good idea to reserve your tickets in advance, especially for the high-speed ferries.

Whichever ferry you take, be at the dock at least 30 minutes before departure time to check luggage, load bikes, check tickets, and get in line to board and find the seat you want.

Remember also that ferry voyages depend on weather, mechanical equipment and other factors, and may be delayed or cancelled without notice. It's a good idea to look upon departure and arrival times as provisional rather than absolute.

Passenger Fares

The lowest fare from Hyannis is $37 per person round-trip for the slower traditional ferries (2-1/4 hours), $69 for the high-speed catamaran ferries (1 hour), though there are some special same-day round-trip fares on the high-speed ferries, Monday through Thursday only, for $50.

From New Bedford on SeaStreak, fares are $55 one-way, $99 round-trip (or $70 same-day round-trip). The voyage takes 1 hour and 40 minutes on a fast catamaran.

Children up to 12 pay about half price, infants and toddlers sail free.

Bicycle Fares

Add $14 to $20 round-trip for each bicycle.

Parking Near the Hyannis Docks

Allow $20 to $25 per calendar day for parking near the ferry docks. Thus, if you park on Monday and leave on Wednesday, you will pay $60 to $75 for three calendar days. It's a good idea to reserve your parking in advance, along with your tickets, especially on weekends and in July and August.

Parking in New Bedford

Parking for the SeaStreak ferries in New Bedford is cheaper and convenient: $15 per day in the nearby Whale's Tooth municipal lot, or $18 in the Elm Street parking garage. Shuttle buses serve both lots, but the walk to the dock is less than 15 minutes; or valet parking right at the ferry dock for $30 per day. More...

Total Cost

Thus the cheapest round-trip crossing to Nantucket for two adults with two bikes for one day, including parking, is about $86 on the traditional ferry, or $148 to $186 on the fast ferry.

Car Ferries

The Steamship Authority operates the only car ferries to Nantucket: the 768-passenger, 52-vehicle m/v Eagle, and m/v Nantucket from Hyannis's Pleasant Street docks (see below).

It's expensive and impractical to take your car to Nantucket for a short visit in summer. You must reserve a space on the ferry well in advance and pay a minimum of $400 round-trip (vehicles up to 17 feet/5.18 meters), or $450 for vehicles 17 to 20 feet, such as full-size SUVs (Chevy Suburban). Transportation on Nantucket can meet your needs. More...

Ferries from Hyannis

Hy-Line Cruises

Hy-Line Cruises, Ocean Street Dock, Hyannis, MA (map; tel 508-778-0404, 508-228-3949, 800-492-8082) operates both the large traditional ferry m/v Great Point (2-1/4-hour voyage) and the smaller high-speed catamaran ferry m/v Grey Lady (1-hour voyage) daily between Hyannis and Nantucket's Straight Wharf. Fares are usually a few dollars higher than those of the Steamship Authority (see below). More...

Tip: reserve your parking in a Hy-Line lot when you reserve your tickets online. In high summer, especially on weekends, the Hy-Line lots fill to capacity, and when they do, nearby lots raise their prices 25% above Hy-Line rates.

Steamship Authority

The Steamship Authority runs the fast catamaran ferry m/v Iyanough from Hyannis's Pleasant Street Dock (map) to Nantucket six times daily from mid-June through early September, at least three times daily atother times of year. The voyage takes one hour.

The least-expensive fares of all are on the slower car and passenger ferries m/v Eagle and m/v Nantucket (2-1/4 hours). More...

Ferries from Harwich Port

Freedom Cruise Line

Freedom Cruise Line (tel 508-432-8999, 702 Main Street [MA Route 28], Harwich Port MA 02646; map) runs three trips to Nantucket daily between late June and early September from Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich Port on Cape Cod.

They voyage takes 80 minutes (compared to the 60-minute voyage of the Hy-Line m/v Grey Lady and Steamship Authority's m/v Iyanough). Fares are a few dollars higher than for the Iyanough, and a few dollars lower than for the Grey Lady, but Freedom Cruise Line offers free parking for day-trippers (overnight parking is $17 per night).

Ferries from New Bedford

Seastreak runs fast catamaran passenger ferries from the State Pier in the center of New Bedford to Nantucket's Steamship Authority dock in 1 hour 40 minutes. More...

Ferries from Martha's Vineyard

Hy-Line operates an Inter-Island Ferry service twice daily in each direction between Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket islands from late-June to mid-September. The voyage takes 70 minutes. Buy tickets online, or at the Dockside Marina in Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard (tel 508-693-0112) and on Straight Wharf, Nantucket (tel 508-228-3949). More...

Seastreak also operates ferries between Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. More...

Nantucket Docks

Nantucket Town has two ferry docks a five-minute walk apart in the town center (map):

Steamboat Wharf

Vessels operated by the Steamship Authority from Hyannis, both car ferries and fast catamaran passenger ferries, arrive and depart from Steamboat Wharf at the eastern end of Broad Street.

Straight Wharf

Passenger ferries, both traditional and fast catamarans, operated by Hy-Line Cruises (Hyannis and Martha's Vineyard) and Freedom Cruise Line (from Harwich Port) arrive at Straight Wharf at the eastern end of Main Street.

—by Tom Brosnahan

Transport on Nantucket

Finding Your Way on Nantucket

Nantucket Guided Tours

About Nantucket

Tourist Information

Cape Cod Transportation

About Cape Cod

New England Transportation


Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Ferryboat 'Great Point' at Brant Point Lighthouse, Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

Steamship Authority ferryboat m/v Great Point passing Brant Point Lighthouse, Nantucket Island, Massachusetts.

Car ferry m/v Eagle at Steamboat Wharf, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Car ferry m/v Eagle at Steamboat Wharf,
Nantucket, Massachusetts.

m/v Iyanough, Nantucket, Massachusetts

m/v Iyanough: the Steamship Authority's fast catamaran passenger ferryboat between Hyannis
and Nantucket Island.

mv Iyanough Ferryboat, Nantucket MA

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