The Best Nantucket Ferry Service for Boston Residents: Seastreak

No matter which port you leave from, Boston residents are only about two hours away from all four of Nantucket ferry services.

There’s one ferry, however, that’s a little closer to Boston than the rest: Seastreak.

Just shy of an hour and a half drive, Seastreak’s port in New Bedford is the perfect alternative to busy Cape Cod traffic on your way to Hyannis or Harwich.

Let’s look at Seastreak’s schedule, rates and more to help you weigh your travel options.

Departure & Arrival Times

Ships sail from New Bedford to the island seasonally between May 24 through October 8, 2018.

From June through September, hours differ if you travel on a Monday through Thursday or Saturday verses a Friday or Sunday.

Those departing from New Bedford M-T & Sat. can take the 8:30 a.m. or 3:40 p.m. shuttles, while those returning from the island have the options of going home at 11:00 a.m. or 6:00 p.m.

Seastreak offers three times to get to the island on Fridays and Sundays, including 8:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. take-offs. Those returning also have three chances to get back home, including 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. departures.

Please check Seastreak’s website for the most accurate arrival and departure times and to see holiday hours.  

Ferry Round-Trip & One-Way Rates

Seastreak offers one-way, round-trip and same day round-trip rate options to serve any travel dates.

Now through October, children three through twelve-years-old are $30 a day for a one-way trip, while adults are $50. Members of military and island residents receive a discounted rate of $40. Bring your bike along for an extra $10.

Seastreak ferry nantucket island

Round-trip, same-day passes are $30 for children and $70 for adults, with bike takealongs costing an additional $20.

Traditional round-trip passes (returning on any day) are $50 for kids and $90 for adults, with the same $10 discount for military and island residents and $20 bike rate.

These prices reflect fares between May 24 through October 8, 2018 and are subject to change. Please check their website for final fees.

Preparing for Your Ride

You can find the port at 49 State Pier, New Bedford, MA 02740.

Tickets are available to purchase on site Saturday through Thursday from 7 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and on Fridays from 7 a.m. through 9:30 p.m. You can book your travel dates online as well.

The port features bike racks, refreshments, covered waiting areas, enterprise rentals and more to help you enjoy a relaxing sail.

Onboard, you will find amenities such as satellite TV, a full cash bar and plush seating. Pets can be brought if they remain on the outdoor decks with a leash.

Please review their onboard FAQ for more information about your ride.

Parking or Options for Cars

Leave your car in Seastreak’s seasonal parking lot for $20 a day Monday through Wednesday or $25 a day Thursday through Sunday and on holidays.

For those who don’t mind shuttling to the port, off-site parking through Whale’s Tooth is only $15 a day.

The Steamship Authority is the only ferry service that allows you to take your vehicle with you to Nantucket, so if that is a priority for you, read more about Steamship’s departure times and more here.

You Have More Options

Seastreak is the closest port from Boston, but the other three ferry authorities are only another 20-30 minute drive from there, depending on traffic.

Getting to the island of Nantucket from the coast of Massachusetts is convenient, no matter which service you choose. The Steamship Authority in Hyannis is best for those who bringing their car to the island. Also in Hyannis, Hy-Line Cruises offers a fast one-hour ride to Nantucket. Freedom Cruise Lines out of Harwich Port offers free parking for day-trippers.

Download our Nantucket Ferry Guide to do your research and pick the best option for your island getaway.

Nantucket Ferry Guide

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Stephen Maury

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