Martha’s Vineyard Ferry

Cape Cod, Massachusetts | C.1960

Photo Credit: Ryan O. Ferguson

The Martha’s Vineyard Ferry operates from Cape Cod to the various islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket off the east coast of the United States. This vessel is a part of the Steamship Authority, which regulates the ferry operations of Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. This ferry service is the only operator capable of carrying automobiles to the islands.

The Steamship Authority was formed from the New Bedford, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamboat Company, which was established in the early 19th century before railroads became the ideal form of transportation in America. The last steamship in regular service was the SS Nobska, which ran from Woods Hole to Nantucket until the 1970s.

Today, the Steamship Authority operates 10 vessels, six of which are used for passenger service. Built in 2016, the Woods Hole pictured above is 235 feet long and can carry 385 passengers in addition to 10 tractor trailer trucks or 55 cars. Powered by two MTU diesel engines, this ferry can reach a service speed of 14.5 knots.

Passenger and auto ferry service is offered year-round to the Martha’s Vineyard towns of Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs. The trip is just 45 minutes from the mainland terminal in Woods Hole. The Martha’s Vineyard Ferry also offers services to New York City, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

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