The WA State Ferry System is now taking reservations for travel from Anacortes to Lopez Island. NOTE: Reservations are recommended from Anacortes to Lopez. Please be sure to check out the information at their website: About the Reservation System.
Release dates: Reservation spaces will be released in groups: some before the season begins, some 2 weeks prior to sailing and some 2 days prior.
Availability: Remember that when you try to book a reservation, sometimes it will look like there is no space on the sailing you want, but you may be able to wait until the next release date to get a reservation (2 weeks or 2 days before). Also, there is at least 10% standby space available on every sailing. Depending on the number of reservation cancellations, this number can be higher. On the day of your sailing, the Anacortes Space Availalbility chart is very helpful.
Travel tips: WSF hopes that the reservation system will reduce congestion in Anacortes. But there still may be waiting lines to reach the ticket booth, so be sure to allow extra time. You must go thru the ticket booth in order to pay your fare. You must arrive at the ferry no later than 30 minutes prior to sailing in order to use your reservation. We recommend getting there at least 60 to 90 minutes in advance to make sure you have time to get thru the lines and onto your chosen ferry. If you miss your reserved ferry, you can still show up and travel stand-by. If you missed your reservation, be sure to show the person at the ticket booth your reservation confirmation so you will get credit for traveling on the same day and avoid the no-show fee.
No Show Fee: If you make a reservation and don't use it or travel on the same day, you will be charged a $10 no-show fee.
Changes/Cancellations: Reservations can be changed up to 2 hours before sailing time - but it's best to do it the day before to avoid confusion. You can cancel your reservation without penalty any time until 5 p.m. the day before your reserved sailing. There is one free change after 5 p.m. of the previous day, but it has to be done before the lockout period, which is 2 hours before sailing time.
Notifications: You can sign up for email and/or text notifications and these are very helpful for finding out the status of sailings or changes to the schedule for any reason.
CHANGES Effective March 20, 2016: Please note that when sailing with a reservation from Anacortes to the San Juans, you must be through the ticket booth 30 minutes before your departure time or you may lose your reservation. The old rule was one had to be in line for the ticket booth. The second change is you can now make reservations 2 hours ahead of a sailing instead of 3 hours.
General Release Policy:
WSF releases the reservation space in multiple tiers, as follows:
% Regular Height Space Available
% Tall Height Space Available
1-2 months before the season begins for all sailings for that season.
2 weeks prior to sailing*
2 days prior to sailing*
*Reservation space is released at 7:00 a.m. For example, spaces on a 5:00 p.m. sailing on Wednesday are released at 7:00 a.m. on Monday.
Current Ferry Bulletins - Want to see if there are any delays or schedule changes? View all the posted bulletins.
Sign up for Alerts - Create an account and receive bulletins by text or email. Includes reservation and standby status updates. You select the route and the level of information you want to receive.
Anacortes Space Availalbility - This helpful chart shows how many spaces are left on each ferry sailing today - updated by the minute (also shows Anacortes webcams)
Vessel Watch - See where the ferries are enroute
Fares (NOTE: fare increases and seasonal surcharges effective May 1, 2016)
NOTE: Reservations cannot be made for travel from Lopez back to Anacortes, so plan to arrive well ahead of time. Please be advised that in the busy season (from May thru September and especially July and August) the heaviest traffic leaving Lopez is on a Sunday (or Monday in case of a 3 day weekend). Fourth of July is our busiest holiday and traffic on July 5th is always extremely heavy. You may need to arrive an hour and a half or two hours (or more) before sailing time on the busiest days. Make sure you have activities and food with you in case you have to wait longer. There is no longer any food service at the ferry, and no drinking water is available. Restrooms are available. Taking a walk or bike ride (if you have your bicycle with you) are about the only activities available while you wait. The ferry quotas listed below can help you judge how early you need to arrive. Remember: quotas can change depending on conditions, so these are to be used as guidelines only.
** except Tues/Wed
NOTE: Quotas are subject to change without notice by WSF depending on operational conditions and are NOT guaranteed.
When is the best time to travel? WSF has provided charts of congestion patterns from past seasons to help you decide when to travel: visit the current schedule and click on Best Travel Times, on upper right side.
Lopez Ferry Landing: (360) 468-4095 (please be aware that when the ferry landing is very busy or boats are in the dock this phone will not be answered)
WSF has installed a webcam system at the ferry landing - with a view from the bottom of the hill looking up at the holding area, and another view from the top of the hill looking at the holding lane that stretches back along the road. This is a great way to get a feel for the traffic on Lopez. View Webcam.