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Nantucket Ferry Services from the
Hyannis Ferry Terminals and Harwichport

There are three companies on Cape Cod that operate Nantucket ferry services – The Steamship Authority, Hy-Line Cruises and Freedom Cruise Line. Each offers a slightly different experience so, before deciding which one is best for you, you might want to consider the following:

Insider Tip

If you have a Go Boston Card. you should definitely check out HyLine, which offers free tradiitonal and reduced price for high speed Nantucket ferry crossing.

HyLine is the only one of the Nantucket ferry operators who participate in this program.

Check out our Cape Cod deals page, which explains exactly how the program works and how much you might be able to save.

  • How long are to going over to Nantucket for – a day trip, a few days, a week or more?
  • Depending on the answer to question one above, how badly do you want to take the car? Only one of the three, the Steamship Authority, will carry your car over, so if a car is essential, your choice becomes pretty easy.
  • Which Cape Cod port do you want to leave from? Hy-Line Cruises and the Steamship Authority both depart from Hyannis, Freedom Cruise Line operates out of Harwichport.
  • What time of year are you travelling? Hy-Line Cruises and the Steamship Authority offer year-round service (naturally, with more sailings during the peak season), Freedom Cruise Line only operates during the summer months from Memorial Day weekend through late September.
  • How important is a “fast” crossing. Both the Steamship Authority and Hy-Line Cruises operate “fast ferry” services that can get you over in about an hour (about half the time of the more traditional Nantucket ferry service). You do, of course, pay for the privilege, but if you plan to do certain things while you're on Nantucket, and “time on the ground” to do those things is an issue for you, high speed may be the way to go.
  • With these basic questions answered you can start to make your plans and decide which of the three Nantucket Ferry Services is for you.

    The Steamship Authority

    Marthas Vineyard Ferry Cape Cod Ferry
    The Steamship Authority's Nantucket
    Ferries depart from the South Street
    Pier in Hyannis

    The Steamship Authority owns the market for traditional service, operating a traditional ferry service that sails year-round, as well as a high speed ferry, which is reserved for the busy summer season.

    (Hy-Line's service is the opposite - Its high speed service is the one that operates year round, while its traditional service is reserved for the high season).

    The Steamship also offers the cheapest passenger service, with the huge benefit (for some) that they are the only operator that can carry your car over, although that is not so cheap.

    It is only the traditional ferry that offers passage for cars. High speed is for passengers only.

    The Steamship Authority's Nantucket ferries depart from the South Street Pier, across the harbor from Hy-Line's. The Steamship Authority does not offer a service between Hyannis and Martha's Vineyard. If you want to take that trip, the only option is Hy-Line. The Steamship Authority can only take you to Martha's Vineyard if you depart from Woods Hole.

    Key Information for The Steamship Authority

    Location: South Street Pier, Hyannis, MA
    Schedule: Departs Hyannis 3-6 times each day (depending on the season) between 7:15am and 8:00pm
    High Speed Prices: $67 ($14 extra for a bike).
    Traditional Ferry Price: $35 ($14 extra for a bike).
    Telephone: (508) 495-3278

    Hy-Line Cruise Lines

    Insider Tip

    Both Hy-Line and the Steamship Authority have lots that charge $15-$17 a day for parking. You don't have to pay that.

    There is plenty of free parking around Hyannis, most notably in the giant lot that sits between Main Street and North Street.

    Park closer to the Barnstable Road end and you'll have a very pleasant walk of a few blocks down to the harbor from there.

    Hy-Line Cruise Lines operates it's Nantucket Ferry services out of Ocean Street Docks on Hyannis Harbor.

    If the Steamship Authority owns the market for traditional Nantucket Ferry service, then you could say that Hy-Line owns it for people who want to get across quickly.

    In addition to their service to Nantucket, Hy-Line also operates a ferry service from Hyannis to Martha's Vineyard in the busy season (Memorial Day weekend to October), as well as an “around the sound” cruise service, which starts in Hyannis and takes visitors to both Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard (or the other way round, if you prefer) before dropping you back in Hyannis late in the evening.

    It makes for a pretty long day, but is a good option for those determined to see both islands in spite of a pretty tight schedule.

    Key Information for Hy-Line Cruises

    Location: 220 Ocean Street, Hyannis, MA
    Schedule: Departs Hyannis 5-6 times each day (depending on the season) between 6:30am and 7:00pm
    High Speed Prices: $77 ($14 extra for a bike). ($26 with your Go Boston Card).
    Traditional Ferry Price: $45 ($14 extra for a bike). (Free with your Go Boston Card).
    Telephone: (800) 492-8082

    Freedom Cruise Line

    If the thought of dealing with Hyannis traffic is too much for you, another option for taking the ferry to Nantucket (at least during the summer months) is to depart from Harwichport. Freedom Cruise Line offers this option from Memorial Day weekend through September. This is a high-speed option only and does not allow for car transportation.

    The ferries depart from Saquatucket Harbor three times a day (less frequently early and late in the season) and the journey to Nantucket lasts about 80 minutes.

    Key Information for Freedom Cruise Line

    Location: 702 Route 28, Harwichport, MA
    Schedule: Departs Harwichport 1-3 times each day (depending on the season) between 8:00am and 5:40pm
    High Speed Prices: $71 (extra for a bike).
    Telephone: (508) 432-8999

    Return from Nantucket Ferry to Cape Cod Ferry Services

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