- Poor Man’s Sunset Cruise:
- Time: Bainbridge run – allow 2 hours for ticketing, boarding and return voyage
- Cost: About $8 per person round-trip for a walk-on passenger fare
- Website: www.wsdot.com/ferries/schedule
The best view of downtown Seattle is from the water and the cheapest way to see it is to take one of the Washington State Ferries. Park your car downtown and walk on. The two most popular runs are the Bremerton and Bainbridge runs. The Seattle Ferry ride to Bainbridge run is 35 minutes each way and is will give you a great view of Seattle as you leave the dock. The approach to Bainbridge will give you views of homes on the island as you enter Eagle Harbor. You will need to disembark when you arrive at Bainbridge, just follow the crowd, you won’t be the only person getting back in line for the return trip. Your fare Westbound covers your return trip. If you want a longer adventure, the Seattle Ferry to Bremerton run is 60 minutes each way and provides great views around the south end of Bainbridge Island on your way into Bremerton. You will need to disembark just like Bainbridge and then re board. There are other ferry runs in Western Washington that provide scenic views.
When planning your trip on the Seattle Ferry, consider time of day and day of the week. The ferries are not just a tourist attraction but a part of the Washington State Highway system. Many of the riders are daily commuters. The morning runs eastbound and evening runs westbound can be crowded at standard rush hour times. In addition, Friday and Sunday evenings can be busy. As a walk-on passenger, you should have no trouble getting on, but the decks can be crowded.
When you board, go up to the passenger level and head out on the open deck for the best view. If it is cold and you want a good view from inside, there is a row of seats over the vehicle loading deck that are right in front of the windows and provide a good view. But for the best experience, zip up your coat, secure loose article (it does get windy) and go outside! There is a snack bar and restrooms on board.