Guemes Island Ferry service changes due to COVID-19
The Skagit County Public Health Department recommends everyone wear fabric masks in public.
We are also asking vehicle drivers and passengers to stay in their vehicles with the windows rolled up to the extent possible. You can also help us and your community by only traveling for essential purposes.
Our crews are doing a great job during this pandemic routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces in the terminal and on the vessel. They are also disinfecting ticketing equipment between each run. Every action we are taking prioritizes the health and safety of our workers and the ferry community.
Ferry to remain on non-peak sailing schedule through the summer
Due to COVID-19, the Guemes Island Ferry will remain on the non-peak sailing schedule through September 30. This decision comes following the Skagit County Health Officer's recommendation for the cancellation or postponement of large scale events through summer in line with Governor Inslee's Safe Start Plan. If the Health Officer’s recommendations change, we can re-evaluate this decision.
On Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, the ferry will not operate extended hours. The ferry will operate on a regular Monday sailing schedule, from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Fare collection policies have changed – only punch cards and credit/debit cards will be accepted for payment (no cash)
Here are some things you need to know.
Using a punch card is the fastest and safest way to pay your fare and they offer a significant discount. Additionally, punch cards can be purchased through the mail using our online form requiring no physical contact with our Purser. See the Punch Card Page for phone, email or mail order options. Punch cards are also available for purchase at the ferry terminal. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are allowing riders to self-validate (in front of the Purser) punch cards with your own sharpie, standard pen or hole puncher.
All punch cards can be used during the peak or non-peak season. Note: the 10-trip vehicle & driver or 10-trip vehicle & senior/disabled driver punch card can be used any time peak or non-peak too (even the card says “cannot be used during peak season”). That is one of the changes we made in response to COVID-19 in an effort to promote the use of punch cards. In addition, the 10-trip punch cards currently do not expire.
Credit/debit card transactions can be conducted at your vehicle if you are driving on. We accept all major credit cards except American Express. We ask that you only roll down your window just enough to insert/swipe your own card in our machine. We have asked our Pursers not to handle customers’ credit cards. We are temporarily waiving signatures on all credit/debit card transactions, and you can opt out of a receipt. If you are walking on, we ask that you maintain as much physical distance as possible from other riders at all times.
If you are concerned about riding the ferry or purchasing tickets, we strongly recommend:
- Wearing a face mask; and
- Using disposable gloves and properly dispose of them after your ticket transaction;
- Wiping your credit/debit card with an alcohol swab or other disinfecting wipe before and after use; and
- Letting the ferry crew know you do not want a paper ticket.