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Cape Cod - Nantucket Ferry Services
Which One to Choose?

Updated: March 19, 2022

Ferries make the crossing between Cape Cod and the nearby island of Nantucket year round. Some ferries carry people, autos, and pets. Others are for passengers and their pets only.

Which ferry is best for your trip to Nantucket? This page will help you decide!

High-speed ferry cruising across the water"MV Iyannough" on the Way from Hyannis to Nantucket Island

Cape Cod to Nantucket Ferries

Three ferry companies serve the Cape Cod-Nantucket route:

  • Hy-Line Cruises - fast ferry (year round)

  • Steamship Authority - fast ferry (seasonal);  traditional-style ferry (year round)

  • Freedom Cruise Lines - fast ferry (seasonal)
Ferry boat with passengers aboard, cruising slowly along Hyannis ChannelHyLine Ferry Leaving from Hyannis

The Ferry Ports

You'll have two departure ports on Cape Cod to choose from:

  • Hyannis Harbor in downtown Hyannis (year round ferry service); and

  • Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich Port (seasonal ferry only).

Which Ferry Port to Choose?

Here are a few things to consider when you're choosing which port to leave from ...

Ferry Fares

Is ticket price your #1 consideration?

Steamship Authority's traditional ferry is by far the least expensive ferry to Nantucket. But ... it's also the slowest ferry.

Pier to pier time on the traditional ferry is 2 hours and 15 minutes. On the "fast ferries" it's a 1-hour trip.

Ferry Schedules

As I've mentioned above, two ferry companies operate from Hyannis Harbor. Only one operates from Harwich Port.

So it probably comes as no surprise that you'll have many more departure/return times to choose from if you leave from Hyannis. ;-)

Vehicle Transport

Are you planning to take your car over to Nantucket? If so, the only option is Steamship Authority's traditional ferry from Hyannis. The other ferries don't carry vehicles.

*Important: Space for vehicles is limited. So be sure to reserve a spot as early in the year as possible!

Ferries from Hyannis to Nantucket

HyLine Cruises

Ocean Street Docks
220 Ocean Street
Hyannis, MA

Dual-hulled white ferry with red and blue stripes traveling through calm waterFast Ferry to Nantucket

Route: Hyannis Harbor to Nantucket

Season: High-speed ferry sails year round. 

Auto Transport: No

Crossing Time: About 1 hour, pier to pier.

Schedule: During peak season, the high-speed ferry sails multiple times a day from early morning to mid-evening. There are fewer sailings off-season.  

Round Trip Fares (2023): $89 adult; $54 kids age 5-12; free for kids 4 and under.

Parking: HyLine has its own lots near the pier on Ocean Street, and there are plenty of private lots in walking distance from the pier. Or park in the Hyannis Transportation Center lot on Transportation Avenue, then walk or take a trolley (seasonal) to the pier.

See HyLine's website for current schedules, fares, discounts, and more.

Steamship Authority

South Street Pier
69 South Street
Hyannis, MA

Large white and black ship at dockTraditional Ferry at Steamship Authority Pier in Hyannis

Route: Hyannis to Nantucket Harbor

Season: Year-round service on the traditional ferry. High-speed ferry is seasonal only from mid-April to mid-October

Auto Transport: Yes, on the traditional ferry only.

Crossing Time: 1 hour on the high-speed ferry. 2 hours and 15 minutes on the traditional ferry.

Schedule: Multiple sailings daily from early morning to mid-evening.

Round Trip Fares (2023): High speed ferry - $81 adult; $41 ages 5-12; under 5 Free. Traditional ferry - $41 adult; $21 ages 5-12; under 5 Free. Additional charge to bring bicycle, surfboard, etc. aboard. Vehicle transport fares vary by size of vehicle.

Parking: Steamship Authority has a number of off-site lots with free shuttle service to their pier.

See Steamship Authority's website for current schedules, fares, discounts, parking info and more.


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Harwich Port to Nantucket Ferry

Freedom Cruise Line

702 Route 28
Harwich Port, MA

Ferry boat at the pier, red lettering on the ferry's side and stern: "Freedom""Freedom" at Dock in Saquatucket Harbor

Route: Saquatucket Harbor to Nantucket Harbor

Season: Late May to mid-October

Auto Transport: No

Crossing Time: About 80 minutes, pier to pier

Round Trip Fares (2023): $96 adults; $60 kids ages 3-10; $20 ages 2 and under. Additional charge to bring bicycle, surfboard, etc. onboard.

Parking: On-site parking. Free for same-day departure/return. Overnight parking $30.

Visit Freedom Cruise Line's website for up-to-date schedules, fares, discount offers, parking info and more.

"Around the Sound" Ferry

Want to visit both Nantucket & Martha's Vineyard in the same day?

Check out HyLine's seasonal "Around the Sound" excursion ferry service.

Leaving Hyannis Harbor early in the morning and returning late-ish in the evening, you'll have just enough time on Nantucket and on Martha's Vineyard to get a little taste of each island.

Just be forewarned: It's a very full day trip!

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