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-   -   Fly or Ferry to MV and Nantucket? (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/fly-or-ferry-to-mv-and-nantucket-898692/)

rksh Jul 13th, 2011 11:34 AM

Fly or Ferry to MV and Nantucket?
 
My husband and I are visiting the Cape in a few weeks, and will be staying in Eastham. We want to visit both MV and Nantucket Island, probably taking tours on both islands so that we can see as much of each island as possible. We probably won't do any beach time on either island, but we want to visit the "must see" places. We have time to do a full day on one island, and a half day on the other. Which island should we plan to spend the whole day, which a half day? We are considering flying from Hyannis to one of the islands, and taking a fast ferry to the other island - on separate days, of course. Should we take the fast ferry Freedom Cruise out of Harwich to Nantucket - to avoid the Hyannis ferry crowds, and fly to MV from Hyannis? Or should we choose to fly to Nantucket, since the ACK airport is closer to the sights than the airport on MV, which is in the middle of the island? Do any tours depart from the MV airport, or are they all located at the ferry ports? Thanks!

Leslie_Getto Jul 13th, 2011 12:45 PM

While it's faster to fly to Nantucket from Hyannis or Plymouth, my recommendation is for you to use the ferry system.

Since you are staying in Eastham, you can take the "Freedom Ferry" in Harwichport. This ferry is a high speed ferry that takes 80 minutes to Nantucket and leaves you in "Town" which is convienent to all the shops and transportation.

If you decide to stay in Nantucket and go to MV, you can take the
inter-island ferry which is run by the Hyline Ferry systems and takes 2 hours to get to MV. (limited sailings)

From MV you have the choice to take a high speed ferry back to Hyannis and bus it back to Eastham or take the "slow boat" back to
Nantucket and then proceed back to Harwichport..

You can skip the Harwichport ferry and always drive to Hyannis and ferry it to both islands.

It all depends on your time requirements.

In all cases, it's important to check the sailing times and availability.

Using the Ferry is a lot more cost effective and fun. The airplane
is great, the view is terrific but it leaves you in the middle of the island.

Have fun

Ackislander Jul 13th, 2011 01:09 PM

The Hy-Line ferry from Nantucket to the Vineyard is a scow. Their other ferries are modern and excellent (if more expensive than the Steamship ferries) but this one is flat bottomed and rolls in any kind of swell, to say nothing of third world seating. An unpleasant two hours. We went to the Vineyard that way but decided to fly home to Nantucket: ten minutes, a little bouncing, a classic Nantucket landing, and the bus into town.

Your question is a classic time-money-distance question. You can get to either or both places quickly if you are willing to spend the money to fly. The Harwich-Nantucket ferry will save you time by not having to drive to Hyannis, but it is less flexible because of fewer sailings. You can get to both places cheaply by taking the slow ferries, Steamship or Hy-Line. Their fast ferries take about an hour, though the Steamship fast ferries are for some reason almost always on or ahead of schedule, and the Hy-Line is usually a bit late.

The ideal would be a day on each island, going from one to the other without returning home to Eastham so as not to eat up so much time in travel. Failing that, go to Nantucket. It is (we are) much more compact. Consider Gail's Tours.

rksh Jul 13th, 2011 05:57 PM

Thank you! I think we will probably Hyline Ferry to MV in the morning, do the 2.5 hour tour, lunch, sightsee, taxi to MVY airport for the 6:45 p.m. flight to Nantucket. Stay the night in Nantucket, Gail's tour in the a.m., sightsee until we ferry or fly back to Hyannis in the late afternoon on that 2nd day.

emalloy Jul 14th, 2011 04:21 AM

Sounds like a plan, but do have a backup in case of fog on either island, flights will be cancelled.


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