Nantucket Car Ferry

Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 03:35 PM
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Nantucket Car Ferry

I was wondering from anyone on island if you think the tourists #'s are down? We are arriving on Sat 8/8 and would like to bring the car on the ferry. We do not have a reservation and was going to take a chance going standby. Or I am looking into a car rental on island.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 04:16 PM
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We just came back yesterday from Nantucket. On our trip over, we got on standby for an earlier ferry, and on our trip home to the mainland yesterday, we got the 10:15 car ferry though our reservation was for the 12 noon ferry. SOOO, maybe we got lucky cuz we already had the later reservations in both cases, or maybe not. Not sure how that part works. But Ackislander can tell you or maybe MarieF, or other regulars.

I would definitely make a standby reservation.

I think the numbers are definitely down, but SATURDAYS maybe a different story altogether. (We went over on a Tuesday, and back on Sunday.)

From the numbers of people at the restaurants, however, it looked like business as usual, though I suppose the numbers are down there also.
Have fun.
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 09:16 AM
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We keep a car on island and take the fast ferry, so I am not current on making car reservations. Here's a link to the page on the Steamship Authority website that lists "current conditions" for standby vehicles http://www.steamshipauthority.com/ss...nfo.cfm?Loc=HY

You will be visiting during the most popular vacation time for the island. The college kids will still be there, the younger kids are finished with their sports and camp activities so many families are taking their vacations, plus the weather is finally nice. We've been going every weekend and the past few weekends are noticeably busier. My DH thinks that this year is quieter but IMO there are still lots of people coming to Nantucket.

Personally, I would make a reservation. Ackislander, what are your thoughts about the island this summer?
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 04:37 AM
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Business was way down in June, partly owing to bad weather. It was better in July, and things are bouncing along now at the usual rate. The biggest decline is apparently the commuter airlines that brought construction workers back and forth from Hyannis every day. There isn't much construction, thus no workers.

BRINGING A CAR ON THE 8TH WITHOUT A RESERVATION Well, there was one space on the 2:45 because my son and his wife had to change their reservation because they added a roof rack and were overheight. The only reservation they could get was on the 5 pm FREIGHT ferry on Sunday the 9th. This does not mean space won't become available, but taconictraveler is correct that a Tuesday arrival is a very different thing from a Saturday arrival, because rentals change hands on Saturdays, making that a very popular day. It also means lots of traffic on the way. I recently spent two hours driving on a Saturday to a point in Boston that never takes more than an hour and a half.

Two things to know: (1)a standby list opens up immediately after the previous ferry sails. There is a car ferry at 1PM, for example, after which the 2:45 waiting list opens up, space available, first come, first served. The best chances for openings are on the very first ferries in the morning. (2) You can also leave your car in Hyannis and have them drive it onto the ferry when a space opens up, $20 on and $20 off, and sometimes they run freight boats all night.

Do check the SSA pages that MarieF directed you to, and you may want to call the reservation bureau just to get all this explained to you.

You do know that the roundtrip fare is just under $400 plus passenger fares? You may be able to rent a car for about that and avoid the hassle.

You should also be aware that the whole ferry traffic pattern reverses itself sometime after August 16 when people have to start leaving to get their kids back in school. Then it becomes hard to get a car off island and easier to get one onto the island. But Saturdays could be tough until October.

We keep a car in Hyannis now, as MarieF keeps a car on island. It makes life a lot easier.
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