Cruising between Des Moines and downtown Seattle just got a whole lot easier with the new Des Moines Fast Ferry. And there's a good reason why it's called the fast ferry - it's a surprisingly quick ride! It takes about thirty minutes to get from Des Moines to Seattle via this new passenger ferry, and the ride is smooth and fast. That's because the ferry is a hydrofoil which cruises at about 30 knots, or about twice as fast as the larger Washington State Ferries.

While aboard the ferry, you'll enjoy comfortable seating with tray tables and a fantastic view of the Puget Sound, Vashon Island, West Seattle, and the Seattle skyline as you cruise. On a clear day, you can also see the Olympic peninsula and Mt. Rainier. You may even get a chance to catch a glimpse of some wildlife on your voyage! You can also step out onto the fore or aft deck (so long as conditions are acceptable) to catch some fresh air and unobstructed views. Towards the stern you can find restrooms and a small concessions stand with coffee and snacks. A pleasant surprise was how accessible the boat was - the ramp down to the dock wasn't too steep, and ramps were available to get on and off the ship, meaning it was a much easier ride for those with strollers or in a wheelchair. Wide aisles and plenty of space meant the ride wasn't cramped, even with the ship at full capacity.

The stern of the Chilkat Express, the ship running the Des Moines Fast Ferry service.

Some of the passengers leaving from Des Moines were decked out in their Seattle Mariners gear, with plans to attend this afternoon's game. A nice stroll down the waterfront from where the ferry lands at Pier 66 in Seattle will take you right to T-Mobile Park, so the Des Moines Fast Ferry is a great way to catch a day game without having to worry about finding public parking. Those visiting Des Moines from Seattle can find the Quarterdeck immediately upon disembarking from the ferry for libations before checking out some amazing local dining, like Anthony's HomePort, Via Marina, and more within walking distance.

Des Moines mayor Matt Mahoney at Captain Christopher on the inaugural voyage of the Des Moines Fast FerryDes Moines Mayor Matt Mahoney gives remarks on the inaugural Des Moines Fast Ferry voyage alongside Captain Christopher.

If you want to take the ferry, be sure to book your tickets in advance for both your trip out and your return trip. While there are sometimes walk-on seats available, these are not guaranteed, so booking in advance is highly recommended. The current schedule is Wednesday through Sunday (5 days per week), with four round trips per day:

Depart Des Moines   Depart Seattle
10:00am   11:00am
12:00pm   1:00pm
2:00pm   3:00pm
4:00pm   5:00pm

Tickets are $10 each way for adults, $5 for seniors (65+) and military with valid ID, and children under 13 ride for free. Bicycles pay an additional $4 fee. Passage is free for the first week (August 10-15, 2022).

Our team was lucky to be on board for the inaugural cruise and streamed live from the cabin! Watch the first passage below:

 

 

We hope to see you out on the water soon!