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Provincetown :: Sunday, April 23rd 2017

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Take in Sun and Views on a Ferry

Crossing Cape Cod Bay by Catamaran

March 28th, 2008

Even before cars became commonplace and the highway system laid out a smooth path for would-be travelers, many Americans began to use the railroad and the excursion boat for their first leisure trips. And Provincetown, with both a railroad and a port and access to the saltwater and the sun that the period’s health-nuts glorified, was a popular destination for early vacationers from the very beginning.

Two ferry operators - Bay State Cruise Company and Boston Harbor Cruises - offer fast ferries to Provincetown from Boston.

Today the saltwater and the sun still remain. And although the railroad is now defunct, the tradition of the excursion boats also continues, as ferry service is offered to Provincetown from both Boston and Plymouth.

The ferries offer visitors a flexible mode of transport. With their fixed daily schedules, and their fast service, they can be used for a quick day trip, or for the start of an open-ended adventure where return dates may remain subject to change.

And, with their full bars and sun decks, they are also a pleasurable way to begin a vacation.

Two ferry companies – Bay State Cruise Company and Boston Harbor Cruises – both offer fast ferry service between Boston and Provincetown.

Meanwhile, Captain John Boats offers service between Plymouth and Provincetown.


Bay State Cruises offers fast ferry service seven days a week aboard its catamaran, Provincetown III, between May 16 and Oct. 14. The fleet Provincetown III completes three round trips every day between Boston and Provincetown, with each one-way leg taking only a short 90 minutes.

One-way tickets cost $46, while roundtrip tickets are available with savings for $71. A book of 10 tickets can also be bought for $290, and significant discounts are available for seniors and children as well. Bikes can be accommodated on the ferry for $6 one-way, or $10 roundtrip.

In addition to a sun deck at its top, the Provincetown III has an enclosed and air-conditioned lower deck, snack bar and cocktail bar.

Meanwhile, Bay State Cruise Company also operates the Provincetown II for those interested in a more leisurely and nostalgic passage of Cape Cod Bay.

The Provincetown II is a large cruise ship, with three decks and numerous snack and cocktail bars. It sails round-trip between Boston and Provincetown on the weekends from June 28 to Aug. 31. The ship’s voyage takes three hours each direction, which leaves those aboard for a round-trip, single-day excursion about three and a half hours to explore Provincetown.

One-way tickets for the Provincetown II cost $19, roundtrip tickets cost $33, and children ride for free.

Bay State Cruise Company boats leave from the west side of the World Trade Center Pier on Seaport Boulevard. From Logan Airport, the Bay State departure point can be reached by a quick shuttle ride and then water taxi. The shuttle is marked “Water Transportation,” and circles all terminals. The water taxi costs around $20.

If you are driving, open-air parking lots are also available near the ferry’s departure point, costing between $20 and $30 depending on how long the car is left.

For more information about Bay State Cruise Company, go to www.baystatecruisecompany.com or call 617.748.1428.


Boston Harbor Cruises also offers fast ferry service between Boston and Provincetown on its catamaran, The Salacia, between May 10 and October 5. Service days and times are variable up until June 14, when the ferry starts to run its 90-minute trips seven days a week.

One-way tickets cost $41 and roundtrip tickets are available at a discount for $71. Reduced rates are also available through a ten-ride book for $300. Seniors and children pay less per ride as well.

The Salacia has an enclosed and air-conditioned lower deck, an upper sun deck, snack and cocktail bars, and an on-board concierge desk.

The Salacia leaves from Long Wharf in Boston Harbor. From Logan Airport, the departure point can be reached by taking the shuttle marked “Water Transportation” and then a water taxi.

Long Wharf can also be reached from Logan Airport by the Transit Authority’s Harbor Express boats F2 or F2H.

For more information about Boston Harbor Cruises, go to www.bostonharborcruises.com or call 617.227.4321.


Fast ferry service is available between Plymouth and Provincetown, too.

Operated by Capt. John Boats, the Plymouth-Provincetown ferry runs daily between June 27 and Labor Day. It makes one roundtrip a day, departing Plymouth at 10 a.m. and leaving Provincetown at 4:30 p.m. Each leg takes 90 minutes, leaving day-trippers about five hours for fun in Provincetown.

One-way tickets cost $21, while roundtrip tickets are available for $36. Again, discounts are available for seniors and children.

The ferry departs from the State Pier on Water Street in Plymouth, which is off Massachusetts Route 44 East.

For more information about Capt. John’s Provincetown ferry, visit www.captjohn.com, or call either 508.747.2400 or 800.225.4000.

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