The Beginner’s Guide to the Ferry
For residents of Massachusetts’ North or South shores, the ferry is a popular option for commuting to work and for scenic routes into the city.
Read on to learn more about taking the ferry to Boston, Hingham, Hull, or even Logan International Airport—including info on fares, schedules, and seasonal routes.
Getting to Know the Ferry
Whether you want to avoid traffic for your daily commute or take in the scenery of the Boston Harbor and Boston Harbor Islands, the ferry is a great option for your trip.
Year-round, the MBTA operates 3 ferry routes, with terminals at:
- Long Wharf and Rowes Wharf on Boston Harbor
- Charlestown Navy Yard, in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston
- Logan International Airport in East Boston
- Hingham and Hull, on Massachusetts’ South Shore
You might see various names for these 3 routes. Here’s what they mean:
- Inner Harbor or Route F4 is the Charlestown ferry
- The Commuter Ferry is the Hingham/Hull ferry
- Route F1 travels between Hingham and Rowes Wharf
- Route F2H travels between Hingham, Hull, Logan Airport, and Long Wharf
Additionally, the Salem and Winthrop ferries are operated on a seasonal basis by their respective municipalities.
Did you know? The Charlestown and Hingham/Hull routes are operated in partnership with Boston Harbor Cruises (BHC). You may see the BHC logo on tickets, schedules, and the boats themselves.
There are 3 MBTA ferry docks in Boston Harbor, all accessible from Atlantic Ave and the Boston Harborwalk. The dock you board your ferry from depends on your destination.
Long Wharf (South)
Located on the south side of the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel, all ferries to Charlestown Navy Yard board here.
Long Wharf (North)
Located on the north side of the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel. Board here for service to Logan International Airport, Hingham, and Hull.
This is the southernmost MBTA ferry terminal along Atlantic Ave. Ferries that offer direct service to Hingham (without stopping at Logan Airport or Hull) board here.
For locally-operated seasonal ferries:
- Board the Salem Ferry at Long Wharf (North)
- Board the Winthrop Ferry at Long Wharf (South)
Please note that these services are not operated by the MBTA.
Did you know? The Boston Harborwalk stretches along the city’s shorelines for 43 miles, making it easy (and scenic!) to walk from Long Wharf to the North End or South Boston—each with their own unique history, dining, and cultural experiences.
Ferry schedules depend on the season, but service is generally available between 6 AM and 11 PM throughout the week. Ferries run more frequently during peak travel times, on weekdays in the morning and afternoon.
Complete schedules are available in the following formats:
- On our website: Simply click on any route, and then input your departure and destination information to see today’s schedule.
- As PDFs: Select the route you need a schedule for, and at the bottom of the right-hand column of the page, click “Download PDF.”
- Paper printouts: You may also request schedules at Boston Harbor Cruises booths near Long Wharf and Rowes Wharf, and from crew on board the ferries. You can request them from Customer Support, along with braille and large-format schedules.
Did you know? MBTA ferries aren’t the only way to navigate Boston by water. In the summer, water taxis stop at more than a dozen locations in Boston Harbor, including Logan Airport, the Seaport District, and the North End.
Choosing the Right Ferry Pass
Your ferry fare depends on the route you’re taking and the locations of your origin and destination, between $3.50 – $18.50 each way.
Your ferry fare will be between $3.50 – $18.50 each way.
To see how much your trip will cost, just enter your origin and destination stations into our ferry fare finder.
Did you know? Because ferry docks and wharfs don’t have fare gates, you will be asked to show proof of fare payment during or at the end of your trip.
In addition to one-way and round trip tickets, 10-ride and monthly ferry passes are also available.
- One-way and round trip tickets can be purchased in the mTicket app, or from the Boston Harbor ticket booths at Long Wharf, Rowes Wharf, Charlestown Navy Yard, and Hingham Shipyard.
- 10-ride passes are packets of 10 one-way tickets. You can buy them at the Boston Harbor ticket booths or in the mTicket app.
- Monthly passes, valid for unlimited ferry trips for 1 calendar month, are available online, in the mTicket app and from fare vending machines located at all subway stations and some Commuter Rail stations.
Please note that when ferry passes are printed on CharlieTickets, they are also valid for travel on other modes:
- Charlestown Ferry passes are also valid for travel on the subway, bus, and Commuter Rail Zone 1A.
- Commuter Ferry (Hingham/Hull) passes are also valid on the subway, bus, and Commuter Rail Zones 1A-5.
Did you know? If you’re traveling with a group, you can buy tickets for everyone before your trip.Trips are only available between 10 AM and 4 PM, and must be scheduled 2 weeks in advance. Contact Boston Harbor Cruises for more information.
One-way, 10-ride, and monthly ferry passes are available in the mTicket app. Purchase your tickets anytime before your trip, and then activate them when you’re ready to board. Please note that mTicket ferry passes are not valid for transfers to any other modes.
Fare Vending Machines
Monthly ferry passes are available at fare vending machines located in subway stations and some Commuter Rail stations—including North and South stations.
One-way tickets are available at Boston Harbor Cruises booths located at Long Wharf, Rowes Wharf, Charlestown Navy Yard, and Hingham Shipyard.
Monthly ferry passes are available online.
Navigating Ferry Docks
In Boston, the main ferry terminals along Atlantic Ave are all within walking distance of each other and Aquarium Station. There are a number of other cruise companies located in that area—look for signs for the MBTA and Boston Harbor Cruises.
There are public lots located near Long Wharf and Rowes Wharf (please note that the MBTA does not manage these parking facilities).
You can also park at a nearby subway station. To find a station with parking, visit our subway station list and look for locations marked with a .
Each MBTA ferry terminal is marked with a T sign. You may see the ferries themselves at the docks—they are marked with MBTA, Massport, and Boston Harbor Cruises logos.
You can also identify MBTA ferries by their names, including: Glory, Champion, Lightning, Flying Cloud, Rita, and Rookie.
There are shelters and benches near the boarding area. All MBTA docks and wharfs are accessible to people with disabilities.
Did you know? A new ferry terminal opened at Hingham Shipyard in 2017, featuring a “green” roof for interior climate control, a geothermal heating system, and recycled construction and finishing materials.
MBTA staff may be available at terminals and docks on a limited basis. If you need assistance, please call Customer Support at 617-322-3200.
Once on board the ferry, Boston Harbor Cruises crews are available if you need assistance.
During Your Trip
Our ferries operate year-round, so they include both indoor and outdoor seating for your comfort—regardless of the weather. Ferries also offer a fantastic view of Boston and the Boston Harbor Islands, so just sit back, relax, and enjoy your trip.
Free WiFi is available on some Hingham/Hull ferries. WiFi is not available on the Charlestown ferry.
Yes, snacks and beverages (including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks) are available on MBTA ferries. Bars accept cash and credit.
Yes, there are restrooms on all MBTA ferries, and they are accessible to people with disabilities.
Ferries are a great way to avoid traffic on your way to some of the most popular destinations in Greater Boston. Here are some of the most common destinations.
Please note that Salem and Winthrop ferries are operated by their respective municipalities, with easy connections to MBTA service.
The Hingham/Hull route is served by 2 of the newest additions to the MBTA fleet—ferries named Champion and Glory.
Both routes operate year-round and offer sweeping views of Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands, including Deer Island in Winthrop. Seasonally, ferries also pick up and drop off at Georges Island. Snacks and drinks are available for purchase on board.
Fares and Passes
A one-way trip between Long Wharf (North) and Hingham or Hull is $9.25. Round trip, 10-ride, and monthly passes are also available. Commuter Rail passes Zones 6 and up are also valid for fare payment.
Did you know? Nantasket Beach in Hull is just a 20 minute ride on the 714 bus route from Pemberton Point.
Routes and Stops
- Direct service to Hewitt’s Cove, Hingham, from Rowes Wharf
- Direct service to Logan Airport from Long Wharf (North)
- Service to Pemberton Point, Hull, from Long Wharf (North)
- Service to Hewitt’s Cove, Hingham, from Long Wharf (North)
From Hingham (Hewitt’s Cove):
- Direct service to Rowes Wharf, Boston
From Hull (Pemberton Point):
- Direct service to Logan Airport
- Service to Long Wharf (North)
- Direct service to Georges Island (Seasonally)
Charlestown, just north of downtown Boston, is a treasure trove of history: take the 10-minute ferry ride across Boston Harbor to visit Bunker Hill, the Charlestown Navy Yard, and the USS Constitution—all of which are easily accessed from the Freedom Trail.
Also called the Inner Harbor Ferry, the Charlestown Ferry picks up at Long Wharf (South), and drops off at the Navy Yard. Service runs year-round, and there are snacks and refreshments available on board.
A one-way fare is $3.50. Round-trip, one-way, 10-ride, and monthly passes are available.
Ferries to Logan Airport leave from:
Ferries from Logan Airport stop at:
- Long Wharf (North), Boston
- Pemberton Point, Hull
- Hewitt’s Cove, Hingham
From May through October, a 92-foot catamaran, the Nathaniel Bowditch, offers service between Salem and Boston. The ride is just under an hour, and it drops you off at the Salem Ferry Terminal, just a 10-15 minute walk to downtown Salem.
Commuter Rail passes for Zone 3 are valid for travel on the 7 AM trip to Boston and the 5:30 PM trip to Salem. Without a Commuter Rail pass, fares for these commuter trips are $8 one-way, $16 round trip.
At other times of the day, the cost is $25 one-way and $45 round trip.
Ferry service is operated by Boston Harbor Cruises in partnership with the city of Salem. To learn more about the Salem Ferry, visit the BHC website.
Summer service on the Valkyrie, the ferry from Winthrop to Boston and Quincy, usually runs between May and November.
Commuter service, which includes early morning trips from Winthrop and evening trips from the Seaport and Aquarium, costs $6 each way. MBTA passes are not valid for fare payment.
Ferry terminals are conveniently located near other transit routes:
- At Winthrop Landing, transfer to bus routes 713/714 for service around Winthrop
- At Seaport Landing in Boston, transfer to the SL1, SL2, or SL3 for connections to South Station.
- At Aquarium Landing in Boston, transfer to the Blue Line at Aquarium Station for service to downtown Boston
Planning an Accessible Trip
All MBTA ferry terminals and boats are accessible to people with disabilities, and we offer trip planning assistance to help you get the most out of your journey on the MBTA.
If you are a senior or person with a disability, you may be eligible for reduced fares.
Yes, though there may be some barriers to access depending on high and low tides. Please wait for crew instructions to ensure you can safely board the ferry.
Yes. People with disabilities and seniors are eligible to ride the ferry for half the price of a standard one-way fare. One-way, round trip, and 10-trip tickets are available. There are no reduced fares for monthly passes.
If you have a Transportation Access Pass (TAP) or a Senior CharlieCard, tickets are available at fare vending machines and Boston Harbor Cruises ticket booths. You can also use mTicket if you have registered your reduced fare card in the app—go to Account Details and then Reduced Fares.
People who are blind or have low vision ride all MBTA services for free with a Blind Access Card.