Daytime cut allows late ferry sailings across Admiralty Inlet

Washington State Ferries added sailings to the Coupeville-Port Townsend route this summer.  - Nathan Whalen / Whidbey News-Times file
Washington State Ferries added sailings to the Coupeville-Port Townsend route this summer.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen / Whidbey News-Times file

Temporary tweaks in the sailing schedule will allow for late-evening trips on the ferry route across Admiralty Inlet on the weekends.

Washington State Ferries have added one late-night sailing from Port Townsend and from Coupeville during the summer season.

The Ferry Advisory Committee, which includes Ian Jefferds, Sarah Richards and Ralph Young, lobbied for the later sailings during the summer season.

Young, who attended a Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce meeting Tuesday, said before the event that the later sailings might encourage more people to travel across Admiralty Inlet to buy gifts, enjoy dinner, stay at a bed and breakfast or enjoy watching a sunset. He added that the chambers of commerce on Whidbey Island also supported the scheduling change.

The change sets the last sailing at 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays from Port Townsend and 10:40 p.m. from Coupeville.

To accommodate the later route, the ferry system canceled sailings earlier in the day.

“We don’t have the money to add more sailings,” said David Moseley, assistant secretary for the Washington State Transportation Ferries Division. To allow for the later sailings on Friday and Saturday nights, the 2:15 p.m. sailing from Port Townsend and the 3 p.m. sailing from Coupeville were eliminated.

Moseley expressed concern about the canceled sailings because the voyages on the route are pretty full throughout the day.

“We thought we could make it work,” Moseley said during the chamber meeting where he briefed residents and elected officials about the state of the ferry system.

Young expressed the hope the later sailings will be popular with riders and recognized the significant investment the ferry system made to add the late sailings.

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