What would you rather do? Drive or take the fast ferry Boston to Provincetown? As for me, I’ll gladly take the fast ferry any time. The 115 mile drive would take you anywhere from 2 1/2 – 3 hours, but if you opt instead to take the fast ferry, you’ll be there in only 90 minutes. As you can see from the map above, it’s pretty much a straight line from Boston to Provincetown so skip the traffic and enjoy some fun in the sun in Provincetown.
There are two fast ferries that leave from Boston: Bay State Cruise Company, shown above, that leaves from the World Trade Center in the Seaport and Boston Harbor Cruises (BHC), which departs from Long Wharf. Both are 90 minutes in length, but for this trip I chose Bay State Cruise Company‘s fast ferry Boston to Provincetown.Plan your trip to Provincetown far in advance of summer to get the dates you want for your hotel and ferry and not just what's available. Click To Tweet
TSG Tip: If you’re like me and not from the area, I would’ve thought I could just walk up and buy a ticket for same day usage, but that’s not going to happen unless you’re very lucky. Just like hotel rooms in Provincetown, fast ferry tickets are usually booked well in advance. My advice? Plan your trip to Provincetown far in advance of summer to get the dates you want for your hotel and ferry and not just what’s available.
Bay State Cruise Company‘s Provincetown IV fast ferry berths between the Provincetown II traditional ferry the Spirit of Boston at the World Trade Center, also known as Commonwealth Pier, on the side of the pier facing the Boston skyline.
TSG Tip: The Provincetown II traditional ferry operates two traditional ferry times of 3 hours each way to Provincetown and back on July 1 and July 8, 2017. Check the website for additional ferry times. The rest of the time the Provincetown II is known as (their words, not mine) a “booze cruise.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the Seaport District, walk down Seaport Boulevard and you’ll see the World Trade Center on your left. If coming in on the MBTA’s Silver Line, get off at the World Trade Center stop and follow the above directions for a five minute walk to the ferry.
Here are some Google Maps images showing Seaport Boulevard looking toward the city. When you arrive, you’ll see the blue World Trade Center Boston Marine Terminal awning indicating that you’ve arrived at the right place.
TSG Tip: Do NOT walk under the awning and get into any line here as this area is exclusively for guests of Spirit of Boston and Elite.
Continue on the pathway to the right of the blue awning and left of Dunkin Donuts to Bay State Cruise Company‘s ticket window on the right. There are three fast ferry Boston to Provincetown departures daily from Boston at 8:30 am, 1 pm, and 5:30 pm. One way tickets are $59, round trip tickets are $88, and an additional $8 if you’re bringing a bike.
TSG Tip: If you plan on going more than once to Provincetown, consider purchasing a 10 Pass for $390.If you arrive early, you can always grab food or a beverage nearby at Dunkin Donuts, 7-Eleven, Rosa Mexicano (great guacamole), or a little farther up Seaport Boulevard there's Juice Press, by Chloe, Starbucks, Shake Shack, Ben & Jerry's, and CVS. Click To Tweet
You can pick up your ticket any time during the day of departure, but tickets not picked up within 10 minutes of sailing may be released to waitlisted passengers. Boarding begins about 30 minutes before sailaway and guests are lined up by the signs on the left as you can see in the first pictures at the top of this post. If you arrive early, you can always grab food or a beverage nearby at Dunkin Donuts, 7-Eleven, Rosa Mexicano (great guacamole), or a little farther up Seaport Boulevard there’s Juice Press, by Chloe, Starbucks, Shake Shack, Ben & Jerry’s, and CVS. I always see people with coolers and bags because things can get kind of pricey in Provincetown.
Once boarding begins, the crew will take part of your ticket, but hold onto the other half as that is your return ticket. Then jump onboard the fast ferry and choose your seat.
There’s an open upper deck at the back of the fast ferry as well as an open deck at the front down below. I chose an uncovered seat at the very back of the ferry so I could grab a few shots of Boston Harbor as we left.
Inside there’s also seating with tables if you want to spread out and relax. As some people commute to Boston, you’ll see plenty of people with laptops attempting to work. As for me, I was up on the top deck excited about the view.
TSG Tip: This is a fast ferry, which means it cuts through the water quickly and you will more likely than not get wet. So if you’re not looking for a 90-minute shower, then choose a seat inside and choose one early. When I discovered this was going to be a cold and wet ride, I grabbed my bags and headed inside. I spent about 70 minutes standing down below as people put their bags in seats or were holding seats. I finally gave up and moved stuff over just to sit down. This 149-passenger ferry isn’t huge and sometimes people are well, not terribly considerate.
If you didn’t grab food or a drink before you left, no worries. You can step up to the bar onboard and grab pizza, a hot dog, chips, or a beer or mixed drink. There’s always a line so my advice is to have some patience.
The skies were grey for our entire 90-minute ride, but the moment we arrived in Provincetown we saw sun.
And then, like a well oiled machine, the disembarkation process off the fast ferry Boston to Provincetown only took minutes. We were guided off the ferry through the front and shortly thereafter, we were on dry land in Provincetown.
Sure you can always jump in your car and drive to Provincetown, but if you love the water and if you’re as impatient as I am, then the fast ferry is the perfect solution.
I mean c’mon — look at this view! Doesn’t it make you want to go to Provincetown every week?
We only stayed overnight so on Saturday we were back at MacMillan Pier after a great two days of fun and sun in Provincetown. We took a seat in the covered waiting area and waited for our fast ferry back to Boston.
The schedule for the ferry back to Boston is Monday at 6:30 am and then 10:30 am, 3 pm, and 7:30 pm daily.
This time we chose a seat inside right from the beginning and before departure, I took one more pic of Provincetown looking toward Pilgrim Monument.
For your next trip, consider taking the fast ferry Boston to Provincetown and leave the driving to someone else. When you arrive in Provincetown, you’ll feel relaxed and ready to enjoy your time there full of shopping, eating, drinking, and fun.
Have you ever taken the fast ferry Boston to Provincetown and visited Provincetown, Massachusetts?
Bay State Cruise Company
200 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, MA 02210
The fast ferry service operates May 19 – October 16, 2017. Prices and dates in this post reflect the 2017 schedule.