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Ferry to Lummi Island

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Ferry Operations

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Lummi Island Ferry Weather Report

Gooseberry Point Dock/Tide Land Lease


The Lummi Island Ferry Docks

News Updates

Picture of Dock


**UPDATED 2/4/10**

Lummi Island Ferry Service Conceptual Agreement Reached

Lummi Island Ferry Planned Service Outage For Mandatory Repairs

Lummi Reservation Traffic Study

Ferry Dock Relocation Study

2010 Whatcom Chief Fueling Dates

Ferry Punch Card Order Form This is a pdf document

Lummi Island Ferry

Whatcom County Public Works Ferry Division is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Whatcom Chief. This ferry serves Lummi Island residents, visitors, and businesses, Whatcom Chief Ferrytransporting over 216,838 passengers during 2008. This same period has seen vehicle or passenger car trips of 117,254 and total vehicles transported of 123,285. Ridership shows strong seasonal variations. July and August remain the busiest months with over 10% of all vehicle and pedestrian trips occurring in each of these months. The permanent resident population is over nine hundred and during the summer swells to over two thousand.

  Year Total Trips Total Passengers Total Vehicles
1st Qtr. 2009
2nd Qtr. 2009
3rd Qtr. 2009
4th Qtr. 2009

The Whatcom County ferry system operates 365 days a year. The Whatcom Chief is 93.5 feet long with a beam of 44.1 feet and a displacement of 78 tons. This vessel was built in 1962 and has a capacity of 100 passengers and 20 vehicles. The Whatcom Chief is the only link for the majority of Lummi Island residents and all vehicles to the mainland at Gooseberry Point, a trip of 0.8 miles and about 5 minutes, not including loading and unloading times. The ferry is also a link for a number of summer residents and vacationers.

Annual Dry Dock

Each year the Whatcom Chief spends time in dry dock in order to undergo annual maintenance. The vessel can be in dry dock from two to three weeks, depending on the extent of the maintenance needed. A passenger-only ferry operates while the Whatcom Chief is in dry dock. Temporary parking is made available near the Gooseberry Point landing during the period of dry dock. This temporary mainland parking facility has a nighttime security guard. Temporary parking is also provided on Lummi Island for those who choose to walk on for the trip to the mainland.

The ferry system includes two terminal locations and parking facilities. A portion of the Gooseberry Point facility is secured from the Lummi Nation through a lease agreement.

Ferry Rates

Current ferry rates include single rider purchase and multi-ride card purchasing options. In addition, discount fares (after meeting defined qualifications) are available to students, seniors, disabled persons, and Lummi Island residents who meet income levels set by Whatcom County Ordinance 2007-001. Total fares are intended to cover 55% of the operational costs associated with ferry operation. The balance of the operational costs are covered by state and local tax revenues.

Hours of Operation

Hours of operation are 5:40 AM to 12:10 AM on weekdays (38 scheduled runs), 7:00 AM to 12:30 AM on Saturdays, and 7:00 AM to 12:10 AM on Sundays and five major holidays. The ferry also offers a twice weekly fuel truck run and can accommodate vehicles up to 50,000 lbs. with some restrictions. The ferry is available as an on-call service in the event of an emergency such as necessary evacuation from Lummi Island to St Joseph's Hospital.

2008 Costs

In 2008 operating expenditures for the Lummi Island Ferry System totaled $2,124,508 . Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax (Ferry Deficit Reimbursement) of $144,319 and interest income of $37,645 partially offset these costs. This results in net maintenance and operations expenditures of $1,942,544. Fare-box receipts totaled $1,128,360, which equals to 53.1% of total operating costs, and 58.15% of net operating expenditures.

Contact Us

Any questions? Contact Public Works Ferry Division, at
(360) 676-6876, or