Jamestown-Scotland Ferry

 

Frequently Asked Questions

On board the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry
 

General Questions

 

How much does it cost?

Do I need reservations?

Do I have to stay in my vehicle for the entire trip?

On average how long would a motorists wait in line for the ferry?

I would like to use my GPS when traveling to the ferry, what address should I use?

How often does the ferry run?

How many schedules does the ferry operate? When does the new schedule begin?

How long is the ride on the ferry across the river?

 

Boarding the Ferry:

 

Can I park my car and walk onto the ferry?

May I take a motorcycle?

Are bikes allowed on the ferry?

May I take my camper on the ferry even though it has a propane tank?

Can I take a tour-sized bus on the ferry?

I have a health issue and I need the air-conditioning running while aboard the ferry, can I leave my ignition turned on while riding the ferry?

How large of a vehicle can you accommodate?

May I bring my dog?

There will be a large group of us riding the ferry aboard our motorcycles/bikes/cars, how can we guarantee we all ride the same ferry?

 

Security on the Ferry:

 

What kind of security procedures are on the ferry?

Could these security measures delay my trip?

What can I do to ensure screening goes quickly?

What if I refuse to be screened?

What types of items are you looking for?

What should I do if I am carrying hazardous materials?

 

Questions with Answers:

 

How much does it cost?

The ferry is free.

 

Do I need reservations?

The ferry does not take reservations, nor are they necessary.

 

On average how long would a motorists wait in line for the ferry?

General wait times can vary from 15 to 30 minutes. You can avoid longer wait times by avoiding peak traffic times of 6 to 8 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. During the summer months the wait could be longer depending upon events taking place in the area.

 

I would like to use my GPS when traveling to the ferry, what address should I use?

If on the Jamestown side please use the address for the Jamestown Settlement: 

2110 Jamestown Road
Williamsburg, Virginia 23185


If on the Surry side please use:

16289 Rolfe Highway
Surry, VA  23883-3102

 

How often does the ferry run?

The ferry runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
There is a condensed schedule for the Peanut, Pork and Pine Festival, in addition to Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.

 

How many schedules does the ferry operate? When does the new schedule begin?

There are two ferry schedules. One schedule operates from Memorial Day until Labor Day. The other schedule begins after Labor Day and continues as the Fall/Winter/Spring schedule.

 

How long is the ride on the ferry across the river?

The ferry takes approximately 15-20 minutes to cross the river one way.

 

Boarding the Ferry:

 

Do I have to stay in my vehicle for the entire trip?

Once the ferry is moving, feel free to move around on the deck. Note: Under certain security threat levels, passenger access around the ferry may be limited. Also, under adverse weather conditions ferry passengers may be directed to stay in their vehicles.  The crew will provide directions in these situations.

 

Can I park my car and walk onto the ferry?

There is no place around the ferry for motorists to leave vehicles unattended. However, you may get dropped off and walk aboard the ferry.

 

May I take a motorcycle?

Yes, as long as you are riding it, or it is securely hitched to a trailer being towed by another vehicle.

 

Are bikes allowed on the ferry?

Yes, you may bring or ride your bike aboard the ferry.

 

May I take my camper on the ferry even though it has a propane tank?

Yes. Make sure it is properly secured before travel.

 

How large of a vehicle can you accommodate?

Some of our ferries can accommodate vehicles up to 56,000 pounds. Tractor Trailers up to 56,000 pounds travel on the Pocahontas, Surry and Williamsburg. The Virginia is limited box trucks weighing up to 24,000 pounds.  Please call ahead for information on which ferries are in service.

 

Can the ferry accommodate a tour-size bus?

Large buses are allowed however, please plan ahead. The ferry can only accommodate five large buses at a time. If you have more than that in your group, some buses may have to wait for the next ferry.

 

I have a health issue and I need the air-conditioning running while aboard the ferry, can I leave my ignition turned on while riding the ferry?

Unfortunately no, the ferry is under strict regulations by the Coast Guard to have all vehicles turn off their engines while the ferry is underway, no exceptions.


[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 46, Volume 3]
[Revised as of October 1, 2010]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 46CFR78.40-5]
TITLE 46--SHIPPING
CHAPTER I--COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (CONTINUED)
PART 78_OPERATIONS--Table of Contents
                    Subpart 78.40_Vehicular Ferries
Sec. 78.40-5  Securing of vehicles.
   (a) The master shall take all necessary precautions to see that
automobiles or other vehicles have their motors turned off when the
ferry is under way, and the motors shall not be started until the ferry
is secured to the landing. In addition, the vehicles at each end shall
have their wheels securely blocked, while the vessel is being navigated.

 

May I bring my dog?

Yes, you may bring your dog in your car onto the ferry.

 

There will be a large group of us riding the ferry aboard our motorcycles/bikes/cars, how can we guarantee we all ride the same ferry?

We can’t guarantee the group will ride the same ferry. However, you can call ahead to notify the crew about your large group. On the day of your event, your group should show up in its entirety and then the crew will do its best to load your group together. Call 1-800-VA Ferry.

 

Security on the Ferry:

 

What kind of security procedures are on the ferry?

The Virginia Department of Transportation takes the security of ferry passengers and crew very seriously. Security officers stationed on each dock conduct random screenings of passenger vehicles daily and are on-site 24 hours a day to respond to security threats.

 

Could these security measures delay my trip?

Ferries depart at their posted times. However, plan to arrive a few minutes early to ensure your vehicle can be properly screened before boarding.

 

What can I do to ensure screening goes quickly?

We encourage passengers to arrive early and be patient with the security officers screening vehicles. It is also important to be prepared to open trunks and enclosed containers should you be selected for screening. Security officers will work to make the screening process move as quickly as possible.

 

What if I refuse to be screened?

All passengers must consent to security screening to board the ferry. If passengers refuse screening they will be denied access to the ferry vessel.

 

What types of items are you looking for?

  • Unaccompanied baggage or packages
  • Explosives and incendiary devices
  • Hazardous materials
  • Items that could result in significant loss of life, environmental damage, or a disruption to the transportation system

 

What should I do if I am carrying hazardous materials?

The ferry can only transport liquid or materials as long as they aren’t required to display a HAZMAT placard as required by Department of Transportation rules.

 

The Future of the Ferry

 

s there a possibility that a new ferry could be coming soon?

Yes, the Six Year Improvement Plan (SYIP) has funds in place to begin designing and building a new ferry boat in 2013. 

 

Page last modified: April 26, 2013