Washington State Ferries cancels numerous San Juan Island crossings on Thursday

Don’t try to make it to the San Juan Islands today if you don’t have a reservation yet.

Crew shortages have forced Washington State Ferries to cancel a number of crossings to and from the islands, starting Wednesday and through Thursday afternoon.

WSF officials said there were not enough Coast Guard documented crew members to continue Wednesday’s service on the Chelan ferry.

Diane Rhodes, spokesperson for the ferry system, said the crew shortages are not due to the state’s vaccination mandate, but are the consequences of long-lasting difficulties in attracting new employees to replace workers retired.

Staff shortages last month resulted in the cancellation of 51 departures on the Anacortes / San Juan Islands route between September 9 and 13.

The following crossings are canceled on Thursday:

  • 5h30 from Anacortes to the Orcs
  • 6:45 am Orcas to Shaw
  • 7 hrs from Shaw to Lopez
  • 7:30 am from Lopez to Anacortes
  • 8:30 am from Anacortes to Friday Harbor
  • 9:55 a.m. Friday Harbor to Lopez
  • 10:40 am from Lopez to Anacortes
  • 11:55 am Anacortes in Lopez
  • 12:45 pm from Lopez to Friday Harbor
  • 1:55 p.m. Friday from Harbor to Anacortes

The ferry system has said that holders of reservations for these routes will be prioritized and charged on a first come, first served basis on subsequent crossings.

New reservations for the San Juan Islands are closed throughout the day to try and keep enough space open to accommodate existing reservation holders. Customers who choose to postpone their trip will not pay a no-show fee, the ferry system has said.

“Please note that the waiting space will probably be extremely limited”, The WSF said in an alert.

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