Arriving and Boarding the Ferry
Do I need to make a reservation?
Yes, reservations are required. Book online, or call us at 800.643.3779.
When should I arrive at the terminal?
We recommend arriving 45 minutes to one hour prior to your scheduled departure time. This allows for plenty of time for vehicles to get checked-in at the toll booth, and for foot passengers to check-in with the ticket counter inside the terminals.
What happens if I just show up?
We'll do our best to accommodate you; if space is available, we'll try to get you on the next departure. However, please know that space is not always available, and the larger your vehicle, the harder it is for us to accommodate on the spot. If the immediate departure is sold out, we will book you on the next available crossing and put you on stand-by for any departures prior to that, in the event a reserved guest does not show up and space opens up.
How does Stand By work?
When multiple, consecutive departures are sold out, “Stand By” tickets will be made available. Stand By tickets are sold on a “first come, first served” basis at the Toll Booth and cannot be booked in advance. Stand By tickets are available for vehicles less than 20' in total length only - any vehicle that falls under our Long Vehicle categories (longer than 20' in total length) does not qualify for Stand By tickets. A holder of a Stand By ticket does not have a reserved space on the vessel, but is waiting in the hopes that reserved customers fail to show up, allowing the vessel to take additional vehicles. This happens frequently, however, there is no guarantee that the Stand By customer will get on their desired departure(s). Should a Stand By customer not get on their desired departure(s), they can return to the tollbooth at any time and receive a full refund, without any fees. A customer that has an existing reservation for a later departure cannot line up in the Stand By lane without a Stand By ticket. This will require the customer to forfeit their reservation (with applicable refund) and purchase an additional ticket for Stand By.
What if I hit traffic/can't make it/know I'm going to be late?
Give us a call at 800.643.3779. There is no fee to modify your booking, providing you contact us in advance of your currently scheduled departure time. Our No Show policy will apply to any booking that fails to appear for the scheduled departure time, regardless of reason.
What is your No Show policy?
A No Show occurs when a customer fails to appear for their scheduled departure without prior notification. A No Show results in a fee of $10.00 and the cancelation of the missed crossing.
To avoid the No Show fee, if your travel plans have changed:
- Change your reservation online any time of day using the Booking Number and Password that was supplied in your PDF confirmation, at least 30 minutes in advance of your scheduled departure time.
Call Customer Service at 1-800-643-3779, or start a chat from CMLF.com, between 8:00 am and 4 pm, seven days a week, and speak with a Customer Service Representative, at least 30 minutes in advance of your scheduled departure time.
Email Customer Service at [email protected] at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled departure time.
The Cape May Lewes Ferry wants to facilitate the traveling public as much as possible. Many departures sell out hours or days in advance. A confirmed guest who does not show results in Ferry having to turn down other potential customers.
Please advise us if your travel plans change and avoid the no-show fee.
What is there to do once I get there?
You're welcome to get out, stretch your legs and take a walk around at either terminal. There's plenty of grass to walk pets, and there are great views of the Delaware Bay from both sides.
- In the Lewes terminal, both the Lewes Coffee Company and Grain On the Rocks are open.
- In Cape May, the terminal is open and we welcome you to come check out what Exit Zero Hospitality has going on both inside and out. From Cafe 64 to Boat Drinks, The Lookout and Exit Zero Ferry Station, there's a lot to take in!
At What Age Can an Unaccompanied Minor Ride the Ferry?
Unaccompanied minors who are 14 years or older may travel aboard the Ferry without an escort. Please note that a photo ID is still required at time of check in, and we do accept school photo ID’s for those who do not yet have a driver's license, passport, or other form of photo ID. If no photo ID is available, we ask that an adult be present to check them in & show their ID as the responsible party. A maximum of two children between the ages of 2 and 13 can travel escorted by a passenger who is at least 14 years old.
Is Parking Available at the Terminals?
Yes, parking is available (free of charge) at both the Cape May and Lewes terminals.
- To access the terminal parking lot in Cape May, stay to the far right hand lane as you enter the terminal grounds and follow the signs for Foot Passenger parking. You'll stay to the right of the toll booth (do not go through the toll booth if you are looking to access the parking lot), and follow the lane up to the terminal, where ample parking is available.
- To access the terminal parking lot in Lewes, utilize the second entrance on Cape Henlopen Drive. Please note, this is not the toll booth entrance; this entrance is marked with a blue sign that says, "Foot Passenger Parking Lot."
Can I leave my car in the ferry parking lot overnight?
Yes, we just ask that you register your license plate number with the folks at the Ticket Counter in the terminal, or with the police after hours in the police building in either Cape May or Lewes. There is no charge for this service, all parking at the Ferry terminals is free.
Can you describe the foot passenger boarding process?
Announcements will be made that will instruct foot passengers to proceed to the 2nd level of the terminal to proceed through the security checkpoint to prepare for boarding the vessel. Passengers can either take the stairs or an elevator to get to the Skywalks for boarding. Prior to announcements, take time to visit our restrooms, food court and gift shop. There are also restrooms, gift shop and a food court on each ferry. Upon boarding the vessel you will be required to present your ticket for scanning by our Dock Attendant.
How far is the walk from the terminal elevator to the vessel gangway?
In Cape May, once you exit the lobby elevator on the second floor, it is approximately 465 feet to the vessel gangway. In Lewes, the distance is slightly less, approximately 325 feet. In both cases, the surfaces are mostly level or with gradual declines/inclines. The vessel gangway has a more distinct pitch, and the vessel crew will be there to assist you.
How about the boarding process for vehicles?
Approximately 20 minutes prior to your departure, boarding announcements both outside and inside will instruct drivers and vehicle passengers to return to vehicles to prepare for boarding the vessel. Once you return to your vehicle, you will be required to present your ticket for scanning by security personnel prior to boarding the vessel. Dock attendants will help direct you to driving on and parking on the ferry. Once parked on the car deck of the vessel, there are 24 stairs to climb to get to the first passenger deck. If you cannot take the stairs and wish to sit on either passenger deck, please advise either toll booth or security personnel before driving on to the vessel. You will be issued a separate boarding pass and be directed to board via the terminal and a staff person will assist by driving your vehicle both on and then off the vessel on the other side, where you will be reunited with your vehicle.
What type of seating is available on the ferries?
There are several different types of seats on the ferries. Indoors, there are both tables with bench seating, and individual reclining seats. Outdoors, you have a choice of individual Adirondack type seating, Lido Bar seating on the upper desk, metal chair and table seating on the upper deck, and wooden bench seating on the second deck.