Frequently Asked Questions
Ferry Travel Questions
Does the ferry run year-round?
The ferry operates 365 days a year.
How many cars does the ferry hold?
Approximately 100 vehicles.
How long does the trip take?
85 minutes one way or approximately 1.5 hours, with a round-trip being approximately 3 hours..
How far is Lewes, Delaware from Cape May, New Jersey?
Approximately 17 miles across the Delaware Bay from terminal to terminall. The downtowns of Lewes and Cape May are a few miles from each Ferry terminal and not within walking distance.
Can I just take the ferry for a day trip?
Can I leave my car in the ferry parking lot overnight?
Yes, but you must register the tag number 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.
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.
Can you describe the foot passenger boarding process?
Approximately 20 minutes prior to departure boarding announcements will be made in each terminal. The announcements will instruct foot passengers to proceed to the 2nd level of the terminal to proced 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. Upon boarding the vessel you will be required to present your ticket for scanning by our Dock Attendant. There are also restrooms, gift shop and a food court on each ferry.
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 vessle. You will be issued a separate boarding pass and be directed to board via the terminal and a staff person will assit 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.
What type of ground transportation options are available for foot passengers?
There are multiple options for ground transportation as a walk-on passenger. Pleaes check our page Getting Here & Getting Around for more information. First, if you are being picked up, both terminals provide free parking, and your party can easily meet you in the parking area or in front of the terminal. Second, taxis can be called for a pick up on both sides of the bay. Please ask Customer Service for taxi service phone numbers, if you need help. Uber is hit-or-miss in these beach towns, but it is possible you will be able to catch an uber from the terminal into town. Third, we have seasonal ferry shuttles which run localized routes into the towns and general vicinity. Check out this page for more information on how to get around.
Can you tell me more about the ferry shuttles?
Ferry shuttles operate on seasonal schedules. For both Cape May and Lewes, the shuttles operate daily between late May and late September 30 and cost $5/person for anyone over 6 years of age. Due to limited seating, reservations are recommended, and you should book your shuttle before you board the ferry by speaking with a Customer Service representative. Occasionaly there are some, limited off season shuttles particularly for specific event packages. For details on shuttle routes, please check Getting Here & Getting Around.
What size vehicles can I drive on the ferry?
Can I drive my RV on the ferry?
Is there a vehicle height limitation?
The height limitation on all ferries is 13' 6". Upon entering the toll plaza there are height detectors that determine if your vehicle is over-height for our ferries.
Is there a vehicle width limitation?
Any vehicle wider than 8'6" is considered over width by federal regulations and takes up more than one standard vehicle lane. Over wide vehicles are allowed on the ferry, but will be charged for taking up two or more lanes as needed to accommodate the vehicle.
Do you have restrictions on the transport of propane gas or gasoline in containers aboard the Ferry?
Safety regulations prohibit the transport of gasoline and propane gas in excess of the following quantities:
- Recreational Vehicles – Not more than two cylinders of propane safely secured to the vehicle in an upright position with valves closed and tagged, plus one only 25-litre (6.6 gal.) gasoline container, empty or full. Propane-powered refrigerators must have the thermostat control turned to the "off" position.
- Automobiles – Not more than one 25-litre (6.6 gal.) gasoline container, empty or full.
- Motorboats (towed) – Not more than two portable 25-litre (6.6 gal.) containers, empty or full.
Certain items, such as paint and adhesives, are subject to regulationsand may not be carried. If you are in doubt about goods you want to transport, please inquire with our Customer Service team before travelling.
How are motorcycles secured?
Drivers will be asked to park their motorcycle sideways and we place a wooden block behind the tire. In rare, high wind conditions, we may ask motorcycle drivers to remain with their motorcyles.
Food & Beverage Information
Is there food aboard the vessels?
Yes, all vessels, as well as the terminals, have food concessions. There is sit down service outside during warm weather days, and inside pub service during the colder months. On the vessels there is a food court on the second deck, indoor bars, and third deck Lido Bars with a limited menu when weather permits.
Can I bring alcohol on board?
No - based on strict alcohol regulations in both Delaware and New Jersey. If you have pre-purchased, unopened bottles or cans of alcohol in your vehicle, they must remain untouched in the vehicle. No open alcohol drinks are allowed in cars on the Ferry. Alcohol is served on each boat, but must be purchased and consumed on the boat. Alcohol purchased in the terminals, including at On the Rocks Dockside Grill must be completely consumed or discarded prior to boarding. You cannot carry an open drink from the terminals to the boats or vice versa. Be aware that when you are driving your vessel on the boat and while it is being carried across the Bay, it is considered on U.S. Rt. 9.
Can I smoke or use tobacco at the ferry?
Sorry, no. The Ferry is a completely tobacco-free campus. No smoking, vaping, or tobacco use of any sort is allowed on the property, on the boats, in the terminals, at indoor or outdoor On The Rocks facilities, or anywhere on the property. This is a policy in effect at all Delaware River and Bay Authority (parent organization to the Cape May-Lewes Ferry) facilities. The policy is in effect to protect the health and well-being of all passengers and employees.
Are the ferries accessible for people with disabilities?
Access to the vessels’ passenger decks from the car decks is not accessible for people with mobility challenges, and requires stairs (24 to be exact). If this is a problem, please alert Customer Service to arrange to be dropped off at either terminal or by a special dockside elevantor to take passengers to the Skywalk level. If you are a driver, please advise the team and staff will provide a special courtesy service by driving your vehicle on and off the Ferry, and you can be reunited with your vehicle on the other side of the bay. Skywalks are accessible by elevators.You must mention your special needs to the toll collector when you arrive at the terminal. Please call our Guest Services Center at 800 643-3779 for more information.
Are the shuttles accessible for wheelchairs?
Most shuttles are wheelchair-accessible upon advance request. Most shuttles are contracted with outside services and, although fully accessible shuttles are requested, due to maintenance and scheduling issues, we sometimes are sent shuttles that are not fully accessible. Please advise Customer Service seller at the time of ticket purchase if you have any mobility special needs so arrangements whenever possible can be made.
I need particular auxiliary aids or services. How can I find out if you have these?
Please contact us 72 hours in advance of your travel at 800.643.3779 to let us know your needs.We will do everything possible to assist you.
I am traveling in a group of people with disabilities. Are there any special procedures I should follow?
Please contact us in advance (72 hrs. preferred) at 800.643.3779 so we may ensure we have staff ready to assist you. We look forward to your visit!
I have a suggestion, comment or complaint regarding special needs access issues at the ferry. Whom should I contact?
The Ferry has several Complaint Resolution Officers (CROs) that you may contact at 800.643-.3779 (ask for the CRO). After normal business hours, any of our employees can put you in touch with the CRO.
Are pets allowed on the ferry?
Your pets are welcome on all exterior decks aboard all Cape May-Lewes Ferry vessels; however, U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations prohibit pets in interior spaces where food is prepared, served or consumed.* Pets are not permitted on the shuttles. Pet Owners: Please do not enter the prohibited areas noted above. Keep your pet on a leash and under control at all times. Pets are not allowed on seats and tables. Unruly animals must be escorted away. Owners are to clean up after their pets. If leaving pets in vehicles, allow for temperature and air circulation conditions. If you would like to use the restrooms or purchase food, please contact a crew member, who will be happy to pet sit for a short period of time to allow you freedom to pursue either activity.
*This policy does not apply to service dogs or to police (K-9) dogs. Please contact a crew member if you have any questions.
What should I wear on the vessel?
Seasonal, comfortable clothing and ‘boat' shoes with rubber soles is recommended. Please avoid leather soles and backless shoes, including flip-flops and high heels.
Does the Ferry offer gift certificates?
Yes, Ferry Fare Gift Certificates are available for purchase year-round. Please call 1.800.643.3779 or see a ticket counter representative for more information. Fare gift certificates do not expire, but once they are used to purchase a ticket, tickets do have 1-2 year expiration dates. Different Gift Certificates are available for Food or Gift Shop purchases. Please see your Server or Cashier to purchase a Food & Retail Gift Certicate.
Are children 13 and under permitted to travel on the ferry unescorted?
No. For your child's safety we require children less than 14 years of age be accompanied by an adult or older teenager (14 or older) traveling on an adult ticket .
Does the Ferry have a gift shop?
Yes. We have gift shops on-board the vessels and in both terminals, complete with beautifully embroidered and screen-printed sweatshirts, t-shirts, hats, keepsake gift items, souvenirs, and jewelry. We also carry sunglasses, sunscreen, postcards, newspapers, playing cards, and more. Gift shops are open seasonally, but selected gift shop items are available in the terminal concession area year round.
What types of security procedures should a traveler expect?
By entering the Ferry property, people agree to searches of their baggage,vehicle, person or property and to provide a photo ID upon request.The campus is under video surveillance. Before boarding, foot passengers will pass through a metal detector and have their bags checked. All cars will be screened, including inspections by canine-police teams and drivers may be asked to open vehicles or pop open vehicle trunks.
What is it like on board the vessels?
Aboard the vessel, please exercise caution. Watch your step as you go in and out of the doors, as each door has a high door sill. Use handrails to help keep your balance while the vessel is in motion. Parents or guardians of children: please keep your children from running on the vessel, and do not allow them to climb up on any railings or furniture. If you would like a snack while onboard, visit our food court on the 2nd deck, which offers both hot and cold food and beverages.
Our gift shop, also located on the 2nd deck, will be opened by an attendant about 30 minutes after departure. However, if you need something before that time, please stop up to the food court and let an attendant know; he or she will be happy to assist you.
Approximately one hour and twenty-five minutes after departure, you will walk off the vessel on the foot passenger ramp or go back to your vehicle to disembark. If you have any questions or require any assistance, please stop a crew member, who will be more than happy to assist you. Enjoy your crossing! We look forward to seeing you on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry!