Vinalhaven is served daily by ferry, operated by the Maine State Ferry Service. Two boats, making several trips each day between Vinalhaven and Rockland, carry passengers, cars, bicycles and cargo trucks. Each ferry carries about 16 cars, or the equivalent. Foot passengers and bicyclists will almost always find space available on any ferry run, but the procedure by which one gets a car on the ferry can be confusing. A brief description of the car system follows.
Departures from Rockland: this is basically a first come, first served system. You put your car in line for the ferry, and move up in the line as ferries depart until you are close enough to the head of the line to make it on the ferry. The exception to this arrangement is to purchase one of four car reservations available on three out of six trips each day. Reservations are sold beginning one month in advance of the day of departure through two hours prior to departure, based on availability. During the summer months, reservations are usually sold out by 7:00 a.m. of the day one month prior to departure.
* See "GETTING AROUND"
Departures from Vinalhaven: to get a vehicle off of Vinalhaven by ferry requires a line number. To obtain a line number, one must call on the morning of the day before one wishes to travel. Phone calls are queued in the order received, starting at 5:30 AM sharp. Line numbers may also be obtained in person at the office on Vinalhaven, but not until 6 AM. The phone number to call for a line number, or for further clarification, is 207-596-5450.
The current schedule for departures may be obtained from the Maine State Ferry Service at 207-596-2202, or from their website.
Penobscot Island Air provides limited passenger service to Vinalhaven. For further information, contact them at 207-596-7500.