15 Ferry Rides That Will Truly Transport You
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
These romantic ships will carry you far further than Point A to Point B—stand at the rail beside the locals and watch the destination truly come into focus. These ferry rides provide a new perspective on island villages, mainland ports, hard-to-get-to beaches, unfamiliar crossings: Don't miss the boat.
Symi, Simi 856 00, Greece
A 90-minute ferry ride from Rhodes and just five nautical miles from Turkey, Symi feels more like the Amalfi Coast than Greece. Elegant mansions in every hue of peach and pink are reflected in the horseshoe harbor. Built by 19th-century merchants...
498 Bulls Island Rd, Awendaw, SC 29464, USA
If Bulls Island were far from Charleston, it would still be surreal in its wildness and biological diversity. It’s only a 30-minute ferry ride away, however, making it all the more magical to visit. The only way to reach the island is by...
Lérins Islands, Cannes, France
Just a 15-minute ferry ride from the glitz and glamour of Cannes, the Lérins Islands look like lipstick marks left by a star’s kiss. Ste-Marguerite is home to just 20 residents, who share their 15 beaches with day-trippers looking for...
Sausalito, CA 94965, USA
Get a small-town experience just a short ferry ride or an easy drive from San Francisco in Sausalito. The town is known for its seaside charm, but there are a few not-to-miss things to do while you're there.
1. Grab lunch at one of the many...
1. Grab lunch at one of the many...
The Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, established in 1975, lies at the northern tip of the Westfjords region of Iceland. It was peppered with working farms and a tight-knit community up until the postwar era, but the area today hosts just a few...
56 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101, USA
There certainly are other ways to while away a summer day in Greater Portland, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a better experience than island-hopping aboard a Casco Bay Lines ferry. Sure, you can simply ride out to an island for a...
Hasanpaşa Mahallesi, Fahrettin Gökay Cad No:2, 34722 Kadıköy/İstanbul, Turkey
While a Bosphorus cruise is very much deserving of a spot on your Istanbul itinerary, a quicker and cheaper option to see Istanbul’s sights by boat is to take a commuter ferry to the Asian side. Several companies provide regular service...
130 39 Sandhamn, Sweden
The thousands of islands that make up the Stockholm archipelago have something for everyone. Many are tiny and uninhabited. Some, like Sandhamn, are crowded all summer long and attract hundreds of private sailboats. You can find great...
Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
Join throngs of locals on the five-minute ferry ride across Victoria Harbour between the Tsim Sha Tsui cruise pier in Kowloon, on the mainland side, and the Central Pier on Hong Kong Island (a slightly longer ride goes to Wan Chai on Hong Kong...
Ponce, Puerto Rico
One of Puerto Rico’s offshore islands, Caja de Muertos, or "Coffin Island" (so named for its shape), is an eight-mile boat ride from Ponce’s docks. Take a day to explore the area, which is a designated nature reserve with a lighthouse...
Robben Island, Cape Town, 7400, South Africa
One of South Africa’s most famous sights, Robben Island is located four miles to the west of Cape Town. Its history as a prison is almost as old as the first Dutch settlement on the cape, dating all the way back to the 17th century. Today,...
Tiburon, CA 94920, USA
Hop aboard the ferry at Pier 41 in San Francisco, or from the town of Tiburon, and spend a day on the largest and most beautiful island in the bay—Angel Island State Park. You can bring your own bike, or rent one when you arrive, and ride...
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