Monday, June 1, 2009

Top Ten Ferry Rides In The World


The Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), the world’s largest organization of professional travel journalists and photographers, recently polled its members to come up with the “Top 10” most exciting ferry rides in the world.

“Public and private ferry boats provide an inexpensive alternative to cruises, often traversing some of the world’s most beautiful harbors, fiords, rivers and waterways at bargain prices,” states SATW president, Bea Broda.
Listed in order of votes with comments from SATW writers, are the world’s “Top 10” trips by ferry boat:

1. Star Ferry in Hong Kong
“A ride aboard Hong Kong's Star Ferry is crammed with views and people to create the cheapest multi-cultural, multi-sensory cruise experience in the world.” Chris McBeath, guide book author and freelance travel writer

“The view from Hong Kong's Star Ferry at twilight is one of the best in the world.” Catherine Watson, freelance writer/photographer

“Hong Kong's Star Ferry provides great views of the city skylines and a glimpse into the lifestyle of Hong Kongers for under a buck.” Robin Robinson, Toronto Sun travel editor

· “Star Ferry is the perfect introduction to the controlled frenzy that is Hong Kong.” Fred Gebhart, freelance travel writer

2. Ferries from Sausalito to San Francisco, California

“Crossing San Francisco Bay on a sunny afternoon, with Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge to the right, the Berkeley Hills to the left, and that glorious San Francisco skyline looming ahead; all that's missing is a bar of Ghirardelli Chocolate and a warm loaf of sourdough bread.” Eric Lindberg - freelance travel writer/photographer

“The San Francisco-Sausalito ferry follows almost the same route as the more expensive tour boats.” John Flinn, freelance travel writer

3. Staten Island Ferry, New York harbor

“The Staten Island Ferry is not new, squeaky clean, or super fast but it is iconic, and even with the World Trade Centers gone the view it offers of Manhattan is superb--and you get to see it all with local New Yorkers, not just tourists.” Christine Loomis, travel writer/editor

“Busy and bustling New York City shows you an entirely different, more romantic side when you're viewing it from the water.” Katy Koontz, freelance travel writer

“Staten Island Ferry with twinkling skyline lights is a year-round Valentine.” Jan Aaron, travel writer

Ferry from Anacortes, WA, viewed from Blakely Island (photo: JoAnn Roe)

4. Washington State Ferries, Puget Sound to the San Juan Islands

“Washington State Ferries offer the most beautiful views of water, mountains and forests, with whales right up close, too.” Robert Haru Fisher, columnist & contributing editor,

"Stiff winds and dramatic weather changes turn a simple commute between islands into a short-burst travel journey on many of the Washington State ferries." Richard Varr, freelance travel writer

5. British Columbia Ferry System, including Vancouver to Victoria

“The British Columbia Ferry System is a world apart, with tents set up on deck and people from all parts talking and comparing world travel experiences. And you can't beat the beauty all around you.” Roger Toll, freelance travel writer

“The ferry system connecting Vancouver to Victoria is clean, efficient, and more than comfortable. Park your car and enjoy Wi Fi in the boat, a/c or heat, and sip a cup of tea in the lounge. You end up an hour later on a lovely maritime island totally relaxed.” Annette Thompson, associate travel editor, Southern Living

"Cruising around the lush green islands dotting the waterway provides an every-changing view." Kathy Rodeghier, freelance writer

6. Ferry from Sydney to Manly, Australia

“The half hour public ferry ride from Sydney's Circular Quay, close to the harbor bridge and opera house, through the national park's superb scenery to the ocean-side suburb of Manly is a superb experience, and at a cost of AU $6.40, one of Australia's many bargains.” Michael Algar, travel writer and photographer

“The trip across Sydney Harbour provides a priceless view of the Opera House as well as the skyline of the city. Do it on Sunday when the harbor is full of "yachties." Elizabeth Hansen, travel editor, Ranch & Coast

7. The Ferry System of the Greek Isles

“It's hard to find a more romantic experience for less money than a local ferry meandering its way through the Greek Islands.” Mary Ann Treger, freelance travel writer

“Approaching mystical Santorini captivates the senses: the cliffs rear up, while caught in the morning sun and perched on top, like the frosting on a wedding cake, cling the white-painted houses in a scene you'll always remember.” Eric Anderson, editor, Anderson's World

Blue Canoe ferry near Juneau, Alaska
(photo: Mike Miller)

8. The “Blue Canoes” of the Alaska State Ferry System

“The Alaska State Ferry system's ‘blue canoes’ allow overnight passengers to pitch their tents on deck - surely one of the world's most unusual camping experiences.” Janet Fullwood, independent journalist

"Not only is the Alaska State Ferry System a bargain way to enjoy the Inside Passage, but you can get on and off the boat for independent exploration. Or haul your car down on the boat after driving up on the Alaska Highway." Alan Solomon, freelance travel writer

Ferry Bay Mist in Portland Harbor, ME (photo: Stillman Rogers Photography)

9. “Norway in a Nutshell” Tour and ferry ride

“The ferry ride from Flam to Gudvangen is the best way to see Norway's magnificent fjords. Barbara Ramsay Orr, freelance travel writer and photographer

10. Ferry from Mallaig to Isle of Skye, Scotland
“Skye is one of the most mysterious and beautiful islands in the world, and its emergence from the mists, shaped like a bird in flight, never fails to lift the heart.” Marilyn Green, travel writer

“Sailing across the waters to Skye carries romance equal to its beautiful scenery, as travelers follow in the footsteps of the Bonnie Prince or begin their own island-hopping expedition into the Hebrides.” Barbara Radcliffe Rogers, author of "Exploring Europe by Boat"
The Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) is a non-profit professional association that works to promote responsible travel journalism and to provide professional support for its members, including travel journalists, photographers, editors, electronic media, film lecturers, television and film producers, and public relations representatives from the travel industry.
For more information on the Society of American Travel Writers, visit
Car ferry from Magilligan, Northern Ireland to Inishowen Peninsula, Co. Donegal, Irish Republic. (photo: SATW Active Pat Preston)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Loved reading your blog. Keep it coming. Bob