Would you choose spend four to five hours driving to save a thousand dollars on airfare?
We did that a couple of times, when it turned out that flights to Europe from the JKF Airport were much cheaper than those from Boston’s Logan Airport, the airport closest to where we live.
The JFK Airport in New York City is “just” a couple hundred miles away from Boston, which means an about four-hour drive without traffic.
The crucial word here is “traffic,” though.
One time when we were coming back from Europe the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the traffic between New York City and Boston was so bad, it took close to seven hours to get back home. We were completely exhausted when we got back home.
That trip from hell was one of the reasons we decided to try the Cross Sound Ferry after coming back from this year’s vacation in Europe.
Turns out traveling by ferry is a much more pleasant way to travel, even if it doesn’t save a whole lot of time.
Getting to Cross Sound Ferry in Orient Point, NY
It takes about two hours to get there:
Once you get past the suburbs, you’ll see many fields, wineries, farm stands, and more fields on your way.
The North Fork area is also full of gorgeous views like this one:
Getting on the Cross Sound Ferry
The Cross Sound Ferry brochure and the ticket information
“strongly recommend you arrive at the ferry terminal at least 30 minutes in advance of your scheduled departure.”
The arriving cars are directed to one of the twelve or so lanes in front of the dock, and the first cars to drive onto the ferry are those with “Priority Service.
Some cars that were at the end of one of the last lanes for the ferry we took didn’t get a spot, and I guess had to wait for the next ferry, half an hour later.
Arriving early just to hold your spot may sound like a waste of time, but the beach area next to the ferry is quite pleasant, and the view is lovely. We didn’t mind it at all. In fact, I wished we had enough time to go for a walk down the beach, all the way to the tip of Orient Point.
On the Cross Sound Ferry
Once you park your car on the lower deck, you’ll need to go up to the higher level. Passengers are not permitted to stay on the car level.
Don’t worry, the middle level has plenty of space for the passengers.
Enjoying the Views
Once the trip begins, you can do what I did, and spend most of the trip standing at the front of the boat, gazing out into the ocean:
If you’d rather sit down, as you’re enjoying the views, you can do that from one of the benches lining the sides of the boat on the middle level:
You can also go to the top deck:
Inside the Cross Sound Ferry
If you don’t want to be outside, you can sit in one of the comfy chairs, arranged theatre style, in a room facing the front:
Both sides of that room also have seats arranged around tables, where you could sit with your family or friends, and have a meal or just relax:
All Cross Sound ferries have a deli, where you can buy beverages, and a meal – breakfast, lunch, or a simple snack. You can have an omelet for $3.00, a turkey club for $7.95, the hot dogs are between $3.95 and $5.50, and if you’re not that hungry, you can get yourself a serving of onion rings for $3.50 or nachos for $4.00.
Larger ferries operated by the Cross Sound Ferry company also offer a full bar:
You can also spend the 1.5-hour trip in the TV lounge:
But why would you want to waste your time watching TV when you can enjoy views like these, I really do not know:
And yes, the ferry also has bathrooms.
Views around New London, CT
Once you start getting into the harbor in New London, CT if the weather is nice you might want to get out to enjoy the views:
or see a submarine at the MWR Naval Submarine Base:
Schedules and Tickets
To schedule your trip whether from Orient Point, NY to New London, CT or the other way around, go to the Schedules page.
The tickets for one adult with a car are $59.00 or $55.00 if you book ahead. Each additional adult is $17.00 (or $15.75 with a reservation).
The kids pay $6.00.
Does the ferry save time?
IF there is no traffic, traveling by car the whole way will take you between four to five hours, which is just about how long it will take you to drive to the ferry dock on Orient Point, NY and then from the New London, CT port to the Boston area.
Since the boat takes about 1.5 hours to get between both points, and you have to be at the ferry half an hour before departure time, taking the Cross Sound Ferry probably won’t save you a whole lot of time, unless you’re traveling on a very busy day, and the roads are packed with traffic jams.
HOWEVER, if you’re not in a huge hurry to get back home after flying back from your travels, getting to New England from Long Island on a ferry is a MUCH more pleasant way to travel than sitting in the traffic on I-95 North.
I would highly recommend it, if your family likes water views and adventures like that.
Disclaimer: We would like to thank the Cross Sound Ferry for providing our family with free tickets for this trip. We did not receive any additional compensation for writing this article, and the text, photos, and all opinions are our own, as always.
Cross Sound Ferry Cruises
In addition to providing ferry services between Orient Point, NY and New London, CT, the Cross Sound Ferry also runs Light House Cruises out of New London CT, which visit several light houses in the area, as well as Fort Trumbull and Fort Griswold.
Sounds like an interesting adventure for a weekend, doesn’t it?
Invitation to #WeekendWanderlust Link Up
#WeekendWanderlust, hosted by Chris & Heather from A Brit and a Southerner, Jessi & Tara from Outbound Adventurer, Ashley from A Southern Gypsy, Justin and Lauren from Justin Plus Lauren, and yours truly, is a collaborative effort to share travel blog posts, and to discuss all travel-related things.
The hosts organize each week a link up through which travel bloggers from around the world can promote their posts, in exchange for a promise to give some attention to other travel bloggers. (One of the rules for linking up is to comment on three linked up posts.)
If the link up is still open, feel free to add a link to one of your posts below, then comment on at least three other linked up posts.
If you leave a comment on this post, I will reciprocate with a comment as soon as I can!