Bremerton Ferry History

The Seattle-Bremerton ferry route, currently operated by Washington State Ferries, has a historical significance that dates back to the time when it was known as the “Navy Yard route”.

The route was initially served by steamships and steamboats such as the Inland Flyer. In 1923, the prestigious sternwheeler Bailey Gatzert, which operated on Puget Sound and Columbia River, was converted to an automobile ferry, becoming the first ferry to run on this route. The ferry service on this route continued to evolve, and in 1935, the unique “streamlined” ferry MV Kalakala also began operating on this route.

Starting in 1986, Washington State Ferries ran a passenger-only Bremerton ferry service using specialized high-speed boats. The service was cancelled in 2002. However, Kitsap Transit operated a similar service using private companies. It eventually came to be called Kitsap Fast Ferries and it debuted on July 10, 2017.

Today, the Bremerton Ferry route runs 8 round trip crossings between Bremerton and Seattle. It is typically served by the vessels MV Kaleetan and MV Chimacum. However, MV Walla Walla fills in if other vessels are docked for maintenance.