Ferry rides are not new. Waterways have been the traditional mode of transport world over. Remember the Noahs Ark or Matsya Avatar story that talks about a boat. As the other modes of transport like railways, motorways and airways developed, waterways started taking a backseat.
However, there are still some routes that are best visited by traveling on water or Ferry rides.
Ferry Rides continue to be a favorite mode of transport to travel to remote islands or landmasses disconnected from the mainland. I have taken many scenic ferry rides around the world, and there are many that are high on my wish list.
So, let me take you to some of these Ferry rides:
Best Ferry Rides Around The World
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry Ride – New York/ New Jersey
I have visited New York for just one day, but I made sure that I took this ferry to Ellis Island to see the famous statue of liberty. I also visited the Ellis Island Museum. As the ferry drives closer to the statue, you realize how big it is. On the other side, skyline of New York gradually starts appearing.
It is a visual delight to ride this ferry, to see with your own eyes the iconic views on either side.
Ellis Island Museum is a tribute to the migrants who landed on this port and made their home here.
Star Ferry Ride – Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong
You cannot miss this ferry ride that shuttles you between Hong Kong and Kowloon. It is a part of everyday life in the city state, used as much by the locals as the tourists and visitors.
If you stay on the Hong Kong side, take the ferry around sunset to Kowloon to watch the symphony of lights. It is a light show that happens every evening around 8 PM for about 10 minutes.
If you are staying on the Kowloon side take the ferry anytime to visit the main island and its various street markets.
Vancouver to Victoria Ferry Ride
Victoria, the capital of British Columbia is an island that can be approached either by air or water only. By air you can take a sea plane that flies low over the islands. It is an experience worth exploring.
The more popular way is the ferry that is actually a multi-level cruise ship. It has restaurants, coffee shop, open deck and other entertainment options. I took it around sunset time from Victoria and it was a relaxing experience after walking around the beautiful Victoria.
The ferry ride time is about 90 minutes but you need to take connecting buses on either side. Total travel time is around 3-4 hours.
Raja Ampat Ferry Rides
Raja Ampat islands are one of the most beautiful and the remotest islands in East Indonesia. To reach them, the closest airport is Sorong and then you have to take various speed boats to visit the different islands.
We visited Wasai Island where we spent some time at a school. Sawinggrai is perfect for bird watching. We spent some time at the star lagoon at Pianemo islands and visited the Pasir Timbul, one of the smallest but most beautiful island. At Arborek, we listened to some tribal music.
All these islands can be visited only through a boat ride. On one of the boat rides we saw the ancient hand prints on some of the caves on these islands.
Dubrovnik to Hvar Ferry
Located in the Adriatic sea separating Croatia and Italy, Hvar is best known for its sunny weather. Many tourists visit it to take in their dose of Sun. It also has beautiful beaches with blue waters and a bustling town with cobbled streets and who does not like to walk on them. There is an old world charm in Hvar town that fascinates me.
To reach the island, you can take a ferry from Dubrovnik to Hvar, that roughly takes about 3-4 hours. Apart from traveling to the island on ferry, you can take boat tours to explore its lovely caves, go kayaking on water or take a cliché sunset cruise.
This ride is on top of my wishlist.
Mykonos and Santorini Island Ferries
Greece being an ancient civilization, tops my bucket list. As a traveler it is the ancient Athens that fascinate me but as a tourist I think it will be Greek islands like Mykonos or Santorini.
Ferry rides to these islands are the best way to get soaked in the charms of a island slowly and steadily though the flights can take you there in a jiffy.
You can also take a ferry from Istanbul if you are combining the two countries.
Istanbul Ferry Tours
Bosphorus divides the two continents Asia and Europe naturally through its waters. It is a both a natural and a cultural wonder. I am told the best way to enjoy Istanbul highlights is from the waters. Hopefully some day soon on the hop on hop off Bosphorus tour that allows you travel at your own pace.
Other ferry rides on my wish list include Thames Clipper London and Sydney Ferries.
Famous Ferry Rides In India
Not many Ferry Rides in India are as popular as the list above. However, I have taken ferry rides across the country that port you to an island that is isolated physically and sometimes even culturally. These ferry rides are on sea, rivers, backwaters as well as inside national parks.
So, come with me to some interesting ferry rides in India
Free Divar Island Ferry in Goa
Goa has many islands in its rivers like Mandovi. Of these Divar island is the biggest one and historically important. To reach this island, you need to take a small ferry ride from the mainland. You can take it from many points like Ribandar, Old Goa or Bicholim.
It is lovely ride to the mangroves surrounding the island. You may see a crocodile but the birds are abundant.
Another island that you can take a ride to is Chorao Island.
All these ferry rides are free. You need to pay a small fee for vehicles that you take on the ferry.
Elephanta Caves Ferry Ride from Mumbai
Gharapuri or Elephanta caves are the historic caves located on a island off the shore from Mumbai. You can take a ferry ride from Gateway of India, enjoy the seagulls who follow you to the islands.
At the island there are ancient caves with various stories of Shiva carved in stone. They leave you mesmerized.
Majuli Island Ferry on Brahmaputra
Majuli Island in Brahmaputra is the world’s largest riverine island, though it is fast shrinking. It is an island inhabited by Vaishnav bhaktas with many Shatras, following the teaching of Shankar Dev. There are many tribes and of course there is bio-diversity.
It takes about and hour to hour and a half on a ferry to reach Majuli. You can spend a couple of days there before taking the ferry back.
Ferry rides to Vivekananda Island at Kanyakumari
Vivekananda Island is located at the southern tip of mainland India. It is surrounded by two seas and an ocean. On the left is Bay of Bengal, on right it is Arabian sea and in the front is Indian Ocean. It is a view worth taking in, specially at sunrise and sunset.
You reach this tiny island on a short ferry ride from Kanyakumari. The ride is just a few minutes but it depends on the weather if the conducive or not. The sea can get choppy during rains and winds can be very strong. I remember we had to wait for a long time for the rain to stop before we could visit the island.
Ferry Ride Safari at Bhitarkanika National Park
Bhitarkanika national park known for saltwater crocodiles is unique. It has many waterways running through it and you go on a ferry safari to see these salt water crocodiles in their natural habitat.
The ferry ride moves around in various channels and you see the crocodiles lazing around on the sand banks.
This ferry ride is special due to the wild life it lets you explore in their natural settings.
Cheapest Ferry Ride to Fort Kochi
From Ernakulam to Fort Kochi is the cheapest ferry ride you can take. It takes you through the lovely backwaters, around the wellington island and close to the famous Jew Town at Mattancherry.
This ride takes you through a busy trading harbor where you see water transportation of all kinds on water. On the coast you see large Chinese fishing nets. The restless energy on the water tells you the ancient maritime history of this port where many famous sailors landed.
Mumbai to Mandwa or Alibaug Ferry Rides
This one hour ferry ride allows you to not just avoid traffic filled 3 hour plus drive to the beach town but also lets you take your car, bike, pets and luggage on-board. It is one of the fanciest ferry rides in India today that drops you 20 km off Alibaug.
I am yet to take it, hopefully soon.
Tell me which of these Ferry Rides in the World have you taken and which are on your wish list!
This post has been written in partnership with 12Go.
Dear Anuradha ji, Namaskaram. I feel that the ferry ride between Rajahmundry (AP) to Bhadrachalam (Telangana), the Ferry rides connecting different places such as Alappuzha, Kollam, Kottayam in Kerala are worth mentioning.
Pradeep ji, I did not know about Bhadrachalam ferry. Will try to take it. Kerala backwaters are beautiful by ferry. I included the Kochi one to include Kerala.
am reminded of the ferry in sydney overloking the opera.
u also missed out the nagarjuna sagar one near hyderabad and the one on the tank bund to the icinic monolith statue of buddha also in hyderabad
World yet to come, but yes had taken a ride from Gateway of India to Elephanta Islands, now know though, its called ferry!
You know I got to know about this ferry ride recently . I taken a ride from Mumbia to Alibaug ferry . It is worth seeing the beautiful sites and the fun filled ride was so amizing , i can not explain those rides .