How To Board A Car Ferry


At Vaxholm (in Sweden), we spent an hour picnicking and watching cars embark and disembark from the ferry boats that connect the islands in the Archipelago.  We listened to the waves in the Baltic Sea and watched the process.  This is what we first saw.  The ferry pulls up and docks.  You can see that the gates are just opening and all of the 4 lane lights are red.


Cars line up on the street (which is a dead-end into the sea) well ahead of the departure time.  We didn’t see a ferry schedule and I’m not sure whether they allow reservations, but there are only so many ferries and only so much space on each ferry.  I would hate to not show up early enough to get a spot.  Plus, you wouldn’t want to miss it.


They didn’t buy the tickets while waiting in line.  I’m not sure how they sell tickets, whether they are available online ahead of time or someone comes around during the ride to sell them during the ride.  Once the gates are open, the light for lane 4 comes on and cars drive one by one onto the ferry.


Once the first row is full, they start loading up another row.  In the photo above, you can see a full row.  You can also see the green light has come on for row B to begin loading that row.

The loading process was very efficient and went quickly.  Once the cars were on, they closed the gate and lowered the bar.  Immediately after, the boat disembarked.


Not long after that, another boat arrived.


When boats disembarked, we were sometimes surprised by what came off.  Speeding off the ferry on bicycles looked like fun.  The vehicles exited in an orderly manner.  In the lower photo on the left, you can see they have a sign with a signal that tells which row can exit.


Can you imagine taking a bus on a Ferry.  They disembarked so quickly that I think the passengers must have traveled inside the bus.  Plus, it didn’t look as though the boat had a passenger cabin.


6 thoughts on “How To Board A Car Ferry

  1. Thought this might amuse you. It is written by American expats who are currently living/working in Geneva. I get the feeling they are not familiar with this form of transport!!

    Got the team meeting today.

    Having probs with WWF. It freezes for hours after a move.

    Will ring you tomorrow morning and hope to catch you.

    Love J

    Sent from iPod

  2. Love this post! I recently moved to Stockholm and am excited to get out to the archipelago – this post really makes me want to take the bus on a ferry – will ask my SO how we get to Vaxholm by bus!!

  3. I’ve been on four Ferrys in my life. I’ve only driven onto one. Once across Lake Michigan(to Beaver Island), once across the Adriatic, once across the Irish Sea, and once across the Straight of Georgia. I don’t know, maybe it’s because the transportation is so unique to my little car and plane dominated American life, but I always got so excited when I got to board a ferry.

    I hope that someday they build air-cruiseships (not filled with hydrogen) and we can cruise across the skies in luxury.


  4. At least in Finnland, some of these ferry are for free. So that is maybe the reason why you saw noone buying a ticket.

  5. Pingback: What Do Finns Bring Back From Vacation? | schwingeninswitzerland

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