The trip from Seattle to Vashon Island (and beyond) requires a ferry. As the ferry traverses the Puget Sound, on either bow the gently rolling sea is enclosed by dark wooded shores and the occasional tawny face of a sheer bluff. This passage cuts across active shipping channels for container ships headed to ports deeper within Puget Sound and for local fishing and recreational craft moving along the sound.
Prior to the current ferry system, there was the Black Ball Line, a privately run ferry system that operated in the Puget Sound from 1928 to the early 1950s. Today, vehicle and walk-on passengers take the Fauntleroy–Vashon ferry in West Seattle, operated by Washington State Ferries, which has been operating the ferry system since the early 1950s. For the current schedule and fares, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries. Travelers coming from points west of Vashon leave from the Southworth terminal and those coming from Seattle and points east leave from Fauntleroy. The ferry system has long been an integral part of traveling to points west in the Puget Sound. Passengers walk on, bike on, and drive on, continuing their journeys on the other side.