Everything You Need to Know About the Bolivar Peninsula Ferry

Are you headed to out for your beach vacation on Bolivar Peninsula? Here is a blog post dedicated to everything you need to know about the Bolivar Peninsula ferry and the most direct route to vacation bliss. Pack your bags, load up the car, and get your road trip playlist ready! It’s time to head to the beach.


Let’s kick off this blog with a little bit of geography. A peninsula is a piece of land almost surrounded by water or a piece of land that is projecting out into a body of water. Our peninsula is located on the northeast coastline of Texas between Houston and Beaumont. As the definition implies, the body of land that is Bolivar Peninsula is sandwiched between the Gulf of Mexico on the south side and the Galveston Bay and East Bay on the north side. The peninsula is attached to the mainland of Texas on its east side. On the west side of the peninsula, is the Houston Ship Channel. This body of water separates the peninsula from the Texas mainland and is the body of water that must be crossed if you are traveling to Bolivar Peninsula from the west.

Getting to Bolivar Peninsula

There are two ways travelers can find their way onto the peninsula. If you are arriving from Beaumont or areas east of our little slice of paradise, you will take Highway-124 to Highway-87, which runs the length of the peninsula. Arriving from the Houston area, you will take Interstate-45 South to Galveston Island and then onto Highway 87 North until you arrive at the Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry Terminal.

Ride the Ferry to Bolivar Peninsula

Serving as the link between Galveston and the beach communities on the peninsula, the Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry has been helping travelers cross the Houston Ship Channel since 1934. The ferry is operated and maintained by the TX-DOT with up to five ferries in service at one time (depending on demand influenced by peak season and holidays).

The ferry crossing is approximately 2.7 miles and takes an average of 18 minutes. There is no cost to ride this FREE ferry.

Bolivar Peninsula Ferry Schedule

The Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry operates 24-hours a day and 365 days a year. One ferry is in service all day, every day with an additional ferry added at 6:30am. More ferries are added as needed to support the demand for travel and to keep traffic flowing evenly between the two ports. You can click here to check the Bolivar Peninsula ferry wait times and to view the ferry docks live WebCams.

What to Expect on the Bolivar Peninsula Ferry

Once the ferry is ready to load, the loading process typically takes about nine minutes. You may see travelers walking onto the ferry or with a bicycle. These walk-on passengers, along with car, truck, and commercial vehicle traffic, will cross the waterway together. During the crossing, you will want to be on the lookout for beautiful Galveston landmarks, wonderful wildlife sightings, and a plethora of boat & ship activity.

Whether you are sitting in your vehicle, on the upper observation deck of the ferry, or in the air-conditioned sitting area, you will experience great views. A few of the landmarks that you can observe from the ferry crossing are the historic Fort Travis, the Bolivar Lighthouse, Seawolf Park, the U.S. Coast Guard Station, and the Galveston Yacht Basin.

Dolphins are perhaps one of the all-time favorite wildlife sightings! Nothing kicks off a beach vacation like seeing dolphins following a shrimp boat or parading alongside a large tanker ship. You can also see a variety of seagull, pelicans, and other sea birds.

As with all modes of transportation, delays and unexpected events can occur. Weather, available crew, and mechanical issues are things that could potentially delay your travel plans to Bolivar Peninsula. Please remember that the TX-DOT will do everything they can to get you to your destination in a safe and timely manner. However, you are on vacation, right? So, no need to be in a hurry.

The ferry terminals for the Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry are located at:

Galveston Ferry
1000 Ferry Road N.
Galveston, TX 77550

Port Bolivar Ferry
123 SH 87
Port Bolivar, TX 77650

If you haven’t already booked your next Bolivar Peninsula vacation with Swedes Realty, now is the time! Search for the perfect vacation rental today.