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A ferry is a vessel used to carry passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo, across a body of water. A passenger ferry with many stops, such as in
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding ...

Venice
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
, is sometimes called a
water bus File:UAE Dubai Abra img3 asv2018-01.jpg, Abra in Dubai A water taxi or a water bus is a watercraft used to provide public transport, public or private transport, usually, but not always, in an Urban area, urban environment. Service may ...
or
water taxi A water taxi or a water bus is a watercraft used to provide public transport, public or private transport, usually, but not always, in an Urban area, urban environment. Service may be scheduled with multiple stops, operating in a sim ...
. Ferries form a part of the
public transport Public transport (also known as public transportation, public transit, mass transit, or simply transit) is a system of transport Transport (commonly used in the U.K.), or transportation (used in the U.S.), is the Motion, movement of huma ...

public transport
systems of many waterside cities and islands, allowing direct transit between points at a
capital cost Capital costs are fixed, one-time expenseExpenditure is an outflow of money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and ar ...
much lower than
bridge A bridge is a Nonbuilding structure, structure built to Span (engineering), span a physical obstacle, such as a body of water, valley, or road, without closing the way underneath. It is constructed for the purpose of providing passage over the ...

bridge
s or
tunnel A tunnel is an underground passageway, dug through the surrounding soil/earth/rock and enclosed except for entrance and exit, commonly at each end. A pipeline Pipeline may refer to: Electronics, computers and computing * Pipeline (comput ...

tunnel
s. Ship connections of much larger distances (such as over long distances in water bodies like the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
) may also be called ferry services, especially if they carry vehicles.


History


In ancient times

The profession of the ferryman is embodied in
Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psyc ...
in
Charon In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of s originally told by the , and a of . These stories concern the and , the lives and activities of , , and , and the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own and practices. M ...
, the boatman who transported souls across the
River Styx In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical cosmology, nature of ...

River Styx
to the
Underworld upThe legs of the god seven_realms_of_the_Hindus.html" "title="Patala#Hinduism.html" "title="Cosmic_Man.html" ;"title="Vishnu as the Cosmic Man">Vishnu as the Cosmic Man depict earth and the Patala#Hinduism">seven realms of the Hindus">Hind ...
. Speculation that a pair of
ox
ox
en propelled a ship having a water wheel can be found in 4th century Roman literature "''Anonymus De Rebus Bellicis''". Though impractical, there is no reason why it could not work and such a ferry, modified by using horses, was used in Lake Champlain in 19th-century America. See
Experiment (horse powered boat) ''Experiment'' was an early 19th-century boat A boat is a watercraft of a large range of types and sizes, but generally smaller than a ship, which is distinguished by its larger size, shape, cargo or passenger capacity, or its ability to c ...
. In 1871, the world’s first ferry ship was created in Istanbul. The iron steamship, named ''Suhulet'' (meaning ‘ease’ or ‘convenience’) was designed by the general manager of Şirket-i Hayriye (Bosporus Steam Navigation Company), Giritli Hüseyin Haki Bey and built by a British shipbuilder. It weighed 157 tons. It was 155 feet (45.7 meters) long, 27 feet (8.5 meters) wide, and had a draft of 9 feet (3 meters). It was capable of travelling up to 6 knots with the side wheel turned by its 450 horsepower, single-cylinder, two-cycle steam engine. Launched in 1872, Suhulet’s unique features consisted of a symmetrical entry and exit for horse carriages, along with a dual system of hatchways. The ferry operated on the Üsküdar-Kabataş route, which is still serviced by modern ferries today.


Notable services


Asia

In
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of China on the ...

Hong Kong
,
Star Ferry #redirect Star Ferry 250px, Star Ferry ''Night Star'' The Star Ferry is a passenger ferry service operator and tourist attraction in Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Rep ...

Star Ferry
carry passengers across
Victoria Harbour Victoria Harbour is a natural landform harbor, harbour in Hong Kong separating Hong Kong Island in the south from the Kowloon Peninsula to the north. The harbour's deep, sheltered waters and strategic location on the South China Sea were instr ...

Victoria Harbour
. Other carriers ferry travellers between Hong Kong Island and outlying islands like
Cheung Chau Cheung Chau (lit. "Long Island") is an island southwest of Hong Kong Island 250px, Kornhill and Shau Kei Wan, located in the northern part of Eastern District Hong Kong Island is an Islands and peninsulas of Hong Kong, island in th ...
,
Lantau Island Lantau Island (also Lantao Island, Lan Tao) is the largest island in Hong Kong, located West of Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula, and is part of the New Territories. Administratively, most of Lantau Island is part of the Islands Dist ...

Lantau Island
and
Lamma Island Lamma Island, also known as Y Island or Pok Liu Chau or simply Pok Liu, is the third largest island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of ...
. The
Malaysian state The states and federal territories of Malaysia are the principal administrative divisions Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as ...
of
Penang Penang, officially the State of Penang, is a States and federal territories of Malaysia, Malaysian state located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, by the Strait of Malacca, Malacca Strait. It has two parts: Penang Island, where t ...

Penang
is home to the oldest ferry service in the country. This service, now renamed
Rapid Ferry The Penang Ferry Service is the oldest ferry service within the State of Penang, Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitutional monarchy consists of States and federal territories of Malaysia, t ...
, connects the
Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal The Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal is a ferry slip ferry barge with integral ramp at each end Image:Village Bay Ferry Dock.jpg, 250px, docking facility that receives a ferry">Dock_(maritime).html" ;"title="BC Ferries Dock seen from the ship about t ...

Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal
at Weld Quay in George Town on
Penang Island Penang Island is the main constituent island of the Malaysian state The states and federal territories of Malaysia are the principal administrative divisions Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision ...

Penang Island
with the
Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal The Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal is a ferry slip within Butterworth, Penang, Butterworth in Penang, Malaysia. This docking facility is used for Rapid Ferry services between Butterworth, Penang, Butterworth and the city of George Town, Pen ...
in
Butterworth
Butterworth
on
Peninsular Malaysia Peninsular Malaysia (Malay language, Malay: ''Semenanjung Malaysia''), also known as West Malaysia or the Malaysian Peninsula, formerly known as Malaya (disambiguation), Malaya, is the part of Malaysia which occupies the southern half of the Ma ...
. It has also become a tourist attraction among foreigners. In the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
, the
Philippine Nautical Highway System SRNH signage in Dumaguete, showing directions and distances to major cities and ports The Philippine Nautical Highway System, also the Road Roll-on/Roll-off Terminal System (RRTS) or simply the RoRo System, is an integrated network of highway a ...
forms the backbone of the nationwide transport system by integrating
ports The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Trieste.html"_;"title="Barcola_near_Trieste">Barcola_near_Trieste,_a_small_local_port A_port_is_a_ Barcola_near_Trieste,_a_small_local_port">Trieste.html"_;"title="Barcola_near_Trieste">Barcola_near ...

ports
with
highway A highway is any public or private road A road is a wide way leading from one place to another, typically one with a specially prepared surface which vehicles and bikes can use. Roads consist of one or two roadways (British English: ...

highway
systems. The system has three main routes. Another known ferry service is the
Pasig River Ferry Service The Pasig River Ferry Service is the only water-based transportation in Metro Manila, Philippines that cruises the Pasig River from Pinagbuhatan in Pasig to Intramuros in the City of Manila. The system was owned and operated by a private company, ...
, which is the only water-based transportation in
Metro Manila Metropolitan Manila (often shortened as Metro Manila; fil, Kalakhang Maynila), officially the National Capital Region (NCR; fil, Pambansang Punong Rehiyon), is the seat of government The seat of government is (as defined by ''Brewer's Po ...

Metro Manila
. This system cruises the
Pasig River The Pasig River ( fil, Ilog Pasig) is a in the that connects to . Stretching for , it bisects the Philippine capital of and into northern and southern halves. Its major are the and . The total of Pasig River, including the basin of , cove ...

Pasig River
.


India

India's
ro-ro Roll-on/roll-off (RORO or ro-ro) ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying goods or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, r ...
ferry service between
Ghogha Ghogha is a census town In India and some other countries, a census town is designated as a town that satisfies certain characteristics. India In India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South As ...
and
Dahej Dahej is a cargo port situated on the South-west coast of Gujarat, India in Bharuch district. There is 10 million tonnes per year capacity LNG terminal operated by Petronet in Dahej. Port Information General The Port of Dahej is located in the ...
was inaugurated by Prime Minister
Narendra Modi Narendra Damodardas Modi (; born 17 September 1950) is an Indian politician serving as the and current since 2014. Modi was the from 2001 to 2014 and is the from . He is a member of the (BJP) and of the (RSS), a right-wing paramilit ...

Narendra Modi
on 22 October 2017. It aims to connect
South Gujarat South Gujarat, also known as ''Dakshin Gujarat'' (''દક્ષિણ ગુજરાત''), is a region in the Indian state India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is th ...
and Saurashtra currently separated by 360 km of roadway to 31 km of ferry service. It is a part of the larger
Sagar Mala project The Sagarmala Programme is an initiative by the government of India to enhance the performance of the country's logistics sector. The programme envisages unlocking the potential of waterways and the coastline to minimize infrastructural invest ...
.
Water transport in Mumbai Water transport in Mumbai consists of ferries, hovercraft A hovercraft, also known as an air-cushion vehicle or ACV, is an amphibious craft capable of travelling over land, water, mud, ice, and other surfaces. Hovercraft use blowers to ...
consists of ferries, hovercraft, and catamarans, operated by various government agencies as well as private entities. The
Kerala State Water Transport Department File:People coming by boat for urul nercha at Ashtamudi veerabadraswamy temple.JPG, 238px, SWTD ferry at Ashtamudi Lake, disembarking passengers Kerala State Water Transport Department (SWTD) is a governmental department that regulates the inlan ...
(SWTD), operating under the Ministry of Transport,
Government of Kerala The Government of Kerala, formally and commonly referred to as Kerala Government is the state government of the Indian state of Kerala. The government is led by the chief minister (currently Pinarayi Vijayan, 25 May 2016), who selects all the oth ...
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
regulates the inland navigation systems in the Indian state of
Kerala Kerala ( ; ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Kerala
and provides inland water transport facilities. It stands for catering to the passenger and cargo traffic needs of the inhabitants of the waterlogged areas of the Districts of
Alappuzha Alappuzha (), also known by its former name Alleppey, is the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha District Alappuzha district () is one of the 14 Districts of Kerala, districts in the state of Kerala in India. It was formed as All ...

Alappuzha
,
Kottayam Kottayam, is a city in the Indian States and territories of India, state of Kerala. Flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Vembanad Lake and paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west, Kottayam is a place that is known for extraordinary ...
,
Kollam Kollam () , known by its former name Quilon and ''Koolam'' (in Arabic), ''Coulão'' (in Portuguese), and ''Desinganadu'', is an ancient seaport and city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Huma ...

Kollam
,
Ernakulam Ernakulam (), is the central portion of the city of Kochi in Kerala, India and has lent its name to the Ernakulam district. Many major establishments, including the Kerala High Court, the office of the Kochi Municipal Corporation are situated ...

Ernakulam
,
Kannur ar, Kannanur pt, Cananor , settlement_type = Metropolis , image_skyline = , nickname = Land of looms and lores , map_alt = , map_caption ...
and
Kasargode Kasaragod ( and Malayalam Malayalam (; , ) is a Dravidian languages, Dravidian language spoken in the Indian state of Kerala and the union territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry (union territory), Puducherry (Mahé district) by the ...
. SWTD ferry service is also one of the most affordable modes to enjoy the beauty of the scenic
Kerala backwaters The Kerala backwaters are a network of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast (known as the Malabar Coast) of Kerala state in southern India, as well as interconnected canals, rivers, and inlets, a labyrinthine syst ...

Kerala backwaters
.


Europe

The busiest seaway in the world, the
English Channel The English Channel,, "The Sleeve"; nrf, la Maunche, "The Sleeve" (Cotentinais Cotentinais is the dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two ...

English Channel
, connects Great Britain and mainland Europe, with ships sailing from the UK ports of
Dover Dover () is a town and major ferry port in Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edi ...

Dover
,
NewhavenNewhaven may refer to: Places *Newhaven, Derbyshire, England, a hamlet *Newhaven, East Sussex, England, a port town *Newhaven, Edinburgh, Scotland *Newhaven Sanctuary, Northern Territory, Australia *Newhaven, Victoria, Australia Other uses *Newha ...
, Poole,
Portsmouth Portsmouth ( ) is a and island with status in the of , southern . It is the most densely populated city in the , with a population last recorded at 238,800. The city forms part of the , which also incorporates , , , , , and . Located mainly ...

Portsmouth
and
Plymouth Plymouth () is a port city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: ...

Plymouth
to French ports, such as
Calais Calais ( , , traditionally , ; pcd, Calés; vls, Kales) is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia ...

Calais
,
Dunkirk Dunkirk ( , ; french: Dunkerque ; vls, label=French Flemish, Duunkerke; nl, Duinkerke(n) ) is a Communes of France, commune in Nord (French department), Nord, a Departments of France, French department in northern France. It lies from the Bel ...

Dunkirk
,
Dieppe Dieppe (; Norman language, Norman: ''Dgieppe'') is a coastal community in the Arrondissement of Dieppe in the Seine-Maritime Departments of France, department in the Normandy (French region), Normandy region of northern France. The population stoo ...
,
Roscoff Roscoff (; br, Rosko) is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what ...
,
Cherbourg-Octeville Cherbourg-Octeville (; nrf, Chèrbourg, ) is a Subprefectures in France, subprefecture located at the northern end of the Cotentin peninsula in the northwestern French departments of France, department of Manche officially formed when the commune ...
,
Caen Caen (, ; nrf, Kaem) is a Communes of France, commune in northwestern France. It is the prefecture of the Departments of France, department of Calvados (department), Calvados. The city proper has 108,365 inhabitants (), while its urban area has ...

Caen
,
St Malo Saint-Malo (, , ; Gallo: ''Saent-Malô''; ) is a historic French port in Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo language, Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula and cultural region in the w ...

St Malo
and
Le Havre Le Havre (, ; nrf, Lé Hâvre) is an urban French commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and co ...

Le Havre
. The busiest ferry route to France is the Dover to Calais crossing with approximately 9,168,000 passengers using the service in 2018. Ferries from Great Britain also sail to Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Ireland. Some ferries carry mainly tourist traffic, but most also carry freight, and some are exclusively for the use of freight lorries. In Britain, car-carrying ferries are sometimes referred to as
RORO Roll-on/roll-off (RORO or ro-ro) ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying goods or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, r ...

RORO
(roll-on, roll-off) for the ease by which vehicles can board and leave. The busiest single ferry route in terms of the number of departures is across the northern part of
Øresund Øresund or Öresund (, ; da, Øresund ; sv, Öresund ), commonly known in English as the Sound, is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is ...
, between
Helsingborg Helsingborg (, , , ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Helsingborg
,
Scania Scania, also known by its native name of Skåne (, ), is the southernmost of the historical (''landskap'') of . The former province is roughly conterminous with , created in 1997. Like the other former provinces of Sweden, Scania still feature ...

Scania
,
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that ...

Sweden
and Elsinore,
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
. Before the
Øresund bridge The Öresund or Øresund Bridge ( da, Øresundsbroen ; sv, Öresundsbron ; hybrid name: ) is a combined Road-rail bridge, railway and motorway bridge across the Øresund strait between Sweden and Denmark. It is the longest combined List of road ...

Øresund bridge
was opened in July 2000, car and "car and train" ferries departed up to seven times every hour. This has since been reduced, but a car ferry still departs from each harbor every 15 minutes during daytime. The route is around and the crossing takes 22 minutes. Today, all ferries on this route are constructed so that they do not need to turn around in the harbors. This also means that the ferries lack stems and sterns, since the vessels sail in both directions. Starboard and port-side are dynamic, depending on the direction the ferry sails. Despite the short crossing, the ferries are equipped with restaurants (on three out of four ferries), cafeterias, and kiosks. Passengers without cars often make a double or triple return journey in the restaurants; for this, a single journey ticket is sufficient. Passenger and bicycle passenger tickets are inexpensive compared with longer routes. Large
cruiseferries A cruiseferry is a ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying goods or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research, and fishin ...
sail in the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that a ...

Baltic Sea
between
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
,
Åland Åland (; fi, Ahvenanmaa: ; ; ) is an Federacy, autonomous and Demilitarized zone, demilitarised region of Finland since 1920 by a decision of the League of Nations. It is the smallest region of Finland, constituting 0.51% of its land area an ...
,
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that ...

Sweden
,
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
,
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially known as the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic re ...

Latvia
and
Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg ( rus, links=no, Санкт-Петербург, a=Ru-Sankt Peterburg Leningrad Petrograd Piter.ogg, r=Sankt-Peterburg, p=ˈsankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk), formerly known as Petrograd (1914–1924) and later Leningrad (1924–1991), ...

Saint Petersburg
,
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
and from
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
to
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the Mediterranean islands#By area, second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, and one of the Regions of Italy, 20 regions of Italy. It is located west of the Italian Penin ...

Sardinia
,
Corsica Corsica (, Upper , Southern , ; french: link=no, Corse ; lij, link=no, Còrsega) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north ...

Corsica
,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
and
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
. In many ways, these ferries are like
cruise ship Cruise ships are large passenger ship A passenger ship is a merchant ship whose primary function is to carry passengers on the sea. The category does not include cargo ship, cargo vessels which have accommodations for limited numbers of pas ...

cruise ship
s, but they can also carry hundreds of cars on car decks. Besides providing passenger and car transport across the sea, Baltic Sea cruise-ferries are a popular tourist destination unto themselves, with multiple restaurants, nightclubs, bars, shops and entertainment on board. Also many smaller ferries operate on domestic routes in Finland, Sweden and Estonia. The south-west and southern parts of the Baltic Sea has several routes mainly for heavy traffic and cars. The ferry routes of
Trelleborg Trelleborg () is a town in Skåne, Sweden Sweden (; sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Ge ...

Trelleborg
-
Rostock Rostock (), officially the Hanseatic and University City of Rostock (german: link=no, Hanse- und Universitätsstadt Rostock), is the largest city in the German States of Germany, state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and lies in the Mecklenbur ...

Rostock
,
Trelleborg Trelleborg () is a town in Skåne, Sweden Sweden (; sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Ge ...

Trelleborg
-
Travemünde in German) Image:Viermastbark passat in luebeck travemuende.jpg, Barque Passat (ship), Passat in Travemünde Travemünde () is a borough of Lübeck, Germany, located at the mouth of the river Trave in Bay of Lübeck, Lübeck Bay. It began life as a ...

Travemünde
,
Trelleborg Trelleborg () is a town in Skåne, Sweden Sweden (; sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Ge ...

Trelleborg
-
Świnoujście Świnoujście (; german: Swinemünde ; nds, Swienemünn; all three meaning "Świna
iver Iver is a large civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their com ...
mouth"; csb, Swina) is a city and port, seaport on the Baltic Sea and Szczecin Lagoon, located in the extreme north-west of Poland. It is situated mainly o ...
,
Gedser Gedser is a town at the southern tip of the Danish island of Falster Falster () is an island in south-eastern Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ), officially the Kingdom of Denmark, da, Kongeriget Danmark, . See also: The unity of the Real ...
-
Rostock Rostock (), officially the Hanseatic and University City of Rostock (german: link=no, Hanse- und Universitätsstadt Rostock), is the largest city in the German States of Germany, state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and lies in the Mecklenbur ...

Rostock
,
Gdynia Gdynia ( ; ; german: Gdingen (currently), , (1939-1945), ; csb, Gdiniô), also: ''Gdinnô'', ''Gdina'', ''Gdinam'' is a city in northern Poland and a seaport on the Baltic Sea coast. With a population of 244,969, it is the List of cities in Pol ...

Gdynia
-
Karlskrona Karlskrona (, , ) is a and the seat of , , with a population of 66,675 in 2018. It is also the capital of . Karlskrona is known as Sweden's only city and is host to Sweden's and the headquarters of the . History The island on which Karlskro ...

Karlskrona
, and
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are all typical ''transports'' ferries. On the longer of these routes, simple cabins are available. The
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-Sassnitz route, it also has capacities for the daily night trains between Berlin and Malmö. In Istanbul, ferries connect the European and Asian shores of Bosphorus, as well as Princes Islands and nearby coastal towns. In 2014, İDO transported 47 million passengers, the largest ferry system in the world. The world's shortest ferry line is the Ferry Lina In Töreboda,
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. It takes around 20–25 seconds and is hand powered.


North America

Due to the numbers of large freshwater lakes and length of shoreline in Canada, various provinces and territories have ferry services. BC Ferries operates the third largest ferry service in the world which carries travellers between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland on the country's west coast. This ferry service operates to other islands including the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii. In 2015, BC Ferries carried more than 8 million vehicles and 20 million passengers. In Vancouver there is SeaBus. Canada's east coast has been home to numerous inter- and intra-provincial ferry and coastal services, including a large network operated by the federal government under CN Marine and later Marine Atlantic. Private and publicly owned ferry operations in eastern Canada include Marine Atlantic, serving the island of Newfoundland (island), Newfoundland, as well as Bay Ferries, Bay, Northumberland Ferries Limited, NFL, Coopérative de transport maritime et aérien, CTMA, Coastal Transport Limited, Coastal Transport, and Société des traversiers du Québec, STQ. Canadian waters in the Great Lakes once hosted numerous ferry services, but these have been reduced to those offered by Owen Sound Transportation Company Limited, Owen Sound Transportation and several smaller operations. There are also several commuter passenger ferry services operated in major cities, such as Metro Transit (Halifax), Metro Transit in Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia, Halifax, and Toronto Island ferries in Toronto. There is also the Société des traversiers du Québec. Washington State Ferries operates the most extensive ferry system in the continental United States and the second largest in the world by vehicles carried, with ten routes on Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca serving Ferry terminal, terminals in Washington and Vancouver Island. In 2016, Washington State Ferries carried 10.5 million vehicles and 24.2 million riders in total. The Alaska Marine Highway, Alaska Marine Highway System provides service between Bellingham, Washington and various towns and villages throughout Southeast and Southwest Alaska, including crossings of the Gulf of Alaska. AMHS provides affordable access to many small communities with no road connection or airport. The Staten Island Ferry in Transportation in New York City, New York City, sailing between the boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island, is the nation's single busiest ferry route by passenger volume. Unlike riders on many other ferry services, Staten Island Ferry passengers do not pay any fare to ride it. New York City also has a network of smaller ferries, or ''water taxis'', that shuttle commuters along the Hudson River from locations in New Jersey and Northern Manhattan down to the midtown, downtown and Wall Street business centers. Several ferry companies also offer service linking midtown and lower Manhattan with locations in the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, crossing the city's East River. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in February 2015 that city would begin an expanded Citywide Ferry Service some time in 2017 linking heretofore relatively isolated communities such as Manhattan's Lower East Side, Soundview, Bronx, Soundview in The Bronx, Astoria, Queens, Astoria and Rockaway, Queens, the Rockaways in Queens and such Brooklyn neighborhoods as Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, Sunset Park, and Red Hook, Brooklyn, Red Hook with existing ferry landings in Lower Manhattan and Midtown Manhattan. This service was finally launched as NYC Ferry in May, 2017. The New Orleans area also has many ferries in operation that carry both vehicles and pedestrians. Most notable is the Algiers Ferry. This service has been in continuous operation since 1827 and is one of the oldest operating ferries in North America. In New England, vehicle-carrying ferry services between mainland Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are operated by The Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority, which sails year-round between Woods Hole and Vineyard Haven as well as Hyannis, Massachusetts, Hyannis and Nantucket. Seasonal service is also operated from Woods Hole to Oak Bluffs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. As there are no bridges or tunnels connecting the islands to the mainland, The Steamship Authority ferries in addition to being the only method for transporting private cars to or from the islands, also serves as the only link by which heavy freight and supplies such as food and gasoline can be trucked to the islands. Additionally, Hy-Line Cruises operates high speed catamaran service from Hyannis to both islands, as well as traditional ferries, and several smaller operations run seasonal passenger only service primarily geared towards tourist day-trippers from other mainland ports, including New Bedford, MA, New Bedford, (New Bedford Fast Ferry) Falmouth, MA, Falmouth, (Island Queen ferry and Falmouth Ferry) and Harwich, MA, Harwich (Freedom Cruise Line). Ferries also bring riders and vehicles across Long Island Sound to such Connecticut cities as Bridgeport, Connecticut, Bridgeport and New London, Connecticut, New London, and to Block Island in Rhode Island from points on Long Island. Transbay commuting in the San Francisco Bay Area was primarily ferry based until the advent of automobiles in the 1940s and most bridges in the area were built to supplant ferry services. By the 1970s, ferries were primarily used by tourists with Golden Gate Ferry, an organization under the ownership as the same governing body as the Golden Gate Bridge, left as the sole commute operator. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake prompted restoration of service to the East Bay. The modern ferry network is primarily under the authority of San Francisco Bay Ferry, connecting with cities as far as Vallejo, California, Vallejo. Tourist excursions are also offered by Blue & Gold Fleet and Red & White Fleet. A ferry serves Angel Island (California), Angel Island (which also accepts private craft). Alcatraz is served exclusively by ferry service administered by the National Park Service. Until the completion of the Mackinac Bridge in the 1950s, ferries were used for vehicle transportation between the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, Lower and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Upper Peninsulas of Michigan, across the Straits of Mackinac in the United States. Ferry service for bicycles and passengers continues across the straits for transport to Mackinac Island, where motorized vehicles are almost completely prohibited. This crossing is made possible by three ferry lines, Arnold Transit Company, Shepler's Ferry, and Star Line Ferry. A ferry service runs between Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Muskegon, Michigan operated by Lake Express. Another ferry SS Badger operates between Manitowoc, Wisconsin and Ludington, Michigan. Both cross Lake Michigan. Mexico has ferry services run by Baja Ferries that connect La Paz, Baja California Sur, La Paz located on the Baja California Peninsula with Mazatlán and Topolobampo. Passenger ferries also run from Playa del Carmen to the island of Cozumel. North Carolina is home to the second-largest ferry system in the United States.


Oceania

In Australia, two Spirit of Tasmania ferries carry passengers and vehicles across Bass Strait, the body of water that separates Tasmania from the Australian mainland, often under turbulent sea conditions. These run overnight but also include day crossings in peak time. Both ferries are based in the northern Tasmanian port city of Devonport, Tasmania, Devonport and sail to Melbourne The double-ended Freshwater-class ferry cuts an iconic shape as it makes its way up and down Sydney Harbour New South Wales, Australia between Manly, New South Wales, Manly and Circular Quay In New Zealand, ferries connect Wellington in the North Island with Picton, New Zealand, Picton in the South Island, linking New Zealand's two main islands. The route is , and is run by two companies – government-owned Interislander, and independent Strait Shipping, Bluebridge, who say the trip takes three and half hours.


Types

Ferry designs depend on the length of the route, the passenger or vehicle capacity required, speed requirements and the water conditions the craft must deal with.


Double-ended

Double-ended ferries have interchangeable bows and sterns, allowing them to shuttle back and forth between two Ferry terminal, terminals without having to turn around. Well-known double-ended ferry systems include the BC Ferries, the Staten Island Ferry, Washington State Ferries,
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Star Ferry
, several ferries on the North Carolina Ferry System, and the Lake Champlain Transportation Company. Most Norwegian fjord and coastal ferries are double-ended vessels. All Marine Atlantic, ferries from southern Prince Edward Island to the mainland of Canada were double-ended. This service was discontinued upon completion of the Confederation Bridge. Some ferries in Sydney Ferries, Sydney, Australia and BC Ferries, British Columbia are also double-ended. In 2008, BC Ferries launched three of the largest double-ended ferries in the world.


Hydrofoil

Hydrofoils have the advantage of higher cruising speeds, succeeding hovercraft on some English Channel routes where the ferries now compete against the Eurotunnel and Eurostar trains that use the Channel Tunnel. Passenger-only hydrofoils also proved a practical, fast and relatively economical solution in the Canary Islands, but were recently replaced by faster catamaran "high speed" ferries that can carry cars. Their replacement by the larger craft is seen by critics as a retrograde step given that the new vessels use much more fuel and foster the inappropriate use of cars in islands already suffering from the impact of mass tourism.


Hovercraft

Hovercraft were developed in the 1960s and 1970s to carry cars. The largest was the massive SR.N4 which carried cars in its centre section with ramps at the bow and stern between England and France. The hovercraft was superseded by catamarans which are nearly as fast and are less affected by sea and weather conditions. Only one service now remains, a foot passenger service between
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and the Isle of Wight run by Hovertravel.


Catamaran

Since 1990 high speed catamarans have revolutionised ferry services, replacing hovercraft, hydrofoils and conventional monohull ferries. In the 1990s there were a variety of builders, but the industry has consolidated to two builders of large vehicular ferries between 60 and 120 metres. Incat of Hobart, Tasmania favours a Wave-piercing hull to deliver a smooth ride, while Austal of Perth, Western Australia builds ships based on Small-waterplane-area twin hull, SWATH designs. Both these companies also compete in the smaller river ferry industry with a number of other ship builders. Stena Line once operated the largest catamarans in the world, the High-speed Sea Service, Stena HSS class, between the United Kingdom and Ireland. These water jet (propulsion), waterjet-powered vessels, displaced 19,638 tonnes, accommodating 375 passenger cars and 1,500 passengers. Other examples of these super-size catamarans are found in the Condor Ferries fleet with the Condor Voyager and Rapide.


Roll-on/roll-off

Roll-on/roll-off ferries (RORO) are large conventional ferries named for the ease by which vehicles can board and leave.


Cruiseferry / RoPax

A cruiseferry is a ship that combines the features of a
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with a roll-on/roll-off ferry. They are also known as RoPax for their combined Roll on/Roll Off and passenger design.


Fast RoPax ferry

Fast Roll-on/roll-off#ROPAX, RoPax ferries are conventional ferries with a large garage intake and a relatively large passenger capacity, with conventional diesel propulsion and propellers that sail over . Pioneering this class of ferries was Attica Group, when it introduced Superfast I between Greece and Italy in 1995 through its subsidiary company Superfast Ferries. Cabins, if existent, are much smaller than those on cruise ships.


Turntable ferry

This type of ferry allows vehicles to load from the "side". The vehicle platform can be turned. When loading, the platform is turned sideways to allow sideways loading of vehicles. Then the platform is turned back, in line with the vessel, and the journey across water is made.


Pontoon ferry

Pontoon (boat), Pontoon ferries carry vehicles across rivers and lakes and are widely used in less-developed countries with large rivers where the cost of bridge construction is prohibitive. One or more vehicles are carried on a pontoon with Drawbridge, ramps at either end for vehicles to drive on and off. #Cable ferry, Cable ferries are usually pontoon ferries, but pontoon ferries on larger rivers are motorised and able to be steered independently like a boat.


Train ferry

A train ferry is a ship designed to carry railway vehicles. Typically, one level of the ship is fitted with railway tracks, and the vessel has a door at either or both of the front and rear to give access to the Wharf, wharves.


Foot ferry

Foot ferries are small craft used to ferry foot passengers, and often also cyclists, over rivers. These are either self-propelled craft or cable ferries. Such ferries are for example to be found on the lower Schelde, River Scheldt in Belgium and in particular the Netherlands. Regular foot ferry service also exists in the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague, and across the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia at Newport, Victoria, Newport. Restored, expanded ferry service in the Port of New York and New Jersey uses boats for pedestrians only.


Cable ferry

Very short distances may be crossed by a cable ferry, cable or chain ferry, which is usually a pontoon ferry (see above), where the ferry is propelled along and steered by cables connected to each shore. Sometimes the cable ferry is human powered by someone on the boat. Reaction ferry, Reaction ferries are cable ferries that use the perpendicular force of the current as a source of power. Examples of a current propelled ferry are the four Rhine ferries in Basel, Switzerland. Cable ferries may be used in fast-flowing rivers across short distances. With an ocean crossing of approximately 1900 metres, the cable ferry between Vancouver Island and Denman Island in British Columbia; is the longest one in the world. Free ferries operate in some parts of the world, such as at Woolwich in London, England (across the River Thames); in Amsterdam, Netherlands (across the IJ (Amsterdam), IJ waterway); along the Murray River in South Australia, and across many lakes in British Columbia. Many cable ferries operate on lakes and rivers in Canada, among them a Reaction ferry, cable ferry that charges a toll operates on the Laval-sur-le-Lac–Île-Bizard Ferry, Rivière des Prairies between Laval-sur-le-Lac and Île Bizard in Quebec, Canada. In Finland there were 40 road ferries (cable ferries) in 2009, on lakes, rivers and on sea between islands.


Air ferries

In the 1950s and 1960s, travel on an "air ferry" was possible—airplanes, often ex-military, specially equipped to take a small number of cars in addition to foot passengers. These operated various routes including between the United Kingdom and Continental Europe. Companies operating such services included Channel Air Bridge, Silver City Airways, and Corsairfly, Corsair. The term is also applied to any "ferrying" by air, and is commonly used when referring to airborne military operations.


Docking

Ferries often dock at specialized facilities designed to position the boat for loading and unloading, called a ferry slip. If the ferry transports road vehicles or railway carriages there will usually be an adjustable Inclined plane, ramp called an Linkspan, apron that is part of the Ferry slip, slip. In other cases, the Linkspan, apron ramp will be a part of the ferry itself, acting as a wave guard when elevated and lowered to meet a Slipway, fixed ramp at the terminus – a road segment that extends partially underwater or meet the ferry slip.


Records


Gross tonnage

The world's Largest ferries of Europe, largest ferries are typically those operated in Europe, with different vessels holding the record depending on whether length, gross tonnage or car vehicle capacity is the metric.


Oldest

On 11 October 1811, inventor John Stevens (inventor, born 1749), John Stevens' ship the ''Juliana'', began operation as the first steam-powered ferry (service was between New York City, and Hoboken, New Jersey). The Elwell Ferry, a cable ferry in North Carolina, travels a distance of , shore to shore, with a travel time of five minutes. A contender as oldest ferry in continuous operation is the Mersey Ferry from Liverpool to Birkenhead, England. In 1150, the Birkenhead Priory, Benedictine Priory at Birkenhead was established. The monks used to charge a small fare to row passengers across the estuary. In 1330, Edward III granted a charter to the Priory and its successors for ever: "the right of ferry there... for men, horses and goods, with leave to charge reasonable tolls". However, there may have been a short break following the Dissolution of the monasteries after 1536. Another claimant as the oldest ferry service in continuous operation is the Rocky Hill – Glastonbury Ferry, running between the towns of Rocky Hill, Connecticut, Rocky Hill and Glastonbury, Connecticut, Glastonbury, Connecticut. Established in 1655, the ferry has run continuously since, only ceasing operation every winter when the river freezes over. A long running salt water ferry service is the Halifax/Dartmouth ferry, running between the cities of City of Halifax, Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, which has run year-round since 1752, and is currently run by the region's transit authority, Metro Transit (Halifax), Metro Transit. However, the Mersey Ferry predates it as the oldest salt water ferry.


Largest networks

* Waxholmsbolaget – 21 vessels serving around 300 ports of call in the Stockholm archipelago. * Ferries in Istanbul, Istanbul Ferry Network – 87 vessels serving 86 ports of call in and around the Bosporus of Istanbul, Turkey. * BC Ferries – 36 vessels serving 47 ports of call along the west coast of British Columbia, Canada, carrying 22.3 million passengers annually. * Caledonian MacBrayne – 31 vessels serving 50 ports of call along the west coast of Scotland, carrying 1.43 million passengers annually. * Sydney Ferries – 31 vessels serving 36 ports of call in Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour), carrying 15.3 million passengers annually. * Washington State Ferries – 28 vessels serving 20 ports of call around Puget Sound of Washington (state), Washington, United States, carrying 24.2 million passengers annually. * Metrolink Queensland – 21 vessels serving 26 ports of call along the Brisbane River in Brisbane, Australia, carrying 2.7 million passengers annually. * Société des traversiers du Québec


Busiest networks

* Washington State Ferries – 24.2 million passengers annually. * Staten Island Ferry in Transportation in New York City, New York City – 23.9 million passengers annually; busiest one line ferry in the world. * Gemeente Vervoerbedrijf#Ferries, Amsterdam GVB Ferries – 22.4 million passengers annually. * BC Ferries – 22.3 million passengers annually. *
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– 19.7 million passengers annually.


Fastest

The gas turbine powered ''Luciano Federico L'' operated by Montevideo-based Buquebus, holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest car ferry in the world, in service between Montevideo, Uruguay and Buenos Aires, Argentina: its maximum speed, achieved in sea trials, was . It can carry 450 passengers and 52 cars along the route.


Sustainability

The contributions of ferry travel to climate change have received less scrutiny than land and air transport, and vary considerably according to factors like speed and the number of passengers carried. Average carbon dioxide emissions by ferries per passenger-kilometre seem to be . However, ferries between Finland and Sweden produce of CO2, with total emissions equalling a CO2 equivalent of , while ferries between Finland and Estonia produce of CO2 with total emissions equalling a CO2 equivalent of .


Alternative fuels

With the price of oil at high levels, and with increasing pressure from consumers for measures to tackle global warming, a number of innovations for energy and the environment were put forward at the Interferry conference in Stockholm. According to the company Solar Sailor Holdings, Solar Sailor, hybrid marine power and solar wing technology are suitable for use with ferries, private yachts and even tankers. Alternative fuels are becoming more widespread on ferries. The fastest passenger ferry in the world Buquebus, runs on LNG, while Sweden's Stena Line, Stena plans to operate its 1500-passenger ferries on methanol in 2015. Both fuels reduce emissions considerably and replace costly diesel fuel. Megawatt-class Battery electric vehicle, battery electric ferries operate in Scandinavia, with several more scheduled for operation. As of 2017, the world's biggest purely electric ferry was the , which operates on the Helsingør–Helsingborg ferry route across the
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Sweden
. The ferry weights 8414 tonnes, and has an electric storage capacity of more than 4 MWh. Since 2015, Norwegian ferry company Norled has operated e-ferry on the Lavik-Opedal connection on the E39 north of Bergen. Further north on the Norwegian west coast, the connection between Anda and Lote will be the world's first route served only by e-ferries. The first of two ships, MF ''Gloppefjord'', was put into service in January 2018, followed by MF ''Eidsfjord''. The owner, Fjord1, has commissioned a further seven battery-powered ferries to be in operation from 2020. A total of 60 battery powered car ferries are expected to be operational in Norway by 2021. Since 15 August 2019, Ærø Municipality have operated between the southern Denmark, Danish ports of Fynshav and Søby, on the island of Ærø. The e-ferry is capable of carrying 30 vehicles and 200 passengers and is powered by a battery "with an unprecedented capacity" of . The vessel can sail up to between charges – seven times further than previously possible for an e-ferry. It will now need to prove it can provide up to seven return trips per day. The European Union, which supported the project, aims to roll out 100 or more of these ferries by 2030.


Accidents

The following notable maritime disasters involved ferries. * – 852 deaths * – 193 deaths * – 159 deaths * – 4,386 deaths * Sinking of Namyoung-Ho, MV ''Namyoug-Ho'' 323–326 deaths * Sinking of MV Seohae, MV ''Seohae'' 292 deaths * Sinking of MV Sewol, MV ''Sewo''l – 304 deaths * – 53 deaths * Greycliffe disaster – 40 deaths


See also

* Chain boat * List of ferry operators * Punt (boat) * Pünte * Sea tractor * Team boat * Transporter bridge * Merchant Vessel


References


Notes


Bibliography

* * * "''When Horses Walked on Water: Horse-Powered Ferries in Nineteenth-Century America''" (Smithsonian Institution Press; Kevin Crisman, co-authored with Arthur Cohn, Executive Director of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum).


External links


"Off Ferries, New And Old", May 1931, Popular Science

Photography of European locations visitable by ferry
* {{Authority control Boat types Ferries, Ferry transport, Ship types