2023 Dry Dock

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Dry Dock 2023

The Whatcom Chief is back in service, having returned from dry dock on Saturday, May 20, 2023. 

Return to Service Updates 

The Lummi Island Ferry, the Whatcom Chief, is scheduled to return to full service on Sunday, May 21, 2023. This planned return to service date is contingent upon completing the remaining shipyard repairs and sea trials. If the date should change, we will provide additional communications. 

Please review the following for ferry & shuttle service information and vehicle removal requirements. 


  • On Saturday, May 20, the passenger-only ferry will complete its scheduled runs until 3:00 p.m.  
  • After 3:00 p.m. on May 20, there will be no ferry service of any kind for the remainder of the day. Please plan accordingly.
  • Both ferry docks will be unavailable for emergency use during this changeover while the dock modifications and floats are dismantled and removed. 
  • The Whatcom Chief returns to full service & schedule on Sunday, May 21.  


  • The passenger shuttle van service will make all its scheduled runs through Sunday, May 21.  
  • There will be no shuttle van service on Monday, May 22, and thereafter.


If you have questions about the changeover process or the Whatcom Chief's return to service, contact the Whatcom County Public Works Ferry Division at 360-778-6200 or [email protected].

Dry Dock Schedule

  • Friday, April 28:  Last day to move your car between the island and the mainland. A regular, full schedule of runs is planned for the Whatcom Chief.  
    • The last Lummi Island sailing is 12:00 am (midnight).
    • The last Gooseberry Point sailing is 12:10 am.
  • Saturday, April 29:  First day of dry dock and passenger-only ferry. 
    • The dry dock switchover for the passenger ferry will occur in the morning-- no ferry service of any kind until this process is complete. Please plan accordingly.
    • Passenger-only ferry service is due to begin in the afternoon. The first run is tentatively scheduled for 2:00 pm from Lummi Island. 
  • Saturday, May 20:  Last day of dry dock and the passenger-only ferry. 
    • The passenger-only ferry is anticipated to run until 3:00 pm. 
    • After 3 pm, there will be no ferry service of any kind until the dry dock switchover for the Whatcom Chief is complete. Please plan accordingly. 
  • Sunday, May 21:  The Whatcom Chief is scheduled to return to full service. The return date is tentative and subject to change. 

If the dry dock schedule changes, this webpage will be updated, and email notifications will be sent. 

2023 Dry Dock Full Schedule of Activities

Please contact Whatcom County Public Works Administration with questions or concerns at 360-778-6200 or email [email protected].  

Passenger-Only Ferry

The contracted passenger-only ferry will provide service between Lummi Island and Gooseberry Point. The maximum number of passengers allowed on the passenger ferry at any time is 55.  

Rules for the passenger ferry: 

  • Pets are allowed on the stern (rear outside loading area) of the vessel only. 
    • Owners are responsible for their pet’s actions at all times.
    • No pets are allowed in the cabin of the vessel. 
  • Bicycles are allowed on the stern (rear outside loading area) of the vessel only.  
    • Bicycles load last.
    • The maximum number of bicycles allowed on the passenger ferry at one time is 6.  
    • Bicycle users should be prepared to wait for the next ferry if there is no room on the stern of the boat. 
  • The passenger-only ferry can only accommodate non-motorized wheelchairs. 
    • Motorized wheelchairs are too wide to pass through the opening in the bulwarks of the passenger ferry.
  • Be aware that the ramp may be very steep and challenging to navigate at negative tides. You may want to wait to travel until the tide rises and the ramp becomes easier to navigate.   
  • The passenger-only ferry will fuel on Wednesdays.  Please check the passenger-only schedule to see which runs will be delayed for re-fueling.

Shuttle Van Service

The shuttle must meet a very tight schedule. Please be at the shuttle van stop early to be sure of a ride. The maximum number of passengers allowed in the shuttle van at any one time is 15. No exceptions. 

Vehicle Parking and Removal

Vehicle parking information is referenced in the maps below:

It is extremely important that designated 'no parking' areas are kept open and clear for the smooth operations of the ferry system and shuttle van, and for safety and fire access. 

Sign up to Receive Notifications

Using the Notify Me system, you can sign up to get notifications by text or email whenever we have ferry-related updates to share.

How to sign up to receive email and/or text notifications: 

  1. Go to the Notify Me page on our website. 
  2. Type in your email address and phone number under the Your Profile Information section at the top of the page.
  3. Scroll down to the News Flash section, and find the News Flash item labeled Public Works - Lummi Island Ferry and Roadways. 
  4. Click on the envelope icon and/or the phone icon, depending on your preferences. The envelope icon will send you emails, and the phone icon will send you text messages. 
  5. Finally, you will get an email or text message confirmation from Civic Plus (depending on which icon you clicked on in Step 4 asking you to confirm your subscription). Click the link to confirm your subscription.