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The original item was published from 4/11/2023 9:53:11 AM to 5/19/2023 12:23:27 PM.


General County News

Posted on: April 10, 2023

[ARCHIVED] 2023 Whatcom Chief Dry Dock Schedule & Services


The Whatcom Chief will depart for dry dock on Saturday, April 29, 2023.  The ferry is anticipated to return to full service on Sunday, May 21, 2023. The return date is subject to change depending on the work required in the shipyard. Further confirmation will occur as dry dock progresses.


  • 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, the ferry webpage and social media will be updated, and email notifications will be sent. 


Foot Passenger-Only Ferry

 Foot passenger-only ferry service between Lummi Island and Gooseberry Point will be provided during dry dock.  The maximum number of passengers allowed on the passenger ferry at any time is 55.  

  • Pets are allowed only on the vessel’s stern (rear outside loading area). 
    • Owners are responsible for their pet’s actions at all times.
    • No pets are allowed in the cabin of the vessel. 
  • Bicycles are allowed only on the vessel’s stern (rear outside loading area).  
    • 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.

Vehicle Parking

Ferry vehicle parking will continue to be available in the existing designated areas.  Please comply by parking in designated/posted areas only.

Passenger Shuttle Van Service

Passenger shuttle van service on Lummi Island will be provided while the Whatcom Chief Ferry is in dry dock.  The first day of service will be Friday, April 28, 2023. 

  • The maximum number of passengers allowed in the shuttle van at any time is 15.  
  • The shuttle van must meet a very tight schedule.   Please be at the shuttle van stop early to ensure a ride. 
  • No pets or bicycles are allowed in the passenger shuttle van.  No exceptions.


Find copies of the Passenger-Only Ferry Schedule, parking maps, and the Lummi Island Passenger Shuttle Van Schedules & pick-up route on the Whatcom County ferry dry dock website:

If you have any questions, please contact Public Works Administration at (360) 778-6200.   Thank you for your cooperation and patience during the annual dry dock.      

Click here for a printable pdf version of this announcement

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