Washington State Ferries (WSF) is a division of the Washington State Department of Transportation. Created on June 1, 1951, As of 2016, it was the largest ferry operator in the United States, and the fourth-largest ferry system in the world [Wikipedia].
Washington State Ferries operates 23 vessels and has 20 terminals from Point Defiance on the south end of Puget Sound to Sidney, B.C. (in Canada) to the north. WSF carries more vehicles than any other ferry system in the world (more than 10 million per year) and is near the top in the world for number of passengers carried (more than 22 million per year).
Here’s a very cool time-lapse video showing the ferries in Seattle coming and going.
The quickest way to get to the Olympic Peninsula is via the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry, one of the routes covered by Washington State Ferries. The Ferry leaves from downtown Edmonds approximately every 45 minutes during the day. The trip across Puget Sound to Kingston is a short, enjoyable, 20 minutes. On a clear day, you can see Mt. Baker to the north, Mt. Rainier to the south and the Olympic Mountains to the west from the Ferry.
Rates vary by time of year. Vehicle fares are collected both directions whereas passenger fares are only collected west-bound. Larger vehicles and vehicles pulling trailers pay a higher, length-based, fare. If you have an iPhone (iPad, iTouch) or Android phone, get the “WSDOT” application for current traffic and ferry information.
WSF has a website with complete information on routes, schedules and fares. The schedule for the Edmonds-Kingston ferry can be found here. For a live view of traffic, and vehicles waiting to board the ferry at Edmonds, see the Edmonds Ferry Cams.