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Posted on: September 2, 2020

Port Increasing the Frequency and Convenience of Emergency Point Roberts Ferry Service

The Port is increasing the frequency of temporary, emergency ferry service from Point Roberts to two times per week and changing the arrival location to Bellingham to better serve Whatcom County residents who have been unable to access critical goods and services due to the closure of the Canadian border during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning September 8th, passenger-only ferry service will be offered by the Port free-of-charge on Tuesdays and Fridays between Point Roberts marina and the Bellingham Cruise Terminal located at 355 Harris Avenue. 

Space is limited so advance reservations are required and will be granted on a first come, first served basis. Reservations are now being accepted through the end of September and can be made on individual segments of the ferry trip.  Passengers can make reservations at www.portofbellingham.com/pointrobertsferry  If reservations are full, people are welcome to show up and try to ride ‘stand-by’ in the event there are no-show passengers. 

Transit connections are available nearby the Bellingham Cruise Terminal at Fairhaven Station. WTA Route 1 services Fairhaven Station (Fairhaven Transportation Center) at :21 and :51 past each hour.  For transit schedules and route information, please visit http://www.ridewta.com/

Face masks are required on both ferry and WTA connections, and the number of passengers will be limited.

Point Roberts is not physically connected to the continental United States, but it is part of Whatcom County. Point Roberts can only be accessed by crossing a vehicle through Canada, flying in on a small plane or by private boat.  The US/Canada border has been closed to non-essential travel since March and border restrictions have been extended through at least September 21. US residents entering Canada without COVID-19 symptoms are currently required to quarantine for 14 days.  Due to its unique location, Whatcom County residents living in Point Roberts have been disproportionately impacted by US/Canada border restrictions. 

The Port has been working with Whatcom County’s Federal Delegation and a US/Canada cross-border task force on a border exemption which would address the unique challenges of US residents living in Point Roberts. Transportation service to Point Roberts is being offered by the Port as a temporary, emergency solution.

The two-hour ferry ride between Point Roberts and Bellingham will be provided on San Juan Cruises’ 100-foot vessel Salish Express.  The arrival location was changed from Blaine Harbor to Bellingham to give Point Roberts’ residents more time for shopping, doctor visits and other necessities.   

Departure and arrival times as well as the sailing frequency may change based on passenger input and demand, so please check the Port’s website for the latest schedule information.

Point Roberts to Bellingham Cruise Terminal Temporary, Emergency Ferry Service Schedule as of 9/8/2020:

Tuesday / Friday Ferry Service

6:30 AM       Depart Bellingham Cruise Terminal
8:30 AM       Arrive Point Roberts Marina 

9:00 AM      Depart Point Roberts Marina
11:00 AM    Arrive Bellingham Cruise Terminal

4:00 PM      Depart Bellingham Cruise Terminal
6:00 PM      Arrive Point Roberts Marina 

6:30 PM      Depart Point Roberts Marina
8:30 PM      Arrive Bellingham Cruise Terminal

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