Martha’s Vineyard/Nantucket day trips from Cape Cod, require a little thought before you will be ready to make up your mind on which options to choose, but they are by far the most popular way to see both Islands. During the peak season, there is a ferry that will run you across to both Islands in the same day, but you will not have the time you want to enjoy either Island, and you will spend a large amount of time on boats.
Visitors as a starting point, should know that Martha’s Vineyard will need a full day with an early start and an Inn At Cape Cod breakfast to go. Return to the mainland as late as possible and consider having dinner on the island. Nantucket on the other hand can be seen in six hours – if you stay for dinner or hire bikes, allow another two hours i.e. get the last ferry back (dinner) or the earlier boat out (bikes).
The quickest and most scenic route to both islands is by 7 or 10 seater aircraft. A short check in, 15 -
20 minute flight and incredible views ( we recommend coming back from Nantucket at sunset) are the main advantages. Our inn is 10 minutes from the airport. Down side? Possibly the cost of approximately $125 round trip per adult. It is worth it if the weather is clear (spring and autumn skies are best). Try Island airways or Cape Air.
The fast ferries leaving from Hyannis Harbor to both islands is the next fastest means of travel. The journey takes an hour, 55 minutes for Martha’s Vineyard. Two operators run fast ferries to Nantucket: Steamship and Hyline. Most of our guests who choose this route decide to take the 11 am Steamship fast ferry and then catch the 6 pm ferry back at a cost of $50 round trip per adult Mon – Thurs, $69 Fri – Sun. This seems to be about right in terms of time allowed on Nantucket, 6 hours, but do not forget my advice above about bikes and/or dinner. You can have a leisurely full breakfast on the shady terrace at The Inn At Cape Cod and have a very relaxed day on this magnificent island, which was recently voted: The World’s Most Beautiful Island by The National Geographic. Steamship runs a traditional car/passenger ferry to Nantucket, which takes 2 hours and 15 minutes each way at $35 rt pa.
The fast ferry to The Vineyard is run by Hyline and is the quickest way to the island after the flying option, unless your camping next to the traditional ferry in Woods Hole, which takes 45 minutes. You can take the earliest 55 minute crossing at 8.15 am or the busiest departure at 10.30 am. The later option allows you to have breakfast before you make the 15 minute drive from the Inn to Hyannis Harbor. The ferry ride is well worth the price of $72 round trip per adult. This is a clean fast boat with full facilities and refreshments on board. The 7.00 pm is the most popular return departure, but stay for dinner and you can switch to the 9.10 pm.
The Island Queen runs from Falmouth to Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard and back at a cost of $20 per adult. In the peak season there are enough departure times to suit most people. The main advantages are: parking is 100 yards from the boat, the crossing is quick, the arrival port is in the thick of many of the attractions, low fares. Against: no reservations so be there a little earlier, maybe 45 minutes before departure.
The third option is to park at one of the Steamship satellite car parks in Falmouth and take their shuttle bus down to Woods Hole (every 10 minutes). From here there are car and passenger crossings to Martha’s Vineyard every 75 minutes or so. The journey takes 45 minutes and costs $16 per adult round trip. Cars can travel for about $140 to $160 round trip – book way in advance during the peak season. No reservations for foot passengers. Taking your car is great value as you have no transport arrangements to make on Martha’s Vineyard.
Let The Inn At Cape Cod eliminate the stress from your Martha’s Vineyard/Nantucket day trips. We shall save you time and unnecessary discomfort, we can advise and make your reservations on transport, tours, bike hire, sights and restaurants. Take with you, our Island Hopper Breakfast to go, designed for the early bird vacationer. We are minutes from the air and sea embarkation points, but located in the beautiful and upscale Historic District of Cape Cod Bay.