What’s the best way to get to Martha’s Vineyard from Boston? We’re here to help! There are lots of ways to take this journey, and we’ll help you find the best option for you.
Martha’s Vineyard is located six miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The only way to get to the island is by flying in or taking a ferry — there are no bridges or tunnels.
Even so, you have quite a few options for getting to Martha’s Vineyard from Boston — eight in total.
Whether you choose to drive down to Martha’s Vineyard in your own car, or take the ferry from Woods Hole, Falmouth, Hyannis, or New Bedford, or even take an organized tour — one of these will be the best for you!
Getting to Martha’s Vineyard
Depends what’s best for you! Some people prefer to drive their own car, some people prefer to fly, and others love taking the CapeFlyer train and ferry from Hyannis.
The cheapest way to get from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard to Boston is to take the bus to Woods Hole and take the ferry from there.
You can get around Martha’s Vineyard without a car, but having your own car allows you to go wherever you want whenever you want.
The fastest way to get from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard is to fly. Flights from BOS to MVY take 40 minutes.
Flights from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard
Martha’s Vineyard is home to its own airport — MVY. It’s located in the center of the island and you can get anywhere on the Vineyard within a 20-minute drive.
If you’re short on time, this is how you should get to the Vineyard. The flight time from Logan Airport to Martha’s Vineyard Airport is 40 minutes, making it the fastest way to get to Martha’s Vineyard from Boston.
There are nonstop flights from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard on two airlines: Cape Air and JetBlue. Cape Air has long been the primary airline connecting Boston and the Vineyard; JetBlue will be launching BOS-MVY flights in May 2023.
There are direct flights to the Vineyard from other different cities in the Northeast United States, including New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington DC.
We recommend checking rates on Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.
You can book a rental car at Martha’s Vineyard Airport if you’d like to have your own transportation while on the island.
Travel time: 40 minutes.
Driving from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard
Driving from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard is a smart choice if you want to have a car on the island — it’s much cheaper to drive your own vehicle down than to rent one on the island itself.
If you’re driving down to Martha’s Vineyard from Boston, you should drive to Woods Hole in Falmouth, which is where you get the car ferry to the vineyard.
The drive from Boston to Woods Hole takes about 90 minutes when there’s no traffic.
NOTE: There is very often bad traffic here, particularly around the Sagamore Bridge. We recommend not driving to the Cape on a Friday afternoon during the summer, especially on holiday weekends.
Driving at off-peak times will save you a lot of time stuck bumper-to-bumper!
Travel time: 90 minutes to Woods Hole, then 45 minutes by ferry.
Martha’s Vineyard Ferries
Keep in mind that there is no direct ferry from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard. It would be a long and impractical journey, having to go all the way around the Cape and back again!
There are, however, several different ferries to Martha’s Vineyard from different ports on the southern coast of Massachusetts.
While the main car ferry to Martha’s Vineyard departs from Woods Hole, there are additional foot passenger ferries leaving from Hyannis, Falmouth, and New Bedford.
Keep in mind that most of these ferry lines offer seasonal service, with the most frequent departures during the summer months. Most run between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
However, the Steamship Authority ferry from Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard operates year-round service with daily departures.
We highly recommend booking your car ferry in advance, especially if you’re visiting on a weekend during the summer. Car spots on the Martha’s Vineyard ferry are limited and you can’t always rock up on a whim and expect to get on board.
Travel time: 35-60 minutes.
Woods Hole Ferry to Martha’s Vineyard
The Steamship Authority ferry from Woods Hole on Cape Cod is how most Martha’s Vineyard visitors arrive. These ferries that depart from Woods Hole arrive in either Vineyard Haven or Oak Bluffs. Cars are permitted on this ferry.
The journey from Woods Hole takes about 45 minutes across Vineyard Sound to either town and has free wi-fi on board.
(Does it matter whether you arrive in Vineyard Haven or Oak Bluffs? Not really. The towns are about a 10-minute drive from each other, and you could be routed to the other port last minute due to traffic or weather, which happened to us once.)
Round-trip ferry fares start at $20 for adults, $10 for kids age 5-12, $8 for bicycles, and $128 for cars. You can find the full list of fares here.
Hyannis Ferry to Martha’s Vineyard
There is a passenger-only ferry from Hyannis to Martha’s Vineyard with Hy-Line Cruises. If you’re going to be based around Hyannis or taking a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard, this can be a nice way to go.
The journey from Hyannis to Oak Bluffs crosses Hyannis Harbor and takes about one hour.
Round-trip ferry fares start at $62 for adults, $41 for kids age 5-12, and $14 for bicycles. You can find the full list of fares here.
Falmouth Ferry to Martha’s Vineyard
There’s another ferry to Martha’s Vineyard — from Falmouth to the town of Edgartown on the Island Queen Ferry. This can be a convenient option if you’re staying in Edgartown or Chappaquiddick, and it’s 10 minutes less than driving to Woods Hole.
The journey on the Falmouth-Edgartown ferry takes about 35 minutes.
Round-trip ferry fares start at $27 for adults, $16 for kids age 5-12, and $8 for bicycles. You can find the full list of fares here.
New Bedford Ferry to Martha’s Vineyard
New Bedford, located in southeast Massachusetts near Rhode Island, offers a passenger-only ferry to Martha’s Vineyard with Seastreak. We’re including it on this list because some people in the Boston area might prefer driving to New Bedford rather than Woods Hole.
The journey from New Bedford to Martha’s Vineyard crosses Buzzards Bay and takes about one hour.
Round-trip ferry fares start at $79 for adults ($50 if same day), $48 for kids age 3-12 ($30 if same day), and $14 for bicycles. You can find the full list of fares here.
Train from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard
One of the more unusual ways to get from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard is to take the train — specifically, the Cape Flyer.
The Cape Flyer runs from Memorial Day through Columbus Day each year, starting at South Station in Boston and finishing right in Hyannis — where you can hop on the Hy-Line passenger ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.
The Cape Flyer takes about 2.5 hours to get from Boston to Hyannis, and fares start at $22 one-way or $40 round-trip.
Travel time: 2.5 hours plus one hour on the ferry.
Bus from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard
The cheapest way to get from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard is to take the bus directly to Woods Hole Ferry Terminal. You can take this public transport route on Peter Pan Bus Lines from and a one-way journey starts at $29.
The bus takes about one hour and 45 minutes to get from Boston South Station to Woods Hole, with stops at Bourne and Falmouth en route.
From your final stop at the Woods Hole terminal, you can hop right on the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.
Travel time: 1 hour and 45 minutes plus 45 minutes on the ferry.
Organized Trips from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard
Finally, you can take an organized day trip from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard with a tour company.
This Martha’s Vineyard day trip from Boston is an award-winning tour. It runs from April through October.
On this tour, you’ll travel from Boston to Falmouth aboard an air-conditioned minibus, then take the Island Queen passenger ferry to Oak Bluffs. From there you can have free time to explore at your own pace, relax on the pristine beaches, or book an additional three-hour island tour taking you to Edgartown and the Aquinnah Cliffs.
We should let you know that we at Yes, Massachusetts don’t usually recommend this. It’s a LONG journey, and you’ll be spending most of the day in transit. It’s not enough time. We recommend at least overnighting on Martha’s Vineyard if you can.
If you want to do a fun day trip from Boston, we highly recommend going to Provincetown instead. It’s a 95-minute ferry ride and Provincetown is compact, walkable, and a lot of fun.
But if a day is all you have and you really want to visit Martha’s Vineyard, go ahead and book the trip! Just be ready for it to be a long day.
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