Nantucket, an enchanting island located off the shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, exudes a captivating charm. Renowned as a favored tourist spot, it boasts a rich historical downtown, picturesque beaches, and high-end boutiques. If you are contemplating a visit to Nantucket, there are several avenues to reach this idyllic island.
However, embarking on this delightful adventure necessitates some careful planning. Irrespective of whether you are a first-time explorer or a seasoned voyager, this comprehensive guide will assist you in navigating the various transportation options and provide estimated costs, ensuring a seamless journey to Nantucket.
If you go to Nantucket, visit my other blog post: Top 29 Activities To Do In Nantucket 2024
How To Get To Nantucket
If you’re planning a trip to Nantucket, the most popular way to get there is by taking a ferry. You have two options when it comes to ferry companies: The Steamship Authority and Hy-Line Cruises.
The Steamship Authority operates ferries from Hyannis, Massachusetts. The ferry ride usually takes around one hour and 45 minutes. A round-trip ferry ticket for adults costs $76, while children can enjoy the ride for $38.
Hy-Line Cruises also operates ferries from Hyannis, Massachusetts. The ferry ride is a bit shorter, typically lasting about one hour and 15 minutes. The round-trip ferry ticket prices are $64 for adults and $32 for children.
Both the Steamship Authority and Hy-Line Cruises also offer high-speed ferry service. The high-speed ferry ride takes approximately one hour, making it a quicker option. For adults, a round-trip high-speed ferry ticket costs $96, and for children, it is $48.
Nantucket Memorial Airport (ACK) is located on the island and is served by several airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, and United Airlines. Travelers can conveniently fly to Nantucket from major cities such as New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C., with the flight duration typically lasting around an hour.
Commercial Airlines: Cape Air and JetBlue are among the major carriers that offer daily flights to Nantucket. The prices for these flights may vary depending on the time of year and how far in advance you make your booking.
Private Charter: If you prefer a more exclusive and personalized experience, you can opt for chartering a private plane. This option allows for flexibility in terms of departure locations and flight schedules, but it does come with a higher price tag.
- Commercial Airlines: $200-$600 (round trip, economy class)
- Private Charter: $2,000 and up (one way)
There are no direct bridges connecting Nantucket; therefore, your options for reaching the island are limited to air or sea travel. One possible route is to drive to Hyannis, Massachusetts, and then board a ferry to Nantucket.
The journey from Boston to Hyannis typically takes approximately two hours by car. However, it is important to note that in order to reach Nantucket, you will still need to take a ferry from Cape Cod. The round-trip cost of a ferry ticket, including a car and driver, amounts to $220.
- Gas: $50-$100 (round trip)
- Ferry: $54–$108 (round trip)
The Amtrak-operated CapeFlyer train provides daily service from Boston’s South Station to the Hyannis Transportation Center, conveniently located near the ferry terminals. Although there is no direct train route to Nantucket, there are two options to incorporate train travel into your journey to the island.
Train to Hyannis and Ferry
To begin, take the CapeFlyer train from South Station in Boston to the Hyannis Transportation Center. The train ride lasts approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. Adult round-trip train tickets cost $40, while children’s tickets are priced at $20.
Once you arrive in Hyannis, board a ferry from Hyannis Harbor to Nantucket Island. The ferry ride takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes. Adult round-trip ferry tickets are priced at $76, with children’s tickets costing $38.
Train to New York and Fly
Alternatively, you can opt to take a train from Durgapur Railway Station to New York Penn Station. This train journey involves multiple days and connections. The cost of a one-way train ticket is approximately $300.
From New York, you can then catch a flight from either Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) or LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Nantucket Memorial Airport (ACK). The flight duration is approximately 45 minutes, and a round-trip flight typically costs around $200.
Looking for a place to stay in Nantucket?
No worries; there’s something for everyone! From cozy guesthouses to luxurious hotels, you’ll find a wide variety of accommodations to fit your budget and preferences. Need some suggestions? Here are a few options to consider:
- The Nantucket Inn
- The Jared Coffin House Inn
- The White Elephant Hotel
- The Nantucket Hotel
- The Christopher
- The Nantucket Whaling Museum Inn
Things to do
There are numerous activities to enjoy on Nantucket, ranging from exploring the charming downtown area to taking a refreshing swim at the beach. Here are a few recommendations:
- The Whale Museum: Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of whaling on the island.
- A Bike Ride: Nantucket offers an ideal setting for discovering its scenic beauty on two wheels.
- Beach time: With its abundance of stunning beaches, Nantucket beckons you to relax and soak up the sun.
- Shipwreck Museum: Delve into the intriguing world of shipwrecks through the captivating artifacts on display.
- A Whale-watching tour: Witness the awe-inspiring presence of humpback whales, fin whales, and dolphins in their natural habitat.
Tips for Planning Your Trip
- Secure your ferry tickets in advance, particularly during the bustling summer season.
- Travel light: Expect to do a fair amount of walking around Nantucket, so pack accordingly.
- Anticipate crowds: As a sought-after tourist destination, Nantucket can get quite busy, especially during the summer months.
- Be mindful of expenses. Keep in mind that Nantucket is known for its relatively higher cost of living, and plan your budget accordingly.
When is the best time to visit Nantucket?
To experience the bustling island with warm weather and plenty of activities, visit during the peak season from June to August. However, for a more relaxed and potentially more affordable trip, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons in spring (April to June) or fall (September to October).
How many days in advance should I book my Nantucket transportation?
It’s a good idea to plan ahead and book your transportation tickets in advance, especially during busy times of the year. Whether you’re looking to catch a flight or take a ferry, it’s important to act quickly, as these options can get fully booked. By booking early, you may also be able to snag some great deals and save money on your travel expenses.
Are there any restrictions on bringing a car to Nantucket on the ferry?
Before bringing your car to Nantucket on the ferry, it’s important to be aware of the specific guidelines set by the ferry company. These guidelines may include reservations, vehicle dimensions, and additional fees. During peak times, it’s highly recommended to make a reservation for your car to ensure availability.
How can I save money on my trip to Nantucket?
To save money on your Nantucket trip, you can try booking your transportation and accommodations ahead of time, checking out package deals, traveling during the off-peak season, and taking advantage of any discounts or promotions offered by airlines, ferry companies, and hotels. You may also want to consider planning and booking as a group to get cost savings.
Are there rental car services available on Nantucket?
There are various rental car services available on Nantucket. It’s a good idea to make reservations ahead of time, especially during busy tourist seasons, to ensure you have a car available when you need it.