The Beacon Inn

Posted on 02-08-2023

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Cape May-Lewes Ferry: All You Need To Know

One of the most popular ways to reach us here in the historic town of Lewes is via the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. Bringing visitors from the state of New Jersey – but used even by those driving from further afield – to reach Delaware, it’s both a swift and relaxing way to take a break with family and friends.

Once you arrive, there’s no better place to stay than with us here at The Beacon Inn. We’re ideally located just a short walk or drive from the Lewes Ferry Terminal, providing you with a warm welcome and a comfortable room from which to explore this beautiful part of Delaware.

To help you get here, take a look at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry in more detail with us.

Cape May Lewes Ferry


Cape May-Lewes Ferry schedule

The Cape May-Lewes Ferry is currently running a fall and winter schedule (be sure to check their website for a spring and summer schedule). Here are the times, until March 31st, 2023, that the ferry will depart from Cape May, NJ*:

  • 7:00am
  • 10:30am
  • 2:30pm
  • 6:00pm

The following are departure times from Lewes, DE*:

  • 8:45am
  • 12:15pm
  • 4:15pm
  • 7:45pm 

*Times may vary for Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays after February 18th.


Cape May-Lewes Ferry cost

The great news about the price of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry is that it’s free for children up to 13 years of age. Adults (ages 14 to 61) pay $8 for a one-way ticket or $14 for a round-trip, while anyone over the age of 61 pays a reduced fare of $6 for a one-way or $11 for a round-trip ticket.

When traveling with a vehicle, you’ll pay both the passenger fares and the vehicle fare, depending on its size.

  • For a car, SUV, or pick-up truck (under 20’) it’s $21 one-way or $38 for a round-trip
  • For a motorcycle, it’s $18 one-way or $31 for a round-trip
  • For a three-wheel motorcycle or motorcycle with a trailer, it’s $19 one-way or $32 for a round-trip
  • For scooters, it’s just $9 for a one-way ticket or $15 for a round-trip
  • Traveling with a bicycle will cost you nothing extra, just your passenger trip

Longer vehicles, such as RVs, will have to enquire separately due to certain height and length restrictions, although the Cape May-Lewes Ferry team claims they can transport almost any vehicle.

Prices are accurate at the time of writing but may be subject to change, check the operator’s website for further clarification on fares.


Do you need a reservation?

Yes, you’ll need to make a reservation if you wish to guarantee your place. You can do this by visiting the Cape May-Lewes Ferry website or by calling them. Those who do not have a reservation may be allowed to pay and board on the day if that sailing isn’t fully booked, but your place will not be guaranteed.


How long is the ferry ride from Cape May to Lewes?

The crossing between Cape May to the Lewes ferry terminal is roughly the same each way. The 17-mile journey takes about 85 minutes. You’re advised to arrive for check-in at least 45 minutes before boarding to allow enough time to get everyone onboard safely.


Can you stay in your vehicle on the Cape May Ferry?

Once you’re on board the ferry you can choose to stay with your vehicle if you wish, but your engine and any security alarms must be off. Many people choose to lock and leave their vehicles so that they can enjoy the journey from either inside the ship or outside on the decks.


Cape May-Lewes Ferry travel benefits

Cape May-Lewes Ferry travel benefits

There are a whole host of benefits to traveling via the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. The main attraction for those in the south of New Jersey is that it works out faster to take the ferry than to drive (usually a 3-hour drive between the two terminals). For others, the difference in travel time may be negligible, depending on your starting point and destination, but the break from driving can sure be a welcome one.

You can also dine at one of the terminal restaurants, getting breakfast, lunch, or dinner depending on when you arrive. Alternatively, grab drinks and pre-packaged snacks on board. This means you don’t have to worry about a thing, just show up and enjoy the ride. 

As you travel across the bay, you’ll get to enjoy the stunning scenery and the fresh sea breeze. You can walk around and switch your seating position at any point to get a better view or to simply relax in preparation for the next leg of your journey.

Best of all, you might even spot some wildlife while on board… find out which animals in our next section.


Wildlife that can be seen from the ferry

Wildlife seen from the ferry


That’s right, depending on the time of year that you take the trip on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, as well as the weather conditions, you might be able to spot a few rare creatures in the ocean, on the beaches, and in the skies above. While not guaranteed by any means, you should keep your eyes peeled for some of the following:

  • Dolphins
  • Whales
  • Seals
  • Horseshoe Crabs
  • Osprey
  • Bald Eagles
  • Egrets
  • Gannets
  • Piping Plovers
  • Red Knots


Stay at The Beacon Inn, Lewes

Stay at the Beacon Inn, Lewes

The journey is always half the fun, but there are great things to see and do here in Lewes, as well as in the nearby Rehoboth Beach — including spotting more wildlife. Don’t forget to reserve a room for yourself, your friends, or your family to make your stay in Delaware a great one. If you need more information on things to do in the area and the ferry, our friendly team will be happy to help you during your stay with us.

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