How to Travel from Boston to Nantucket: Transportation Options 

Set sail on a captivating journey from the bustling cityscape of Boston to the idyllic shores of Nantucket. As you embark on this coastal adventure, prepare to be enchanted by the timeless charm and natural beauty that await you. 

From historic landmarks to pristine beaches, each moment of the voyage promises a glimpse into the rich tapestry of New England’s maritime heritage.

Experience the thrill of traveling from Boston to Nantucket, where the hustle and bustle of city life give way to the tranquility of island living. 

Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or simply a change of scenery, Nantucket beckons with its pristine beaches, quaint cobblestone streets, and picturesque lighthouses.

Join us as we embark on a journey of discovery, tracing the path from Boston to Nantucket and uncovering the hidden gems that lie along the way. Together, let us set sail for an unforgettable island escape.

Transportation Options to Travel from Boston to Nantucket

Nantucket, a captivating island south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, beckons travelers with its pristine beaches, charming cobblestone streets, and rich history. 

If you’re planning a trip from Boston to Nantucket, you have several transportation options to consider, each offering a unique travel experience. Let’s delve into three popular choices: ferry, airplane, and private boat (if applicable).

Traveling by Ferry

Traveling by Ferry

Most travelers choose ferries to reach Nantucket from Boston. Below are the details of the ferry:

Travel Time

Ferry travel from Boston to Nantucket takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes to 3 hours and 15 minutes, depending on the route and ferry company. High-speed ferries offer a faster option at around 1 hour and 45 minutes.


Several ferry companies operate routes between Boston and Nantucket, offering daily departures throughout the year. 

Schedules can vary by season and day of the week, so be sure to check the websites of individual ferry companies for the latest information and to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak season.


Ferry fares can vary depending on the season, day of the week, travel time, and whether you’re bringing a car. Generally, expect to pay between $75 and $200 for a passenger ticket and significantly more if you’re bringing a vehicle.


Modern ferries provide a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience. Many offer spacious decks with stunning ocean views, comfortable seating, onboard restaurants and cafes, restrooms, and sometimes even entertainment options like movies or live music.

Things to Keep in Mind

Ferry travel can be susceptible to weather conditions, so be sure to check the forecast before you depart. 

During peak season, ferries can get crowded, so booking your tickets well in advance is essential. If you’re prone to seasickness, consider taking medication beforehand.

Traveling by Airplane

Traveling by Airplane

Flying is the quickest way to reach Nantucket from Boston. Here are the details of the flight:

Travel Time

The flight itself takes only about 45 minutes, with additional time needed for security checks and baggage claims. Total travel time, including ground transportation to and from the airports, can be comparable to a high-speed ferry ride.


Cape Air offers daily scheduled flights between Boston Logan International Airport and Nantucket Memorial Airport. The number of flights may vary depending on the season.


Flights are generally the most expensive option for travel to Nantucket, with ticket prices ranging from $150 to $400 or more depending on the season and advance purchase. Be sure to factor in baggage fees and any additional transportation costs to get to and from the airports.


Enjoy the comfort of a spacious cabin and stunning aerial views during your short flight. Some flights may offer complimentary beverages or snacks.

Things to Keep in Mind

Book your flight well in advance, especially during peak travel times. Allow ample time for security checks, baggagclaimsim, and any potential delays to ensure you don’t miss your flight. Be aware that small planes can be more susceptible to turbulence than larger commercial jets.

Traveling by Private Boat (Luxurious Adventure)

Traveling by Private Boat

Want something more luxurious and flexible? Let’s consider the private boat option!

Travel Time 

The travel time by private boat from Boston to Nantucket can vary greatly depending on the size and speed of the vessel, weather conditions, and planned route (direct vs. scenic). Generally, expect a journey between 4 and 8 hours.


The beauty of a private boat charter is its flexibility. You can set your own departure time and create a customized itinerary, perhaps stopping at interesting points along the way or enjoying some deep-sea fishing. 

Be sure to discuss your desired schedule and route with the charter company in advance.


Chartering a private boat is the most expensive option by far. Costs can vary significantly depending on the size and amenities of the boat, duration of the charter, crew requirements, and any additional services requested (catering, water sports equipment, etc.). 

Expect to pay several thousand dollars for a private day trip or overnight charter.


A private boat charter offers the ultimate in luxury and personalization. Enjoy spacious decks for sunbathing and socializing, comfortable cabins for relaxation, and potentially even amenities like a Jacuzzi, wet bar, or on-deck grill. 

Some charters may also include meals and beverages, or allow you to bring your own provisions.

Things to Keep in Mind

Chartering a private boat requires planning and coordination. Be sure to research reputable charter companies in Boston and book your trip well in advance, especially during peak season. 

Clearly communicate your desired experience and any specific needs to the charter company when making your reservation. 

If you’re not an experienced sailor, ensure the captain and crew are licensed and qualified to handle the chosen route and vessel. Also, be prepared for the possibility of seasickness and pack accordingly.

How Do You Travel from Boston to Nantucket by Road?

While Nantucket is an island and not accessible by road directly, travelers can drive to the ferry terminals on the mainland and then take a ferry to reach the island. 

Let’s explore the details of how to travel from Boston to Nantucket by road, including ferry options and practical tips for a memorable journey.

Driving to the Ferry Terminals

Driving to the Ferry Terminals

The first step in traveling from Boston to Nantucket by road is driving to one of the ferry terminals located on the Massachusetts coast. The two main ferry terminals serving Nantucket are in Hyannis and Woods Hole.

Hyannis Terminal h4

Located approximately 70 miles southeast of Boston, the Hyannis terminal offers ferry service to Nantucket operated by Hy-Line Cruises and Steamship Authority.

Woods Hole Terminal h4

Situated approximately 70 miles south of Boston, the Woods Hole terminal provides ferry service to Nantucket operated by Steamship Authority.

Travelers can reach both terminals by driving south from Boston on Interstate 93 and then connecting to Route 3 and Route 6 respectively. 

Be sure to check ferry schedules and book tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your spot on the ferry.

Ferry Options

Once you arrive at the ferry terminal, you’ll have a choice of ferry operators and service options for traveling to Nantucket. Here are the main ferry operators serving the Boston to Nantucket route:

Hy-Line Cruises

Hy-Line Cruises

Hy-Line Cruises offers high-speed ferry service from Hyannis to Nantucket, with multiple daily departures. The journey typically takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes, providing a fast and convenient option for travelers.

Steamship Authority

The Steamship Authority operates traditional ferry service from both Hyannis and Woods Hole to Nantucket. 

While the journey takes longer compared to the high-speed ferries, it offers a more leisurely experience with onboard amenities and scenic views along the way.

Travelers can choose between passenger-only ferries and ferries that accommodate vehicles, depending on their preferences and transportation needs. Be sure to check the ferry schedule and make reservations in advance, especially if you plan to bring a vehicle onboard.

Practical Tips for the Road

Before setting out on your journey, plan your route to the ferry terminal in advance using GPS navigation or online mapping tools. Consider factors such as distance, driving time, and potential traffic delays.

Check Ferry Schedules

Check Ferry Schedules

Be sure to check ferry schedules and book tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. Consider factors such as departure times, travel duration, and ticket prices when choosing the most suitable ferry option.

Arrive Early

Plan to arrive at the ferry terminal at least 30 minutes to an hour before your scheduled departure time to allow for parking, ticketing, and boarding procedures.

Pack Essentials

Be sure to pack essential items for your ferry journey, including sunscreen, snacks, water, and any necessary medications. If you’re bringing a vehicle onboard, ensure that it meets the ferry’s requirements for size, weight, and clearance.

Enjoy the Journey

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic ferry ride from the mainland to Nantucket. Take in the breathtaking views of the ocean and coastline, and savor the anticipation of exploring the charming island of Nantucket upon arrival.


How do you get from Boston to Nantucket?

Travelers can reach Nantucket from Boston by taking a ferry or a flight. Ferries depart from various terminals in Boston, such as the Boston Harbor or Hyannis, with travel times ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 hours. 

Are there direct flights from Boston to Nantucket?

Yes, Cape Air operates direct flights from Boston Logan International Airport to Nantucket Memorial Airport. These flights offer a convenient and quick travel option for those looking to reach Nantucket from Boston.

How long does it take to get from Boston to Nantucket by ferry?

The travel time from Boston to Nantucket by ferry varies depending on the departure point and the type of ferry. 

High-speed ferries departing from Boston Harbor typically take around 2 to 2.5 hours, while ferries from Hyannis may take slightly longer, ranging from 2.5 to 3 hours.

Can you bring a car on the ferry from Boston to Nantucket?

Yes, some ferry services allow passengers to bring vehicles onboard for an additional fee. However, availability may vary depending on the ferry operator and the specific route. 

It’s recommended to check with the ferry company in advance to confirm vehicle transportation options and make reservations if necessary.

What is the cost of traveling from Boston to Nantucket?

The cost of traveling from Boston to Nantucket varies depending on the mode of transportation chosen. 

Ferry tickets typically range from $50 to $100 per person each way, while flights may range from $150 to $300 or more for a one-way trip, depending on factors such as booking time and availability. 


The journey from Boston to Nantucket offers a seamless transition from the vibrant energy of city life to the serene beauty of island living. 

As travelers bid farewell to the historic streets of Boston, they set forth on an adventure filled with breathtaking landscapes, charming coastal towns, and endless opportunities for exploration.

Nantucket’s timeless allure captivates visitors with its pristine beaches, rich maritime history, and welcoming community. 

Whether strolling along cobblestone streets adorned with historic architecture or basking in the tranquility of secluded beaches, every moment on the island is infused with a sense of wonder.

As the journey draws to a close, travelers carry with them cherished memories of sun-soaked days, starlit nights, and the warm embrace of Nantucket’s coastal charm. 

Until we meet again, may the spirit of island life linger in your heart, inviting you to experience the magic of Nantucket.

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Naim Benmayor

I am a passionate and knowledgeable tour guide at Boston Private Guide, dedicated to providing you with an unforgettable experience in the historic city of Boston. With years of expertise, I bring the rich history, culture, and hidden gems of this vibrant city to life. Whether you're interested in exploring the Freedom Trail, indulging in the culinary delights of the North End, or discovering the lesser-known stories of Boston's past, I am here to tailor a personalized tour just for you. Join me on a journey through Boston's streets, where every cobblestone has a tale to tell, and let's create lasting memories together. LinkedIn

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