Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are easily reached by passenger ferries (traditional and high-speed boats) from several Cape towns; some of this service runs year-round while other is seasonal. Even parking for the ferries must be reserved during the busy season, but passenger reservations are rarely necessary. Trip times vary from as little as 45 minutes to about two hours and range in price from about $8 one-way up to $35. Bicycles can be taken aboard many ferries for $3, while cars cost $42.50 to $68 (reservations required).

In season, ferries connect Boston and Plymouth with Provincetown. Bay State Cruise Company offers standard and high-speed ferry services between Commonwealth Pier in Boston and MacMillan Wharf in Provincetown. High-speed service runs a few times daily from mid-May through September ($85 round-trip); the ride takes 90 minutes. Standard service runs Saturdays only in July ($46 round-trip); the ride takes three hours. Boston Harbor Cruises runs a fast ferry from Long Wharf in Boston mid-May to mid-October for $85 round-trip. From the State Pier in Plymouth, the Plymouth to Provincetown Express Ferry operates a 90-minute ferry daily from mid-June to mid-September ($43 round-trip).

Martha's Vineyard Ferries

Hy-Line Cruises (Hyannis Terminal, 220 Ocean St., Hyannis, MA, 02601. 800/492–8082.

Island Queen (75 Falmouth Heights Rd., Falmouth, MA, 02540. 508/548–4800.

Seastreak (43 State Pier, New Bedford, MA, 02740. 800/262–8743.

Steamship Authority (1 Cowdry Rd., Falmouth, MA, 02543. 508/693–9130 or 508/477–8600.

Vineyard Fast Ferry (1347 Quonset Rd., North Kingstown, RI, 02852. 401/295–4040.

Nantucket Ferries

Freedom Cruise Line (Saquatucket Harbor, 702 Main St., Harwich Port, MA, 02646. 508/432–8999.

Provincetown Ferries

Bay State Cruise Company (Commonwealth Pier, 200 Seaport Blvd, Boston, MA, 02110. 617/748–1428 or 877/783–3779.

Boston Harbor Cruises (Long Wharf, 1 Seaport Ln., Boston, MA, 02210. 617/227–4321 or 877/733–9425.

Provincetown Express Ferry (State Pier, 77 Water St., Plymouth, MA, 02360. 508/747–2400 or 800/225–4000.