From our sister site The Waterland Blog:

At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, the new Des Moines passenger “Fast Ferry” to the downtown Seattle waterfront had its maiden voyage, and The Waterland Blog was there.

We boarded the Chilkat Express for its 10 a.m. inaugural run, and – despite threatening thunderstorms that knocked out power to areas in south King County – enjoyed a smooth, ~30-minute cruise from the Des Moines Marina to the Bell Harbor Marina in downtown Seattle.

The boat seats around 40 or so passengers, and is a ‘foil-assisted’ jet catamaran. Built in 2001 as a passenger ferry for the Alaska market, the Chilkat Express is an efficient, quiet and smooth-running hydrofoil powered by twin water jets. She has a cruising speed of 40 knots.

Service is free through Aug. 15, then the fare will be $10 each way, $5 for seniors and active military, with children 13 and under riding free.

This is a two-month pilot project to test the viability of a passenger-only fast ferry between Des Moines and Seattle.

We live-streamed the voyage on our Facebook page (“Like” The Waterland Blog here to get notifications for when we’re next live), and below is an edited version of highlights from the trip, as shot and edited by Scott Schaefer (running time 11-minutes, 3-seconds):

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Service started Aug. 10, and will run through Oct. 9, 2022 aboard the Chilkat Express, chartered from and run by Puget Sound Express.

Initially the boat will make four trips a day, Wednesday through Sunday.

Transit time is 30-40 minutes each way.


    • 10 a.m.
    • Noon
    • 2 p.m.
    • 4 p.m.


    • 11 a.m.
    • 1 p.m.
    • 3 p.m.
    • 5 p.m.


Availability of crew currently limits service to 10 hours a day, but if demand warrants and additional crew can be hired, an additional round trip may be added leaving Des Moines at 8 a.m. and leaving Seattle at 9 a.m.