Faster passenger-only ferry route to be piloted from Des Moines to Seattle

The Chilkat Express will test the route for two months beginning Aug. 10th.

The City of Des Moines has announced a two-month pilot program to test a passenger only “fast” ferry between Des Moines and downtown Seattle’s Bell Harbor Marina. Service is scheduled to begin on Aug. 10 and will run through Oct. 9.

The Chilkat Express, as the ferry is being called, will be chartered and run by Puget Sound Express. She has a cruising speed of 40 knots.

Initially, the boat will make four trips a day, Wednesday through Saturday, with a 40-minute transit time.

The vessel will depart Des Moines Marina at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. It will depart southbound from Seattle at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m.

Service will be free the first week, subsequently the fare will be $10 each way. Seniors and active military members will pay $5 while kids under 13 years old ride free.

The City of Des Moines is partnering with Highline School District to provide deckhands to work along trained crew members. The paid internships are intended to give the students experience in the maritime industry.