Cape May – Lewes Ferry - Tourism

Tourism

The ferry was constructed with transportation as its chief goal. However, over time, the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) began to recognize its potential as a tourist attraction. While the ferry of today continues to provide a vital transportation link between Delaware and New Jersey, the ferry experience has been optimized to draw in tourists.

The ferry fleet was substantially overhauled during the 1990s, adding several amenities—including buffet restaurants, bars, and lounges—intended to promote the ride as a draw in itself. The DRBA operates a shuttle service on both sides of the bay, giving foot passengers both a ride on the ferry and round-trip transportation from the terminals into Cape May and Lewes for one combined rate. The DRBA has partnered with local merchants to give discounts to passengers, and it even allows passengers to purchase a round-trip ticket and not disembark midway.

In addition to these promotions, the ferry also offers a special excursions. A popular, but expensive, excursion includes the annual fireworks cruise, in which passengers board the vessel (usually the M.V. Twin Capes) and sail into the bay to watch a Fourth of July fireworks show sponsored by the DRBA. The cruise features entertainment on the car deck (past entertainment has included a symphony orchestra) and a catered meal.

The ferry is a connection between the south Jersey shore towns from Long Beach Island to Cape May, and the shore towns from Lewes, Delaware, to Ocean City, Maryland, on the Delmarva Peninsula. Prior to its inception, travelers between these areas would have to drive across southern New Jersey to the Delaware Memorial Bridge, and then down through Delaware on U.S. Route 13, or vice versa if they were coming from Delaware.

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