RVing on the Gulf Coast Ferry System

In ten years of full-time RVing, we’d only taken our motorhome aboard a ferry twice before, on a round-trip sailing from Horseshoe Bay in Vancouver, Canada to Gibsons, on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast. That trip, on a huge 450-foot-long BC Ferries vessel, took about 45 minutes each way and was very expensive for the RV, our tow car and two people.

Despite the cost, there was something very cool about having our RV out on the water, and the beauty of the Sunshine Coast during our month-long stay made it well worth the expense.

On a recent trip from New Orleans, LA to Galveston Island, TX, both Google Maps and our GPS suggested that we drive inland, along interstate 10. Since we prefer to stay on more scenic local roads whenever possible (and we were also eager to take the RV on the ferry ride to Galveston Island) we stayed along the coast instead.

As a bonus, we drove through peaceful and scenic marshland and got some views of the Gulf of Mexico as well. While researching our route, we discovered that there would be an additional water crossing required, on the Cameron-Holly Beach ferry.

We weren’t sure if a large motorhome would be able to make the crossing. Were large vehicles allowed? Was there a problem with low tide causing steep approach or departure angles? A little online research showed that it wouldn’t be a problem, although we’d recommend that anyone planning to follow this route check for any updates or changes to ferry policies or conditions.

The Cameron-Holly Beach ferry trip is laughably short… only 1/4 mile and about 3 1/2 minutes. It took longer to drive on and off the ferry than to cross. Because of the short trip duration, everyone is asked to remain in their vehicles. As we approached the loading area, we were asked if anyone on board was over 65. Since neither of us is, we had to pay full fare to cross: $1. That’s right… the RV, toad and 2 people for $1! lol Had we been over 65, it would have been free.

When we arrived in Port Bolivar, TX to catch the ferry to Galveston Island, we were pleased to find that the trip was free for all ages! During the crossing we saw dolphins riding in our bow wave and were lucky enough to catch one of them on video, as you can see.

Next time you’re RVing along the Gulf Coast, get off the Interstate and head out onto the water. It’s a great way to travel by RV!