Blaine By The Sea

Historic Plover
Passenger Ferry

The Historic Plover Passenger Ferry 2023 season has been cancelled.

Dear followers and friends of the historic Plover Passenger Ferry,

With great sadness and a heavy heart, we announce the unfortunate cancellation of the 2023 season of our beloved Plover Passenger Ferry in Blaine by the Sea. The Plover has been a cherished historical landmark, transporting countless passengers across the waters and providing unforgettable memories for generations.

We deeply regret sharing this news, as we understand how much the Plover means to all of you – our loyal passengers, tourists, and the wider community who have eagerly anticipated experiencing a ride on this iconic 79-year-old vessel.

The reason behind this difficult decision is the need for repairs more extensive than those carried out during the ferry’s original restoration in the mid-’90s. Our dedicated captain and shipwright have worked tirelessly against the clock to make the Plover seaworthy for the 2023 summer season.

Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, it has become clear that completing the required repairs in time is not possible.
While we empathize with the disappointment this cancellation may cause, our passengers and crew’s safety and well-being remain our top priority. Ensuring the Plover is in the best possible condition will ultimately result in a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

Looking ahead, we remain optimistic that Drayton Harbor Maritime, as operators of the Plover, will be able to complete the necessary repairs and launch a full season in 2024. We encourage you all to keep the spirit of the Plover alive and eagerly anticipate a fresh start in the coming year.

Once again, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your understanding, support, and love for the Plover Passenger Ferry.

Wishing you all fair winds and following seas until we meet again in 2024.

The Plover Passenger Ferry Team

A ride on the MV Plover Foot Passenger Ferry at the Blaine Marina is a popular tourist and local attraction. The Plover is Washington’s oldest foot passenger ferry, operating from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend.

The Plover is an 11-ton, 32-foot, 17-passenger foot ferry that sails between Blaine Harbor Marina, Gate 2 to Semiahmoo Wharf dock behind Semiahmoo Resort. The vessel is owned by the City of Blaine, Washington, and operated by the nonprofit Drayton Harbor Maritime. As an added attraction for kids, the Plover allows children to steer the Plover and become “Captain for the Day.”

Part of the Coast Millennium Trail, the Plover carries passengers with bicycles. The Coast Millennium trail is a regional trail that eventually will connect trails as far south as Skagit County to the Canadian border. The cost to ride the Plover is by donation. It features a two-person crew commentary on the history and restoration of the ferry. The ferry is certified by the U.S. Coast Guard with a running time of 20-minutes from Blaine to Semiahmoo Resort Wharf and a return trip of 20-minutes to Blaine Harbor Marina. Times are approximate.

What to see on the Plover

While on your cruise, the 2-person crew is informative on the sights seen. Starting from the Gate 2 dock, you pass through the working harbor to the breakwater to Semiahmoo Bay. Observe soaring eagles, Cormorants, harbor seals, great blue herons, a variety of waterfowl, and views of British Columbia’s Coast Mountains, White Rock, BC and the towering Mt. Baker across Drayton Harbor.

Docking Locations:

Memorial Day through Labor Day
Fri, Sat: Noon-8PM
Sun: 10AM-6PM
Fares: $5 Recommended Donation, under 12 Free.

Blaine Boating Center Visitor’s Dock
235 Marine Dr. Blaine
Departs on the hour from the Blaine Visitor’s Dock, Gate II at the Blaine Boating Center, Gate 2.

Semiahmoo Resort Wharf Dock
Departs on the half-hour from the Plover Dock at Resort Semiahmoo Wharf area.

A little Plover history

Built in 1944, the MV Plover is the oldest foot passenger ferry in Washington with the shortest route. The Plover is made of cedar and fir and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Until 1964, the Plover was used to shuttle workers to the Alaska Packers Salmon Cannery on Semiahmoo Spit, now home to Semiahmoo Resort-Spa-Golf. In the late 19th century, the cannery was one of the largest salmon canneries in the world.

Visit the Alaska Packers Association Museum located in Semiahmoo Park on Semiahmoo Spit. Open weekends through Labor Day 1 PM to 5 PM.

Plover Stats

Year Built: 1944
Overall Length: 32 feet
Beam: 9’7″
Draft: 5 feet
Net Tonnage: 11 tons
Hull Construction: 11/4 “x4″ clear vertical grain fir and yellow cedar planking laid over 11/2″ x21/2″ bent white oak frames 10” on center.
Engine: 1964 Daggenheim inline six-cylinder diesel.
Capacity” 17 passengers, 2-crew

Photos ©Ruth Lauman