Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry – Galveston, TX – Full-Time RV Life


There is something exciting about riding a ferry.  I spent 30 years in Jacksonville, Florida. Every time we had family or friends visit, taking the ferry out of Mayport was a must.  The salt air, the gentle swaying of the boat, the sharp squawks of the seagulls, watching the pelicans snatch fish into their beaks, and the thrill of an occasional dolphin flipping the surface of the water.  It has a charm that is hard to explain.

It was no different in Galveston.  The Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry ride was better because it was free and had a much longer duration than the one in Mayport.  We were there shortly before sunset and the experience enlisted all five senses.

Ferry on the way out of Galveston
Not sure if we’ll ever take the motorhome on board.
Similar ferry in the distance.
Leaving the dock behind.
Are they contemplating who’s next to “baptize” in poop?
The shipping channel.

There was so much to see.  The shipping channel ran parallel to the ferry and large cargo ships could be seen.  Children giggled and squealed as seagulls dove for their offerings of crackers.  The gulls and pelicans took flight and soared by, sometimes so close to us we could almost touch them.  Ship horns sounded in the distance and carried on the wind.  We could feel the heaviness of salt in the air and taste the tang left on our lips.

When the ride came to an end and we docked on the other side, we had arrived at the Bolivar Peninsula.


The Bolivar Peninsula was totally devastated by Hurricane Ike in 2008 and there has not been much rebuilding since that time.  We drove a few miles into it and saw miles of beaches and only scattered home communities.  I wish we had more time to explore, but darkness was almost upon us and we needed to get back to the ferry.

Once we drove onto the ferry for the return trip, we again got out of our vehicles and enjoyed the cold evening air on the trip back to Galveston as the sun was fully setting.


It was one of our most memorable evenings in Galveston and we later joined friends for dinner.  It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, and I highly recommend it for everyone.

Until the next adventure,

Love, Dawn



  1. So lovely and gorgeous photos. Mind you when your ferry experiences are predominantly the English Channel you have a very different perspective and the one thing it ain’t is romantic!!!

  2. It wasn’t that scary taking the motor home on the ferry. I guess yours is a bit larger though. We didn’t get out because we thought our stairs were to close to the vehicles next to us! You do fill most of the lane and its pretty funny. Smart Car was a lot nicer. Safe travels!

    1. That was one of the things I was concerned about (the space issue and stairs). Did you stay on the Peninsula at all? We were thinking about trying to find a place to stay there the next time we are in the area. It’s quiet and remote. 🙂

      1. Yes! We got our Bolivar Beach parking pass and stayed right in the sand on Bolivar Peninsula. $10 for the pass I think. No hookups but can’t beat the price. We met a couple that stayed at a place with hookups not far down the peninsula though. I think they said it was reasonably priced. The only sad thing was the amount of trash on the beach. We could have picked up bags and bags and not made a dent.

        1. I think we are going to explore that possibility–not sure if we want to stay directly on the beach, but may find something close. Thanks for sharing your experience–love to hear tried-and-true adventures! Dawn

  3. Thanks for sharing about this exciting adventure! As many times as we’ve been to Jax as RVers, we’ve never been able to take the Mayport Ferry-its been closed down!
    We’re not sure we’re up to putting our motorhome on a ferry….but we’re OK with the car. We hope to make it to Galveston one day….

    1. The Mayport ferry is just as exciting, but a much shorter ride. Having seafood at Singleton’s in Mayport makes up for it, though. 🙂 Galveston was a longer ride and more exciting for me–hoping to spend more time on the Bolivar Peninsula next time. Thanks for stopping by! Safe travels, Dawn.

  4. we second your endorsement of that ferry. Here in British Columbia, we pay a premium to use that mode of transportation. We did take our 35′ RV on that ferry with no issues at all. We went once in the fog so missed a lot but a couple times in good daylight and loved every second of it. Definitely worth the trip.

  5. We had considered taking the ferry while we were in Galveston, but we never had particularly great weather on days we were free, so we never did it. Love your photos. It looks like it would be a worthwhile trip if the weather was decent…especially at sunset.

    1. That was one of the good weather days we had in Galveston. It definitely would not have been fun in the rain! The places you covered were amazing. Makes me want to go back and see what we missed! Safe travels, Dawn

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