Long Island, New York, is located on the Atlantic Ocean. The Island itself runs parallel to the mainland coastline to the north, most of which is in Connecticut, separated by Long Island Sound. This might make you wonder whether there is a convenient ferry from Connecticut to Long Island.
There are direct ferry options from Connecticut to Long Island. The passenger ferry travels from New London to Orient Point. There is also a car ferry option on this route, as well as another car ferry you can take from Bridgeport to Port Jefferson.
With its vibrant villages, fantastic wineries, and glorious beaches, and not forgetting its location so close to New York City, it's easy to see why Long Island is such a popular tourist destination. Keep on reading to learn more about how to get there, and learn some useful travel tips.
Is there a ferry from Connecticut to Long Island?
|New London to Orient Point||Passenger ferry||Cross Sound High Speed Ferry||45 minutes|
|New London to Orient Point||Car ferry||Cross Sound Ferry||1 hour 15 minutes|
|Bridgeport to Port Jefferson||Car ferry||Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company||1 hour 15 minutes|
There are several ferry options available when traveling from Connecticut to Long Island.
Cross Sound Ferries runs a vehicle ferry, and an alternative high-speed passenger service, both of which travel between New London, Connecticut, and Orient Point on Long Island.
Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company also offers a vehicle ferry service, which, as its name suggests, travels between Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Port Jefferson, Long Island.
Taking the ferry from New London, Connecticut to Orient Point, Long Island
The Cross Sound Ferry takes you from New London to Orient Point in 1 hour and 20 minutes and is a popular route over the summer months where there are up to 23 daily crossings.
This service does allow vehicles on board, allowing you to explore Long Island at your leisure on arrival. There is also a high-speed passenger-only service operating on this route, where the journey time is almost halved, allowing you to reach Long Island in around 45 minutes.
The ferry operates 365 days a year, although the service is less frequent during the off-season and can be weather-dependent with rough seas and high winds causing potential delays.
Taking the ferry from Bridgeport, Connecticut to Port Jefferson
The ferry crossing from Bridgeport to Port Jefferson is run by the Steamboat Company and the crossing time is around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The service operates all year round, taking both vehicles and foot passengers, with increased sailings over the summer months, where there are 15 departures daily and more on weekends. The service is reduced outside of peak season, with sailings departing every 90 minutes.
Port Jefferson itself was established in the early 17th century and transformed into the area's shipbuilding center. Today the town is always popular, largely due to the ferry, and it is the ideal place for enjoying wonderful waterfront views whilst enjoying some of the delicious local seafood.
Driving from Long Island to Connecticut
While taking the ferry is the quickest and much more relaxing option, Driving from Connecticut to Long Island is also possible. From Bridgeport, join the I-95 S running parallel to the coastline towards Port Chester and New Rochelle, where exit 15 leads you onto Boston Post Road to Pelham Manor.
Here, you can enjoy New York's largest park on Pelham Bay and stroll around Shore Park with fantastic views over the Hudson River, before exploring the village and stopping for lunch at one of the area's excellent restaurant options.
Leaving Pelham, the route joins Hutchinson River Parkway south, passing Ferry Point Park before crossing Throgs Neck Bridge, with excellent views across East River. There is a toll, which at the time of writing is $6.55.
You'll then follow Cross Island Parkway towards Little Neck, before joining the I-495 E for around 40 miles to Holtsville before heading north on County Road 97 which takes you all the way to Port Jefferson.
The 2-hour journey from Bridgeport is just over 100 miles and is a relaxing and straightforward drive, giving excellent views over Long Island Sound and the famous attractions you pass along the way.
How long does it take to reach Long Island from Connecticut?
Taking the ferry to Long Island is the quickest and easiest option, with the high-speed option taking only 45 minutes. The vehicle ferries take slightly longer, with the Cross Sound Ferry making the crossing in 1 hour and 20 minutes and the Bridgeport Ferry in 1 hour 15 minutes.
On top of the sailing time, you'll also need to allow time for boarding and disembarking, as well as queuing and checking in, and all things considered, you should allow another hour for these.
Driving from Connecticut to Long Island is the longer alternative, but taking your own vehicle does allow you the freedom to travel at your own pace and you can leave whenever you like.
It is also a good alternative to bear in mind if the ferries are delayed or canceled during winter weather conditions. Driving from Bridgeport to Port Jefferson takes around 2 hours, and the journey from New London to Orient Point is 210 miles and takes 3 hours and 50 minutes.
How much does it cost to travel to Long Island?
|Route||Mode||Adult fare||Vehicle fare|
|New London to Orient Point||Passenger ferry||$27||N/A|
|New London to Orient Point||Car ferry||$22||$70|
|Bridgeport to Port Jefferson||Car ferry||$22||$75|
|Throgs Neck Bridge||Direct drive||N/A||$6.55|
*Prices are calculated at the time of writing for a single trip, the vehicle fare includes the driver
The ferry crossings across Long Island Sound are similarly priced, although they increase considerably if you are taking your own vehicle.
The foot passenger high-speed service offers the best value, given it halves the journey time. The cheapest option is to drive yourself, especially if you are taking several passengers and can share the fuel costs.
Things you need to know about traveling to Long Island from Connecticut
Taking the ferry from Connecticut to Long Island is a relaxing and straightforward trip, whichever route you decide on. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when making the journey, so here are some useful tips to help you prepare for a ferry ride to Long Island:
- Arrive early at the ferry terminal with plenty of time to check-in and board ahead of the departure time.
- Check the weather forecast before setting off, especially in winter. Bad weather may cause the ferry to be delayed or canceled, and driving may then become the better option.
- If you are driving the route, check in advance for traffic conditions and any road closures. Traffic will be much busier during peak times and the summer season.
Best time to visit Long Island
Long Island, in southeastern New York, is popular with tourists throughout the year, and the ferry services operate year-round. The number of visitors peaks during the summer months, from late June through August, mainly due to its alluring beaches, vibrant Hamptons scene, and fabulous wineries.
The warm summer weather enhances outdoor activities, festivals, and water sports, making it the most favorable time for tourists.
A trip to Long Island in spring is a wonderful time to visit, with the many parks and gardens awash with blossoming flowers, whereas visiting in fall will see the rich foliage giving the city a colorful autumnal hue.
The famous Taste the World food festival, and the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze pumpkin trail both take place in early October and see the Island come together in celebration.
Winter in Long Island does see temperatures fall, and you can expect to see snow in January and February. The Island has many ice-skating rinks that are popular at this time of year, and you can take to the slopes at Bald Hill Ski Bowl.
Ferry crossings may also be cheaper in winter, with Cross Sound Ferry offering flash sales where you can find a great deal.
Things to see once you reach Long Island
With its beaches, parks, and iconic outdoor attractions, a trip to Long Island is always a pleasurable experience. Here are a few of our favorite attractions to help you plan your adventure:
- Montauk Point Lighthouse - The oldest lighthouse in New York State, located at the easternmost tip of Long Island, offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and is steeped in history.
- Old Westbury Gardens - This historic Gold Coast mansion is surrounded by 200 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, ponds, and woodlands, offering a glimpse into the opulence of a bygone era.
- The Hamptons - Renowned for their upscale homes, pristine beaches, and elite summer getaways, the Hamptons provide a mix of cultural events, art galleries, and high-end shopping.
- Oheka Castle - Located in Huntington, this early 20th-century estate is one of the largest privately owned homes in the U.S. Its impressive architecture, vast gardens, and rich history make it a must-visit.
- Long Island Wine Country - Particularly in the North Fork region, the vineyards and wineries offer wine-tasting tours, allowing visitors to savor locally produced wines amidst picturesque settings.
A trip to Long Island is always an amazing adventure, with its white sand beaches and world-class wineries, a ferry trip from Connecticut will allow you to discover and embrace the amazing things to do and see that await you across Long Island Sound.