Scenic lighthouse in Long Island on a sunny day
Francois Roux/

Is there a ferry from Rhode Island to Long Island?

Published by Dianne Titos on November 29 2023

Rhode Island lies on the Eastern Coast of the US on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, close to the city of Providence. Long Island lies to the south, separated from Rhode Island by Block Island Sound and Long Island Sound. Seeing how close these two places are, you might wonder whether there is a ferry between them.

There is no ferry from Rhode Island to Long Island, but there is a ferry from nearby New London, Connecticut, crossing Black Island Sound in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can drive along the coastline of Connecticut in around 4 hours.

However you choose to make the journey from Rhode Island to Long Island, it is a fantastic destination with much to see and do for people of all ages. Keep on reading to discover more on how to get there, what to do when you arrive and our top tips for making the journey as smooth as possible.

Is there a ferry from Rhode Island to Long Island?

You cannot catch a ferry from Rhode Island to Long Island, since there isn't a direct service. However, you can drive to New London, around 60 miles away from Providence in Rhode Island, and catch a ferry to Long Island from there.

The buildings of Long Island in front of East River at twilight
Unfortunately, there is no ferry from Rhode Island to Long Island, but it is still fairly straightforward to travel to this beautiful and lively New York destination.

The ferry departs from Cross Sound Ferry Port and takes you to Point Terminal on Long Island, with the crossing taking 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on the conditions.

Cross Sound Ferry also runs a high-speed passenger-only service which also operates annually and allows you to make the crossing in only 45 minutes.

Taking the ferry from New London to Long Island

The ferry service runs year-round and in the summer months, there are usually 23 crossings a day, allowing you the flexibility to make the crossing at the time of your choice. During the winter months, the service is scaled down during certain periods with usually only 13 ferries a day, depending on your travel date.

The normal ferry does allow vehicles, so you can take your car, ready to explore Long Island at your leisure on arrival. The high-speed service does not allow vehicles so you should check out public transport options in advance, although there will be bus and taxi services at the terminal.

The journey from Rhode Island to New London takes around an hour, and you should allow time for traffic if traveling through Providence at rush hour, and factor in check-in and boarding times when you reach the ferry terminal.

Ferry traveling from Connecticut on calm waters on a sunny day
Even though there is no ferry connecting Rhode Island to Long Island, you can drive to New London to take the ferry from there.
Wangkun Jia/

Driving from Rhode Island to Long Island

If you fancy a trip to Long Island but don't want to take the ferry, it is possible to make the trip by road from Rhode Island. The 210-mile journey takes around 4 hours, and the route is mainly on interstate roads, making it a relatively straightforward road trip.

The route begins taking I-95 along the Connecticut coastline, passing Bridgeport and Stamford before heading west towards New York.

After passing Pelham Manor, the route takes you over Throgs Neck Bridge, crossing East River as you head south on I-295, then take the I-495 past Lake Success and North Hills before arriving in Long Island.

Traffic can be particularly busy as you head through Stamford and the Throgs Neck Bridge so you may experience delays, which will add to the journey time.

How long does it take to reach Long Island from Rhode Island?

Whichever way you choose to visit Long Island will determine how long it takes to get there traveling from Rhode Island.

Traveling by ferry from New London takes 1 hour and 15 minutes on the vehicle ferry, and 45 minutes on the high-speed passenger-only service, although bad weather can add to the journey time.

You must also allow time for driving from Long Island to New London, embarking and disembarking, along with time taken to check-in, which in total can add another 1 hour and 30 minutes to the time.

Purple and orange sunset over Long Island Sound and Throgs Neck Bridge
If you drive all the way from Rhode Island to Long Island, you will use Throgs Neck Bridge, and this journey will take about 4 hours.

If you choose to drive from Rhode Island to Long Island, the 210-mile journey takes around 4 hours, although traffic and stopping off to see the attractions along the way will increase the total journey time.

Whilst it isn't possible to fly directly from Rhode Island to Long Island, Delta Airlines and United Airlines both run flights from nearby Providence to New York and the flight time is around 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Again, allowing travel time to and from the airport along with checking in will more than double the overall journey time.

How much does it cost to travel to Long Island from Rhode Island?

Price comparison of traveling options from Rhode Island to Long Island
Vehicle FerryNew LondonLong Island$22
$75 with car
Passenger High-Speed FerryNew LondonLong Island$22
CarRhode IslandLong Island$6.55

*Calculated at the time of writing for one way trips, the car option highlights the Throgs Neck Bridge toll and does not include gas costs

Things you need to know about traveling from Rhode Island to Long Island

Whether you are taking a ferry or driving from Rhode Island to Long Island, the journey is straightforward and enjoyable. Here are a few of our top tips for making your trip as stress-free as possible:

  • If you are taking the ferry, be sure to arrive early and allow yourself time to check-in and board ahead of the departure time. The times vary depending on your mode of travel, from 10 minutes for foot passengers up to 30 minutes for motorcycles and motorhomes. Always check with the ferry operator before setting off.
  • Always book your reservations in advance, not only to secure your place on the ferry, but there may be special offers available if booking early.
  • The ferry route is prone to rough seas in bad weather, and this can delay or even postpone the journey if the conditions are too severe.
  • Taking the ferry is the quickest way to make the trip, especially considering the driving time is often increased due to heavy traffic.

Best time to visit Long Island

The most popular time to visit Long Island is in the summer months, from June to August when the weather is at its best with sunshine and warmer temperatures attracting visitors to make the most of the stunning beaches and the multitude of outdoor activities on offer.

The Hamptons are particularly popular at this time, hosting the Palm Tree Festival in June, Art Hamptons, and the Hamptons Classic Horse Show in August, along with Hamptons Designer Showhouse, which runs from late July until early September.

A charming brick home on a snow-covered street in Long Island
Long Island is beautiful in winter and especially during the holidays when houses are decorated and snow covers the streets.

The area is less busy but equally appealing in spring and fall when it is still warm enough to enjoy exploring the outdoors without the hustle and bustle of visitors that flock to the area over the summer.

If you are visiting at this time of year, be sure to take advantage of Hamptons Restaurant Week which starts in late October, where you can enjoy the delicious local cuisine in some of the finest restaurants.

The Hamptons International Film Festival in early to mid-October is also popular with locals and tourists alike.

Things to see once you reach Long Island

There are many excellent sights and attractions to experience when you arrive in Long Island. Our list below includes some of our favorites for you to enjoy:

  1. Sagamore Hill National Historic Site – Visit the home of President Theodore Roosevelt, learn all about his legacy in the museum and enjoy a stroll around the nature trails.
  2. The Hamptons – Renowned for its high-end shops, dining, and stunning mansions. You can enjoy the highlife and relax at the beachside.
  3. Montauk Point Lighthouse – Take a trip to the oldest lighthouse in New York State and enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
  4. Fire Island – Enjoy a serene getaway and pristine beaches where vehicles aren't allowed.
  5. Long Island Wine Country – Explore North Fork and take a tour of the local wineries and stroll around the vineyards before sampling the delicious wines on offer.

Whether you are visiting the beautiful beaches, the history, or the many wineries, Long Island has something for everyone to enjoy. With its vibrant arts and culture scene, and rich history, it is a destination that will leave you wanting to return again and again.