Don’t try to get to the San Juan Islands Thursday if you don’t already have a reservation.

Crew shortages have forced Washington State Ferries to cancel a number of sailings to and from the islands, starting Wednesday and continuing through Thursday afternoon.

WSF officials said there weren’t enough Coast Guard-documented crew members to continue Wednesday’s service on the Chelan ferry.

Diane Rhodes, a spokesperson for the ferry system, said the crew shortages are not due to the state’s vaccine mandate, but are the consequences of long running difficulties attracting staff to replace retiring workers.

Last month, staffing shortages resulted in 51 canceled sailings on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route between Sept. 9 and 13.

These sailings are canceled Thursday:

  • 5:30 a.m. Anacortes to Orcas
  • 6:45 a.m. Orcas to Shaw
  • 7 a.m. Shaw to Lopez
  • 7:30 a.m. Lopez to Anacortes
  • 8:30 a.m. Anacortes to Friday Harbor
  • 9:55 a.m. Friday Harbor to Lopez
  • 10:40 a.m. Lopez to Anacortes
  • 11:55 a.m. Anacortes to Lopez
  • 12:45 p.m. Lopez to Friday Harbor
  • 1:55 p.m. Friday Harbor to Anacortes

The ferry system said reservation holders for those routes will be prioritized and loaded on a first-come, first-served basis on later sailings.

New reservations for the San Juan Islands are closed for the day to try to keep enough space open to accommodate existing reservation holders. Customers who choose to postpone their travel will not incur a no-show fee, the ferry system said.

“Please note that standby space will likely be extremely limited,” WSF said in an alert.