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Nearly 60 ferry sailings canceled, another 50 added Thursday around Puget Sound

Thursday brings a bit of good and bad news for western Washington's ferry riders.

SEATTLE — Washington State Ferries (WSF) is continuing to shift boats and staff around amid a staffing shortage that has left many industries crippled, especially those involving maritime workers.

On Wednesday, the agency announced some good news and some bad news, depending on which ferry route travelers are looking to ride Thursday.

First, the bad news. As of Thursday morning, WSF canceled about 58 sailings across a few routes in the north and south Sound.

These include 21 sailings canceled on the Fauntleroy/Vashon route, 13 sailings on the Fauntleroy/Southworth route and 24 sailings between Anacortes and the San Juan Islands.

To check every active and inactive sailing, visit the "schedule by route" page on the WSF website.

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The changes are due to routes losing a vessel, with the Fauntleroy routes going from three boats to one and the Anacortes routes moving to three boats instead of four.

As for the good news, more than 50 sailings are being added to a couple of routes in the central Sound.

The Seattle/Bainbridge route is getting a second boat Thursday, which means it will operate an additional 20 sailings.

The Mukilteo/Clinton route is also getting a second boat, adding 32 sailings to the daily schedule.

Meanwhile, reservations on the San Juan Islands route are unavailable. Travelers holding existing reservations are able to board on a first-come-first-served basis with priority over non-reservation holders.

No-show fees are still being waived, as well.

The reduced schedules began in mid-October after weeks of dozens of canceled sailings caused by crew shortages. The staffing shortages were further exacerbated by the statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate, but WSF said the problem had been building throughout the pandemic.

Those needing to catch a ferry should continuously check the WSF schedule and travel alert bulletins online since active schedules can change daily.

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