Header about c1ecc07de9554ab329be7953d4d4a679fdff46d26a6f0fcd9819119886c09b27

Ferry History

When you reach the end of Highway 42, at the tip of Wisconsin’s Door County peninsula, you’ll find Northport Pier and the Washington Island Ferry Line.

The Washington Island Ferry Line was started in 1940 with two existing wooden ferries. Over the years steel ferries were added and today the line boasts modern, Coast Guard-approved vessels that make up to 25 round trips a day during high season and two round trips per day in winter.

After vehicles and passengers are safely on board at the Northport ferry dock, the ferry will embark on a 30-minute ride past Plum, Pilot and Detroit Islands. This area is filled with history. You will be making the same passage as the Native Americans who paddled their canoes from island to island, French explorers who came to the area and schooners that traveled this passage a century ago. Relax and enjoy the ride!

Our Crew

Plum island lg 88e8ba7de4a84287d541ccff8444d254054a4905e5846ab70421ea3e2fa5b6cc

Plum Island Lighthouse, circa 1890s

Mary arni lg 15c4ad9109ad2ec67bf492deb3d1bdb11a23bb0da8cb4d437983876459f7f452

Mary and Arni J. Richter in 1979

Arni richter lg 3b2dfaa3961dea60ff8ae0923b969c977457a31e739882637554cf8066713592

The late Arni J. Richter, ferry line founder

Pilothouse lg 3a553b1616c2e7d099b538b9a5f89fcdedc12ea5d5e3f7ce98725cce58d59567

A view from the wheelhouse during a Death’s Door crossing

Christening lg 841596d41b2bde2da7b681299e0c31cd3d6c2ea0632bdf6ccb47fa0eee8c312f

Arni J. Richter christened the Arni J. Richter ferry.