In the 19th century, steamships or “steamers” would transport the first tourists from Philadelphia and Wilmington “down river” to Cape May, America’s first and oldest seashore resort at the southern tip of New Jersey for the summer, or a month, or even for a week-end. Railroads started arriving in the 1860s and steamships in the late 19th century. For decades into the mid-20th century, they linked up to transport people to the Atlantic shore of both the New Jersey and Delaware “Twin Capes.”
But dreams that persisted for two centuries to link the two states together by regular ferry service were not realized until 1964.
The governors of New Jersey and Delaware, along with officials of the U.S. Department of Commerce, state, county, and local governments, DRBA, and many private organizations and individuals participated in formal dedication ceremonies, first at Lewes terminal, then at Cape May terminal on June 30, 1964.
CMLF launched its first ferry vessel crossing for public vehicle and passenger transportation on July 1, 1964, aboard the SS Cape Henlopen from Lewes Terminal at 6:47 am, 7 minutes late with only 8 vehicles and 15 passengers aboard.
Now, 48 years later, more than 11 million vehicles and 34 million passengers have crossed the 17-mile mouth of Delaware Bay via vessels of Cape May-Lewes Ferry.
Rain or shine, a round-trip ferry ride is the perfect way to relax and get away for a few hours. Explore onboard gift shops, visit the floating arcade for kids, or spend time in comfy lounge areas with your favorite beverage and enjoy the view and the ride.
Heading south, it’s the relaxing way to reach Delaware’s tax-free shopping and beach attractions. Going north, you can visit the scenic and historic destinations of Lower New Jersey. Drive on or walk on—their convenient shuttle buses will get you around on the other side. The Ferry ride itself is pleasant and scenic, and terminals on both sides are destinations in and of themselves, with enjoyable restaurants, outdoor cafés and well-stocked gift shops. The Cape May-Lewes Ferry often hosts special events and programs, from fireworks to music nights to fun, kid-oriented cruises.
This summer season, every Monday July 23rd through August 13th, discover the renowned taste of Delaware’s treasured brew with the Cape-May Lewes Ferry. The story of Dogfish Head began in June of 1995 when they opened Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats. Not only was Dogfish Head Delaware’s first brewpub, it was the smallest commercial brewery in America. They quickly got bored brewing the same things over and over – that’s when they started adding all sorts of weird ingredients and getting kind of crazy with the beers! If you haven’t had the chance to taste Dogfish Head… find a beer, track down one of their spirits – or visit one of their restaurants! The Ferry’s event package includes a round-trip ferry ride, shuttle service to and from the brewery, tour of the brewery, and a Dogfish Head souvenir. You will see why international beer writer Michael Jackson calls Dogfish Head “America’s most interesting and adventurous small brewery”.
The Ferry Fresh Farmers Market is proud to announce its return on the green of the Cape May Ferry Terminal! Annie M. Events will be sponsoring a series of nine Market Saturdays beginning June 30 through August 25, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The market is open to the public and free of charge. Last year’s returning vendors include No Frills Farm, Seaside Cheese Company, Cape May Coffee Roasters, Cape May Crab Cakes, City-to-Shore Gourmet olive oil, Gaiss’ Market homemade local sausages, Mammas homemade applesauce, Shea’s Closet hand-crafted wearables and jewelry, and more local favorites.
Join Pirate Pete on the Family Fun Cruise, Wednesdays through August departing at 6 PM. Listen to live music on Rock the Boat, Fridays through August 24 departing at 6 PM. The ferries and terminals also have large, open rooms that are perfect for booking an event of your own. Be sure to include the Ferry in your plans this year!
The ferry’s waterfront restaurant On the Rocks offers great food, spectacular views and free parking. For more info on even more upcoming events and ferry accommodations and policies, check out www.cmlf.com. There’s something for everyone at the Cape May – Lewes Ferry! Make any Cape May County trip a ferry getaway…
1200 Lincoln Blvd.
North Cape May, NJ 08204