skip to main content
caption: The M/V Kaleetan ferry heads toward Seattle on Puget Sound with the Olympic Mountains in the background. Monday, April 11, 2022.
Enlarge Icon
The M/V Kaleetan ferry heads toward Seattle on Puget Sound with the Olympic Mountains in the background. Monday, April 11, 2022.
Credit: KUOW Photo/ Casey Martin

Food galleys to reopen this week on Washington State Ferries

After two years without hot food or alcoholic beverages, food services will return to some state ferry boats starting Wednesday, April 13.

Galleys and cafeterias have been closed since the start of the pandemic.

This week, Washington State Ferry riders will once again be able to enjoy a hot cup of soup or locally crafted beer while aboard some of the boats. Sodexo Live!, the food service provider for the ferries, will begin reopening some of the galleys on some routes for riders to enjoy.

On Monday afternoon, Linda Deal from Port Townsend caught the Seattle to Bainbridge Island ferry with some friends.

“I'm looking forward to people being up here, and it makes the trip more pleasurable than sitting in your car,” Deal said. “So I think it'd be great.”

Deal and her friends had brought clam chowder aboard from the Ivar’s location near Coleman Dock. Soon they’ll be able to get that chowder right on the boat, along with other new food and drink options.

Sodexo Live! is set to open five galleys this week on four routes. The routes include the ferries to Bremerton, Kingston, two of the boats leaving Anacortes, and one of the boats bound for Bainbridge.

A spokesperson for Washington State Ferries said these first few openings are a soft launch, just phase one in a plan to gradually reopen more of the galleys on routes.

Already on Monday there were signs that the long-closed food areas were about to reopen. Boxes of food were seen being loaded onto the M/V Wenatchee leaving for Bainbridge Island.

“We saw them training people that are going to work here on the way over,” Linda Deal said.

Sodexo Live! is still hiring people ahead of the busy summer sailing season, and is training staff on Covid safety precautions, which include sanitizing stations.

Linda Deal said she looks forward to getting her clam chowder out on the water the next time she rides the ferry.

“You can’t go wrong with Ivar’s!” Deal said to the delight of her friends and some nearby passengers.

caption: The doors to the galleys on ferries have been closed for two years due to the pandemic. That changes this week with a few galleys reopening. Monday, April 11, 2022.
Enlarge Icon
The doors to the galleys on ferries have been closed for two years due to the pandemic. That changes this week with a few galleys reopening. Monday, April 11, 2022.
Credit: KUOW Photo/ Casey Martin