Ferries are used for carrying many different things, including people.  Things such as vehicles are carried back and forth across the water from the mainland to an island on the other side of the waters. It also carries cargo’s and passengers, and is referred to as a merchant vessel. The one’s that carry passengers will usually be making a lot of different stops. Those that are used in places like Italy and Venice are usually referred to as water buses and/or a water taxi’s.


The ferry is a means of transportation for the public transportation system of many waterside islands and water cities. They allow people a means of direct transit from one point to another, accept the cost will be a lot less than what one would have to pay to cross bridges or to go through tunnels. A ferry that goes a long distance over bodies of water, such as the Mediterranean Sea, are generally referred to as a ‘Ferry Service’ if it is carrying vehicles.


During ancient times


The position of being a ferry man has been embodied in the Greek mythology as one who carries souls over the River Styx in order to get them to the Under World are known as a boat men. According to ‘Anonymus De Rebus Bellicis’, “One can search in the 4th century Roman literature and find information on the speculation of a ship which was propelled by a pair of Oxen which had a water wheel. Although, impractical, there’s not a realistic reason why it would not worke, in fact, during 19th century America, there was a ferry used at Lake Champlain that was modified by replacing the Oxen with horses.


Different types of ferries


The design of a ferry is judged by the distance of the route it has to take, what the capacity is required, the speed it should go, and the conditions of that the ferry will be facing.


The double-ended ferry boat


This type of ferry has an opening hull on both, the front and the back of it that consist of interchangeable sterns and bows and it gives them the ability to go back and forth between two different places without any need to turn around.


The hydrofoil ferry


This type of ferry has an advantage with it’s higher speeds for cruising. The hydrofoil ferries which are used for passengers only have been proven to be, not only practical, but very fast, and they are an economical solution for the Canary Islands. However, with the catamaran having much higher speeds, including the capability for carrying vehicles, has recently replaced the hydrofoils. 


The following are some of the other types of ferries


  • Alternative fuels a ferry can use
  • Air ferry
  • Cable ferry boats
  • Cruise/ropax combination ferry boats
  • Fast ropax ferry boats
  • Foot ferry boats
  • Hovercraft ferryboats
  • Pontoon ferry
  • Sustainability of a ferry boats
  • Train ferry boats
  • Turntable ferry boat