Cape May – Lewes Ferry Celebrates 60th Anniversary

June 24, 2024

Cape May – Lewes Ferry Celebrates 60th Anniversary

Promotional Giveaways, Special Pricing and Other Activities Part of Weeklong Celebration

CAPE MAY, NJ — Today, Cape May – Lewes Ferry (CMLF) officials announced a weeklong celebration recognizing the 60th Anniversary of this important Delaware Bay crossing, which will commence on July 1, 2024 with a special commemorative ticket from that original 1964 crossing. The Ferry will also feature special “throwback” fare pricing, signature drinks, promotional giveaways and much more. Please visit our website at for more details and check out @CMLFerry on social media for exciting surprises!

“While a lot has changed in the past six decades, the Ferry has always provided a break from the ordinary – a fun, relaxing way to add family memories to your vacation experience,” said Heath Gehrke, Director of Ferry Operations. “The Ferry continues to be an integral part of the resort communities we serve. As we celebrate our past, we also look forward to our next generation of ferry vessels, which will improve onboard amenities while reducing operating costs and emissions well into the future.”

Operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA), the Cape May – Lewes Ferry welcomes foot and vehicle passengers 365 days a year. Because getting there is half the fun, all vessels are equipped with modern amenities, including outdoor deck chairs, air-conditioned lounges, cafes, comfortable reclining seats, Wi-Fi, lively deck bars and flat screen televisions.  

The eighty-five minute ride between the Cape May Terminal in New Jersey and the Lewes Terminal in Delaware offers a relaxing, picturesque way to cut miles off a road trip or simply get away for a day of sight-seeing, shopping, beach time, ecotourism activities, dining or recreation.  

About the first crossing 60 years ago
The entire region came together in preparation for the Ferry’s first official crossing in 1964. Dedication-week activities included preopening inaugural "Hands Across the Bay" ferry crossings to raise funds for the community celebrations and water float parades. Celebrations also included a fly-over by a squadron of jet fighter planes, 25 sky-divers, receptions and dinners and public concerts by a bagpipe band, the Air Force Band and the U.S. Coast Guard Band. Tens of thousands of people were involved in the week-long dedication celebrations all because of the expected positive impact that the new Cape May-Lewes Ferry would have on the economies of southern Delaware and southern New Jersey.

New Jersey and Delaware state, county and local governments, along with officials of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the DRBA and many private organizations and individuals participated in formal dedication ceremonies, first at Lewes terminal, then moving to Cape May terminal on June 30, 1964.

Coincidentally, the first vehicle was a Ford Mustang, which is also celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2024. That first paying customer, Andrea Lippi, drove his black 1964 Mustang aboard the first vessel. When setting off on July 1, 1964, the maiden voyage took eight vehicles and fifteen passengers from Lewes, Delaware to Cape May, New Jersey. Since then, the Ferry has transported more than 17 million vehicles and served over 50 million customers. 

Notable Rescue
In May 1990, the Regent Star Cruise Ship ran aground about five miles off Fortescue, New Jersey. The ship ran aground with 1,306 passengers and crew aboard after it suffered a small fire in the engine room that cut power to the ship engines and its steering.

The Cape May – Lewes Ferry’s MV Delaware traveled north to rescue the 885 passengers stranded aboard the disabled vessel. Six hours later, these passengers cheered as the Ferry docked at Lewes, Del. Ferry Terminal to board motor coaches to transport them to their final destination in Philadelphia.  

Escape the Cape Triathlon
For the past 11 years, the Ferry has been the home of DelMo Sports’ Escape the Cape Triathlon – the best triathlon in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Regions. With a 12-foot jump off the Ferry into the water to start the race, this one-of-a-kind event boasts nearly 1,350 participants. The inaugural triathlon took place on June 2, 2013 and continues to gain popularity with the competitive athletic community.

About the Cape May-Lewes Ferry 
Owned and operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, the Cape May – Lewes Ferry is open year-round and has carried more than 50 million passengers since its inception on July 1, 1964. As an integral transportation system connecting the communities and economies on both sides of the Delaware Bay, the Ferry service is a significant catalyst for economic growth and regional tourism activity in New Jersey and Delaware. Its operations sustain over 4,000 jobs while generating tens of millions of dollars in local taxes and hundreds of millions in regional economic activity. For schedules and rates, please visit or call 800-643-3779.