Tag Archives: martha’s vineyard vacation rental

How Does the Steamship Authority Work?

Matha's Vineyard Steamship Authority Ferry

For those of you that have been to the island of Martha’s Vineyard, you know that the process of bringing a vehicle along on your Vineyard vacation can be very trying if you don’t know the process!  Our island population goes from around 15,000 year round residents to 100,000 August visitors.  You really do need to take a ferry to and from the island.  It is a 45 minute ferry ride from the Cape.

Oak Bluffs Beach Front Rental

Once you have booked your Vineyard vacation rental, you will need to work on making arrangements for getting here.  The Steamship Authority does not take reservations for the summer season until sometime in January.  This year they open reservations online and via mail on January 20th.  Mark your calendars!  They will open the phone lines up on January 27, 2009.

Sometimes it feels like you have won the lottery when you get just the right times for your reservations for your August vacation.   The process can seem unbearable much of the time but following are some tips that might help:

  • Go online to the Steamship Authority and sign up for your profile number and pin prior to making your reservation.
  • Go online as soon as you can on January 20, be patient as you may get bumped off the site due to high volume.
  • Book any time you can on the day of travel or as close to the day of travel and request to be wait listed for your preferred times.

You should know that the wait list system does seem to work out for most travelers that are reserving their tickets this far in advance.   The steamship has represented in the past that they do not completely book all of the boats so they will have some flexibility.  Things do shift around but you may not know for sure right up until travel time.  They do also have a day of sail number you can call to try to change your reservation while you are on the road.

I once had a customer call and book a house one Saturday in August, drive down and get right on the boat and arrive at my office to pay for their vacation home and pick up their key, all in the same day.  This is not the norm and I do not recommend you wait to see if this works but, please realize that some of the systems that may seem very flawed can work well in the end!

Get the Low-Down at the Vineyard Gazette

The Vineyard GazetteThere is something unique about life on Martha’s Vineyard. The atmosphere is special and island life moves at a different pace than life on the mainland. One special part of life on Martha’s Vineyard is the local newspaper, the Vineyard Gazette. Residents and visitors alike get their news from this publication and the paper has a long history on the island. So when you’re on Martha’s Vineyard and want to stay informed, grab a copy of the Vineyard Gazette!

About the Vineyard Gazette

The Vineyard Gazette a broadsheet newspaper and is the only paid circulation newspaper on Martha’s Vineyard. It has a rival in the free tabloid, the Martha’s Vineyard Times. The Vineyard Gazette has a long history on the island and has been a part of island life since the 1800s. The paper was founded by Edgar Marchant in 1846. The first issue was published on May, 14th of 1846. Edgar Marchant was the paper’s original editor and he was a champion of the idea that the island should become a summer resort destination and wrote supporting pieces about the idea in the paper. After passing through different owners throughout the years, in 2011 the newspaper was purchased by Jerome Kohlberg, Jr. and his wife Nancy. They appointed Jane Seagrave as publisher the same year. The paper home office is located in the heart of historic Edgartown.

Features of the Vineyard Gazette

As the island’s only paid circulation, the Vineyard Gazette provides the island’s residents and visitors with a lot of useful information. They feature headline news stories from the island as well as the rest of the nation and international news. Other sections of the newspaper include Arts & Entertainment, Opinion, Events, Nature & Science, Sports, Island Information, and more.

Reading the Vineyard Gazette

One of the best things about the Vineyard Gazette is where you are when you read it. Because it is a Martha’s Vineyard newspaper, you’ll more than likely be on the Vineyard when you’re reading it. You can sit out on a deck and enjoy the stories of the day while you enjoy the sea breeze and excellent views of the island. There’s nothing more relaxing than kicking back in the morning as you have your coffee and reading about what’s happening on Martha’s Vineyard. Plus, it’s always a good idea to stay informed, even if you are just visiting the island for a short while.

Now that you know about the Vineyard Gazette, you should find the perfect place to read it in one of our wonderful Martha’s Vineyard rental properties. Sandpiper Rentals has a large selection of vacation homes to suit the needs of travelers of all types. The different homes accommodate both large and small parties so you’re sure to find one to fit your specifications. Plus, our rentals are located throughout of the island so you can choose which town or beach you want to be closest to during your stay. Though they’re all unique, our vacation rentals all offer great accommodations and luxurious amenities that will make the property feel like your home-away-from-home. There is no better way to stay on Martha’s Vineyard than to choose a property from Sandpiper Rentals. We can’t wait to see you on the island soon!

Feature Friday #FF: #1255 Country Style Home


This 5 bedroom country style home features a wonderfully heated, in-ground pool, expansive deck, and delightfully landscaped yard is nestled at the end of the historical area of William Street in Vineyard Haven.


SandpiperRentals_0922 SandpiperRentals_0921

As you tuck into the shared driveway you have entered a sanctuary of privacy, yet you are within a short distance to Main Street, Owen Park beach, the library, and also the convenience of the Steamship Authority.



Sandpiper RentalsView our vacation rental properties here
Contact: rent@sandpiperrental.com