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How to Travel by Ferry Along the Amalfi Coast

03 April 2024
by Michele Becker
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Everything you ever wanted to know about taking the ferry on the Amalfi Coast. 

The awe-inspiring cliffs and serene turquoise waters of the Amalfi Coast have been attracting visitors from all over the world since ancient times. But with a winding coastline and steep cliffside towns, it can be difficult to get around by car or train. That’s why when it comes to jetting off to this gorgeous Italian coast, we turn to boat travel.  

The ferry (il traghetto in Italian) is one of our favorite ways to travel around the Amalfi Coast! Not only do you get a beautiful ride with breathtaking views (perfect for photo ops), it’s ultra-convenient, as the ferry usually drops you off right in the center of each picturesque town. The only downside? Planning your ferry travel can be a little confusing, as there are several different companies that cover different parts of the coastline. Here are our answers to the most common questions about traveling by ferry around the Amalfi Coast.

 

View from Capri

How do I get to the Amalfi Coast? 

Most travelers start their Amalfi Coast journey in Naples, the largest city with ferry service to the coast. Naples has a large international airport, so you can arrive here directly from the U.S. or Europe. If you’re coming in from elsewhere in Italy, you can take a train to Naples, Sorrento, or Salerno, all of which have ferry terminals. Boats travel frequently from these cities to the larger Amalfi Coast towns of Capri, Positano, and Amalfi; from there, you’ll need to transfer to another boat to get to the smaller towns of Minori, Maiori, Cetara, and Vietri Sul Mare. (Although you can’t take a ferry to Ravello, the artistic haven above the sea, it’s a short bus ride away from Amalfi.) 

 

Do ferries run all year round? 

Most ferry services on the Amalfi Coast operate during the busy tourist season from April to October. During the winter off-season, much of the ferry service is suspended, though a few ferries will still run between Naples, Sorrento, and Capri each day. 

 

Does it matter what kind of ferry I choose? 

The main ferries that you’ll find in Italy are slow ferries and hydrofoils. Slow ferries tend to be larger, slower ships, as their name would suggest. While they may not get you there as quickly, their benefit is that they have more seating (important if you’re traveling at peak season!) and generally have both indoor and outdoor seating. If you’re not in a hurry, riding the slow ferry can be a beautiful way to see the breathtaking scenery of the Amalfi Coast from the water. Hydrofoils, on the other hand, are smaller, faster boats with indoor seating only. These ferries are great if you’re trying to stick to a tight schedule, though they won’t run if the water is too rough, so you’ll need to check the weather conditions before you go. 

Ferry on the Amalfi Coast

Which ferry service should I use? 

One of the most confusing things about navigating this area is that there are a number of different companies that offer ferry service around the Amalfi Coast. The simplest way to make your decisions is to plug your desired itinerary into Ferry Hopper, which will show you all available ferries on a given day. You can book your tickets directly through Ferry Hopper, or buy through the ferry company’s website once you have your route planned out. These are the companies you’ll encounter:  

NLG 

Traveling from Naples or Sorrento to the Amalfi Coast? You’ll see the most options from NLG, the premier ferry service that travels from Naples to Sorrento, Capri, Positano, Amalfi, Maiori, Minori, and Salerno. Catch the ferry at Napoli Beverello (the main port in Naples) and you’ll arrive in the heart of the Amalfi Coast in an hour and a half. Ticket prices vary depending on your destination (Naples-Positano, for example, costs about 30 euros each way). NLG runs primarily hydrofoils, though they do have some slower ships. 

 

TravelMar

If you’re traveling from Salerno or trying to get between the smaller towns on the Amalfi Coast, TravelMar is the easiest ferry service to use. The ferry picks up in Salerno at Piazza Concordia, right near the train station, making it especially easy if you are coming to Salerno by train. The trip from Salerno to Positano takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes with stops at Cetara, Maiori, Minori, and Amalfi, costing about 15 euros each way. The ferry runs often in high season and makes it easy to get from town to town. TravelMar ships are all slow ferries. 

 

AlilauroSNAV, & Caremar 

If you’re traveling between Naples, Sorrento, and Capri but can’t find your ideal time on NLG, Alilauro, SNAV, and Caremar also provide a variety of times to choose from. All companies run both slow ferries and hydrofoils. 

 

Planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast? Check out our travel guide to experience all of Giada’s favorite spots. 

 

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