Help the state name the next new ferry

Friday, July 23, 2021

Photo courtesy WSDOT
OLYMPIA – Construction of a new, hybrid electric Olympic Class ferry is expected to start in 2022. 

The new 144-car vessel will need a name and the Washington State Transportation Commission has initiated its process to do so by seeking naming proposals from the public.

But it takes a little more work than just suggesting a name.

Naming guidelines

Sponsors of naming proposals will need to keep in mind the following:
  • Names should carry statewide or regional significance and represent our state’s image and culture.
  • Names should represent such things as state-adopted symbols, tribal names, names of bodies of water, geographic locations, cities, counties, relate to nautical heritage, etc.
  • Consideration will be given for consistency with existing WSF fleet names.
  • Names should have broad familiarity, be non-offensive, and meet ethical standards.
  • Names with commercial overtones or names honoring or commemorating individuals should generally be avoided, but will be considered upon very careful review. In these cases, the following guidelines will apply:
  • Individuals must be deceased for at least 20 years. They must have enduring distinction and have played a significant historical role in the region and/or state.

Naming proposals submitted to the commission must identify how they conform to the above guidelines; provide background on the proposed name, making a case for the proposal; and provide evidence of public support for the name.

How to submit name proposals

Naming proposals must be received by 5pm Friday, October 1, 2021 and must be provided in both hard copy and electronic form as follows:

  • Hard copies are to be mailed to: Washington State Transportation Commission, PO Box 47308, Olympia, WA 98504-7308
  • Electronic copies are to be emailed to:, indicating “Ferry Naming Proposal” in the subject line.

Washington State Ferries has 21 vessels in its fleet. Many have names reflecting the state’s tribal heritage. The current Olympic Class vessels are named Chimacum, Samish, Suquamish, and Tokitae, keeping with that tradition.

Additional information on ferry naming can be found on the commission’s website at:


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