My sister-in-law, whose family has lived on Long Island since forever, read a recent Dog Jaunt post about the Port Jefferson ferry and told me that the Cross Sound Ferry (or the Orient Point ferry) is also dog-friendly. The ferry travels between Orient Point, at the tip of Long Island’s North Fork, and New London, CT. (The same company also operates the Block Island Express, from New London to Block Island.)
When I called, the customer service representative told me that that dogs are allowed on board for no additional fee. They must be on a leash or in a carrier, and they are allowed only in “designated areas.” Ask the crew for more information, but my impression is that food serving areas are off limits.
Connections in New London
Once you arrive in New London, you can make a variety of connections with other forms of transportation. Some connections won’t do you any good, if you’re accompanied by a dog — neither Amtrak nor Greyhound allow pet dogs on board. Shore Line East, however, providing commuter rail service between New London and New Haven, CT, does allow pets in carriers onboard. At New Haven, you have the option of continuing on certain SLE trains to Bridgeport and Stamford, or you can walk across the platform and catch a New Haven Line train to points west.
The New Haven Line is part of the Metro-North rail network, and will take you along the rest of the Connecticut coast into New York and, ultimately, to Grand Central Station. Dogs on a leash or in a carrier are allowed on Metro-North trains.
Connections in Orient Point
In the other direction, once you arrive at Orient Point you can catch a Suffolk County Transit bus to locations all over Long Island. A customer service representative told me that small dogs in carriers are allowed onboard SCT buses.
Trying to get to New York? Take an SCT bus to the Greenport LIRR station, only a short distance away from Orient Point, and head to the city by LIRR, which allows dogs in carriers onboard. Alternatively, for a good chunk of the summer, you can take a Hampton Jitney bus from the Orient Point ferry terminal to New York (small pets in carriers are allowed on most Hampton Jitney buses; from the North Fork to New York, the fee for your pet is $10, unless her carrier occupies a seat).
If you’re trying to get to Shelter Island instead, take an SCT bus to the Greenport LIRR station, which is also where the North Ferry leaves from. A North Ferry customer service representative told me that dogs, either on a leash or in a carrier, are allowed on board for no additional fee.