Amalfi Coast View From Salerno Ferry Mountains And Turquoise Water

A Guide to Ferries from Naples to the Amalfi Coast

To fully appreciate the scale of Mount Vesuvius or the precipitous drop-offs along the Amalfi Coast, one has to see them from the water. And who wouldn’t want to cut across the Gulf of Naples on a breezy boat instead of sweating through countless stops on the train and bus circuit? Unfortunately, the local ferry system can be confusing and crowded. Many travelers struggle to find accurate information without getting overwhelmed. Nearly a dozen companies run several different kinds of boats with schedules shifting every few months, while various ferry operator sites, third-party vendors, and regional guides often provide conflicting information. 

Over the course of two weeks in the region, we spent a sizable chunk of time on boats. Our guide streamlines the process of navigating the system, so travelers can concentrate on the important things like enjoying the ride.

Orientation 

Ferries Overview: Tickets, Schedules

Naples Ferries to Amalfi Town & Positano, Salerno, Sorrento, Capri

Amalfi Town & Positano Ferries to Naples, Salerno, Sorrento, Capri

Ferries Along the Amalfi Coast: Positano, Amalfi Town, Maiori, Minori, Cetara, Vietri sul Mare, Salerno

Salerno Ferries to Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Capri, Naples

Sorrento Ferries to Amalfi Town & Positano, Salerno, Capri, Naples

Useful Links: ferry timetables and operators

Further Reading

The famously huge and complicated city of Naples sits on the upper end of a storied bay. Below the urban sprawl, the coastline skirts past the hulk of Mount Vesuvius, then veers out into the Tyrrhenian Sea. This lower stretch, pointing towards the island of Capri, is called the Amalfi Peninsula. Thanks to its central location here, the resort town of Sorrento has become a popular base for the area.

Amalfi Coast Beach Amalfi Town Turquoise Water Swimmers Rocky Coastline

On the peninsula’s southern side, facing away from the Gulf of Naples, lies the Amalfi Coast. Positano and Amalfi Town are the largest and most congested of the many villages and communes perching along the waterline. Heading east from Atrani to Vietri sul Mare, the atmosphere becomes increasingly less crowded and more low-key. The peninsula and Amalfi Coast terminate in the city of Salerno, which offers numerous connections to the rest of Italy and beyond. All sites are marked on our Google map.

Nearly a dozen private companies operate ferries in the Gulf of Naples and the Amalfi Coast, although there isn’t much difference between them. Most of the ports can’t fit massive car ferries, so routes serving the Amalfi Coast as well as Sorrento use fast ferries or high-speed hydrofoils. Because of their smaller size, these boats are more vulnerable to rough seas. Passengers prone to seasickness may not enjoy the ride, and everyone should monitor weather forecasts before the trip in case of cancellations.

Ferry schedules vary widely depending on the season. Summer timetables generally run from early May through the end of October. Additional routes are added from June to September. Service is limited or nonexistent in the winter, with some routes phased in through early spring. Weekends and holidays may have separate timetables.  

Be aware that boats may be canceled due to poor weather, and it can be difficult to get a refund for online reservations. Smaller boats and/or ports are more likely to be affected by wind. It’s a good idea to check weather forecasts and ask around about possible cancellations. For example, a sudden storm scuttled our plans to take a hydrofoil from Ischia to Salerno, but we were able to take a large car ferry to Naples and catch a train to Salerno instead.

When multiple ferry operators serve a particular route, a third-party site can be a handy way to check them all at once. Third-party sites include tourist information resources such as NaplesBayFerry.com as well as vendors like Ferryhopper or DirectFerries. Before planning around any specific departure times, be sure to confirm them on the ferry company website. The main operators include Alicost, Alilauro, Caremar, Lucibello/Positano Jet, NLG, Seremar, SNAV, and Travelmar.

Ideally passengers can purchase tickets at the port, preferably a day in advance for routes which may sell out. Positano, Amalfi Town, and Sorrento see huge numbers of visitors even in the off season, so lines can get very long. For these routes, it may be worth buying tickets online further in advance. In case of changes, it’s best to do so directly through the ferry operator rather than a third-party vendor. Passengers will still need to pick up paper tickets in person at the port.

View Of Minori From Travelmar Ferry Top Deck With Empty Seats Amalfi Coast Rocky Cliffs Pastel Houses And Turquoise Sea
Boarding in Salerno, we had the top deck to ourselves for the first few stops.

We avoided many of these difficulties by boarding in Salerno, where most routes originate. After purchasing tickets on the spot with no wait time, we had our choice of prime seats. By the time we reached Amalfi Town, the docks were thronged.

Ferries to the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, and Capri generally leave from the Molo Beverello port. The nearby Porto di Massa serves larger ferries, with a cruise ship terminal and other docks adding to the sprawl. While the airport bus stop and metro station don’t seem far on a map, the Porto di Napoli does not make it easy to find one’s way around. If possible, take a taxi directly to the ticketing area.

From Naples, high-speed ferries take about 75 minutes to reach Positano, and another 30 minutes to continue to Amalfi Town. Around eight boats depart per day from early May to late October; winter schedules include just one departure per day on weekends only. Alilauro and NLG are the main operators, while Alicost and Lucibello/Positano Jet add a few routes during summer.

High-speed boats from Naples to Sorrento take around 40 minutes. In summer, Alilauro and NLG run about six or seven boats per day. Alilauro operates four boats per day in winter on weekdays only. Taking a ferry to Capri and picking up a boat to Sorrento from the island is another popular option.

Caremar, NLG, and SNAV run slow and fast boats to the island of Capri. Ferries leaving from Naples Porto di Massa or Molo Beverello take 50 to 85 minutes. Several dozen ferries depart per day. Winter schedules include about 14 departures per day. 

The docks in Amalfi Town and Positano are surprisingly small given the floods of people using them. Positano.com updates schedules regularly.

Amalfi Coast View From Travelmar Ferry White Houses Perched On Rocky Cliffs With Calm Sea

High-speed ferries run from Amalfi Town to Naples via Positano, with travel times of 75 to 105 minutes. Around eight boats depart per day from early May to late October; winter schedules include just one departure per day on weekends only. Alilauro and NLG are the main operators, while Alicost and Lucibello/Positano Jet add a few routes during summer.

During summer, Positano Jet and NLG run a handful of high-speed boats daily between Salerno and Positano and/or Amalfi Town, with travel times of 25-60 minutes.

Alternatively, passengers can use Travelmar’s slightly slower local service. See the section on ferries along the Amalfi Coast for more information.

NLG operates a high-speed ferry from Amalfi Town to Positano (20 minutes), which continues on to Sorrento (another 40 minutes). In winter, one boat runs per day on weekends only; service gradually increases in spring. From the beginning of May to early November, there are six boats per day. Alilauro and Lucibello/Positano Jet add another five departures daily during summer.

During spring and summer, Alilauro, NLG, and Positano Jet run high-speed boats from Amalfi Town and Positano to the island of Capri. Travel time is about an hour, with up to seven departures per day.

Atrani Amalfi Coast Southern Italy village Mountains And Buildings Twisty Road Turquoise Water With Boats

Most ferries along the Amalfi Coast begin in Salerno and end in Positano. Travelmar operates local routes, with stops in Vietri sul Mare, Cetara, Minori, Maiori, and Amalfi Town en route. The 2024 summer schedule is linked here; in winter, boats run on a reduced schedule. Travel time ranges from 25 to 105 minutes. 

Salerno has two ferry terminals, with some overlap between the destinations they serve. Near the main train/bus station, the terminal at the Piazza della Concordia has boats to towns along the Amalfi Coast. For ferries departing from “Manfredi”, look for the crescent-shaped building marking the entrance to the Stazione Marittima di Salerno, with a low-slung terminal designed by Zaha Hadid. This terminal includes a line to Capri via Positano plus hydrofoil service to Ischia, as well as boats to the Costa del Cilento and Sicily’s Aeolian Islands.

Live Salerno provides a good overview of schedules.

During summer, Positano Jet and NLG run a handful of high-speed boats daily between Salerno and Positano and/or Amalfi Town, with travel times of 25-60 minutes.

Alternatively, passengers can use Travelmar’s slightly slower local service. See the section on ferries along the Amalfi Coast for more information.

NLG runs one boat per day during summer only, with a travel time of approximately two hours. Alternatively, passengers can take a ferry to Amalfi Town, Positano, or Capri and then pick up another boat to Sorrento.

In summer, Alicost and NLG run high-speed ferries to Capri in the morning only. Since most stop along towns in the Amalfi Coast en route, the travel time is about two hours. In winter, a motorboat runs three times per week, conditions permitting, via the Amalfi Coast.

Bay Of Naples View From Ferry To Ischia Mount Vesuvius Small Island And Boats

There are several options for getting from Salerno to Naples. NLG and Alicost run one to three high-speed boats per day from April through early November. With stops along the Amalfi Coast as well as at Capri and Sorrento, the route takes about 3 1/2 hours. It’s also possible to take a ferry to Sorrento or Capri and then change to a different boat to continue on to Naples. Alternatively, this may be the time to opt for travel by train instead of water: TrenItalia has departures from Salerno to Naples all the time and most trains take just 30 to 60 minutes.

Most ferries use the Marina Piccola terminal. An elevator connects the port to the Villa Communale and the center of town. Sorrento Insider updates schedules weekly.

NLG operates a high-speed ferry from Sorrento to Positano (40 minutes) which continues on to Amalfi Town (another 20 minutes). In winter, one boat runs per day on weekends only; service gradually increases in spring. From the beginning of May to early November, there are six boats per day. Alilauro and Lucibello/Positano Jet add another five departures daily during summer.

NLG runs one boat per day during summer only, with a travel time of approximately two hours. Alternatively, passengers can take a ferry to Amalfi Town, Positano, or Capri and then pick up another boat to Salerno.

Alilauro, Carremar, NLG, and SNAV all operate a variety of boats between Sorrento and Capri. Travel time ranges from 20 to 30 minutes. There are about a dozen departures per day in winter and three dozen per day in summer.

High-speed boats from Sorrento to Naples take about 40 minutes. Alilauro operates four boats per day in winter on weekdays only. In summer, Alilauro and NLG run about six boats per day. Taking a boat to Capri and picking up a high-speed ferry to Naples from the island is another popular option.

NaplesBayFerry.com is a good all-around source for ferry schedules. Destination-specific information can be found on Positano.com, Live Salerno, and Sorrento Insider.

Major boat operators include Alicost, Alilauro, Caremar, Lucibello/Positano Jet, NLG, Seremar, SNAV, and Travelmar.

See our guide to How to Get to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast by Train.

We cover some of the less-crowded spots on the Amalfi Coast in our posts on Atrani, Vietri sul Mare, and Salerno. We also have articles on Naples and the heavenly island of Ischia.