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A ferry (or ferryboat) is a boat or ship used to carry (or ferry) primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services. a passenger ferry with many stops, such as in venice, is sometimes called a water bus or water taxi. ferries form a part of the public transport systems of many waterside cities and islands, allowing direct transit between points at a capital cost much lower than bridges or tunnels.