Cameras in hand, at least 30 people gathered at the Steamship Authority slip Monday afternoon to watch the new ferry Woods Hole dock after its ceremonial maiden voyage. The massive ship passed by the Island Home shortly before 3 p.m. before executing a three point turn and pulling into the slip.

Onlookers jockeyed for a shot of the incoming ferry, some even standing on benches for the best view. Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard gave the ferry a proper welcome with their canon.

Documenting the moment aboard the deck. — Heather Hamacek

“That’s four,” a woman said, counting the booms.

Woody and Phyllis Williams of Vineyard Haven leaned against a railing, watching the boat maneuver into the slip and reminiscing about ferries of the past.

“I remember when you didn’t need a reservation,” Mr. Williams said. When he was a child, he said, his father was once running late for the ferry and called the Steamship Authority. He was told, “We’ll hold the boat for you, Frankie,” Mr. Williams said, an idea that’s unheard of now.

Though the Woods Hole’s paint job matches past ferries, Mrs. Williams pointed out something different, an uncovered staircase.

“It’s nice looking,” she said. “I just hope it doesn’t break down like the Island Home.”

As the Woods Hole docked, Tisbury selectman Tristan Israel waved down from the second deck. Onlookers lined up excitedly to tour the boat, entering through the freight deck.

Car deck, empty for now. — Timothy Johnson

Doris Clark looked around, taking in the wide mouth of the ferry.

“I think I have been to every commissioning they’ve had,” she said. “This looks like the front side of the Islander and the back side of the Katama, like they combined the boats and made the best out of the two.”

“It’s a lot of stairs, though,” she noted as she began the climb to the second deck.

Barbara Devlin, a Vineyard visitor for the last 16 years, said she made a point of coming to the new ferry’s arrival during her two-week vacation. She had fond memories of visiting the Charles W. Morgan two years ago.

Looking at the indoor seating, Ms. Devlin complimented the color choice. “The blue is beautiful,” she said. “I hope we get to ride on it. I’m sure one of these times we will.”

As one of the passengers on the ceremonial maiden voyage to Vineyard Haven, Mr. Israel is one of the few who has already taken a ride on the new ferry. He said he was amazed by how smooth and quiet the ride was.

“I’m very impressed so far,” he said. “I hope we get our fair share of it.” Though Woods Hole will primarily be docking in Oak Bluffs, Mr. Israel said he heard rumors about the boat coming into Vineyard Haven in the fall.

Ferry begins service on Friday plying the Oak Bluffs route. — Timothy Johnson

Aboard the ship, musical duo Jilly Martin and Ryan Brooks Kelly performed while visitors stopped by the snack bar, where hotdogs were served with mustard and salted pretzels rotated invitingly. Visitors received Woods Hole baseball caps and wandered around the decks, peering out of windows and testing the seats. Many posed for photographs in different parts of the ferry.

Former Martha’s Vineyard Museum executive director and maritime historian Matthew Stackpole pointed to a photograph of a Marine Biological Laboratory embryologist hanging on the wall.

“I love that they used the pictures from the Woods Hole Historical Museum,” he said. “It gives a sense of context, and it’s great that they are celebrating that.”