It was added along with the rest of the January Mega Update. As soon as the Server Initialization starts, the Ferry immediately begins sailing to the Tropics.
To embark on the Ferry, one must purchase a one-way ticket from Hoover for $400 Money to either travel to the Tropics, or the Main Biome. If the player did not embark on it but purchased a ticket, they are able to embark on its next travel without paying for a ticket.
If a player does not purchase a ticket but is still standing on the Ferry when it is time for Hoover to embark, the player will receive a popup saying that they need to pay for embarking before the Ferry can leave. If closed but the player still remains on the ferry, they will constantly receive it until they exit it. According to Hoover, the Ferry often runs every 10 minutes, as it waits 7 minutes and 40 seconds on each biome which induces a travel time of 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
The Ferry is mostly grey and white, with four large spotlights on its longest sides. It has an elevated section at its end, and an enclosed section where Hoover resides. The enclosed section is light-grey, with glass panes, and a yellow "Remain Seated" sign. Inside it is Hoover with a supposed steering wheel. The elevated section, however, has stairs leading up to it and is guarded by golden rails, similar to the colour of Gold Wood.
"Freeloading", a method which allows players to embark on the Ferry without purchasing a ticket, has been present since the addition of the Ferry. However, most were patched on April 27th, 2016.
To do this, one must wait until the Ferry will leave after a few seconds. The player must position replaced their vehicle or their player at the Sand Dock, and wait until the last second of the Ferry's wait has finished. As soon as the Ferry starts moving, the player must move their player or vehicle forward. If successful, the player would have now travelled with the Ferry.
A player seeking to return to the Main Biome from the Tropics can choose to leave their wood/axes/vehicles on the ferry and reset, but must not reset on the ferry itself to avoid issues. When the ferry returns to the Mainland dock, the player can then collect their possesions from the ferry, thus saving money on the return trip. This is easier than the other freeloading method above.
There have been many instances of a players' vehicle being flipped, glitched, or even fall through the Ferry while travelling. This has been an issue that has been present since it was added into the game, but for some reason, has not yet been fixed by Defaultio.
Another present glitch is if a player purchases a ticket at the same time the popup to pay for a ticket appears, which results in the player unable to move besides jumping. The ferry will remain at the dock until the player either resets or leaves. Resetting can fix this issue, however, many actions will make the player unable to move again. If this is undesired, the player may leave the game when it occurs and keep their axes, at the cost of any loose items or wood they had brought with them to the ferry.