In many places around the world, ferries are very important for public transport. Some of these places can only be reached by ferry, because they have no roads or railways with bridge or tunnels that join them to nearby places, nor do they have any locations at which to land airplanes, whether it is an airport or only an airfield.
The word 'ferry' can also mean 'to take someone or something by ferry'.
The Herald of Free Enterprise disaster, in which 193 people died near Zeebrugge in 1987, was one of the worst ferry accidents of recent times. It was caused by a crew member forgetting to close the bow doors of the ferry.