The Island of Elba is about 10 km from the mainland, while it is a little more than 23 km from Portoferraio to Piombino. All the ferries to the Island of Elba leave from the port of Piombino ,(if you wish to use your sat nav to get to the port of Piombino just click Piazzale PremudaMoby Lines, Toremar,Blu Navy and Corisca Sardinia Ferries, that connect the mainland to Portoferraio (about a 1 hour and 10 minutes crossing), or to Rio Marina and to Cavo (the former takes 45 minutes and the latter 35).
Suggestion from Infoelba: There is a service for general assistance on the Port of Piombino available to all those who arrive at the port, but above all for the disabled or for those who have difficulty in walking. If you wish more information please consult Portabile.
For those who are travelling without a car, there is also a quicker way of crossing, by hydrofoil which only takes 20 minutes to get to its first stop Cavo, in Rio Marina, and then continues on to Portoferraio, arriving 15 minutes later, and a fast ferry if you are taking your car over on the Piombino - Portoferraio crossing with the Corsica Sardinia Ferries Shipping Company (that takes about 40 minutes).
During the summer months the Corsica Sardinia Ferries Shipping Company also does a crossing to and from Portoferraio-Bastia which takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Not just that, during the summer months (from April to October) there are crossings more or less all day every day. During the winter months although there are a lot less crossings you can be sure of at least one to and from the island more or less every 2 or 3 hours.
If you are taking your car across, it is best to book the ferry, especially at Easter, or from April 25th to May 1st and all weekends in July and August. There are never any problems for passengers on foot.
If you wish to leave your car in Piombino, there are car parks with surveiilance both outside and inside the port area, free or for a fee.
Advice from Infoelba: if you wish to take your car over to use it on the Island of Elba, we advise you to book the ferry beforehand so you can be sure of finding room, getting the best price and avoiding any problems. Not only are there no extra costs with any of these different ways of booking, since they are exactly the same as booking directly in the port ticket offices, there is also the advantage of being able to compare the prices of all four shipping companies to and from Elba and Piombino (Toremar, Moby Lines, Blu Navy and Corsica Ferries).
For those who have bought their ticket on line, all 4 shipping companies enable you to check the bar code on your ferry ticket on your smartphone, tablet, Iphone and IPad which means you need not print it off. On the other hand, if you prefer, you can have your ticket printed directly at the ticket booking office at the port.