Ferry Empire is one of the playable scenarios that comes with Cities: Skylines’ Mass Transit DLC.
To win Ferry Empire, you must transport 250,000 people by ship*, and grow the population to 25,000. You lose Ferry Empire if you Run out of money (0 in bank account).
*Although the win condition says you have to “transport by ship”, you’ll only be using ferries because the map lacks the open sea connection required by cruise ships.
Let’s take a look at how to win this fun scenario!
What To Expect: Map and Starting Conditions
Not surprisingly, Ferry Empire puts you on a map with lots of water and coastlines.
But since you only need a population of 25,000, building space really isn’t an issue in this scenario.
You’ll have a starting population of over 5,500. Your starting city has low-density residential areas, a small section of generic industry, and some commercial.
You’ll also get ₡30,000 to start with, and a modest income of around ₡1,800.
Tip #1: Grow Your Economy to Expand
Growing your economy early on is really important for this scenario, to enable you to build your ferry system and expand farther across the map (more on this later). It’ll also put you at less risk of losing by running out of money.
If you have the Industries DLC: This map lacks the other three natural resources (fertile land, oil, and ore), but there is plenty of forest area that you can take advantage of to boost your economy.
If you’re playing without DLCs, just make sure to respond immediately to any RICO (residential, industrial, commercial, and office) demands in order to grow your city as fast as possible.
It’s also not a bad idea to raise your taxes a little bit.
Tip #2: Try To Spread Your Population Across the Map
Since you want to encourage people to use ferries, you do not want to keep your zoning in one contiguous location.
Instead, you want to spread them out in clusters across the map.
You immediately have the option and the means to purchase a tile of land, and this is a viable choice.
Tip #3: Create Canals Through the Isthmuses
One thing you’ll notice right away on this map is that there are several isthmuses—the narrow strips of land
These are ideal for building canals across for your ferries to pass through, giving you a wider range of possibilities for routing.
A ferry pathway is automatically created along any canal you build.
Tip #4: Use The Train Outside Connection to Bring People In
A great way to boost ferry usage is by bringing people in via outside connections, and having ferries transport them to different parts of your city.
The tile east of your starting tile has a train connection. If you can afford it, build a passenger train station there, and build one of your ferry stops nearby allowing for easy transfer.
(Alternatively, if you have the Airports DLC, you can build an airport area for the same purpose, although it would be much more expensive.)
Tip #5: Bring in More Tourists with Unique Buildings
If you’ve done Tip #4, you can further boost the number of people coming into your city by building unique buildings when you can afford them.
Unique buildings raise your city’s attractiveness rating, which determines how many tourists come to visit.
If you have the Match Day DLC, a football stadium will also have people coming in droves around matchday.