After completing the Community Center quest, you'll need to gather supplies for Willy before you can sail to Ginger Island.
Stardew Valley added a whole new island to explore with update 1.5 on PC, and it's surprisingly fleshed out. There is a lot to do! If you're looking for a straight-to-start guide, nothing fits.
To reach the island, you will need to complete the community center lots (or the JojaMart questline equivalent), which means there's a ton of configuration if you start a new save file for 1.5.
When you complete your Community Center or Joja objective, Willy will send you a letter stating that he has unlocked the fishmonger's back room. Inside you will find a decades old boat in need of repairs.
[Note: I’m not sure if there are any other requirements before Willy sends the letter, but I happened to have a save file with an almost-finished Community Center. Preparing the final bundles did the trick. On this particular file, I didn’t catch every type of fish, so thankfully that’s not a prerequisite for the boat.]
To repair the boat you will need to bring:
- Five iridium bars to fix the anchor.
- Five battery packs to repair the cash dispenser.
- 200 pieces of hardwood to repair the hull.
It's a one-time expense, but if you're not provisioned, I certainly haven't been! – then the boat is quite a resource hog. I had to make a bunch of trips into the secret woods, although luckily I had spare battery.
Once you've repaired Willy's boat, you will be allowed to enter the fish shop at 8:00 a.m. daily and you can pay 1000g for a ticket to sail to the new area kinda like how you can hitchhike in the desert.
Before leaving with Willy, be sure to bring a watering can – you will need it.
Your destination? Ginger Island. You'll see a nice little sailing cinematic.
Without saying too much about the area – you can check out the gallery below for more spoiler-y screenshots – there are several notable things to find, including an NPC and a volcano dungeon. I've only scratched the surface, but I love that there's a new story here. Blocked paths are intriguing.
The first time I tried to explore the dungeon, I didn't bring a watering can, so I couldn't get far. When I returned I was almost immediately wiped out by some of the new creatures. Damn, Eric!