Ocracoke Express Passenger Ferry Details

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The Ocracoke Island ferries are where your adventure begins.

Part of Ocracoke Island’s charm is that it’s an island in the truest sense, meaning you’ll have to take a ferry, a private boat, or a plane to join us. If you’d like to know more about private boat or plane options, check out How To Get Here.

Tips for the savvy ferry-er.

Due to popularity of the ferries in the prime portion of the summer vacation calendar, the savvy traveler should call 1-800-BY-FERRY or click here to check the ferry schedule and make your ferry reservation in advance. If you’re making a daytrip to Ocracoke, plan to arrive as early as possible, as the ferries operate on a “first-come, first-served” basis. The busiest daytripping days are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. You can avoid a long wait by arriving before 9 a.m., or visiting on Monday, Friday, and/or the weekend.

Choose from four ferry options to Ocracoke Island.

From Highway 12 located along the Outer Banks, the Hatteras Ferry crossing is FREE and takes about 1 hour. Departure times vary by season. The Swan Quarter Ferry (2 hours, 40 minutes) and Cedar Island Ferry (2 hours, 10 minutes) ferry routes are tolled. Reservations are required.

Starting May 20, 2019, people traveling between Hatteras and Ocracoke Village will have a new travel option. In addition to the car ferries that already serve the popular route, visitors will have the Ocracoke Express passenger-only ferry as an option.

The passenger ferry service will run seven days a week from May 22 through Sept. 5. The division is leasing the ferry, the M/V Martha’s Vineyard Express, from the New Jersey-based ferry company Seastreak Marine. This week, the vessel successfully completed test runs of the route in the Pamlico Sound between the two Outer Banks islands.

The ferry will make three round trips daily through the summer, departing from the Hatteras terminal at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m., and departing the Ocracoke Silver Lake Terminal at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m. A one-way trip takes approximately 70 minutes.

Passengers who would like to walk on to the passenger ferry should proceed to the Hatteras Terminal at least 20 minutes before departure time. When reservations become available at a later date, they can be made online at www.ncferry.org or by calling 1-800-BY-FERRY (1-800-293-3779).

The ferry schedule can be subject to change due to weather conditions and traffic. It’s always a good idea to call ahead at 252-996-6000. Enjoy the ride!

For the current ferry schedule and contact information, click here.

For NCDOT ferry route information, schedules, and reservations, call 1-800-BY-FERRY or click here.