New Passenger only Ferry to Be in Service by Summer
With the introduction of a passenger ferry between Hatteras and Ocracoke Village this summer, it looks as though the ferry division of NCDOT got things very right.
The only way on or off Ocracoke Island is by water, and for the past five years the ferry channel between Hatteras and the Ocracoke terminal has been shoaling. Two years ago, the decision was made that the main channel could no longer be effectively dredged and a new channel has been in use.
Unfortunately the new channel added time to the ferry runs and the number of trips doing peak season feel from 52 per day to 42 according to NCDOT.
The new passenger only ferry service that is being offered is a partial solution to the problem.
Ocracoke is perfect as a day trip destination and the ferry division's newest addition is designed to take advantage of that. Docking at Silver Lake in the heart of Ocracoke Village, passengers will have a day to walk around one of the most picturesque towns of the Outer Banks.
The ferry is still undergoing tests and is not yet in service, although NCDOT has indicated it will be available by summer. A confirmed schedule has not yet been published but tentatively NCDOT is planning on four trip a day with the first leaving Hatteras at 10:00 a.m. and the last departing Ocracoke at 8:30 p.m.
There will be some restrictions on what can be taken on the ferry. Luggage and coolers are prohibited. However, there are provisions for bikes and parents of toddlers and younger can certainly bring strollers.
The ferry will seat 99 and takes 70 minutes to make the run. Unlike the vehicle ferry which is free, the passenger only ferry will have a $15 fee. Reservations are recommended.
This will be a passenger, day use ferry. There is parking available at the Hatteras Ferry Terminal, but overnight parking is prohibited.
We're pretty excited about this. Ocracoke is a wonderful day trip destination, and honestly driving a a car through those narrow twisting streets is difficult and we almost always park our car and walk about anyway.