Ferries pass in the channel between Ocracoke and Hatteras on a recent spring day. Photo: C. Leinbach

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The North Carolina Ferry System will switch to its spring schedule today (Tuesday, April 11), adding more runs to the Hatteras-Ocracoke route.

The new schedule, which increases the number of daily round trips to 26 from 18, will include a new 10:30 a.m. run from Hatteras.  The added departure was specifically requested by Ocracoke restaurant owners in order to get visitors to island restaurants in time for the lunch rush.

“The business owners asked us to fill an hour-long gap in the schedule, and we listened,” said Ferry Division Interim Director Jed Dixon. “They believe it will give day trippers a chance to fit a lunch stop into their visits, and we want to help them any way we can.”

The enhanced spring schedule will remain in effect until the peak summer schedule starts May 16. In past years, the schedule reverted to off-season levels between Easter and the start of the summer tourist season.

“Ocracoke is seeing more and more shoulder season visitors every year due to fishing tournaments, fun runs and other events, and we’re doing the best we can to accommodate those extra visitors,” Dixon said.

A downloadable copy of the new schedule is available on the Ferry Division’s website.

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