The ‘Ocracoke Express’ passenger ferry heads to Silver Lake Harbor. Photo: C. Leinbach

From our news services

Rumors went around Ocracoke today (May 20) that the passenger ferry this year was scrubbed, but a North Carolina Ferry Division spokesman said the division is working to secure the service.

Service by the walk-on ferry between Hatteras and Ocracoke is set to begin Tuesday (May 25) and continue until Sept. 9, according to previous information from officials.

Jamie Kritzer, assistant director of communications for the NCDOT, today said in an email that the new boat builder, Waterline Systems in Hubert, is nearing completion on the new passenger ferry.

“We do not have a timeline for when the vessel will be ready,” Kritzer wrote. “At the same time, the General Assembly is considering a bill that would provide funding to lease a passenger ferry.”

He did not provide a timeline as to the legislature’s approval but said the Ferry Division will keep the public updated on any new developments.  Ferry service information is located here.

Tim Hass, N.C. Ferry Division spokesman, said in an interview April 15 that for now the passenger ferry will be leased again from Seastreak out of New Jersey. This is the same company that the Ferry Division has used since 2019 when the passenger ferry under construction was sidelined because of numerous faulty welds.

Last year, owing to the impacts of COVID-19, the N.C. Department of Transportation canceled its contract for the Ocracoke Express passenger ferry, but in late June, the N.C. Legislature passed legislation that funded the service for $1.47 million.

Meanwhile, the free tram service has begun on the island and runs daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.  

Jennifer Rich drives one of the trams around Ocracoke Village. Photo: C. Leinbach

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  1. Lord knows, there does not need to be anything bringing any more people to this tiny oasis, it is practically (if not totally) ruined by tourism as it is. Good ole Ocracoke is long gone, sadly. Party on, losers.

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