The passenger ferry was spotted in Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Harbor on Thursday doing a test run. Photo by Randal Mathews

From our news services

The passenger ferry between Hatteras and Ocracoke will begin service on Monday (June 21) and the reservation system is now operational, the N.C. Department of Transportation announced today.

The Ocracoke Express passenger ferry, which will start its third season of operation June 21, shuttles passengers directly between the Hatteras Terminal and Ocracoke Village. The crossing time is approximately 65 minutes.

This year’s schedule includes daily departures at the following times:
From Hatteras: 9:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
From Ocracoke: 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 8 p.m.

 The fare is $5 each way, with an additional $1 charge for bicycles. Children 3 and under can ride for free.

 Reservations can be made online at, or by calling 1-800-BY-FERRY.

 As a bonus this year, riders who inquire at the terminal or make a reservation by phone (1-800-BY-FERRY) can buy one ticket and get one free, until the end of June.  

The North Carolina Ferry System will adhere to all state and federal COVID-19 guidelines. Currently, the Transportation Security Administration requires all passengers inside terminals and passenger lounges to wear face coverings, regardless of vaccination status.

Earlier this month, the N.C. Legislature appropriated $700,000 for leasing a rental passenger ferry until Aug. 15. Gov. Roy Cooper approved the bill for this funding on June 14

Jamie Kritzer, assistant director of communications for the NCDOT, said in an email that he could not speak for the Legislature as to this modification from the original appropriation request of $943,000 and operating the ferry until Sept. 10.

For details of the circuitous path this appropriation request took, see stories here and here.

As for the ferry being built in Hubert, the company has the boat in the water for testing, Kritzer said.

“That’s part of the process the builder goes through before turning it over to the Ferry Division,” he said. “Until that happens we won’t know when it will be ready for service.”

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