On the Swan Quarter ferry. Photo: C. Leinbach

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Worker shortage, COVID-19 cases continue to affect Hatteras vehicle ferry schedule

The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division has returned to a full summer schedule on its Cedar Island-Ocracoke and Swan Quarter-Ocracoke routes this week, after repairing several unexpected mechanical issues on sound-class vessels.

Reservations are highly recommended on those runs:

Cedar Island-Ocracoke
From Cedar Island: 8 a.m., 10, 1 p.m. and 4:30.
From Ocracoke: 7:30 a.m., 10, 1 p.m. and 5:30.

Swan Quarter-Ocracoke
From Swan Quarter: 7 a.m., 10, 2 p.m. and 4:30.
From Ocracoke: 7 a.m., 11 and 12:45 p.m. and 3:45.

However, a worker shortage continues to affect the Hatteras-Ocracoke vehicle ferry schedule.

The Ferry Division continues to work on hiring new employees and has scheduled a new job fair from 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. June 9 at the College of the Albemarle’s Dare County campus in Manteo.

Anyone wishing to apply for employment with the Ferry System should go to the state employment website and enter the word ‘ferry’ in the search box.  

The Hatteras-Ocracoke route could also be impacted this summer by COVID-19. COVID cases continue to rise locally and have contributed to recent cancellations on the Hatteras vehicle route. While nearly all the recent cases have recovered and returned to work, future cases are impossible to predict and may result in other schedule interruptions. So far in 2022, the Ferry Division has seen 97 positive COVID cases systemwide.

Before departing, travelers should check the Hatteras route’s Twitter feed on the Ferry System’s website, or call the Hatteras terminal at 252-996-6000.

Also, travelers wishing to leave their vehicle behind can make a quick trip over to Ocracoke aboard the ferry for passengers only. To go to Ocracoke from Hatteras without waiting, make a reservation on the Ocracoke Express passenger-only ferry, which makes three round trips daily directly between Hatteras and Ocracoke Village.

The Ferry Division is working to address all issues affecting the Hatteras vehicle ferry route and return to a full summer schedule as soon as possible.

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