We would like to Thank all of our wonderful customers for helping to make Island Express Ferry Service # 1 of Things to Do in Beaufort on TripAdvisor!!


Are the horses of Spanish origin?

Genetic research shows evidence of Spanish ancestry in the Shackleford Banks herd.

Are the horses protected by law?

Yes. On Shackleford Banks, they are protected by federal law. On Rachel Carson Reserve, they are protected by North Carolina law and Town of Beaufort ordinance.

Are there bathroom facilities?

Toilet facilities are limited on the islands. Composting-style toilets are located on Shackleford Banks about a half mile on west end. Flush-style toilets are available during the day at the Harkers Island Visitor Center and at the Light Station Visitor Center, as well as on the boardwalk near the ocean beach.

Are there places to purchase food and drinks?

Limited food and beverages are sold at the ticket booths at Harkers Island and Beaufort. There are no concessions on the islands.

Are there shaded areas on Shackleford Banks?

There are limited shaded areas found under small trees.

Are they ponies or horses?

The Shackleford horses have often been referred to as ponies because of their size, but they are true horses.

Are they feral or wild?

They are wild horses.

Can I bring my pet?

Dogs are welcome on Shackleford when held by a six foot leash. This regulation is for the protection of the dog as well as the protection of the wildlife.

        Today's Schedule

We are the ONLY ferry service authorized to drop off at Cape Lookout and Shackleford Banks!

Due to high winds and rough sea conditions we will not be sailing on February 23 & 24.  

We will be sailing February 25-28. 
***The bar-tailed godwit was sited on Shackleford Banks 2/18/19!***
Explore Cape Lookout or Shackleford Banks for magnificent shelling! 

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BEAUFORT to SHACKLEFORD BANKS: Departing Beaufort at 9:00 am, 11:00 am & 1:00 pm.  Return pickups are at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm & 1:00 pm.

HARKERS ISLAND to SHACKLEFORD BANKS (East End) or CAPE LOOKOUT:  Departing Harkers Island at 9:00 am, 11:00 am & 1:00 pm.  Return pickups are at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm & 3:00 pm.