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!!

Ferry Destinations to Cape Lookout National Seashore

Our experienced captains and crew will strive to exceed your expectations to make this an “Experience to Last a Lifetime” as you become more than a customer but part of our family having a fun and enjoyable time on one of our Island Express Ferry Service vessels.


Please allow plenty of time to check-in and get your tickets. Tickets booths open one hour before first scheduled departure. Boat tickets may be purchased from the Island Express Ferry Service ticket office, online or by telephone. Reservations accepted for large groups. Cash and all major credit cards accepted. Click here to purchase tickets online

Helpful Tips

Be prepared for intense heat and humidity mid-July thru September. There are few trees on the Islands and shade is non-existent. Sunscreen, protective clothing and eyewear are essential. In summer, the sand and board walk at Cape Lookout may be extremely hot. Shoes are required. Shaded seating can be found at Cape Lookout in the park service’s areas and at the picnic shelter located near the boat dock, however there are no sinks or running water.

Ferry passengers are allowed limited amount of carry-on items such as back packs, beach bags and small coolers. However, don’t over load yourself. Too much gear is an unnecessary burden on everyone. You’ll be on the island for only a short time. So travel light for a more enjoyable visitor experience and easier hiking, especially in the heat of mid-summer. Our regular passengers carry very little during their island visits for good reason.

Remember to wear suitable clothing for sand and wet conditions, and please remember to check the local weather prior to leaving and dress accordingly!

        Today's Schedule

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

We will be sailing      1/19-1/21. 

Due to the Government shutdown, there are no restroom facilities at the Harkers Island location.

Please note our revised Winter Schedule from 12/1/18 - 2/28/19.  We will be sailing weekends only except for 1/21 and 2/14 - 2/28 at which times we will be sailing daily. Departures are at 9am, 11am & 1pm from Beaufort & Harkers Island. Return pick-ups are at 11:30am, 1:30pm & 3:30pm

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BEAUFORT to SHACKLEFORD BANKS: Departing Beaufort every hour at 9:00 am

HARKERS ISLAND to SHACKLEFORD BANKS (East End) or CAPE LOOKOUT:  Departing Harkers Island every hour beginning at 9:15 am