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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!

UPDATE: Due to high winds, we will not be sailing out of Beaufort & Harkers Island on Tuesday, March 19, 2019.

Our Spring Schedule begins March 1, with daily trips running every hour.  Our "Combo Trip" is now availiable to book.  Depart from Harkers Island Ferry Gateway and visit both Cape Lookout and Shackleford Banks in one day.  

Book ONLINE or

Please call us at


BEAUFORT to SHACKLEFORD BANKS: Departing Beaufort at 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm & 4:00 pm. Return pickups are at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm & 4:30 pm.

HARKERS ISLAND to SHACKLEFORD BANKS (East End) and/or CAPE LOOKOUT:  Departing Harkers Island at 9:15 am, 10:15 am, 11:15 am, 12:15 pm, 1:15 pm, 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm, 4:15 pm.  Return pickups are at 9:45 am, 10:45 am, 11:45 am, 12:45 pm, 1:45 pm, 2:45 pm, 3:45 pm, 4:45 pm.