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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. 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

The ONLY Ferry authorized by National Park Service to drop off at Cape Lookout Lighthouse and Shackleford Banks.

As of Wednesday, September 13th, we will be running on our regular schedule out of Beaufort, every 1/2 hour beginning at 8:30 am.

Harkers Island: 1st trip out on Wed will be at 10:15 am.

Beach Shuttles will not be running until further notice. 

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We are departing every half hour starting at 8:30 am through 5 pm. Ferries depart from Shackleford every half hour as well, beginning at 9 am with the last departure at 5:30 pm.

We are departing every half hour on the quarter hour beginning at 8:15 am through 5:15 pm. Ferries depart from the East end of Shackleford and/or Cape Lookout every half hour on the quarter hour beginning at 9:15 am with the last departure at 5:45 pm.

We are also running COMBO TRIPS from Harkers Island
every half hour on the quarter hour beginning at 8:15 am. To get your best experience on BOTH islands, we suggest that you schedule your combo trip before 11:15 am.