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!!

The wildlife and environmental notes below are focused on helping you watch wildlife without harming them or disturbing the environment. Always follow park rules and regulations and respect the rights of all wildlife while visiting Cape Lookout National Seahore.

- Learn before you go. Read about the history and wildlife of Cape Lookout National Seashore to get the most out of your visit. Research on the internet, regional guidebooks, and talk with our staff and park rangers to increase your chances of seeing horses.

- Keep your distance. Always stay at least 50ft from the horses. Use binoculars and cameras with zoom lenses to get closeup looks. If they approach you, stay calm and slowly back away. When close encounters occur, do not make sudden moves or obstruct the path of any animals.

- Hands off. Never touch. Do not every try to touch the horses as attempting to do so could cause them to kick or bite. Stay off of sand dunes and beach vegetation. - Do not feed or attract wildlife. Feeding or trying to attract the horses with food disrupts normal feeding cycles and may cause sickness or death from unnatural food items.

- Never chase or harass wildlife. Following a wild animal that is trying to escape is dangerous. Never completely surround an animal, trap an animal, block its escape route, or come between a mother and her young.

- Wildlife and pets don't mix. Wild animals can injure and spread diseases to pets, and in turn, pets can harm and disturb wildlife. For example, wild horses could recognize dogs as predators try to defend themselves so if you are traveling with a pet, always keep them on a leash.

- Lend a hand with trash removal. Human garbage is one of the greatest threats to marine wildlife. Carry a trash bag with you and pick up litter found along the shore and in the water. Plastic bags, floating debris and monofilament line pose some of the greatest threat to wildlife. Help us and the National Park Service by bringing back any trash that you take to the islands.

- Help us in implementing the seven principles of "Leave No Trace". - Plan ahead and prepare - Travel and camp on durable services - Dispose of waste properly - Leave what you find - Minimize campfire impacts - Respect wildlife - Be considerate of other visitors

        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.