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Rates & Schedules

Ferry Trips to Cape Lookout National Seashore depart daily from the Town of Beaufort Ferry Gateway and Harkers Island Visitor Center. Trip minimums apply.


Harkers Island Ferry Gateway to Cape Lookout Lighthouse

On this gorgeous 15-20 minute ferry ride to Cape Lookout you may catch a glimpse of the Shackleford Banks horses, bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, and more! Enjoy the majestic Cape Lookout lighthouse, surf fishing, wide beaches, and the Beach Shuttle to get you to the best shelling on the eastern seaboard!

 Round-trip Ferry Service
$16 Adults/Campers (includes backpack & small carry-on) $5 additional carry-ons $9 Children (11 and under) $7 Pets

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Harkers Island Ferry Gateway to Shackleford Banks

This approximately 15 minute ferry ride takes you to the east end of Shackleford Banks where you can enjoy captivating sights of the wild horses, explore for seashells, birds, and go camping with the view of the lighthouse in the distance.

East End Round-trip Ferry Service
$16 Adults/Campers (includes backpack & small carry-on) $5 additional carry-on $9 Children (11 and under) $7 Pets

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Town of Beaufort Ferry Gateway to Cape Lookout Lighthouse

This special 3½ hour trip is a 45 minute ferry ride during which you will enjoy the magnificence of nature's panoramas. Once at Cape Lookout you are free to explore, enjoy, and relax for 2 hours before departing Cape Lookout to return to Beaufort.

3.5 Hour Trip $35 Adults/$25 Children (11 and under)

Please call for reservations 252-728-7433

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Town of Beaufort Ferry Gateway to Shackleford Banks

Enjoy this scenic 15-20 minute ferry ride to the west end of Shackleford Banks where you can go horse watching, shelling, fishing, birding, and camping.

 $16 Adults/Campers (includes backpack & small carry-on) $5 additional carry-on $9 Children (11 and under) $7 Pets

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Harkers Island Ferry Gateway to Cape Lookout Lighthouse and Shackleford Banks Combo

 This combo package allows you to take in the beauty of BOTH islands in one day! Enjoy the ride to your first destination of Shackleford Banks-East End and finish your day on Cape Lookout. 

  $26 Adults/$15 Children (11 and under)

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Heritage Harbour Tours

 Travel by Catamaran with the sunset, sparkling sea, and playful dolphins as your backdrop. The Captain will give this historical water view tour with a complete circuit of Harkers Island, and a pass by Shackleford Banks. You will learn about the legends and local lore, with fun facts and information about Shackleford Banks, Harkers Island, and the surrounding areas. These tales of by-gone days will be told by tried and true Harkers Island natives - born and bred locals who are will-versed in the stories, heritage, and traditions of these fishing and long-ago whaling communities. Compelling accounts of the historic beginnings of "Diamond City", a community of hundreds who lived on "The Banks", enduring unruly weather and hardship only to be forced out by one final, vicious storm. Hear tell of testimony from your narrators about the Banker horses, the Mail Boat Run, Shell Point, and Browns Island. You will be intrigued indeed. While cruising, be sure to be on the lookout for dolphins swimming along-side and for the famous Shackleford Banks Banker Horses.

  $20 Adults/$15 Children (11 and under)

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School Groups - Town of Beaufort Ferry Gateway to Shackleford Banks and Harkers Island Ferry Gateway to Cape Lookout

Beaufort to Shackleford Banks - West End And Harkers Island to Cape Lookout Lighthouse - Dock, or Shackleford Banks - East End Round - trip Ferry Service
$11 6th grade and up/$9 5th grade and under $16 college students $11 Teachers/$16 Parents and Chaperones 

These rates only apply to schools that book directly though Island Express Ferry Services. 

Kayakers from Cape Lookout Lighthouse to Harkers Island Ferry Gateway One Way Trip $20 kayak/$16 passenger Passengers from Cape Lookout Bight to Harkers Island Ferry Gateway Round-trip from Moored Boat $30 Adults/$12 Children (11 and under)

SPRING SCHEDULE MARCH 1ST - APRIL 14TH
- DEPARTURE TIMES -
600 FRONT STREET
BEAUFORT, NC
 1800 ISLAND RD
HARKERS ISLAND, NC
BEAUFORTSHACKLEFORDHARKERS ISLANDCAPE LOOKOUT
9:00 AM----------9:15 AM9:45 AM
10:00 AM10:30 AM10:15 AM10:45 AM
11:00 AM11:30 AM11:15 AM11:45 AM
12:00 PM12:30 PM12:15 PM12:45 PM
1:00 PM1:30 PM1:15 PM1:45 PM
2:00 PM2:30 PM2:15 PM2:45 PM
3:00 PM3:30 PM3:15 PM3:45 PM

SUMMER SCHEDULE APRIL 15TH - OCTOBER 1ST
- DEPARTURE TIMES -

600 FRONT STREET
BEAUFORT, NC

1800 ISLAND RD
HARKERS ISLAND, NC

BEAUFORTSHACKLEFORD________________________HARKERS ISLANDCAPE LOOKOUT
8:30 AM----------8:15 AM----------
9:00 AM9:00 AM8:45 AM----------
9:30 AM9:30 AM9:15 AM9:15 AM
10:00 AM10:00 AM9:45 AM9:45 AM
10:30 AM10:30 AM10:15 AM10:15 AM
11:00 AM11:00 AM10:45 AM10:45 AM
11:30 AM11:30 AM11:45 AM11:45 AM
12:00 PM12:00 PM11:45 AM11:45 AM
12:30 PM12:30 PM12:15 PM12:15 PM
1:00 PM1:00 PM12:45 PM12:45 PM
1:30 PM1:30 PM1:15 PM1:15 PM
2:00 PM2:00 PM1:45 PM1:45 PM
2:30 PM2:30 PM2:15 PM2:15 PM
3:00 PM3:00 PM2:45 PM2:45 PM
3:30 PM3:30 PM3:15 PM3:15 PM
4:00 PM4:00 PM3:45 PM3:45 PM
4:30 PM4:30 PM4:15 PM4:15 PM
5:00 PM4:45 PM4:45 PM
5:30 PM5:15 PM5:00 PM
----------5:45 PM

Heritage Harbor Cruise
MOST FRIDAYS AND SATURDAYS IN JULY AND AUGUST PLUS JUNE 30&JULY1
DEPARTS FROM 1800 ISLAND ROAD, HARKERS ISLAND, NC
$20 ADULTS & $15 CHILDREN 3 - 11
NARRATED 2 HOUR TOUR

1800 ISLAND ROAD, HARKERS ISLAND, NC

DEPART Harkers Island________________________RETURN TO Harkers Island
7:00 PM 9:00 PM

Additional Information

  • Approximate trip time from Town of Beaufort Gateway to Shackleford Banks west-end is 20 minutes.
  • Approximate trip time from Town of Beaufort Gateway to Cape Lookout Lighthouse is 45 minutes.
  • Approximate trip time from Harkers Island Visitors Center to Cape Lookout Lighthouse is 15 minutes.
  • Approximate trip time from Harkers Island Visitors Center to Shackleford Banks east-end is 15 minutes.
  • Times may very due to tidal/weather conditions
  • Return trip times will be scheduled at time of departure at ticket booth
  • Campers for extended stay will be accommodated
  • We accept all major credit cards
  • Trips may be booked online
  • It is recommended that you arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your departure time

Reservations

Make your reservations for the Cape Lookout and Shackleford Banks ferry service by contacting the Island Express Ferry reservation office or online. The reservation lines are open 7 days a week and can be reached by calling 252-728-7433. Or make your reservation online at www.islandexpressferryservices.com. TRIP MINIMUM OF 4 PASSENGERS APPLIES.

All reservations require payment in full at time of booking - cash and major credit cards accepted. Reservations may be accepted no more than one (1) year in advance.

***Ferry check-in is required 30 minutes prior to departure. If you do not arrive in time, other passengers without reservations may be boarded in your place, and you will be bumped to the next ferry departure.*** Island Express Ferry Service will immediately notify visitors if a reserved ferry and/or land trip needs to be canceled due to hazardous weather conditions, emergencies and Park closures. Visitors will be refunded in the event that a scheduled trip is canceled.

Island Express Ferry is a concession service provider, therefore the National Park Service staff cannot access your reservation information and does not have access to individual reservations or daily ferry availability.

If you have never made a trip to the Outer Banks before, please read What to bring / What not to bring

Ferry Cancellations and Refunds

Request for refunds for a paid reservation must be made 24 hours prior to schedule date and time. Refunds are made within 48 hours of cancellation but may take up to one week to credit your account. All ferry trips are subject to the vessel Captain's discretion - if we cancel, a full refund will be made. Rain and cloudy conditions will not cancel ferry trip and no refunds will be made for passengers who do not show up. All cancellations and refunds must be requested no later than 24 hours before departure.

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. 

Book ONLINE or

Please call us at

(252)728-7433

BEAUFORT to SHACKLEFORD BANKS

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.

From
HARKERS ISLAND to SHACKLEFORD BANKS (East End) or CAPE LOOKOUT
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.