Harkers Island → Shackleford Banks

Round-Trip Ferry Ride: Harkers Island Visitor Center → Shackleford Banks & Return Trip

Quick Details

Visit Shackleford Banks East End by Ferry

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

Enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the island as you watch for local bird species and the famous Banker horses, possible descendants of Spanish shipwrecks from over 500 years ago. You may glimpse this herd of over 110 horses roaming the island.


  • Mar 1 –  Apr 14: Every hour from 9:15 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
  • Apr 15 – Sept 15: Every 30 minutes from 8:15 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.
  • Sept 16 – Nov 24: Every hour from 9:15 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
  • Nov 25 – Feb 28, 2020: 10 a.m., 12 p.m. & 2 p.m.

Ferry Route

  • Chevron down What to Bring
    • Water
    • Sunblock, hat & sunglasses
    • Drinks, snacks or picnic lunch
    • Insect repellant
    • Trash bags
      • The trash you make is the trash you take; Cape Lookout and Shackleford Banks are trash-free islands
    • Two free carry-ons are allowed per person (e.g. tote, backpack, folding chair, small cooler)
      • Extra bags or oversized items are allowed for an additional fee
    • Lightweight compact folding chairs, coolers and umbrellas are permitted
    • Limit of two fishing poles per passenger
      • Hooks must be removed before boarding
    • Pets are allowed on the boats for a small fee
      • All pets must remain on leashes 6′ or shorter
  • Chevron down What NOT to Bring
    • Glass bottles are prohibited
    • Highly flammable liquids are not allowed on the boats
    • Spear guns are prohibited
    • Due to restricted space, large items such as wagons, non-folding luggage carriers, large folding chairs, huge strollers, etc. will be accommodated as space permits for an additional charge