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Helpful Tips

How to Prepare For Our Ferry Rides

Ticket Policies & Useful Tips

  • Book your tickets online here.
  • 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.
Cape Lookout lighthouse in the reeds

Tips About Our Ferry Rides


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 boardwalk at Cape Lookout may be extremely hot, so 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.
  • There are no sinks or running water.

Ferry passengers are allowed a limited amount of carry-on items.

  • You are permitted to carry on items such as backpacks, beach bags, and small coolers.
  • Don’t overload yourself: too much gear is an unnecessary burden on everyone for such a short excursion.
  • 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.

  • Remember to check the local weather prior to leaving and dress accordingly.
toddler looking out at water from ferry