Ocracoke Express passenger ferry resumes service

Ocracoke, NC – The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division resumed passenger ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke on July 3 after the final approval of Senate Bill 750.

Ocracoke Express docked at Ocracoke Island (photo by Gene Galin)

The bill includes $1.14 million to lease and operate the Ocracoke Express passenger ferry through Sept. 10. The ferry makes three daily round trips between Hatteras and the Silver Lake Terminal, located in Ocracoke Village.
The schedule is as follows:

  • From Hatteras: 9:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • From Ocracoke: 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.​

A one-way trip takes approximately 70 minutes.

The fare is $5 one way for adults with an additional $1 for bicycles. Children 3 and under may ride for free. A free tram operated by Hyde County is available to shuttle visitors around the village, with golf carts and bicycles available for rental from private vendors. 

Passengers may purchase tickets directly at the Hatteras or Ocracoke-Silver Lake Terminals on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are available at ncferry.org or by calling 1-800-BY-FERRY.

Since the service started again July 3, hundreds of people have used the passenger ferry.

The Ferry Division is working with state health officials to develop procedures to protect Ocracoke Express passengers and crew during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ferry Division will:

  • Limit the number of passengers to 96, which is about half of what the vessel’s certificate of occupancy allows
  • Strongly encourage passengers to wear face coverings
  • Encourage passenger groups to remain six feet apart from each other
  • Add onboard hand sanitizing stations
  • Provide enhanced cleaning of the vessel between departures

Due to COVID-19 concerns, no refreshments will be offered at this time, so passengers may bring bottled water and snacks with them when they board.

The Ocracoke Express carried nearly 29,000 passengers between Ocracoke and Hatteras islands during its inaugural season in the summer of 2019.