The Ferry System gives you
the opportunity to relax for awhile and
view the beautiful Outer Banks sandy beaches from the water! It
is maintained by the North Carolina
Department of Transportation. Drive your vehicle onto the ferry, get
out and walk around,
enjoy the lounge, or just sit back and enjoy the view!
North Carolina has one of the largest state
operated ferry systems in
the country. It is pet-friendly
but your pet must remain
in the vehicle or be on a leash.
Also, no food is offered on the
trip, but you can bring food aboard if you wish. Some of the terminals
have vending machines.
vehicle used on the highway is
permitted... a car, motor home, or trailer. Although
reservations are not required, the Cedar
and Swan Quarter
do offer reservations. You can book up to three months in
advance and you must arrive 30 minutes before departure or your
reservation will be cancelled. Please note that ferry system
recommended during the busy summer months.
Click here to make your ferry system reservations
online, or via telephone at 1-800-BY-FERRY
Since the 18th century, ferries have been a way of life, crossing
bodies of water to transport supplies and goods to the mainland of
eastern North Carolina. After the invention of the automobile,
vehicle ferries were developed, and are essential to the residents and
visitors. Over 2.5 million passengers cross the Pamlico River, Cape
Fear River, Neuse River, the Pamlico and Currituck Sound every year via
the ferry system. During your visit to the Outer
Banks of North Carolina
be sure to include a trip on one of our
are no bridges to connect the isolated Ocracoke
to the mainland, which makes it even more charming! It is only
accessible by water or air.
Ferry service is provided to the island
year round and departs from Hatteras Island, Swan Quarter, and Cedar
We have seven ferries maintained by the North Carolina Department of
Transportation. Below you will find
information for the three main
ferries serving Ocracoke
Hatteras to Ocracoke Ferry
from the southern part of Hatteras
, across the Hatteras Inlet,
to the northern part of Ocracoke Island
Travel time is about 45
minutes and will hold up to 30 cars. And, the best part....it is
absolutely FREE! Reservations are not accepted; first come, first
served. During the summer months the ferry departs every thirty minutes
from 5:00 AM until midnight. During the off-season winter months it
departs every hour. The ferry terminal on Hatteras Island offers a
great gift shop, too! Once you reach the ferry terminal on
Ocracoke Island you will drive about 13 miles to reach the
Cedar Island to Ocracoke
runs from Cedar Island to the southern tip of Ocracoke Island. Cedar
Island is about 45 miles east of Beaufort NC, but you will be traveling
through several small towns, so plan on an hour and a half of driving
time. This ferry ride is very popular and reservations are
strongly recommended. It travels 22 miles, will hold approximately 30
cars, and takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes to reach the island. This
is a toll ferry and a small fee is charged.
Swan Quarter to Ocracoke
from Swan Quarter (east of Washington, NC) to the southern tip of
Ocracoke Island. It takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to cross the
Pamlico Sound to Ocracoke. This ferry does have a set schedule so
reservations are strongly recommended.
The map below shows ferry routes to Ocracoke Island.
View ocracoke ferry route
in a larger map
Ready for a great vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina?
Check out the fabulous
Outer Banks vacation homes here!
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