Quick Facts

  • The North Carolina Ferry System will adhere to all state and federal COVID-19 guidelines. Currently, the Transportation Security Administration requires all passengers inside terminals and passenger lounges to wear face coverings, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Runs 7 days a week, July 3 - September 10

  • Hatteras Ferry Terminal departure times are 9:30AM, 1PM and 4:30PM

  • Ocracoke Silver Lake Terminal departure times are 11AM, 3PM, and 8PM

  • 65 minute ride one-way 

  • Passengers only, no vehicles. Bicycles, walkers and strollers allowed and pets with leashes are permitted

  • $5 one way, or $10 round trip, $1 for bicycles and children 3 and under are free.

  • A free tram is available in Ocracoke for transportation. Bikes and golf carts can be rented

  • Residents and visitors wishing to catch the Ocracoke Express passenger ferry during its 2021 summer season may now make reservations online www.ncferry.org, or by calling 1-800-BY-FERRY. As a bonus this year, riders who inquire at the terminal or make a reservation by phone (1-800-BY-FERRY) can buy one ticket and get one free, until the end of June.  


(Video from NCDOT)

“In line with Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 147, we will be requiring all passengers to wear face coverings while onboard both inside the seating area and on the deck,” said the NCDOT via a statement that was shared on Wednesday by the Albemarle Rural Planning Organization. “We have also implemented a vessel and facility cleaning regiment with crew sign off sheets. In addition, we will be marking space out in waiting areas to ensure proper social distancing and will have hand sanitizer at the ticket windows and onboard the vessels. In these challenging times, we will do our best to deliver the quality service that you all help[ed] to create last year.”

Unlike the other ferries servicing the Hatteras-Ocracoke route, the Ocracoke Express only carries people (no cars). It moves at 2x the speed and takes riders right into Silver Lake Harbor. Best of all, reservations are accepted. The car ferries remain free, but the Express has a fee to ride. The seasonal passenger ferry service runs seven days a week. 110 parking spots are available at the Hatteras Terminal on a first come-first served basis; in addition, there are 5 overnight parking spaces available.


With 149 passengers allowed per trip, the Express will take people from Hatteras Village across the Pamlico Sound into Ocracoke Village. Dining, attractions, and shopping are all within walking distance with beautiful views of the waterfront once at Silver Lake Harbor. Trams are available to take people from the terminal to the end of the island. The free tram service awaits passengers stepping off the ferry and runs a 30-minute loop around the island with 8 stops. Bikes and golf carts are also available for rental near the ferry terminal.


To make a reservation, call 1-800-BY-FERRY or book online at ferry.ncdot.gov. Check-in no later than 20 minutes before departure time. Small carry-on items, backpacks are purses are allowed. Concessions and drinks are offered onboard the Express. The N.C. Department of Transportation's Ferry Division is leasing the Passenger Ferry Ocracoke Express from Seastreak Marine based in New Jersey; the vessel's name is the M/V Martha's Vineyard Express

As a reminder, the Ferry System also operates a vehicle ferry that runs between Hatteras and the northern end of Ocracoke Island. That ferry is free and runs on a first-come, first-served basis. Travel time on the vehicle ferry is approximately one hour, with an additional 15-20 minute drive time into Ocracoke Village.


Ocracoke Village Tram Map