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“Ship Island” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ship Island Excursions

Ship Island Excursions
1040 23rd Ave, Gulfport, MS 39502
+1 228-864-1014
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Attraction details
Owner description: Relaxation, recreation and history; these are the gifts offered to you on Ship Island. Here in the north central Gulf of Mexico, about 11 miles off Mississippi's Coast, are some of the last undeveloped barrier islands in America. Part of Gulf Islands National Seashore and protected by the U.S. Park Service, these exquisite sand islands offer visitors the first high quality beaches for swimming and shelling east of New Orleans. Travel to a special place where attractions include: outstanding beaches, beautiful water and clean gulf air. Locals and visitors consistently rate the 22-mile round trip to Ship Island as the coast's premier beach experience. Visit historic Fort Massachusetts on your own, or on a Park Ranger guided tour offered after passenger ferries dock at West Ship Island pier. Shrimp boats, tugs with barges and ocean-going freighters are some of the many sights you'll see as you venture across the Mississippi Sound out to the clear, green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Watch for dolphins! Atlantic Bottle-nosed Dolphins are frequently seen playing in our boats' wake and feeding near the island beaches. The finest beaches on the Mississippi Gulf Coast are located on Ship Island. Tranquil stretches of barrier island shore invite you to picnic, explore, and "decompress". Pristine gulf waters surrounding Ship Island attract swimmers and body surfers. The National Park Service provides a designated swim area with life guards in summer. Emergency assistance is available 24 hrs. on the island. Beach chair and umbrella rentals are provided. An easy one-third mile stroll along a boardwalk is required to reach the more popular Gulf of Mexico swim beach on the south side of the island. Don't expect to find condos or a shopping mall on the island. Except for the old fort, boardwalk, restrooms with showers, and a covered picnic area near a small snack bar, you'll find very little development. Food service is also available on the boats. Dress comfortably and be prepared for the sun, especially from mid-June thru August. Hats, eyewear and sunscreen are important. Small backpacks and coolers are allowed on the ferries. Be advised, glass containers are prohibited on Ship Island. Since the National Park Service does not supply waste receptacles, visitors must pack out whatever they carry on Ship Island.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Ship Island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

We visited Ship Island during March 2013 as part of our spring break vacation with our son. This was a great day trip while staying in Biloxi. Be sure to check the ferry schedule, especially if going off season. The staff on the ferry were great, beach supplies were available for purchase (ie. buckets, sunscreen etc.). We took the tour of the fort that is located on the island which was very interesting. We then spent the day at the beach on the island. Make sure to pack your own lunch and bring it with you. There is no shelter on the island so pay attention to the weather forecast.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank jacmonster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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261 reviews from our community

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Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great Day Trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

This is the perfect day trip in the Gulfport/Biloxi area. The beaches on the mainland didn't appeal to us, but the trip out to Ship Island was worthwhile. The water is much clearer and cleaner in appearance and the beach is nice. We were able to see dolphins during our time there and jellyfish on the trip over - watch out for them at the beach though, too.

There is a small historic fort that you are able to walk through at no additional cost. A small shop is open on the island that serves some food/drink and beach items (i.e. sunscreen, sandals, kids' toys, etc) and it is reasonably priced. You are allowed to bring coolers with your own food/drink, too. There are umbrellas and chairs available for rent ahead of time or on the island.

The ferry trip takes about 45 minutes each way. During peak times they offer multiple departures from the mainland and Ship Island, which is nice. We really enjoyed our time there and would go back again.

Visited August 2013
Thank Aubrie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
99 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“A great beach and historic fort to boot”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

We went on a morning trip to Ship Is.and leaving at 2.30pm. It was not very hot but we found plenty of shade as we were visiting out of season. The boat trip is pleasant and refreshments are served the staff are attentive and friendly. You travel over with a national parks volunteer who gives you a talk and tour around the old fort and is very informative so worth the time. We saw how the fort weathered Katrina and how parts had been restored. For those who want to sunbathe or swim its a great location and the boat staff run a snack bar on the island so cold drinks, food and ice cream can always be purchased and despite their monopoly the prices are very reasonable and don't break the bank. It is a beautiful island and well worth the visit for those of all ages and abilities

Visited September 2013
2 Thank Reddantheaddick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

This is a great day trip for a family! Get to the ferry early so you can get your ticket. Check out the gift shop they have lots of great sand castle toys for inexpensive prices. Don't bother with a boogie board in the gift shop though you can rent it cheaper on the island, but the waves aren't big enough to use it. For 25.00 get two chairs and umbrella, or better yet pack your own umbrella and walk a little ways down the beach where it is even prettier. Bring a cooler with wheels and pack lunch and snacks. Lots of water and drinks. If you want you can drink alcohol but you will need a coozie!

Oh and put sunscreen on at least once every hour! I recommend about every 45 minutes! Sunglasses also will keep you from burning your eyes!

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Mia123456789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
145 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Boat excursion and beach.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

For someone who likes a pleasant boat excursion, picnic on the beach and swimming, this is a good place to go to. The boat ride is about one hour each way. There are some covered areas with tables and benches where you can escape the hot sun. There is also a snack bar with basic snacks. The main attraction though, if you are not interested in the beach, is the very interesting Ft. Massachusetts. Good way to spend the day!

Visited September 2013
2 Thank llh007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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