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“Unbeatable!!!” 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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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: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children
Texico
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Unbeatable!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

From the time we boarded the boat until our return to Biloxi, we were in awe! Ship Island is a beautiful place! It seems untouched by any commercialization! We saw dolphins, stingrays, right from the beach! The water is clear, and you can go quite a ways out! This is a must see!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Tiki L
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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Illinois
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Only highlight was the Fort”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

Very disappointed in this experience. We paid a lot of money for our family of 5 to take this trip. Dolphins were only spotted twice on the trip and both times on the other side of the boat for a brief moment. But we did see some way off in the distance at the beach. If you were looking at the right time you could see a spot jump out of the water. The water is not very clear at the beach. If it is clearer than other beaches in the area, then those other beaches have to be pretty bad. It was filled with jellyfish and people were getting stung every few minutes. We arrived around 10:00, and by noon most people were out of the water just waiting for the boat to return. Maybe a dozen or so brave people were left in the water. My children started out trying to go in until they heard other children screaming in pain from stings. Then it was all over. The food is horrendous. I had read reviews on this and thought it can't be that bad. We have eaten at plenty of theme parks and attractions and can always manage to be ok, and I didn't want to drag along a bigger cooler. We could not even take two bites out of the burgers. I have no idea what kind of meat it was, if it was even meat. It seems like they also try to compensate for the taste by overspicing it. The walk to the beach is not as bad, if you do want to bring a cooler. Most of the way is along a boarded walk, so rolling a cooler would be easy. Only a small distance through the sand to the chairs. It was really too hot to do much exploring elsewhere, especially with bored, hungry kids. The only good thing was the Fort tour. This was really a neat place to see and learn some history. The staff were also very nice and pleasant.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank jenlyn5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Helpful?
1 Thank jacmonster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Helpful?
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
Helpful?
2 Thank Reddantheaddick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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