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Ship Island Excursions

Gulfport, MS, USA
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About Ship Island Excursions
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.
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Denise C wrote a review Apr 2021
54 contributions3 helpful votes
We did the dolphin tour/watch. It was great. It was a little cold for a lot of dolphins but we still sew quite a few. All of the staff did a great job. We well be doing the again.
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Date of experience: April 2021
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Annie w wrote a review Feb 2021
1 contribution
A friend and I took the afternoon cruise. It was fantastic. The staff is very informative. They point out other interest along with the dolphins. It was chilly. I recommend a jacket or light blanket. It was perfect! Oh, we saw a lot of dolohins🐬 Their Ship Island cruise is great as well. This company is a asset to the Gulfport area.
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Date of experience: November 2020
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sabrinak136 wrote a review Sep 2020
New Orleans, Louisiana517 contributions99 helpful votes
Fortunately, my son and I had an opportunity to take our annual visit to Ship Island during the Labor Day weekend. I initially believed that due to COVID19 Ship Island would not return this season. Fortunately, the trips returned but were short lived due to the impact of tropical storms and hurricanes. According to a post I read on today trips to go onto Ship Island have ceased until next year. That is sad but make sure to put Ship Island on your to do list for next season before it gets too hot. The cost is $32.00 for an adult and $21.00 for a child. The rental for beach chairs and an umbrella is $25.00. I must admit the adventure is priceless and quite reasonable in comparison to traveling to the beaches of Gulf Shores or Pensacola. On our last trip the staff did an excellent job considering COVID19. It was a requirement that all tickets be purchased online prior to departure, limitations on the amount of people on the boat, and masks were required while inside the cabin. The crew members were professional and courteous. It was a hot day on Ship Island however, my son enjoyed finding seashells, playing in the water, and observing Hermit Crabs. I must admit it was a great way to end the uneventful summer of 2020. Special thanks to the crew of Ship Island Excursions for being the best version of a great company despite the circumstances of our times. Hoping the 2021 season will be wonderful for the guests and Ship Island Excursions as well. I have enjoyed all my visits to Ship Island. These yearly visits have allowed me to make so many beautiful memories with my son that I will be forever grateful. Thanks for the journey.
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Date of experience: September 2020
1 Helpful vote
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Looie52 wrote a review Sep 2020
Barnegat, New Jersey5 contributions8 helpful votes
We took the day trip to Ship Island as a chance to see a more pristine area of beach in the south Mississippi area. We were not disappointed in our decision. The ferry operates from the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor / Jones Park at the the southern end of US 49. The trip to the Island takes about 1 hr 15 min from time of departure. During our visit, the captain slowed to allow viewing of dolphins that were in the path of the ferry, which gave many a photo opportunity. When we arrived at Ship Island, we took a path to the beach area across the island from the ferry pier. Be forewarned - this is a good, long walk across the in place boardwalk. Along the path there are restrooms, showers and a snack bar for a quick, simple lunch break. When we reached the end of the boardwalk, we were greeted with an array of deck chairs and umbrellas that can be rented for the day (in case you forgot or decided not to pack your own). We moved to the west of the seating area and set up our own beach blankets and umbrellas. I opted to try my hand at fishing...but remember, you need to have a Mississippi Salt Water License to fish in these waters. Though I didn't have much luck, I did get to observe rays, and crabs at my feet, and dolphins cruising off shore as I cast to bait that were frequently break the surface. Once I tired of trying to catch anything, I joined the rest of our party to swim. Though the water was a bit silty, it was warm and refreshing. My wife - who was never a big fan of saltwater swimming - really enjoyed the fact that the water was very shallow for several hundred yards from the beach. It was an enjoyable day of just enjoying the sun and water. The return to port was similar to the trip out, with a short stop for some more dolphin watching. If you are looking for a relaxing day trip while in southern Mississippi, consider taking the Ship Island Excursions ferry ride!
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Date of experience: September 2020
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Angele M wrote a review Sep 2020
2 contributions
Great crew, amazing day trip! Water was clear and no jellyfish. The absolute best sea shell collection ever.
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Date of experience: September 2020
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