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Island Express Ferry Service

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Beaufort, NC, USA
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About Island Express Ferry Service
Island Express Ferry Service is the ONLY ferry service out of Beaufort and Harkers Island, NC that is authorized by the National Park Service to drop passengers off at Shackleford Banks and Cape Lookout. Shackleford Banks is the southernmost barrier island in Cape Lookout National Seashore. Shackleford Banks is a pristine island with one of the best shelling beaches in North Carolina. Famous for the wild banker horses that roam the uninhabited island, this is one of the few places in the eastern United States where wild horses can still be seen. Enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Cape Lookout, famous for the Cape Lookout Lighthouse Station. While you are there, take time to collect some of the most beautiful shells in the world. Bird watch, swim in the ocean, climb the lighthouse, or ride our famous Beach Shuttle. There is something for everyone to enjoy on this island paradise. Island Express Ferry Service is an authorized National Park Service Concessionaire. Although our name has, at times, been confused with smaller services that do not go to Shackleford Banks or Cape Lookout, there is only one ISLAND EXPRESS FERRY SERVICE. Be sure to add an S for Services when looking for us online.
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Hours Today: 7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
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Island Express Ferry Service
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dfb260 wrote a review Jun 16
Staunton, Virginia202 contributions139 helpful votes
Pleasant 90 minute, evening (6:30-8:00) boat ride. It was sometimes hard to hear what the crew was saying due to wind and engine noise. Spent too much time just idling while people looked at dolphins. After 10 minutes or so, move on. Our group would have preferred traveling farther along the coast rather than just focusing for so long on the dolphins. Saw the horses too. Reasonable price.
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Date of experience: June 2021
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Response from E4132SZgeorgea, Owner at Island Express Ferry Service
Responded yesterday
Thank you for your comments on this trip which was not aboard the Island Express Ferry but it was aboard the Miss Crystal Coast Lady. This is a dolphin and wild horse site seeing cruise as it is listed. This trip, as many of our trips are scheduled, is to look for dolphins. Many of our passengers want to see the dolphins and stay with them as long as possible since it is quite an experience. On last's nights trip the captain did the 15 mile round trip and also included stopping by Michael Jordan's fishing boat before finding all the dolphins. The trip went to Taylor's Creek, Fort Macon, Radio Island, Morehead City State Port, Morehead City Water Front, the back bays of Beaufort and eventually back to Taylor's Creek. The trip gets to see every point of interest in this area. I'm sorry that you expected more but as everyone was getting off the boat last night I personally heard everyone thanking the Captain for such a wonderful trip. Thank you again for your feedback. -Captain George A. -Owner of Crystal Coast Lady Cruises.
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Hannah O wrote a review Jun 2
4 contributions
The Ferry was great! Tickets were easy to buy, the staff was friendly and helpful and the ride was awesome! Great little excursion that’s good for all ages!
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Date of experience: May 2021
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Response from E4132SZgeorgea, Owner at Island Express Ferry Service
Responded 2 days ago
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to leave us a review. We are happy that you had an enjoyable experience with us. Glad to have had you aboard.
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mcvot66 wrote a review May 2021
Cobbs Creek, Virginia11 contributions4 helpful votes
We took the ferry over to Shacklefords. Recommend making your reservation on line especially during tourist season and on weekends. My interest was shelling and we timed our visit for receding tide. Great shelling located on the Atlantic side. My husband wanted to see the horses which were easy to find but keep a safe distance. The ferry ride itself was nice. On the ride over, there were only 6 of us (we took the first time slot available) and captain was laid back and allowed us to ask him questions. The trip back was packed and that captain gave us a narrative talk. Both captains were great and were able to engage according to number of passengers.
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Date of experience: May 2021
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Response from E4132SZgeorgea, Owner at Island Express Ferry Service
Responded 4 weeks ago
Thank you for taking the time to give us a review! We are pleased that you enjoyed your time aboard with us.
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Inspiration13420 wrote a review May 2021
Florida2 contributions3 helpful votes
We had a great experience with this company and would absolutely recommend. The captain and all of the staff were wonderful! Cape Lookout was such a fun day trip and renting a side-by side was an absolute blast!
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Date of experience: May 2021
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Response from E4132SZgeorgea, Owner at Island Express Ferry Service
Responded 5 weeks ago
We are so glad we could make you trip a fun one. We look forward to having you aboard again in the future!
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Bonnie M wrote a review Apr 2021
1 contribution
Great experience with the Island Express Ferry Service. Comfortable ride, George is a fantastic Captain/owner and adds some really nice narration to the ride. He is a wealth of knowledge and the ferry service makes it easy and accessible to explore Shackleford Banks and Cape Lookout. I recommend renting the ATV's the ferry service offers once you get to Cape Lookout. A great way to explore the island on your own and spend a fun filled day fishing, shelling and picnicking. Thanks for a great day George!
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Date of experience: April 2021
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Response from E4132SZgeorgea, Owner at Island Express Ferry Service
Responded Apr 23, 2021
We are so glad to hear you had a great time and got to take out one of our UTV Rentals! Thank you for your review and we hope to see you again soon!
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