Island Express Ferry Service, Beaufort

4.7
#1 of 20 in Transportation in North Carolina
Other Ferry Must See
The ONLY Ferry authorized by National Park Service to drop off at Cape Lookout Lighthouse and Shackleford Banks.

Our ferries will take you to Cape Lookout or to Shackleford Banks. Just a quick jaunt to either island--both part of of the Southern Outer Banks, both have pristine beaches, both have crystal clear waters.

Whichever destination you choose, there is so much to do. Take a picnic and relax, swim or fish. Take your kayak! Go shelling, these are some of the best shelling beaches in North Carolina. You can stay the night, camping under the stars, falling asleep to the sounds of the sea.

On Cape Lookout, visit the lighthouse, Our Diamond Lady--she makes us proud! While there, hop on our Beach Shuttle which will take you to the Point. Our COMBO trip is very popular -- Visit Shackleford Banks and Cape Lookout in one day!

On Shackleford Banks, visit with the Wild Banker Horses, they've been roaming the island for centuries...rumor has it they swam ashore from sinking ships!

Wildlife, history, time to connect with nature... just a short ferry ride away.
Use our Beaufort online holiday planner to add Island Express Ferry Service and other attractions to your Beaufort vacation plans.
Source
Create an itinerary including Island Express Ferry Service
Save Saved
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Island Express Ferry Service Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
804 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We really enjoyed the trip over to see the horses. Island Express people were very accommodating. We hope to do it again, soon.  more »
  • We took the island ferry to the Cape Lookout lighthouse. The captain and crew were great, even letting the kids “ drive“ the boat. They are on schedule, inexpensive, and a great way to have a nice boa...  more »
Google
  • Smooth trip from Beaufort to Shackleford Banks. Saw many wild horses and collected some very unique seashells. Prices were very fair the crew was friendly.
  • Loved the experience! Everyone was very helpful and knowledgeable about schedules, and how they operated between the islands. It was the most affordable with great reviews and they did not disappoint!! It is so worth the trip and money. Next time though we will schedule longer time periods on the islands. You can always catch an earlier ferry back to the mainland if there is room... However, if you scheduled that time for your pick up, you need to go at that time. We wished we had longer than an hour and a half on Shackleford Banks. It was amazing to watch the horses and there was a lot of ground to cover for shelling. Next time, we'll schedule 3 hours, so we have the option to leave early, but definitely not bound to leave before that time. Island Express is THE ferry system to use!

Plan your trip to Beaufort

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Beaufort

View all >
4.7
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.8
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.8
Duration: 2​h 30​min
5.0
Duration: 1​h 30​min

Side trips from Beaufort

4.8
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.8
Duration: 2​h 30​min

Hidden gems in Beaufort

5.0
Duration: 1​h
4.9
Duration: 1​h
3.7
Duration: 3​h

Nearby attractions in Beaufort

4.9
Duration: 3​h
4.5
Duration: 1​h
5.0
Duration: 4​h
3.7
Duration: 1​h 30​min

Golf in Beaufort

3.9
Duration: 4​h

Shopping in Beaufort

1.0
Duration: 30​min