If you are going to be travelling by the NC Ferry System from Cedar Island to Ocracoke Island you need to pay careful attention to the schedule and fee system as they change from year to year, and in the case of schedules, they are different depending on the time of year you will be using the NC Ferry System by car to access the region.
We will do our best to update this article when we hear about changes, but we encourage you to call the ferry division at (919) 715-7000 weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm to confirm information in this article.
Please consider sharing this article on social media like Facebook and Twitter so that others can learn about our area and using the ferry system. Additionally, please use the comment system at the end of this article to ask detailed questions, or to give us information we did not include in this article.
If you are visiting Eastern NC or the Crystal Coast in Carteret County NC, then a day trip to Ocracoke Island is simply a must. It is a beautiful island with considerable historical importance, and while you are there, you will feel like you have been transported back in time by at least 50 years. The island has zero big box brand commercialism, and everything is purposefully centered around quaintness and history.
While there, you will get to experience some of the best seafood our region has to offer, and pristine beaches that extend for miles against the backdrop of majestic sand dunes. Even in the busy tourist season, Ocracoke has beaches that you can walk for hours and not see another person. Furthermore, surf fishing and camping experiences should be considered world class.
Please, if you have the time, please take this adventure and then come back and tell us about it.
There are only three ways to access Ocracoke Island. The first is by small plane in to the local general aviation airport. Secondly, you can drive to Hatteras and take the Hatteras to Ocracoke ferry. Third, and what we focus on in this article, is the 3 hour ferry ride from Cedar Island located in the westernmost part of Carteret County NC to Ocracoke.
The third option is something you will remember for decades. The three hour ride to and from the island is incredibly beautiful and peaceful. While you may be tempted to catch some sleep while listening to the seagulls and experiencing the roll of the ferry, resist it. We strongly encourage you to get out of your car and watch either from the ground level or by taking the stairs to the viewing deck where you will have access to air conditioning, vending machines, and bathrooms.
To get from Carteret County NC to Cedar Island by car, you will want to take Hwy 70 East until it dead ends at the ferry. From Morehead City, it is 40 miles and should take you about 1 hour to drive. Once there, you will present to the toll booth, confirm your reservation, and get in line to board the ferry. If you arrive early (and we suggest you do), you have the opportunity to leave your car, use the restroom, get refreshments, and visit the gift shop.
Cost and Fees
You can purchase tickets by calling 1-800-BY-FERRY or by purchasing them at the booth once you have arrived. BUT, keep in mind that if the boat is full with reservations, you may end up driving an hour just to learn that you will have to wait on the next ferry. Please purchase your tickets ahead of time.
Motorcycle: $10 (each way)
Car: $15 (each way)
Bicycle: $2 (each way)
Pedestrian: $1 (each way)
Cars and Trucks with trailers: $20 – $45 (each way)
Please keep in mind this is the 2018-2019 schedule. The NC Ferry System will post the 2020-2021 schedules in the late winter months around the first of the year.
Sept. 25, 2018 – May 20, 2019 & Sept. 24 – Dec. 31, 2019
Leaves Cedar Island at 7:30 am, 10:30 am, and 4:30 pm.
Leaves Ocracoke Island at 7:30 am, 1:00 pm, and 4:30 pm.
May 21 – Sept. 23, 2019
Leaves Cedar Island at 7:00 am, 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 6:30 pm.
Leaves Ocracoke Island at 7:30 am, 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 9:00 pm.
Please note if you take the 4:30 pm or 6:30 pm ferry in the off-season, then you will be staying the night on Ocracoke.
If you get sea sick easily, please consider taking any medication you need to help beforehand. Usually, the ride is as smooth as it gets but on some days there is considerable rolling of the boat.
Please make sure to take any medication for the day. If there is any medical needs while on the island, it is not a quick trip to get to a pharmacy or Doctor.
Again, if you have ANY questions or comments to make about this trip, please use the comment section below and we mean it when we say that we want to hear about your trip after taking it.