Photo Gallery: Ocracoke passenger ferry and tram
Published 6:06 pm Monday, June 24, 2019
Smiles. Great ride. Pleasant surroundings.
The Ocracoke Express passenger ferry is a great adventure and a worthy destination all by itself.
Parking was easy in the newly painted lot next to the ferry terminal.
Tickets purchased were $1 one way. Some questions are asked. On July 1, the roundtrip ferry ride goes up to $2 one way. Children 4 and under ride free.
The waiting pavilion is quite pleasant with nice touches. NCDOT has landscaped the area with flowers.
Ferry worker Patrick Dely greets passengers with an easy smile and a “welcome aboard.” The gangway is comfortable. At the top is a smiling Tom Mongeau, a Seastreak employee.
Mongeau, from New Jersey, will work two weeks on and two weeks off this summer.
NCDOT leased the 149-passenger catamaran ferry from Seastreak for two summers.
The passenger ferry route from Hatteras to Ocracoke is very different from the car ferry. A right turn out of the ferry dock takes passengers by the Hatteras village waterfront.
At the breakwater, the ferry makes a turn and accelerates. It skims over Pamlico Sound water.
That speed can truly be experienced on the upper deck.
Comfortable chairs and large windows grace the lounge. Mongeau presides over the concession stand in the rear. Listen for a soothing-voiced Dely as he gives safety instructions and later points of interest on Ocracoke.
The ferry enters Silver Lake and docks. Two trams were waiting for the arrival of the Ocracoke Express. Dave Schroeder is a careful driver. He lets you know what’s available at which stops.
Emma and Ryan Jr. climb in beside Dave and assume waving duties. The pair dispenses waves all around Ocracoke village.
The trams run continuous loops. Get on. Get off at your leisure at the designated stops.
Watch the action on Silver Lake. Pelicans hang out at the fish cleaning table. In the harbor, paddle boarders, small motor boats, sail boats, a trawler, and great big car ferries all use the water space.
The Ocracoke Express passenger ferry departs from Hatteras ferry terminal at 9:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Departures from Ocracoke Silver Lake Terminal are scheduled for 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
There is no additional charge for bicycles. A leashed dog made the trip on Saturday, June 15, along with 50 people. On June 15, the ride took a little less than the advertised 70 minutes.
So far, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the busiest days.
The first 9 a.m. sell-out was Wednesday, June 5.
Reservations are available at ferry.ncdot.gov.
On Friday, June 28, NCDOT is hosting an Ocracoke Express inaugural season celebration along with the christening of the M/V Rodanthe. The event is set to start at 11:30 a.m. at the Hatteras village ferry terminal. Event parking is available at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. A tram will be available to provide transportation from the museum to the terminal.