The Martha's Vineyard Express, waiting for passengers at Ocracoke.

The Martha’s Vineyard Express, waiting for passengers at Ocracoke.

There is a high-speed passenger-only ferry linking Hatteras and Ocracoke after all. There was a lot of doubt if it would happen this year because of construction delays and flawed welding on the Ocracoke Express that NCDOT had ordered, but the Transportation Department found a way to bring the service to the southern Outer Banks.

They leased Martha’s Vineyard Express from Seastreak, a company operating ferry service in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.

On Monday Martha’s Vineyard Express made its first run and according to NCDOT almost 300 passengers took the journey.

The passenger-only Outer Banks ferry was identified in 2015 as an alternative way to get visitors to Ocracoke. At that time, the channel the car ferries had been using became unnavigable because of shoaling. The new route is longer and because of that fewer trips can be made.

Ocracoke-Perfect for a Day Trip on the Outer Banks Ferry

Because many visitors to Ocracoke are day trippers, the feeling was a high-speed passenger-only Outer Banks ferry could be a viable alternative. Compact and quaint, Ocracoke Village is ideal for a walking tour.

Hyde County, where the village is located, is offering free tram service from the dock to the heart of the Ocracoke, although the Silver Lake ferry docks are already very close to the business district.

Initially, there will be three runs per day, leaving Hatteras at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. The Outer Banks ferry will leave Ocracoke at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

A trip to Ocracoke is a wonderful day trip from the northern Outer Banks.

There is so much to do on the Outer Banks that we can’t list it all. We even have some awesome Boating and Fishing Charters that you might find super fun too! Stay a week or two with Brindley Beach Vacations and what life on a sandbar is all about.