NCDOT's latest ferry. 92' passenger ferry for service between Hateras and Ocracoke Village will seat 99.

It looks as though we’re gong to have a couple of days between nor’easters, so we have a chance to catch up on some of the other Outer Banks news.

The big news seems to be the announcement from the NCDOT Ferry Division confirming there will be a passenger only ferry between Hatteras Village and Ocracoke. The plan has been in the works for some time and there was no doubt NCDOT was going forward with it. The only issue was the timing and when the ferry would be ready.

The schedule has not been officially announced yet but tentatively expect four trip per day, the first leaving Hatteras at 10:00 a.m. the last departing Ocracoke at 8:30.

This is a passenger only ferry. Unlike the vehicle ferry, it will be docking in the heart of Ocracoke at Silver Lake. 

Because it is passenger only there are restriction on what can be taken. Luggage and coolers are prohibited; strollers, purses and backpacks are ok—and there are provisions for bikes.

Tickets will be $15 and are for day use only. There is parking available at the Hatteras Ferry Terminal, but overnight parking is prohibited.

The ferry is a much needed addition to the Hatteras run. The regular channel between Hatteras and Ocracoke has shoaled and new amount of dredging seems to be able to make it navigable. The new route is longer and the number of daily trips during the peak season fell from 52 to 42.

Although the time on the water is longer for the passenger ferry, because it docks in the heart of Ocracoke Village, and not 12 miles from the town, total trip time is about the same. 

For anyone thinking of making a day trip to Ocracoke, the passenger ferry is ideal. The village is perfect for walking or biking, and most people who drive for the day, find a parking place and spend the day on foot.