Every visit to Bald Head Island begins with a 20-minute trip aboard the Bald Head Island Ferry, which departs out of Deep Point Marina in Southport, NC. Here is everything you need to know about the Ferry so your visit to Bald Head Island can go off without a hitch.
Accessing the Ferry Terminal
The Bald Head Island Ferry Terminal has two operational levels, but it is important to note that the upper level is not always open. The upper level is only open during the on-season, which runs from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. During the off-season (after Labor Day and prior to Memorial Day Weekend), only the lower level is open. This means that if you are planning a trip to Bald Head Island during the off-season, all of your baggage and ticketing services will be handled via the lower level.
Passenger and Baggage Drop-Off
If you are traveling with baggage and/or passengers, you can drop them off prior to parking. You can do this at the upper departure level (during the on-season) between the hours of 10am and 6pm. Just like traveling on an airplane, all bags and containers need to be closed in order to be checked in.
If you have oversized items, like a bicycle or kayak, then you will be required to purchase an Excess Baggage Ticket for each item. Oversized items (and their tickets) are only checked in at the lower level arrival curb. Just look for the "Oversized Items" sign and the dock attendant will help you check your items in.
Where to Park
There are two parking lots located directly across the street from the ferry terminal. Once your passengers and baggage are dropped off, you can drive to one of the lots, obtain a parking ticket, and secure your vehicle. There is a daily fee charged to park your vehicle in the lots and annual parking passes are also available for each lot.
Where to Buy Tickets
Both the upper and lower levels have convenient ticket booths, but the one on the upper level is only open during the on-season. If you are visiting the island during the on-season, then you can purchase your tickets on the upper level and gain entrance to the foot bridge that spans the lower roadway. On the other side of the bridge is the terminal's snack bar, restrooms, and indoor and outdoor waiting areas.
Boarding the Ferry
The lower level of the terminal is where all boarding takes place. When boarding, you will present your ticket to the boarding attendant at the entrance to the gate waiting area. When the ferry is ready for boarding, the door that leads from the gate area onto the embarkation deck will open and a ferry crew member will indicate that passengers can start boarding. Once you are on the ferry, simply find a seat and enjoy the 20-minute ride to Bald Head Island.
Pets are allowed on the ferry, however, it is requested that all pets be relieved prior to boarding. Pets are only permitted on the exterior areas of the ferry.
What to Do When You Arrive at Bald Head Island
Once you arrive at Bald Head Island, you will disembark the ferry and follow the signs for tram assignments. Once you have your tram assignment, you'll be able to claim your baggage and place it next to the tram you have been assigned. The tram will then take you and your baggage to your accommodations.
If you would like even more information about the Bald Head Island Ferry, just fill out this contact form for the Bald Head Island Chamber of Commerce. We will send you a welcome packet with everything you need to know about visiting our beautiful island.