Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Ferry Division started in the mid-1920s. It is the second-largest ferry system that is run by the state in the United States of America. Each year, the division receives about 800,000 vehicles. Almost 1.8 million passengers use the ferry. The system allows users to cross the rivers and sounds found in Eastern North Carolina. For people who live and work in the area, the ferry system is a great and important part of their daily lives.

The Southport to Fort Fisher ferry ride is a great attraction of North Carolina. It is well organized and well run. Passengers can take their cars. This means they do not need to struggle with finding transportation when they alight. The ferry ride offers great views and a lot of room to walk around and explore.

The ferry can be accessed from Fort Fisher and Southport.

The Ferry

The Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry connects the two locations. The island town of Fort Fisher to the town of Southport on the south of Pleasure Island. It is one of seven ferries in the state that are managed by NCDOT. It transports vehicles less than 20 feet.

Pedestrians and cyclists pay between $1 and $2 to be transported on the ferry. Vehicles are charged less than $10.

Passengers are not allowed to fish from the deck. Smoking and drinking are also not allowed.

The ferry schedule is posted on the official NCDOT website and on the terminals.

Vessel and Facility Security

The federal Maritime Transportation Security Act guides operations of state departments in transportation. The Act has been in action since July 1, 2004. It is enforced by local United States units of the Coast Guard.

The Security Act protects the waterways and ports of the U.S. from terrorist stacks. The security plans offered in the Act include;

· Security patrols

· Screening passengers, baggage, and vehicles

· Personnel identification procedures

· Maintaining access control to restricted areas

· Surveillance

Passengers are required to provide identification upon request. Random screening occurs on luggage and vehicles under the act. The Ferry Division can block someone from passing if they show no identification. This is according to the guidelines provided in the Act.

Vehicles and baggage that are unaccompanied are confiscated. They can only be released to the owners when they provide proof and photo identification.

These requirements may pose an inconvenience to passengers. The Ferry Division sees it necessary for the safety of all involved. The guidelines make sure both personnel and property remain safe in the facilities.

Passengers are encouraged to report any suspicious behavior to the Ferry Division. Any unaccompanied vehicle or package should also be reported immediately.

Environmental Policy

The North Carolina Ferry Division provides cost-effective, safe, and dependable transport service. The division is concerned with environmental factors. Keeping people safe involves more than just physical safety. Environmental safety ensures everyone involved remains healthy and lives in good surroundings. The environmental policy of the Ferry Division includes;

· Committing to environmental stewardship and improvement. This includes committing to preventing pollution. North Carolina is famous for its natural resources. The Division is also concerned with preserving natural resources.

· Adhering to the existing regulations. The Ferry Division strives to meet the environmental regulations set by the state.

· Recognizing the impact that the ferry system has on the land, air, and water resources. They also recognize the people, animals, and plants that may be affected by these aspects.

· Availing the environmental policy to the public. The system ensures their employees and passengers are familiar with their policy. They make sure the public can easily access the environmental policy.

The Ferry Division is the protector of the environment. They carry the most risk of polluting it, hence need to be extra careful. The Division has taken all necessary steps to protect and preserve their environs.

Dredge Manteo

The Division faces a need to maintain the channels and ferry basins. This allows them to provide public transport in an efficient way. To maintain them, the Division uses the Dredge Manteo.

The Dredge Manteo is used to dig up sand and soil particles that may disrupt vessels in the water. This makes the waterways smoother to pass through. It is done when the depths are shallow due to deposited material. A shallow passage is not safe to use.

The material that is dredged up is pumped directly into a designated site. This allows for reduced contamination in the surface waters.


There are many ferry terminals for the vessels. The terminals used by the Ferry Division are;

1. Aurora

2. Bayview

3. Cedar Island

4. Cherry Branch

5. Currituck

6. Fort Fisher

7. Hatteras

8. Knotts Island

9. Minnesota Beach

10. Ocracoke

11. Southport

12. Swan Quarter

Southport-Fort Fisher ride

The Division manages the journeys like clockwork. The ferry departs at the exact time it is supposed to. There are no wait times, and unless you get on one early, the highest wait time is about 10 minutes. It is a great way to cross the waterways.

The ride can be a great experience for first-timers. Passengers are allowed to view and take photos in the passenger viewing area. The ride is relaxing and you will find seagulls following the ferry into the water. Birds are also a common sight.

The ferry rides cost between $3 to $15 and take about 30 minutes.

There is a climate-controlled lounge for passengers. It is on the top level of the ferry. It provides a bird’s eye view of the greatness of the North Carolina beach and shoreline.

At around sunset, the lights on Cape Fear River light up. This gives the view from the ferry a great facelift. The lights of Cape Fear River offer hues of pink, purple, and orange. The short 30-minute ride has an incredible view now. It is a less crowded way to get a tour of the coastline.

A vacation on the North Carolina beach is perfected by this ferry ride. Carry your cameras to take photos of the breathtaking sights.