Looking to take a boat ride out to see the Cape Lookout Lighthouse and tour the Shackleford Banks? Check out Island Ferry Adventures! Owned by Capt. Barrowcuda, Island Ferry Adventures Ferry Service has operated in Beaufort, NC since 1989. Located at 610 Front St, Island Ferry offers six ferry destinations. A ferry ride is the perfect alternate to our sometimes busy beaches.
The first is the Carrot Island Ferry, which is $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Carrot Island is full of maritime nature trails that run around forests and flats. Wild horses roam this reserve as well! Take in the beauty of nature and get a glimpse at our famous wild horses. This island is also a great photography destination.
The second ride offered is called Bird Shoals, $13 for adults and $7 for kids. This ride is geared towards people looking for a quiet “getaway” type destination. This ride will take you out to three miles of almost untouched beaches that offer a great view of the Atlantic Ocean and Beaufort Inlet. This spot is also locally famous for its sand dollars, shelling, and fishing.
Sand Dollar Island is Island Ferry’s third destination, $15 for adults and $8 for kids. This destination, by reservation only, is a sand bar accessible only at low tide. As its name would indicate, this sand bar is one of the top locations to find sand dollars. Shallow tide pools surround the sand bar, located between the Atlantic Ocean and Bird Shoals, which means excellent snorkeling and a safe swimming environment for families.
Want to meet with a pirate on Treasure Island? Check out Beaufort’s Original Pirate Treasure Hunt with Capt. Manly Mason, the fourth ride featured by Island Ferry. This ride, lasting approximately 45 minutes, is geared more towards the kids. It is $15 per person and runs Wednesday through Saturday at 9:30am, 10:30am, and 11:30am. Children will be given a treasure map and instructed to follow the pirate, map, and its clues to find the buried treasure. After the hunt, families are able to explore the island. When the trip is over, you are returned to the mainland by the pirate! This ride is also by reservation only.
Looking for a longer tour? Lasting approximately 75 minutes, the Rachel Carson horse and Waterfront Tour takes you to the Rachel Carson Reserve. Here, walk along the dock and experience breathtaking scenery, witness wildlife, and even more of our wild ponies who like to walk through the sea and grass. You will completely circle the reserve and Town Marsh, and this Island Ferry ride is the only tour that rides this route. You’ll even hear true accounts of Blackbeard, our famous pirate, as well as history of the Beaufort waterfront and surrounding islands. Pricing on this ride is $20 for adults and $10 for children.
Last but not least, the famous Cape Lookout tour. This ride shows passengers the best of the Crystal Coast. Encounter the beauty of the Rachel Carson Reserve, Shackleford Banks, and other treasures found on our way to the Cape. Learn the history and story behind the Cape Lookout Lighthouse and the Cape itself all while looking out for horses, dolphins, and sea turtles. This tour, Island Ferry’s longest, lasts a minimum of two hours. This ride is $30 for adults and $15 for kids 11 and under. This ride is also one of the select that requires reservations.
For anyone looking to learn more about our Crystal Coast, and experience all the breathtaking scenery that we have to offer, check out Island Ferry Adventures! Their website is located at https://islandferryadventures.com/ and they can be reached by phone at (252)728-4129. They are located on the Beaufort coast, a short ride from Morehead City or Atlantic Beach.
All pictures from the Island Ferry Adventures website.