(MANNS HARBOR) - The days are getting longer and the temperatures are getting warmer, and in the next two weeks the North Carolina Department of Transportation's Ferry Division will be adding boats and runs to some of its most popular coastal routes.
On May 13, the Hatteras Inlet ferry will be switching from hourly departures to runs every 30 minutes from both terminals. Ferries will initially be running the longer, 55-minute route while channel dredging continues, but the Ferry Division expects to switch over to the original 40-minute route within weeks.
"The Army Corps of Engineers had to interrupt its dredging operation in Hatteras Inlet to fix an emergency situation in Oregon Inlet, but once that work is done the dredge will be back," said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. "We have every expectation to be running the shorter route by the end of May."
The new Hatteras Inlet schedule will be as follows:
Departing Hatteras: 5 a.m., 6, 7, 8, 8:30, 9, 9:30, 10, 10:30, 11, 11:30, noon, 12:30 p.m., 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, 3, 3:30, 4, 4:30, 5, 5:30, 6, 6:30, 7:30, 8, 9, 11, and midnight.
Departing Ocracoke: 4:30 a.m., 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 10, 10:30, 11, 11:30, noon, 12:30 p.m, 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, 3, 3:30, 4, 4:30, 5, 5:30, 6, 6:30, 7, 7:30, 8, 9, 9:30, 10:30, and 12:30 a.m.
Meanwhile, ferry runs will also be added to routes across Pamlico Sound on May 20. The summer schedule includes six daily departures to and from Ocracoke and Cedar Island, and four round trips between Ocracoke and Swan Quarter.
Schedules for all NC Ferry Routes can be found here.
In addition, the Ferry Division has announced a clarification in its rules regarding Priority Pass holders on the Hatteras-Ocracoke route. Rather than requiring pass holders to be in line 15 minutes before a scheduled departure time, residents and vendors holding priority passes will be required to be in line when the loading process begins in order to receive priority loading for that departure. The deadline for Priority Pass applications is June 6.
The M/V Chicamacomico