HATTERAS – The Ocracoke Express passenger ferry has been a runaway success in its fourth season of service, nearly matching pre-pandemic ridership levels over the first two months of its 2022 season despite using a smaller vessel.
In May and June, the passenger ferry shuttled 10,063 people between Hatteras and Ocracoke, nearly matching the pre-pandemic 2019 season (10,152 passengers).
“People are ready to travel this season, and they’re discovering that the Ocracoke Express is the easiest and quickest way to go on a day trip between Hatteras and Ocracoke,” said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas.
The numbers are made more impressive by the fact that the new state-owned ferry has a smaller capacity than the leased boat used during the service’s first three seasons. The vessel used from 2019-2021 had a capacity of 149 people, the new boat carries 129 people.
The Ocracoke Express whisks people on a 70-minute trip between Hatteras and Silver Lake Harbor in Ocracoke Village, where a free tram operated by Hyde County is available to carry them around the village to shops, restaurants, accommodations and attractions. Advance reservations are available
online or at 1-800-BY-FERRY.
Passenger ferry service is a supplement to the vehicle ferries, which continue to take people between Hatteras and the north end of Ocracoke Island.