For most of the year, ferries leave the mainland on the hour and the island on the half-hour, beginning at 7 a.m. The winter schedule may be abbreviated, and the summer schedule expanded.
Round-trip tickets cost $22 for adults, $11 for children ages 3-12. There is no charge for children ages two and younger. Tram service to your island destination may be provided based on ticket type and availability. A discounted "no-frills" ticket is available at the Bald Head Island Marina for same-day round-trips that originate on the island and require no baggage handling or tram service.
Tram reservations should be made by calling (910) 457-5003 or online at www.baldheadislandferry.com.
Download the Bald Head Island ferry schedule:
Bald Head Island's passenger ferries depart the mainland from Deep Point Marina, located at 1301 Ferry Road in Southport, NC, just before the state-operated Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry Landing. Entering Southport on Route 211 South (Howe Street), take a left on East Moore Street and then a right onto 211 (Ferry Road) at the roundabout. Proceed about a half mile and then turn right into the entrance to Deep Point Marina, following the signs to the ferry terminal.
The 40,000-square-foot ferry terminal provides a host of creature comforts, including indoor and open-air waiting areas, restrooms, and the Island Times Café (open seasonally).
Download helpful hints on How to Pack for your trip to Bald Head Island.
Arriving at Deep Point Marina
The ferry terminal is arranged on two separate levels. During the on-season (Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day), both levels are in operation. During the off-season (after Labor Day and prior to Memorial Day Weekend), only the lower level is in operation. If you will be visiting during the off-season, please proceed directly to the lower level for all baggage and ticketing services.
Passenger and Baggage Drop Off
(upper level open for summer season only)
As you approach the ferry terminal area, if you are dropping off passengers and baggage, you will proceed straight ahead to the upper departure level (10 a.m. - 6 p.m.). At the upper departure level you'll pull over to the curb and drop off passengers and bags. All baggage will be loaded onto a conveyor belt, similar to an airport. Because of the conveyor, small, unsecured items and open bags will have to be placed in a covered container before they can be accepted as baggage by the dock staff, so please pack accordingly. For your convenience, covered containers are available for a nominal charge at the ferry ticket window. Golf bags must have top hoods in place or be in an enclosed protective cover. A good rule of thumb is to pack as if you're taking a flight.
Oversized Item Drop Off
(lower level arrivals curb)
If you have larger items such as bikes or kayaks, you will need to purchase an Oversized Baggage ticket for each item. These larger items will need to be taken, along with their Oversized Baggage tickets, to the lower level arrivals curb. You may elect to either carry these items to the lower level or drive them to the lower level. You'll then proceed to the “Oversized Items” sign where a dock attendant will take your item(s) and ticket(s) for each. Please note: Vehicles taller than nine feet will not be able to drive to the lower level; otherwise, damage to the vehicle and the bridge span over the lower roadway will occur.
You'll then proceed to a parking lot to secure your car. The Premium Parking Lot and the General Parking Lot, owned and operated by Bald Head Island Limited, are both conveniently located directly across the street from the ferry terminal. Please relieve your pets in the parking lot grassy areas prior to entering the terminal and remember to pick up after your pets.
General Lot Parking is $10 a day Memorial Day-Labor Day and $8 a day the remainder of the year. A ticket is issued from an electronic parking device upon entering the lot. You will need to present this ticket to the parking lot attendant for payment upon exiting the lot.
Property owners may purchase an annual pass. A General Lot Annual Pass is $1,000. A Premium Lot Annual Pass is $1,200 (a $200 discount is available for Shoals Club members).
Ferry Tickets, Waiting Areas and Snack Bar
When entering the terminal on the upper departure level, you will be able to purchase ferry tickets at the ticket office conveniently located at the entrance to the elevated foot bridge that spans the lower roadway. The bridge will take you to the snack bar, restrooms, indoor and outdoor waiting areas, as well as to the elevator or stairs leading to the lower level or gate area. Please note: In the off-season (after Labor Day and prior to Memorial Day Weekend), the upper level ticket office will be closed, and ferry tickets can be purchased at the lower level ticket office.
(lower level gate waiting area)
When you are ready to board the ferry or to enter the gate area in preparation for boarding, you'll need to proceed to the lower level, where you'll present your ticket to an attendant at the entrance to the gate waiting area. Your ticket will be scanned and collected, allowing you entry into the secure gate waiting area. Please note that there are no restrooms in the gate area. There are restrooms on board the ferries. After the incoming ferry moors and the last passenger is off the ferry, the crew will make a quick sweep through the vessel to ensure cleanliness and security. Then a door leading from the gate area onto the embarkation deck will open and the ferry crew will indicate that it is safe to start boarding. You'll then proceed directly onto the ferry. No ticket or scanning is required at this point -- you'll simply find a seat on the ferry to relax and enjoy the 20-minute ride to the island.
Please be advised that eating, drinking and pets are not permitted inside the passenger cabin. Pets are allowed on the exterior areas of the ferries. Smoking and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages are not permitted anywhere aboard the ferry.
Disembarking and Island Transportation
Upon arrival at the Bald Head Island ferry landing, you’ll disembark the ferry and follow the signs for tram assignments or golf cart rentals. Tram service to your island destination may be provided based on ticket type and availability. Tram reservations should be made by calling (910) 457-5003 or can be booked online. Once you’ve been given your tram assignment, you’ll need to claim your baggage and place it next to your assigned tram. The tram will then take you to your accommodations. Most rental accommodations include the use of one or more golf carts as a part of your stay. You’ll want to confirm this with your rental company.
If you’re coming to the island just for the day and won’t be needing tram service, you can rent a golf cart by the hour or by the day from Riverside Adventure Company, located a short distance from the ferry landing. Advance reservations are recommended by visiting bhicarts.com.
Traveling from Bald Head Island to Deep Point Marina
Disembarking the Ferry (Gate A)
After disembarking the ferry at Deep Point's Gate A, you will proceed straight out to the street-side curb through an open breezeway on the terminal's lower level.
Baggage Claim (Between Gates A & B)
If you have baggage to claim, it will be found on the baggage racks that are centrally located between Gate A and Gate B on the lower terminal level. Many passengers will elect to retrieve their car from the parking lot prior to claiming their baggage. After paying for parking at the exit equipment either using a credit card or your annual parking pass, or paying the attendant at the parking booth, exit the lot and return to the terminal on the lower level to claim your baggage. Dock staff will transfer all items from the baggage dollies onto the racks for your pick-up.