The North Carolina “Ocracoke Express” passenger ferry touched down in the village of Hatteras on Wednesday, Feb. 23, after being sailed to the Hatteras Ferry Terminal from the North Carolina Department of Transportation terminal at Cherry Point, in North Carolina, where he has been stationed for a few years. month.
“The builder is in the final stages of testing and U.S. Coast Guard approvals for the Ocracoke Express. The vessel has been moved to Hatteras to allow for crew training,” said Tim Hass, communications manager. for the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division (NCDOT) “We don’t have an exact timeline for when the Ocracoke Express will be in service, but we will let the public know when that information becomes available.”
Although originally scheduled to be completed in 2018, construction of the Ocracoke Passenger Ferry faced multiple delays and NCDOT leased a temporary passenger ferry for its first three seasons of operation, beginning in 2019.
As originally specified, the state-owned Ocracoke Express is a 100-passenger catamaran-style ferry with 96 interior seats, upper deck with 26 additional seats, two wheelchair tie-downs, 16 bike racks , wireless Internet access and a concession area. The route takes passengers from the Hatteras Ferry docks to the port of Silver Lake in the village of Ocracoke and back, in a journey of approximately 70 minutes each way.
The passenger ferry service was created to ease summer congestion on the popular Hatteras-Ocracoke vehicle ferry route, and generally operates from May to early September. The 2021 season, which began June 21 and ended on Labor Day, saw a total of 16,594 people using the passenger ferry service.
Once the opening date is announced, passengers will be able to purchase tickets directly at the Hatteras or Ocracoke-Silver Lake terminals on a first-come, first-served basis, and advance reservations will also be available at www.ncferry.org.