Ocracoke Express passenger ferry canceled for this summer due to COVID-19

Passengers observe from the upper deck as the Ocracoke Express arrives at the Silver Lake docks in 2019. [NCDOT photo]

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the N.C. Department of Transportation has canceled its 2020 contract for the Ocracoke Express passenger ferry.

The passenger ferry was introduced in 2019 as an alternative for people traveling between Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. More than 28,600 people used the passenger ferry last summer.

The Ferry Division will continue its vehicle ferries between Hatteras and Ocracoke in 2020 and will encourage those passengers to remain in their vehicles or stand at least six feet from other people while on board.

Ferry officials expect to decide whether to resume the passenger ferry service for 2021 in the coming months.