Getting to the Island
Bald Head Island is a barrier island located about 3 miles across the Cape Fear River from Southport, North Carolina. There is no bridge to Bald Head Island. Almost everyone gets to Bald Head Island via ferry. Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc.* operates the passenger ferry.
The ferries depart the mainland from Deep Point Marina which is located in Southport, North Carolina (1301 Ferry Road) just before the State-operated Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry landing.
Bald Head Island is four nautical miles from Deep Point Marina. It takes 20 minutes to get to Bald Head Island on the ferry. For most of the year, the ferry schedule has the ferry departing on the mainland on the half-hour and the island on the hour beginning at 7:00 a.m. The winter schedule may be abbreviated, and the summer schedule expanded. Go to the ferry website at www.baldheadislandferry.com or call 910-457-5003 (for departing Deep Point) or 910-457-5006 (for departing Bald Head Island) for rates, general information, and current schedule.
Parking at Deep Point Marina
Parking is available at Deep Point Marina for a daily fee ($11 a day Memorial Day – Labor Day and $9 a day the remainder of the year). A ticket is issued from an electronic parking device upon entering the parking lot. You will need to present this ticket to the parking lot attendant to pay upon exiting the lot, then come around and pick up your luggage at the lower level.
Tickets to board the ferry are purchased at the Deep Point Terminal ticket window. As of January 2020, round-trip tickets cost $23.00 for adults and $12.00 for children ages 3-12. There is no charge for children ages two and younger but they still need a ticket.
All luggage must have a tag with your name, the address where you are staying on the island, your cell phone number and the date and time of the ferry you are on. Carry all valuable items, medications, and glassware. Baggage may 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, so please pack accordingly. Golf bags must have top hoods in place or be in an enclosed protective cover. A good rule of thumb is to pack as though you are taking a flight.
If you have larger items such as bikes or kayaks, you will need to purchase an Over-Sized Baggage ticket for each item. These larger items will need to be taken, along with their Over-Sized Baggage tickets, to the arrivals curb where a dock attendant will take your item(s) and ticket(s). Please note, vehicles taller than nine feet cannot access the lower level where the arrivals curb is located. Please also review this guide for packing developed by Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc.
Boarding the Ferry
Boarding of the passenger ferry takes place from the lower level. You will present your ticket to an attendant at the entrance to the gate waiting area. Make sure you keep track of your tickets, as you will need a separate ticket to board the ferry to leave the island. Your ticket will be scanned and collected allowing you to enter the secured waiting area. There are no restrooms in the gate area. There are restrooms aboard the ferries.
- Eating, drinking, and pets are prohibited inside the passenger cabin.
- Smoking and/or consuming alcoholic beverages is not permitted anywhere aboard the ferry.
Both ferry landings can be viewed in real-time here: https://www.baldheadisland.com/island/ferry-cam
Getting to Bald Head Island Marina via Your Boat
The Bald Head Island Marina is located near buoy #13A at the mouth of the Cape Fear River and is accessible by boat from the Intracoastal Waterway, Cape Fear River, and the Atlantic Ocean. The full-service marina can accommodate vessels up to 100 feet in length, with 7’ draft at MLW.
People who bring passengers to the island by their own boat must return those passengers to the mainland by their own boat (Note: The U.S. Coast Guard governs and enforces the illegal transportation of passengers. Requirements can be found in USCG NVIC 07-94, 46 USC 2101 and http://www.uscgboating.org. You will also need to check local and state requirements.) Anyone who desires to return to the mainland via ferry will be required to purchase a ticket before boarding.
Marina slips are limited and are assigned when a reservation is made. Materials and workers are to be unloaded at the assigned slip even if dockage is unnecessary. To reserve a slip, call the dockmaster at 910-457-7380 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or use VHF Channel 16. For more information go HERE.
*Please note: Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc. owns and operates the ferries and trams. Under a separate agreement with Bald Head Island Limited, LLC, Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc. operates the barge and marina properties (including the parking facilities). The Village of Bald Head Island makes every effort to ensure that the information provided on this website pertaining to these services is accurate; however, we do not warrant the accuracy of the information. You should check with Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc. for the most current information.