Bald Head Island Ferry
Bald Head Island provides both a passenger ferry and contractor ferry that depart and return to the Deep Point Marina in Southport. The departure schedules can be found on the Bald Head Island Ferry website at the links below.
Deep Point Marina is located at 1301 Ferry Road, Southport, NC, just before the Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry Landing.
Take a left from Route 211 South onto East Moore Street and then a right onto Ferry Road at the roundabout. You'll continue for another half mile before arriving at the entrance to Deep Point Marina.
The Bald Head Island Ferry Terminal at the marina is composed of an upper and lower level. Both levels are in operation from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, but only the lower level is used the remainder of the year. The lower level will need to be used for baggage and ticketing services if you're traveling on the ferry during the off-season.
If you're dropping off passengers and baggage before going to park, proceed straight ahead as you come up to the ferry terminal until you arrive at the upper departure level. Once there, pull over to the curb where you'll let off your passengers and unload your baggage.
Much like an airport, the baggage will go onto a conveyor belt, on which it'll make its way to the dock staff. Unsecured items and open bags will need to be placed in a covered container before they're placed on the conveyor belt. If you don't bring covered containers, they're available for a small fee at the ticket window. If you're bringing golf clubs on the ferry, they'll need to have top hoods or a protective cover securing the clubs. In general, it's best to pack and prepare your luggage the same way you would for a flight.
(upper level is only used in summer season)
For your bikes, kayaks, and other large items you're bringing with you to the island, you'll need to purchase Oversized Baggage tickets for each item. Bring your item to the lower level arrivals curb along with their Oversized Baggage tickets.
You have the option to carry these large items from the curb to the lower level or to drive them there. Once at the lower level, proceed to the Oversized Items sign where you'll deliver your items and Oversized Baggage tickets to the attendant.
(vehicles taller than 9 feet can't be driven to the lower level)
Once you've unloaded your baggage, you can proceed to the parking lots. Both the General Parking Lot and Premium Parking Lot are located directly across from the ferry terminal.
Parking at the General Parking Lot is $12, and tickets can be obtained from the electronic parking device at the entrance to the lot. Hold on to this ticket as you will need it to pay the parking lot attendant as you leave. (Annual passes can be purchased by BHI property owners for $1,000 in the General Lot or $1,200 in the Premium Lot.)
If you have pets with you, please relieve them in the parking lots' grassy areas before entering the terminal, and please remember to clean up after them.
When you enter the terminal through the upper level, you can purchase your ferry tickets at the ticket office found at the entrance to the elevated footbridge that overpasses the lower roadway. This upper level ticket office will be closed during the off-season, so you will need to head down to the lower level office to purchase your tickets if you're visiting after Labor Day and before Memorial Day Weekend.
You'll find that the terminal offers amenities for your comfort while you're awaiting departure including both indoor and open-air seated areas, clean restrooms, and the seasonally operated Island Times Café.
If you enter through the upper level entrance, cross over the footbridge after purchasing your tickets to get to the waiting areas, restrooms, and café. You'll also be able to access the elevators and stairs to the gate area from here.
Once it's getting close to being time for you to board the ferry, proceed to the lower level and give your ticket to the attendant at the entrance of the gate waiting area. Please use the restroom before entering the gate waiting area as there aren't any restrooms inside the gate. There are, however, some available on the ferry you can use once you're aboard.
Once all of the passengers on the incoming ferry haven't gotten off, the crew will perform a quick check of the ferry for security and cleanliness purposes. The door leading from the gate waiting area onto the ferry will open once the crew completes the inspection, and the guests in the gate area will be allowed to begin boarding.
At this point, no ticket is needed to get onto the ferry since it was already shown to get into the gate area. Make your way onto the ferry as the crew members instruct, and choose any available seat you'd like once you're on board. Keep in mind, food, drinks, and pets are not allowed inside the passenger cabin, but you can have your pets on the exterior passenger areas of the ferry. Also, there is no smoking or alcohol permitted anywhere on the ferry.
Sit back and enjoy the 20 minute ride over to Bald Head Island!