Monday, May 04, 2015

Passenger Ferries

According to the NCDOT Ferry Division, the Provincetown III, a catamaran-style passenger ferry will visit the Outer Banks today and tomorrow, May 4-5, The Ferry Division says it could be a glimpse into the future of a new type of ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke. During that visit, NCDOT Ferry Division officials will be offering members of the public a chance to tour the ship for themselves and provide valuable feedback as they study the idea of passenger service between the two villages.













The ship will conduct sea trials today and tomorrow, and will be available for inspection today on Hatteras. Tomorrow the ship will conduct further sea trials, then dock at Silver Lake Harbor in Ocracoke.

Members of the public will be allowed to tour the ship between 4-7 p.m., while the Ferry Division conducts an open house meeting between 5 and 7 p.m. at the Ocracoke School gymnasium.

"This is the public's ferry system, and establishment of passenger ferry service would be a significant change to that system," said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. "We hope that people will turn out to take a look at the ship and give us any feedback they have on any aspect of this idea."

NCDOT has hired the consulting firm Volkert to conduct a feasibility study on passenger ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands as an additional alternative (not a replacement) to the car ferries now running the route. The study is scheduled to be completed by December, 2015.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article by island resident, Crystal Canterbury, about her very first visit to Portsmouth Village, on the last day of 2014. You can read Part I here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042115.htm.

12 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:43 AM

    Do most visitors bring their car ? . I suppose if one is visiting for the day they may decide to leave their car on the mainland but is there a long term parking available near the ferry? It sounds like an undertaking. However, I suppose Luann's journey is ideal as she is visiting island residents which meet her at the airport and bring her to OI. The average traveler if flying could rent a car at the airport then either bring it on the island or is there a place to leave/return it near the ferry? I don't expect answer from PH ( perhaps another follower could comment) I guess I am thinking out loud __ but how does one get to OI with the least headache??????

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    1. Most visitors bring their cars. It is 14 miles from the ferry terminal at the north end (Hatteras Inlet) to Ocracoke village.

      Although the ferries from the mainland bring visitors right into Ocracoke village, there is no long-term parking at Cedar Island or Swan Quarter.

      The closest airports are in Greenville, NC, New Bern, NC, and Norfolk, Va., all of them about 5 hours from Ocracoke.

      If passenger ferries are added at Hatteras Inlet, I understand that long-term parking will be provided near the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, at Hatteras.Passenger ferries would carry people directly to Silver Lake Harbor in Ocracoke village.

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  2. Anonymous11:36 AM

    "NCDOT has hired the consulting firm Volkert to conduct a feasibility study...." Don't make me laugh. It's just more money down the toilet.

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  3. Anonymous2:58 PM

    The best way to see the island, in my opinion, is by foot or on bike. This type of ferry would appeal to our family. I think if we were renting a house for a week, it would be a challenge to get all of our gear on the ferry, but not impossible. Perhaps some entrepenuer could devise a way to haul belongings for folks that are bringing a load of stuff over? There's a thought for someone to run with :)

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    1. There have already been various ideas floated (informally, and officially) about a trolley system, and "pick-up & delivery" services. Of course, everyone is waiting to see what the NCDOT (Ferry Division) decides about passenger ferries.

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    2. One more thing -- because it would be a challenge to get all of your gear to the village via passenger ferry, the expectation is that passenger ferries would appeal mostly to day-trippers, thus leaving more space on the car ferries for others. And that would reduce wait times at the terminals.

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  4. Anonymous1:24 PM

    I suppose visitors could ship their belongings via the USPS. If you travel "Lite" ship a box of essentials to the house you are staying at or check with the PostMistress on OI regarding General delivery pick up. In any event too bad there isn't a thrift shop on OI with clothes to buy and wear while on the vacation then donate them back after the visit but wear what you wore on day one . Oh Lord have Mercy that involves a great shift in one's perspective and a Thrift shop of donated clothes.

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    1. There is a thrift shop on Ocracoke...but, practically speaking, "day-trippers" are the visitors who would most likely use passenger ferries.

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  5. Anonymous4:15 PM

    Where do they put the cars?

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    1. It is a passenger ferry. No cars.

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  6. Anonymous11:37 AM

    I would think that the prospect of avoiding a two-hour wait in the hot sun on Hatteras would be a fairly strong incentive to take a passenger ferry -- so long as it had room for bikes and jogging strollers I'd think it would appeal to a fair number of people. Maybe 4 runs a day, at 9, noon, 4 and 10? Would that be feasible? I don't know.

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    1. I believe that is the idea.

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