News Releases

7/31/2014: Currituck-Knotts Island Ferry Switches To Expanded School Year Schedule August 4

Currituck-Knotts Island Ferry Switches To Expanded School Year Schedule August 4

Posted 7/31/2014 10:22:11 AM

Summer vacation is quickly slipping away for Currituck County school children, and that means that NCDOT’s Ferry Division will be returning to an expanded school year schedule on its Currituck-Knotts Island route on Monday, August 4. The Currituck-Knotts Island schedule adds a ferry run during the school year to accommodate students and staff who live on Knotts Island. Beginning Monday, scheduled weekday departures from Currituck will be at 6 a.m., 9, 11, 1 p.m., 3:30 and 5:30. Departures from Knotts Island will be at 6:50 a.m., 10, noon, 2 p.m., 4:30, and 6:20. The weekend schedule remains the same year-round, with departures from Currituck at 6 a.m., 9, 11, 2 p.m., and 4, and departures from Knotts Island at 7 a.m., 10, noon, 3 p.m., and 5. The J.P. Knapp Early College High School starts its school year on August 4. Other Currituck County schools begin August 25th.***NCDOT***
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6/25/2014: Test Runs Reveal Hatteras Channel Still Too Narrow For Ferries

Test Runs Reveal Hatteras Channel Still Too Narrow For Ferries

Posted 6/25/2014 11:40:29 AM

(MANNS HARBOR) - After conducting test runs in the traditional Hatteras Inlet ferry channel Monday, NCDOT's Ferry Division announced today that the channel is still unsafe for ferry operations. As a result, Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry service will continue to run the "alternate" route until more dredging can be completed and conditions in the channel improve. "We have tested that channel with several boats and several captains, and they all came back with the same results", said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. "The channel is extremely narrow, and too shallow in several spots. Safety is always our top priority, and the traditional Hatteras Inlet channel simply isn't safe to operate." The Ferry Division has been operating on the alternate route since December, when continued shoaling in the inlet made the traditional route unnavigable. The alternate route is about 20 minutes longer than the traditional route. Currently, the Hatteras-Ocracoke route is on its summer schedule, with 36 daily departures from each side. During the week of June 17-23, the route carried 8,976 vehicles and 26,703 passengers. The US Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for the federally-controlled portion of the ferry channel, and recently spent more than three weeks working on the channel with the side caster dredge M/V Merritt. The Ferry Division will continue working with the Corps of Engineers to find solutions to the shoaling issues in Hatteras Inlet.***NCDOT***
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[M/V Merritt]
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5/22/2014: NCDOT Offers Insider Tips For Avoiding Summer Ferry Lines

NCDOT Offers Insider Tips For Avoiding Summer Ferry Lines

Posted 5/22/2014 11:19:39 AM

(MANNS HARBOR) - The official start of the summer travel season is here, and for many, that means the annual pilgrimage to the beautiful North Carolina coast. For a lot of visitors, no trip to the area would be complete without a ride on the North Carolina Department of Transportation's Ferry System. During the busy summer season, lines for a few of the more popular ferry routes can sometimes get backed up. However, there are some things that visitors and residents can do to avoid wait times and get to their destinations with minimal delays. Here are a few tips from the people who know their routes the best: Hatteras-Ocracoke: On the Ferry System's most popular summer route, motorists who arrive at Hatteras before 10am or after 3pm will generally avoid the daily crowds, as will travelers who get to Ocracoke's South Dock before 2pm or after 7pm. In addition, the busiest summer days on the Hatteras Inlet route are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. "People who make their day trips on Monday or Friday stand a much better chance of avoiding long waits," says Hatteras Port Captain Walter Goodwin. Southport-Fort Fisher: "The best thing people can do is arrive at the terminal 45 minutes to an hour before their departure time," says Southport Ferry Operation Manager Kirk Pistel. "It gives them a much greater chance of getting on the ferry they want." Much like the Hatteras Inlet route, departing before 10am or after 3pm will also help travelers avoid wait times. Pamlico/Neuse River Routes: With heavy commuter traffic, the only times visitors might want to avoid the NC Ferry's Pamlico and Neuse River ferry routes are "rush hours", which are early weekday mornings from Minnesott Beach and Bayview and weekday late afternoons from Cherry Branch and Aurora. Other than that, travelers are encouraged to explore the region's coastal rivers by ferry. "Especially at sunset," says Neuse River Operations Manager Sue Kinner. "We have some of the most spectacular summer sunsets you'll find anywhere." (***NCDOT***)
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[Traffic is generally light at Hatteras before 10am]
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8/28/2013: NCDOT Ferry Division Sets Sail on Facebook

NCDOT Ferry Division Sets Sail on Facebook

Posted 8/28/2013 4:08:49 PM

MANNS HARBOR – The latest news about the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division is now available on the most popular social media site on the web. Today, the Ferry Division launched a Facebook page to provide open dialogue and immediate communication with passengers and the public. “The North Carolina Ferry Division is more than a mode of transportation. It’s a part of the coastal experience, and our Facebook page will reflect that,” said Ferry Division Communications Officer Tim Hass. “We will focus on must-have information such as schedule changes and emergency operations, but we’ll also work with local tourism partners to give our Facebook audience reasons to come to the coast and ride the ferries.” The page will also feature regular updates on the Ferry Division’s vessels, routes and destinations, and provide a place where people can ask questions and share their ferry experiences. The Ferry Division encourages Facebook users to go to www.facebook.com/NCFerries and “like” the page. This move will ensure all status updates on the Ferry Division page appear automatically in their News Feed.  The new Facebook page comes in addition to the Ferry Division’s Twitter feed (@NCDOT_Ferry), which updates passengers with real-time travel information and has nearly 5,100 followers. ***NCDOT***
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6/9/2013: Two Ocracoke-Cedar Island Ferry Trips Canceled due to Mechanical Issues with MV Cedar Island

Two Ocracoke-Cedar Island Ferry Trips Canceled due to Mechanical Issues with MV Cedar Island

Posted 6/9/2013 8:59:55 AM

  MANNS HARBOR – The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division has canceled two Ocracoke-Cedar Island ferry routes this afternoon due to mechanical issues with the MV Cedar Island. The 1 p.m. Ocracoke-to-Cedar Island and 4 p.m. Cedar Island-to-Ocracoke trips will not take place because there is not a ferry available. Travelers are encouraged to call the ferry terminal directly with questions about specific ferry routes or schedules.  Travelers can also call 800-293-3779 (BY-FERRY) and Press 1 for up-to-date ferry information, or sign up to receive Tweets on their personal cell phones by going to www.twitter.com/ncdot_ferry.   ***NCDOT***
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