News Releases

8/7/2014: NCDOT Ferry System Embarks On Late Summer Photo Contest

NCDOT Ferry System Embarks On Late Summer Photo Contest

Posted 8/7/2014 3:14:32 PM

(MANNS HARBOR) - Shutterbugs unite! NCDOT's Ferry Division is inviting photographers of all skill levels to take part in a late summer photography contest highlighting the vital connection between life in Eastern North Carolina and the North Carolina Ferry System. The contest began August 5 and will continue through October 10. "We look forward to seeing how our passengers capture the essence of North Carolina ferry travel," said Ferry Division Communication Officer Tim Hass. "We carry thousands of residents, visitors, commuters, and school kids across coastal waters every year, and we expect there will be an unlimited number of photographs that capture the unique experience of riding the North Carolina Ferry System." Entries will be divided into three categories: Ferries Of The Coast - Photos with an North Carolina Ferry as the main subjectOnboard Adventures - Photos taken while onboard a North Carolina FerrySeafaring Selfies - A picture taken of yourself or your group onboard a North Carolina Ferry All entries should be submitted via the contest page at http://www.ncdot.gov/ferry/photocontest/. Finalists will be selected by NCDOT, and winners will be chosen by a vote on the NC Ferry System Facebook Page. Winners in each category will receive a gift package of ferry memorabilia. ***NCDOT***
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[A woman glances out onto the waters of Hatteras Inlet from a North Carolina Ferry]
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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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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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6/8/2013: Hatteras-Ocracoke Routes Canceled due to Mechanical Issues

Hatteras-Ocracoke Routes Canceled due to Mechanical Issues

Posted 6/8/2013 8:59:02 AM

MANNS HARBOR – The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division canceled five runs between Hatteras and Ocracoke today due to mechanical issues with one of the ferries. The 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. runs from Hatteras to Ocracoke are canceled, as was the 3 p.m. run earlier in the day. The 6:45 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. runs from Ocracoke to Hatteras are also canceled. Crews are working to resume operations as soon as possible.   Travelers are encouraged to call each 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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