Traveling by Sea
Bald Head Island is located at the joining of the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean. Bald Head Island is only accessible by passenger ferry or private boat. The passenger ferry ride is approximate 25 minutes from the new ferry terminal at the Deep Point Marina on Ferry Road near the Fort Fisher ferry terminal. When you begin your scenic ferry ride you will be entering the Inter-coastal Waterway, and will be able to see the Price Creek Lighthouse built in 1848, off the port side, located on private property. On the starboard side you will see Historic Southport with plenty of shopping, history and restaurants. Look out a bit further you will see the Oak Island Lighthouse, built in 1958, located on the eastern end of Oak Island. Or just take in the natural beauty and enjoy birds flying all around and Pelicans diving in to the water for their meal of the day. Battery Island will appear on the port side, home to thousands of seagulls and where Ibis relax on the shore, you may see Egrets fishing in the marsh. You may also see dolphins frolicking in the waters around the ferry during the warmer weather months. As you head to Bald Head Island Harbor, take in the view of the Bald Head Island Marina and the Bald Head Lighthouse, also known as Old Baldy. This was the first lighthouse in North Carolina, built in 1818, to guide ships into the Cape Fear River.
For most of the year, ferries leave the mainland on the hour and the island on the half hour beginning at 5:30AM. The winter schedule may be abbreviated and the summer schedule expanded. Advance ferry reservations are required and should be confirmed 3 days in advance. Arrive at the ferry terminal at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. For reservations call 910-457-5003.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation operates a year round vehicle and passenger ferry between Southport and Fort Fisher. The ferry departs Southport every 45 minutes beginning at 5:30AM and departs Fort Fisher at 6:15AM. Schedules will vary during the winter season. The trip from Southport to Fort Fisher crosses the Cape Fear River going toward Wilmington. Three of North Carolina’s lighthouses can be seen during this 35 minute trip; Price’s Creek Lighthouse, Oak Island Lighthouse, and Bald Head Lighthouse. Frequent sightings during the warmer weather months are dolphins playing in the river, or wind and kite surfers at the Fort Fisher point. Occasionally Merchant Marine ships can be seen which seem to dwarf the ferry because of their gigantic size. For more information call 910-457-6942.
One way ferry rates to Fort Fisher: Pedestrian – $1.00 Bicycle Rider – $2.00 Motorcycles – $3.00 Vehicles less than 20’ – $5.00 Vehicles and/or combination over 40′ up to 60′ – $15.00