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Ship Island Excursions

Written by: Gulf Coast Gal

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is what to pack for a trip to Ship Island? There are a lot of options depending on what type of activities you are interested in while you are out at the Island but our most recommended are below:


– SUNSCREEN & Sun Protection

– By far, our top pick! We recommend you always pack your sunscreen first. In addition to any other sun protection you’d like, like hats, rash guards, and sunglasses. There is limited cover and shade on the Island and even though the Fort and umbrellas are handy way to take a break from the sun, it’s best to use all of the above to protect yourself from any harmful rays.

– Water/Drinks

– We do have a snack bar on the Island but it doesn’t hurt to bring a refillable water bottle or small carry-on or wheeled cooler. (Emphasis on the small.) We have limited storage space on board the ferry so it’s important to adhere to our carry-on policy so that everyone can have an enjoyable time. Staying hydrated while you are out having fun in the sun is very important, so we recommend at least 3 bottles of water per person per trip! A refillable bottle per person is also a great eco-conscious option as there are places on the island to fill up your bottle.

– Towels and a Change of Clothes

– One of my favorite recommendations to bring towels and a change of clothes with you to the Island. Most people wear their bathing suit TO the island but the 45 minute ferry ride back to Gulfport after you are all wet/sweaty/sandy is much more enjoyable in fresh clothing. There are outside showers available to wash off the sand and then restrooms to change clothes. Another pro tip is to put on some aloe vera before your new set of clothes! This combo helps make the ride back so much more enjoyable!

– Fishing Pole & Bait

– A really cool thing about Ship Island is that there is so much to do! Ferry passengers often enjoy fishing on Ship Island. Some of the fish to keep an eye out for are: Redfish, Speckled Trout and other fish, or cast netting for Mullet. Park rules do not allow fishing from the dock on Ship Island, but all beaches are open for fishing. REMINDER: A Mississippi Saltwater fishing license is required for fishing on Ship Island.

– Sand Toys for the Kids

– Bring a pail or two of sand toys for the kiddos to use while you enjoy relaxing on the beach under one of our rentable beach umbrellas! Make some lasting family memories by challenging them to a sandcastle building contest! Best castle builder gets to pick the snack bar treat!


This is just some of our top recommendations. We encourage you to pack for the type of trip you want to experience. Some guests even bring pool noodles, binoculars, and a good book. If you’ve been before, let us know your MUST HAVE item.

We hope to have you join us for a trip out to Ship Island soon! Book your trip here:

We sail March – October each year! Hours vary by season.

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