FAQs & Trip Planning

Prepare for your visit to Ship Island!


  • Chevron down What is the ticket price for the round-trip ferry service?
  • $32 per adult ticket, $22 per child ticket (ages 3-10)

  • Chevron down Are there any discounts available?
  • Yes, we offer active military tickets and senior citizen tickets for $30 each.

  • Chevron down How long is the ferry ride to Ship Island?
  • The ferry ride takes approximately 1 hour.

  • Chevron down Do you accept credit cards on the boat and island snack bar?
  • Yes we accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. However, we do suggest you bring cash as well in case we lose internet service.

  • Chevron down What time does the ferry leave Gulfport?
  • The ferry schedule varies during different times of the year.

    • During spring and fall schedules the ferry is closed on Monday and Tuesday; Wednesday through Friday departs Gulfport 9 a.m. only, Saturday and Sunday departs Gulfport 9 a.m. and 12 noon.
    • During the summer season, ferries depart Gulfport at 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. daily; Sunday – Saturday departs Ship Island at 2:30 & 5 p.m.
    • The Biloxi Ferry Schedule starts on May 12 from Margaritaville Hotel departing at 10 a.m. and departing Ship island at 3:30 p.m.
    • View our Round Trip Ferry page to view a detailed schedule and call anytime if you have questions or concerns. (228) 864-1014
  • Chevron down What time does the ferry return?
  • The ferry departs Ship Island at 2:30 p.m. and/or 5 p.m. depending on the seasonal schedule. The Biloxi ferry departs Ship Island at 3:30 p.m.

  • Chevron down If I take the 9 a.m. ferry do I have to come back at 2:30 p.m.? Or can I choose to stay until five?
  • When the ferry is running our full summer schedule it is your decision when to return. You may catch the return ferry departing Ship Island at 2:30 p.m. or 5 p.m. regardless of what time you left Gulfport. However, if the ferry is running only a single trip, for example: spring and fall weekdays you must return on the 2:30 p.m. departing Ship Island. The Biloxi ferry has one trip returning from Ship Island at 3:30 p.m.

    For a detailed Schedule visit our Round Trip Ferry page or call any time: (228) 864-1014

  • Chevron down Can I bring a cooler with food and drinks?
  • Yes, you are welcome to bring an ice chest not exceeding 42 quarts; you may bring any beverage you like just remember all glass containers are prohibited on Ship Island.

    Luggage Policy

  • Chevron down Is smoking allowed on the boats or the island?
  • Smoking is not allowed on the one-hour ferry boat trip to and from Ship Island but is allowed on the island. Please remember to dispose of your cigarette butts properly.

  • Chevron down Are drones, dogs or metal detectors allowed on Ship Island?
  • The National Park Service does not allow drones or metal detectors on the island. View the NPS Service Dog Policy HERE

  • Chevron down What is available at the snack bar on the island?
  • Click HERE to see the full menu and healthy menu options.

  • Chevron down Can I bring my own umbrella and chairs?
  • You may bring compact folding chairs and umbrellas. Remember you have to carry everything you bring with you back out; which is why most of our return customers choose to rent the umbrellas and chairs already set out on the south beach.  Large canvas umbrellas can be rented for $15 per day. Sturdy wooden frame reclining canvas lounge chairs can be rented for $5 per day, includes detachable foot rest. Click HERE for a list of approved carry on gear.

  • Chevron down Where do we board the ferry boats?
  • We are located in the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor located at the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 90 and U.S. Hwy. 49.  In Gulfport MS 39501. Biloxi departures start from the Margaritaville Hotel on Hwy 90 in Biloxi. Click HERE for detailed directions.

  • Chevron down What is on Ship Island?
  • When we dock at Ship Island you see Fort Massachusetts (free guided tours available most trips), and just beyond the fort you find a large covered picnic pavilion with tables and benches. Next to the pavilion there is a public restroom and shower facility located adjacent to the ranger station. Continuing over the marsh on the boardwalk you find another covered picnic pavilion and more public restrooms and showers. Just before you reach the south beach you come to our concessions and gift shop.

  • Chevron down Is fishing allowed on the dock at Ship Island
  • As of March 2019, the NPS has implemented a new policy that WILL NOT allow fishing off the pier at Ship Island. You may fish off the beach but not in the swimming area.

Plan Your Visit

  • Chevron down Services
    • Affordable food service and beach items are available on our boats and island
    • Umbrellas and chairs are available for rent on the island’s south beach for $25 (two chairs and one umbrella)
    • Visa, Discover, and MasterCard accepted at ticket office
    • Cash and credit cards accepted on boats and Island Snack Bar However, cash is recommended in case we lose internet service
    • Lower deck of each vessel is wheel chair accessible
    • M/V Capt. Pete and M/V Gulf Islander offer some climate controlled seating.
    • Restrooms, showers, drinking water, and a shaded picnic areas available on the island
    • Restrooms are provided on boats and island
  • Chevron down Tickets
    • Tickets go on sale one hour before departure. Arrive early.
    • Highly suggest you buy your tickets online in the summer. Boats will sell out in the summer.
    • Boat tickets may be purchased and rental items reserved at the Gulfport or Biloxi  ticket office.
    • Reservations accepted for large groups only (20 or more). See Group’s Page on website for reservation form.
  • Chevron down What to expect
    • Shade is limited on the island.
    • Prepare for extreme heat and humidity mid-June through August.
    • Wear sun block, protective clothing, and eyewear.
    • Open-toe shoes are not recommended while on the boats.
    • Insects are usually not a problem. However, carry insect repellent in case you need it.
    • Wear your hat.
    • Restrooms are provided on boats and island.
    • Larger boats offer partial climate controlled seating.
    • Overnight camping is not permitted on West Ship Island.
    • Island visitors must pack out anything carried to the island, including litter.
    • Public litter receptacles are provided on the barrier islands.
    • Boats sometimes operate at near capacity on summer weekends.

    * Tip:  Most summer weekday cruises offer lighter crowds.

  • Chevron down What to bring
    • Sunblock, hat, and sunglasses are essential.
    • Travel light, luggage is limited to what can be stowed under your seat.
    • Small backpacks and coolers are best.
    • Small coolers permitted (42 quart limit).
    • Lightweight compact folding chairs and umbrellas are permitted.
    • Limit two fishing poles per passenger. Hooks must be removed before boarding.
    • Mississippi salt water fishing license required.
    • Carry-on items subject to search before boarding.

    Check HERE for a list of what you can and cannot bring.

  • Chevron down What NOT to bring
    • Due to restricted space, large items such as wagons, folding luggage carriers, unbagged folding chairs, huge strollers, etc. will be turned away at the boarding gate.
    • Glass bottles and containers are prohibited.
    • Highly flammable liquids, including propane, are not allowed on the boats.
    • Spear guns prohibited.
    • Sorry, no pets allowed on the boats.
    • Carry-on items subject to search before boarding.
    • Drones and metal detectors are not allowed on the Island

    Check HERE for a list of what you can and cannot bring.

  • Chevron down Weather
    • Occasional light summer rain showers are common in South Mississippi, and normally will not cause cruise cancellation.
    • Prepare for extreme heat and humidity mid-June through August.
    • Wear sun block, protective clothing and eyewear.
    • High winds, rough sea conditions, fog or prolonged heavy rain may affect boat schedule.
    • Please call 228-864-1014 and select option 2 for schedule and weather updates

    * Tip: Check coastal inland waters marine weather forecast. Click Here for Local Marine Forecast(WLOX).

More Questions?

IMPORTANT TRAVEL TIP: Ship Island Excursions’ boats, on summer Saturdays between Memorial Weekend and Labor Day, frequently run at full capacity. Choose summer weekdays or a Sunday for less crowded beaches and more room on the boats. PLEASE ARRIVE A MINIMUM OF 30 MINUTES BEFORE YOUR SCHEDULED TRIP. Boarding normally begins 1 hour before departure.