- 494 Ratings
Harkers Island, Cape Lookout, & Shackleford Banks Boat Tour
Spend your day discovering the beauty of two North Carolina islands. Set off on a ferry trip, taking in the scenic sights and cooling off in the calm breeze.
What You Will Do
- Explore two islands on a guided ferry trip from Harkers Island: Check out Cape Lookout and Shackleford Banks
- Bask in the gorgeous weather as you breathe in the fresh air and spot sea turtles and dolphins
- Cruise over the water, enjoying a smooth ride that gets you where you want to be in no time
- Discover both islands on foot, enjoying a variety of activities, including shelling, swimming, and more
- Guided ferry trip
24-hour cancellation policy for a full refund.
- 494 Ratings
We were shod in sneakers with flip flops/water shoes in the car. It would have been nice to know that there was no dock at Shackleford and we needed to wade to shore. Otherwise a great time.
A portable stool/step that could be dropped off the front of the boat in Shackleford would be a great help for loading and unloading younger and elderly passengers.
Our captain and guide was excellent! Very friendly and accommodating...he even went out of his way on the way back to Harkers Island to show us some horses that had came out onto the beach
there was a slight misunderstanding about our reservation, of which we only had to wait for the very next ferry. Not at all a problem, as my wife and I wanted to go to the gift store first anyway.
Things being explained a bit better would have helped. We purchased tickets to both Shakelford and Cape Lookout. I put the tickets deep in my bag. When we reboarded it was raining and a bit hectic. I felt rushed and in-prepared, as I was unaware we needed our ticket again.
We had never been to these places before and were unaware of the drop off at Shackleford banks being in the water's edge. Not prepared to get feet wet. We will be more prepared the next time we go. Thanks!
Staff very friendly and helpful. However a storm prevented us from enjoying Shackleford Island and the lighthouse so our trip was ruined. But the ferry itself was nice.
Great experiences and will do it again. The driver Jeff was very good and even got my mom a shell after us not realizing that 3 hours is not enough to spend the day out there. We climbed the lighthouse but only had time to drive out on shuttle and then back again with a 3 hour tour. You may want to include a visual map to help people understand the ferry, shuttle and islands system that is set up. Next time we will camp or spend 5+ hours on the Cape Lookout island. Thanks!
The pick up times were right when they said they would be there. The cost was reasonable. Needed a few more places to rest or rent beach chairs would be nice. My aunt was older and she chose not to go at the last minute due to sun and not convenient places to rest while we looked around the islands. (so we lost $36 as it is non refundable.) The island was beautiful and we saw 11 wild horses then the lighthouse was gorgeous as well and we found so many beautiful large shells about 3 feet out in the water they alone made the trip. I could not believe how many we found! North Carolina is truly a beautiful place.
- Jeany O'Neal
No horses and rude ferry skipper, but overall good trip
Great experience, but getting off the ferry at Shackleford Banks was a challenge. Would have expected a ramp to exit the vessel.
Every employee we met was very friendly and gave us some brief history on the two places we visited. Loved Shackleford Island. We walked all over the island and was hoping to come close up on some of the horses. We did see them from far away on an inlet but by that time we were too tired to walk that much farther away from the ferry boat landing. It was still wonderful to think we were walking on an island that had been occupied by horses for such a long time. At Cape Lookout we were disappointed that we were not able to go inside the lighthouse or the other buildings because of repairs being done. It would have been nice to have known this before hand as I do not think we would have bought that extra part of the trip as we felt there wasn't much at all to do.
The ferries were awesome. We were very unclear about our schedule and when we would transfer. That was the only issue we encountered.
My husband & I enjoyed our experience with you. My only complaint is lack of help for the handicapped. A woman was on the boat when we went from Shackleford across to the lighthouse. She uses a cane. She was unable to get off of the boat. When she purchased her ticket I would have thought it would have been brought to her attention the difficulty she would have. How sad for her. The guy just kept telling her to try....NOT.
Trip and guide were great. We did the combo trip which was overpriced.
Everyone was so cheerful and helpful as well as knowledgeable and interesting. Great
What a wonderful day we had! Only glitch was that we didn't know the area well enough to catch the departure site on the emailed ticket, so we reported to Beaufort pier and learned we should have driven out to Harker's Island! Everything worked out for us to depart at 11:00 instead of 10:00. We saw horses running on the shore and dunes, and collected shells from both Shackleford and Core beaches. Visitors Centers are closed on Sundays, so we couldn't go up into the lighthouse. But we had a lovely day, with an hour at Shackleford and two hours at Core Island. Next time, we'll also pack a picnic and beach towels!
Went to both Shackleford and Cape Lookout on the combined ferry service out of Harkers Island. It was a bit windy at the start, but the winds picked up even more during the day. There were only 4 of us on the combined trip, but 6 on the way back, as a couple went to Shackleford only later in the day. The ferry captain managed to get the boat into Cape Lookout with waves and wind, and we all returned salt sprayed but very safely. I would highly recommend the combo trip, but maybe on a less windy day. We saw the horses, ate our packed lunch at Cape Lookout in a protected cove, picked up many wonderful shells, AND made a contribution to picking some of the debris on the beach as we walked. Please help up protect our uninhabited islands by bringing an extra bag other than for your shells, and pick up whatever shoreline waste you can on your visit. Our Ferry Captain was more than willing to return the plastic refuse we collected while we enjoyed our excursion. Additionally, the information about Cape Lookout in the visitors center was extremely enlightening, and the employees there very pleasant, helpful and knowledgeable.
We had a great trip, on time, smooth ride. Captain Barry and Dave were professional, polite and fun. While on the water, the Captain made sure we saw things and could take pictures. Will go again and recommend to others. Fantastic day.
Great job and great time! Thank you!!!
The captain was extremely accommodating and kind. As we exited the ferry onto Shackleford Banks he gave us pointers on where to find shells and where to locate the horses. He was prompt in meeting us to take us over to Cape Lookout and again offered tidbits of advice on the best place to look for shells and where the fish might be biting. He arrived at precisely 2:15 for our 2:30 departure back to Harkers Island. As we made our way back he spotted a couple of the Banks horses and pulled in so we could get a closer look. To top it off he allowed us to exit the ferry and take pictures of the beautiful horses. Thanks to this kind young captain with that beautiful "down east" brogue we spent a wonderful day making beautiful memories.
Awesome experience!!! I loved that you could just wander. Very polite staff.
Friendly and efficient staff. Fast and comfortable boat. We were given plenty of time to spend on Shackleford and Cape Lookout. Combo package is highly recommended as 2 hours is plenty enough to spend on each island - it's $10 extra but you get to see and experience so much more of the park.