The North Carolina Department of Transportation is celebrating 75 years of transporting passengers by ferry in eastern North Carolina.
Ferry Division officials will kickoff the festivities at 10 a.m. Monday, May 16, at the Hatteras Ferry Terminal. Area and state transportation leaders will speak about the ferry division’s history, and the newest vessel, the Ocracoke Express, will be christened and opened for tours.
Related: New Ocracoke Express passenger ferry to debut May 17
The state began running the first fully-owned route in 1947 between mainland at Manns Harbor to Roanoke Island. In the decades since that first run, the Ferry Division has grown to become the second largest state-owned ferry system in the United States, running seven regular routes along the coast, according to NCDOT.
“The Ferry Division is proud to have served the residents and visitors of eastern North Carolina for 75 years, providing safe, affordable and efficient transportation across the rivers, sounds and inlets of the region,” said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas in a statement. “We hope this anniversary celebration will allow people across the state to rediscover this unique and vital facet of North Carolina’s transportation system.”
Current and former passengers are invited to share their memorable #FerryTales on a new website dedicated to the 75th anniversary. Other contests and a #SailTheSevenRoutes Challenge are to be launched in the coming weeks.
The website also features a timeline of important events for the ferry division, and more photos and video features will be added throughout the year.