When the Provincetown III visits the Outer Banks May 4-5, it could be a glimpse into the future of a new type of ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke. During that visit, the North Carolina Department of Transportation Ferry Division officials are offering members of the public a chance to tour the ship for themselves and provide valuable feedback as they study the idea of passenger service between the two villages.
The Provincetown III is a catamaran-style passenger ferry that works in the Caribbean over the winter and between Boston and Provincetown, Mass. in the summer. The ship will make a stop in North Carolina on its way back north as part of a state feasibility study into passenger ferry service between Hatteras village and Ocracoke.
On May 4, the Provincetown III will run several sea trials between Hatteras and Ocracoke, then dock at the Hatteras Ferry Terminal to be available for public tours between 4 and 7 p.m. Meanwhile, the Ferry Division will hold an open house meeting at the adjacent Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum from 5-7 p.m. to allow members of the public to ask questions and make comments about potential passenger ferry service.
On May 5, the ship will conduct further sea trials, then dock at Silver Lake Harbor in Ocracoke. Members of the public will be again be allowed to tour the ship between 4-7 p.m., while the Ferry Division conducts another open house meeting between 5 and 7 p.m. at the Ocracoke School gymnasium.
“This is the public’s ferry system, and establishment of passenger ferry service would be a significant change to that system,” said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. “We hope that people will turn out to take a look at the ship and give us any feedback they have on any aspect of this idea.”
NCDOT has hired the consulting firm Volkert to conduct a feasibility study on passenger ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands as an alternative to the car ferries now running the route. The study is scheduled to be completed by December.