The ferry service from St. Marys, Georgia to Cumberland Island National Seashore during the spring and summer seasons operates 7 days a week from March 1st through September 30th. The ferry ride takes 45 minutes to arrive on Cumberland Island.
Daily Ferry Times
The ferry to Cumberland Island leaves St. Marys, GA at 9 am and 11:45 am during March 1st through September 30. The return ferry for day trippers departs Cumberland Island at 2:45 pm (*Monday through Saturday*), and 4:45 pm. There’s also a 10:15 a.m. ferry departing Cumberland Island returning back to St. Marys for overnight campers.
Arrive 1 Hour Early
Traveling from Amelia Island, FL, take the 45 minute to an hour’s drive (depending on traffic), north to St. Marys, GA. The Park Service and ferry concessionaire advise ferry reservation holders to arrive one hour early before departure time, to check in. According to the NPS website, “All unclaimed ferry reservations will be cancelled 30 minutes prior to departure and those spots will be offered to walk-in visitors.”
Note that since Hurricane Irma, an alternative ferry dock (pictured above, the “Gateway Dock”) is being used. This requires a bit more time for parking and walking to the dock about three blocks away.
Personal bicycles can be transported on ferry for $10 fee (but space is very limited, only ten bikes per ferry). However you can now reserve a ferry space for your personal bike in advance. Bike rentals are $16 from ferry company (also first come, first serve, adult-sized bikes only). Note that rented bikes are not allowed to be ridden on the beach.
How Much Are Ferry Tickets?
There was an increase in ferry ticket prices during 2019, to $34.10 per adult round trip (taxes and fees included). The other fee visitors pay is the $10 per adult park entry fee (ages 16 and older).
While waiting for the ferry, those with a little extra time can wander the waterfront park along the St. Marys river. There are plenty of places to sit, from benches, picnic tables and even porch-type swings, perfect for two.
Day Tripping Tips
Read related article with travel tips about what to expect and how to prepare for this island adventure, “Cumberland Island, Delightful Day Trip.”
Cumberland Island Camping
Thinking about a camping adventure on Cumberland? Read article about Cumberland Island’s five campgrounds, two developed and three wilderness sites.