Cumberland Island National Seashore
With early September’s Hurricane Dorian long gone and the National Seashore’s dock repairs and debris clean up completed, Cumberland Island National Seashore reopened on September 16, 2019. While the National Park was temporarily closed for 15 days in the aftermath of Dorian, damage to the National Seashore was minor. A special team was brought in to assist getting the park reopened as quickly as possible.
Fall 2019 Ferry Times
Hop aboard the ferry for the 45-minute ride to Cumberland Island National Seashore during fall 2019 (a two-month seasonal schedule). While you can see Cumberland Island across the water while standing on the northern shoreline of Amelia Island at Fort Clinch, realize that the National Park’s ferry service departure is from St. Marys, Georgia. The ferry operates seven days a week during autumn, between St. Marys and Cumberland Island. See the ferry times in the table below, effective October 1st through November 30th.
Oct. 1, 2019 To Nov. 30, 2019 (Daily)
|Leave St. Marys||Arrive Cumberland||Leave Cumberland||Arrive St. Marys|
|9 am||9:45 am||10:15 am||11 am|
|11:45 am||12:30 pm||4:45 pm||5:30 pm|
Winter Schedule Starts Dec. 1, 2019
Note that beginning December 1, 2019, the Cumberland Island National Seashore wintertime ferry does not operate on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The winter ferry (Dec. 1, 2019 through February 29, 2020), operates the same times as the fall schedule above from Thursdays through Mondays.
For those day-tripping to Cumberland Island, Georgia from Amelia Island, Florida, read “Cumberland Island, Delightful Day Trip.” This article covers the cost, bike riding options and the Lands & Legacies van tours. Also watch two informational videos by National Park Service (NPS), how to get ferry reservations online, and directions to ferry dock plus learn about parking and check-in process.
The authorized concessionaire of the ferry service, based in St. Marys, is the single operator of direct ferry service for public access to this National Seashore, accommodating park visitors, both day trippers and overnight campers.
Water Taxi To Connect Fernandina & St. Marys
A new water taxi connection between Fernandina Beach, Florida and St. Marys, Georgia is planned for next year. It’s anticipated to possibly start operating by sometime in spring or early summer 2020. While not offering direct service to Cumberland Island from Fernandina, the new water taxi service will transport passengers between these two river cities. Those who opt to take the water taxi from Fernandina Beach (instead of driving a vehicle to St. Marys), will end up getting off the river taxi and then board the park ferry to continue travel to Cumberland Island National Seashore.
Some in Fernandina have long wished there was a direct ferry from Amelia Island over to Cumberland Island National Seashore, splitting the ferry service between these two river cities here at the Florida-Georgia border. However, the National Park Service, once again, awarded the latest 10-year contract solely to the previous vendor (Lang Seafood Inc.), based out of St. Marys, Georgia. The contract was last up for bid a few years ago. According to the NPS, “Lang has been operating the Cumberland Island ferry since 1987.” This current ferry service contract began January 1, 2016, for a 10-year period.