Ferry At 2/3 Capacity, Face Coverings Required
As of Friday, June 26, 2020, the ferry to Cumberland Island National Seashore is back in service. It’s been over three months since the ferry operation was suspended due to the pandemic. Only those with private boats have been able to access the island in the interim.
Due to COVID-19, precautions will be in place beginning June 26th. These include requiring ferry passengers to wear a face covering. Also, the ferry will be operating at 2/3 capacity (up to 100 passengers plus crew).
Cumberland Island Camping Opens July 6, 2020
Camping within the National Seashore, including Sea Camp near the ferry dock, to the more wild, primitive campsite areas, will be opening July 6, 2020, ten days after the ferry resumes.
“The park is thrilled to be able to provide greater access to Cumberland Island. COVID-19 has challenged our community, country, and world in significant and life altering ways. We hope opening the island to more visitors will help ease some of the associated stress of the current situation.”Gary Ingram, Cumberland Island National Seashore Superintendent
Further details of new procedures at the National Seashore are in the official June 24, 2020 announcement below, including what will be open, with capacity limitations (note that some Cumberland Island tours will remain closed).
ST. MARYS, GA — Cumberland Island National Seashore is beginning to increase recreational access to the island with ferry service and camping.
Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Cumberland Island National Seashore is increasing recreational access to the island. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service-wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
Beginning Friday June 26th, 2020 Cumberland Island National Seashore will reopen access to:
- Ferry service at 2/3 capacity; (concession operation requires all passengers wear face coverings at all times aboard the ferry
- Bicycle and cart rentals; (concession operation)
- Mainland Visitor Center with capacity limits;
- Mainland Visitor Center restrooms;
- Sea Camp Ranger Station with capacity limits;
- Ice House Museum with capacity limits;
- Limited public programming at Sea Camp Ranger Station with capacity limits;
- Commercial Use Authorizations with appropriate mitigation;
- Special Use Permits as appropriate to phase of re-opening.
Beginning Monday July 6th, access to the following will be opening:
- Camping at full capacity at Sea Camp, including group sites, Stafford Beach, and all three wilderness areas- Hickory Hill, Yankee Paradise, and Brick Hill Bluff.
While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. Modifications to operations will be flexible, continually evaluated and adjusted as necessary to ensure public health and safety.
With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed during this phase:
- Lands and Legacies Tours; (concession operation)
- Plum Orchard Mansion historic home tours;
- Mainland Museum;
- On-site and/or in-classroom education programming.
For ferry reservations, visit ferry concessionaire’s website at www.cumberlandislandferry.com .
Cumberland Island National Seashore asks visitors to be a partner in adopting social distancing practices, follow the 10 Essentials for a safe visit, and if you are sick, stay home. They encourage visitors to recreate responsibly and pack essential items like water, face coverings and hand sanitizer. See more info at the National Seashore’s website and Facebook page (check for updates, the park says operations are changing regularly).