Reach Georgia’s Remote Barrier Islands Via GA Ferries, Private Charter or Boat Rental

ga ferries
Reach Georgia barrier islands via ferries, charters or boat rentals

The barrier islands off the coast of Georgia provide venues for year-round outdoor recreation including hiking, biking, sea kayaking, and camping. Most of the islands are accessible by boat only. The outfitters, guides, and services below provide scheduled GA ferries or custom charter services and boat rentals for those who want to discover Georgia’s “inaccessible” barrier islands.

A Brief Introduction to Georgia’s 15 Barrier Islands

The coast of Georgia has dozens of barrier islands, 15 of which are considered major islands: (from north to south) Tybee, Little Tybee, Skidaway, Wassaw, Ossabaw, St. Catherines, Blackbeard, Sapelo, Wolf, Little St. Simons, St. Simons, Sea, Jekyll, Little Cumberland, and Cumberland. Of those 15 islands, only a handful – Tybee, St. Simons, Sea Island, Skidaway, and Jekyll, are reachable by car. The others are accessible by boat only. And it is on these hard-to-reach islands where the most rewarding outdoor experiences are available.

GA Ferries and Charter Services to Barrier Islands

These scheduled GA ferries and private charter services provide a variety of boat transportation to Georgia barrier islands. The Cumberland Island Ferry and the Sapelo Island Ferry both operate on a scheduled basis for a set roundtrip fee. The type of gear and equipment passengers can take on the ferry is limited. The Sapelo Island Ferry, for example, does not allow bikes. Both Bull River Cruises and Bull River Marina can set up more flexible charter arrangements where individuals or groups can transport all of their gear, including bikes, sea kayaks, and camping equipment to the islands. In addition, they can provide information about the types of outdoor activities that may be available on the islands. The infographic below includes scheduled ferry services and experienced private charter services. If you have had experience with other private charter services to Georgia barrier islands that you recommend please add their names and contact information in the comments box below.

GA Ferries and Private Charters Providing Access to Barrier Islands

Ferry/Charter Location Schedule Restrictions Comments
Cumberland Island Ferry St. Marys 7 days/week except for Dec-Feb when it’s 5 days/week No cars, kayaks, or pets Camping, tours and activities info on website
Sapelo Island Ferry Meridian 7 days/week except for most state holidays No beach chairs, bikes, paddle boards. No gasoline or Coleman fuel Ferry operated by GA Department of Natural Resources
Bull River Cruises Hogan’s Marina, Savannah Operates year ‘round weather permitting Discuss with operator Operates 2 boats, the up to 42-passenger Island Explorer and the 1-17 passenger Island express
Bull River Marina Savannah Operates year ‘round weather permitting Discuss with operator Rent a boat and visit islands on your own

Brown's Guide
About Brown's Guide 276 Articles

Brown’s Guides is a website about the top outdoor experiences in America and about the professional outfitters and guides who know them best. BG selects guides and outfitters located in or in close proximity to the Natural Areas they provide activities in. These outfitters know the areas and care about protecting and preserving them in a way that outfitters based in other states never can. Hiking, biking, sea kayaking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and over 100 other outdoor activities are indexed on the site. BG has been doing this type of thing since 1972 in books, magazines, maps and on the Internet.

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