From Our Editors
Playing a crucial role in the original settlement of the Gulf Coast, Ship Island was founded and named by French explorers in 1699, who were impressed by the protected, deep-water anchorage it offered their ships. Soon afterward, the island became a port for French Louisiana and a place many colonists first touched American soil—dubbing it the “Plymouth Rock” of the Gulf Coast.
Over the years, the island has developed into a tourist attraction. And Ship Island Excursions caters to the tourists with three U.S. coast guard licensed and inspected ferries that take passengers out on adventures through the Gulf Coast waters and Islands. With the 100-foot Captain Pete, 115-foot Gulf Islander, and 65-foot Pan American Clipper, the facility accommodates all sorts of groups and outings.
Groups outings: These passenger ferries offer group outings from 20 to 300 passengers for memorable events such as family reunions, weddings, and school trips.
Educational programs: Students of all ages learn about the historic and natural resources the island has to offer, including Fort Massachusetts and French colonization as well as the thousands of confederate P.O.W.s held there during civil war and first American troops to fight there.
Private charters: Two-hour cruises along the beach between Gulfport and Biloxi designed for up to 200 guests on the largest vessel offer two deck levels with a bar, dance floor, and open-air upper deck ideal for coastal sunsets or viewings of the night sky.
Fort Massachusetts tour: From March to October, the National Park Service hosts guided tours through the historic fort, where visitors can learn about the Louisiana Native Guard and The Civil War on Ship Island.