Relaxation, recreation, and history-these are the gifts offered to you on Ship Island. Here in the Gulf of Mexico, about 11 miles off Mississippi’s Coast, are some of the last undeveloped barrier islands in America. Part of Gulf Islands National Seashore and protected by the U.S. Park Service, these exquisite sand islands offer visitors the first high-quality, natural beaches for swimming, birding and shelling east of New Orleans.
A cruise to Ship Island is an affordable, family-friendly adventure and one of the most popular outdoor attractions on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Passengers are sure to spot dolphins while crossing the Mississippi Sound on the 1-hour boat ride. You’ll discover what locals and visitors have enjoyed for generations, the Coast’s finest beaches. The passenger ferries depart from the Gulfport Yacht Harbor in Jones Park (intersection of Hwy. 90 and Hwy. 49). Boats operate typically mid-March through October.
The island is also home to Fort Massachusetts, a beautifully preserved, brick structure used during the Civil War. Seasonal fort tours are offered by the National Park Service. A section of beach with lifeguards is available in summer. Food service is offered on the boats and on the island. Umbrella and beach chair rentals are also available.