First ferry to West Ship Island of the season sails

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - On Sunday, Ship Island Excursions made its first trip of the tourism season from Gulfport to West Ship Island. The captain says about 150 people bought tickets for the ferry.

Passengers hailed from places like Minnesota, Arkansas and Canada. Some said they were excited about the voyage.

Steve Donahue of Arkansas came in town with friends for a concert, then decided to take the trip to Ship Island.

"I want to go out on the excursion today," Donahue said. "I understand there is some good history there, local history and all. I'm kind of a buff myself, history buff, looking forward to the adventure."

Also on the ferry were National Park Service rangers. They say they've been working to make West Ship Island more visitor friendly.

Ranger Jim Graves said, "Some of the improvements, obviously, we're trying to restore what we had pre-Katrina conditions. People from the coast that are familiar with what we had out there with the snack bars and the picnic shelters, we're trying to get those re-established, basically get visitor amenities back."

During the spring, Ship Island Excursions will run one ferry on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Saturday, they will make two trips.

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