Ship Island Preserve Updated:04/2023

Operating Hours

Ship Island buildings, structures, and Fort Massachusetts are open March through October 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Ship Island buildings, structures, and Fort Massachusetts are closed from Nov. 1 to Feb. 28, with an extension to Feb. 29 in a Leap Year.


Ship Island is only accessible by boat. If traveling on your private vessel, consult navigational charts. Operating a vessel greater than 5 mph or creating a wake is prohibited within 500 feet of the Ship Island Pier. Private vessels must dock on the left side of the pier.

A public ferry boat is available between March and October from Gulfport, Mississippi. The ferry departure pier is located at the Gulfport's Jones Park 1022 23rd Avenue, Gulfport, MS 39501.

A public ferry boat is also available between May and August from Biloxi, Mississippi. The departure pier is located at Margaritaville Resort Biloxi 195 Beach Blvd. Biloxi, MS 39530.


Plan Your Trip

  • Events with groups of 26 people or more must obtain a Special Use Permit issued by the National Seashore.
  • Fires are permitted in portable gas grills in all areas except the designated swim beach.
  • No glass or pets are allowed on the island except for service animals.
  • Bring walking shoes, there is no public transportation on the island.
  • Download the NPS mobile app for Fort Massachusetts self-guided tours and program times.
  • Visitors are permitted to bring food. It is also available for purchase.
  • Respect the wildlife and landscapes. Do not climb on dunes, or structures, or feed birds.
  • Review rip current and safety tips prior to departure. Flags are located on the swim beach.
  • Fishing is allowed from the shore on the sound side only. License required.
  • Private boaters can only use the left side of the pier.
  • Camping is currently not permitted on Ship Island.

Contact Ship Island Preserve

REMINDER: This listing is a free service of MississippiLandCAN.
Ship Island Preserve is not employed by or affiliated with the Mississippi Land Conservation Assistance Network, and the Network does not certify or guarantee their services. The reader must perform their own due diligence and use their own judgment in the selection of any professional.


Contact Ship Island Preserve

MS Department of Marine Resources
1141 Bayview Avenue
Biloxi, MS  39530
Phone: (850) 934-2600

Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Harrison County, Mississippi