daufuskie

Daufuskie Island Ferry: dependable transport from Hilton Head to Daufuskie Island

If you’re looking for easy, affordable, and hands-free transport to Daufuskie Island, check out the Daufuskie Island Ferry!  The ferry is conveniently located at the Buckingham Landing (35 Fording Island Rd), in between Bluffton and Hilton Head Island.   Directions to the ferry can be found here.  The ferry is an affordable $35 per person round trip!

buckingham landing

the Buckingham Landing dock

At Buckingham Landing, you may park for free if you are visiting for the day, or pay $10/night for overnight visits.  The courteous ferry staff will meet you upon your arrival to help shuttle your cargo to the boat.  You pay no additional cost for your personal items such as suitcases, groceries, bicycles, etc.

captain shakes hand

The ferry’s friendly crew greet visitors upon their arrival

cargo

Don’t worry about your cargo – the staff will help get it safely stored on the boat.

The ferry offers rides to the island four times a day, with an extra run on Fridays.  The trip takes about 50 minutes.  Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure!  For any questions or clarifications regarding the ferry, give the ferry staff a call at 843-247-5378.

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Good news – Tour Daufuskie and the Daufuskie Island Ferry have teamed up, offering you a simple streamlined booking process.  If you’d like to ride the ferry and do a golf cart rental or self-guided tour on the island, simply call Tour Daufuskie at 843-842-9449 and we’ll book everything for you!  Please note that ALL boat rides, tours, and rentals must be booked in advance to ensure your spot is reserved.

Visitor’s love renting a golf cart for $75 for 4-hours, $10 for one additional hour, and $5 for every hour after.  This self-guided golf cart tour comes with an orientation and map of the island.  If you want more local insight into the past and present of Daufuskie, take a guided History and Artisans Tour ($45 per person, 2.5 hours) or a “Wild Daufuskie” Eco-tour ($35 per person, 1.5 hours).  For the outdoor enthusiasts, the guided Kayak / Paddle Boarding Tour ($55 per person) is a great way to spend an hour-and-a-half on the water.  For a real treat, spend 2.5 hours with Sallie Ann Robinson in her Native Gullah Tour ($65 per person)

Oysters: to farm or not to farm?

Harvesting oysters was a culturally and economically significant activity on Daufuskie Island.  From the late-1800s to mid-1900s, oysters were heavily gathered in the waterways surrounding Daufuskie, and the Gullah people made a good living off of this practice.  Although a pollution incident depleted the oyster populations in 1959, harvesting oysters continues today – both wild and farmed populations.  With so much consumer confusion regarding farmed seafood, it can be difficult to discern what is sustainable and what is not.  Tour Daufuskie’s Naturalist is here to help!

oyster can

While “farmed seafood” is the cheaper and more available option in the US food industry, it has a strong negative connotation tied to the practice.  Health experts warn that farmed fish are full of antibiotics, disease, and parasites due to their overcrowded environment.  While this generalization holds true for the majority of farmed salmon, talapia, cod, etc, there is one group of farmed seafood that may be the exception – oysters.

First off, how does this oyster farming process work?  Sterile larvae (which cannot create offspring) are created by mating a 4-chromosome male to a 2-chromosome female. This is similar to the science used to create seedless fruits.  These larvae are introduced to ground-up oyster shells, which they then attach to (called “spatting”).  The spatted larvae are contained in fine mesh bags, and are later upgraded to crab-pot type containers where they grow to full size.

Bluffton-Oyster-Farming

Bluffton oyster farming (bluffton.com)

How do farmed oysters vary from wild oysters?  There are two key differences.  First, the farmed oysters are smoother and rounder.  Farmers disrupt the oysters from time to time to reduce clustering, so there are fewer imperfections on the farmed variety.  Secondly, farmed oysters are meatier.  Because the farmed oysters are sterile, they do not lose energy to reproductive activity.  Wild oysters, on the other hand, spawn in the summer.  Their body mass reduces greatly during this time and they become somewhat “watery”.

All in all, consuming farmed oysters is something that you can feel good about on an environmental level.  The only “unnatural” aspect of the process is the creation of the sterile larva, which does not change the nutritional value of the food.  The farmed oysters don’t disrupt the well-being of the wild oysters.  In fact, propagation of these species through farming can help wild populations be more resilient!  So eat away, oyster lovers!

Daufuskie Island Fourth of July festivities

For Americans, the Fourth of July is a national holiday, and a big one at that. For Daufuskie island, the Fourth is the biggest holiday celebration of the year. From cart parades to live music during the day, the Fourth on the island is topped off with watching fireworks be set off from Hilton Head, Tybee, and Savannah.
If you want to get out and see the island from a different perspective, Tour Daufuskie is offering a one-hour “Sparks and Paddles” guided kayak tour. This special tour leaves from Melrose on the Beach, and the fireworks can be seen from both Hilton Head and Tybee. The tour is only $55 per person, and includes a free Tour Daufuskie t-shirt. There are only 15 spots available, so book now at 843-842-9449!

Melrose Kayaking Tour Daufuskie Island

Sunset kayaking out of Melrose

If you’re not really the outdoorsy type, that’s fine! There are plenty of other events going on this Independence Day. If you happen to be near Freeport Marina, there will be an outdoor cookout with a lowcountry boil, a bouncy house for kids, and an appearance by Hilton Head-based band Cranford and Sons from 2-7pm. (For questions, go to daufuskiefreeport.com or call 843-785-6652)
On the other end of the island, Bloody Point is offering a barbecue and oyster roast with lots of kids activities. This is also where the Fourth of July cart parade is held; cart paraders line up at 2:30pm, and the actual parade starts at 3pm. The pool is free and open to the public, and the fun starts at noon. (For questions, go to bloodypointgolf.com or call 843-341-5505)
The place to be on the night of Independence Day 2015, however, is Melrose on the Beach. The activities begin at 6pm with a poolside cocktail party and a DJ, followed by a gourmet picnic buffet for dinner. American Idol finalist Casey Abrams headlines this Fourth of July party from 7:45-9:00pm. (For questions go to melroseonthebeach.com or call 843-341-2922)
Tour Daufuskie’s kayak shack by the Melrose pool will also be putting on and helping with activities for children with many prizes available. This Independence day, we are also unveiling a new product featuring the Tour Daufuskie logo, which will be revealed in the next few days.

Kayak and Stand Up Paddle Board Rentals Daufuskie Island

Tour Daufuskie’s kayak shack behind Melrose will be open all night on the Fourth

See you on the Fourth, Daufuskie!

Daufuskie Island Golf Cart Rentals and Water Taxi from Old Town Bluffton

Daufuskie Island Golf Cart Rentals and Water Taxi from Old Town Bluffton

Call May River Excursions to arrange your water taxi to Daufuskie Island today.

May River Excursions will also help you arrange your guided history & artisans tour of Daufuskie or golf cart rental for the self guided adventurous people.  Guided tours cost $45/per person and golf cart rentals are $75/4 hour tour.

Daufuskie Island Golf Cart Rentals

Daufuskie Island Golf Cart Rentals

Daufuskie Island Golf Cart Rentals - Tour Daufuskie

Daufuskie Island Golf Cart Rental – Tour Daufuskie