St. Phillips FAQ

Where do we meet for the ferry?

The St. Phillips Island Ferry meets at the Hunting Island Nature Center. Please aim to arrive at the Nature Center about 30 minutes before departure.

 

Can I bring my dog?

We love dogs, but they are not welcome on guided public tours or private tours to St. Phillips Island. 

 

Do you require reservations?

Yes. You can make reservations online or over the phone.

 

What kind of boat will we be on?

You will ride one of Coastal Expeditions Coast Guard certified vessels – Godwit or Gannet. Our vessels have full bimini tops to provide shade for the clients and are very stable and sea worthy. 

 

What is your bad weather policy?

If the captain feels that it will be UNSAFE to run (ie. thunder, lightning, or high winds) Coastal Expeditions will cancel at no charge to you. If you decide not to go due to light rain or hot/cold weather, you need to cancel 48 hours in advance to avoid being charged. 

 

What types of payment do you accept?

Please bring payment with you on your trip. We welcome cash, check and major credit cards. We do not charge at the time of booking. The credit card info you enter at the time of booking is just to hold your reservation. Please note there is a 5% processing fee for credit card payments.

 

When do I pay?

You are required to hold your reservation with a credit card. This card will not be charged unless you cancel within the 48-hour cancellation policy. You will pay on the day of your trip on the boat. 

 

What is the cancellation policy?

If you miss your reservation and have not contacted us 48 hours before to cancel, your credit card will be charged. If Coastal Expeditions cancels the trip due to weather concerns, we will contact you as soon as possible and you will not be charged. We will always try to give you as much notice as possible, but because of the ever changing coastal weather, we may make the call the day of the trip. Forecasted rain does not necessarily mean that the trip will be cancelled, but high winds and lightning are cause for trip cancellation.  Safety for the captain, mate and participants are paramount.

 

How long is the boat ride to the island?

The actual time will depend on the weather and tides, but generally expect to be onboard for about 30-45 minutes.  During that time, you will be surrounded by the beauty of the saltwater estuary, and either your captain or naturalist mate will teach you about the history and wildlife of the area and prepare you for your day on the island.  The ecotour to and from the island is sure to be a highlight of your day!

 

What should I bring/what should I wear?

Drinking water, food, sunscreen, and insect repellent are a must. We’d also recommend binoculars, and/or a camera. Dress like you are going hiking, not like you are going to the beach. In the summer we recommend lightweight synthetic clothing over your bathing suit (long sleeves and pants will help with bugs and sun), and comfortable walking shoes, not flip flops. The rest of the year, layers are best. It can be much colder out there then you expect.

 

Is there potable water on the island?  Can I purchase food, water or souvenirs on the island?

No. You will need to bring enough water for your adventure with you.  Please bring more than you think you’ll need. There is nothing for sale once you are on the island. 

 

Are there bathrooms or other facilities on the island?

Yes, there are portapotties located near the dock on the island. There are also portlets near the picnic area where the tram will drop you off. Once you venture beyond that point, your only option will be a “loo with a view.”

 

Do you offer kids’ pricing?

We do! For our boat trips we offer kids’ pricing for those 12 and under.

 

Can I ride the morning ferry and come back on the later ferry?

No. Due to the logistics of the product we are unable to offer different departure times from the island. 

 

How much time do I have on the island?

The boat ride to the island takes about 45 minutes to an hour. Once on the island, clients can choose to participate in the other segments of the tour for a guided tram ride through the island to the picnic area. The guided tram ride takes about 45 minutes. There is also a tram ride back to the boat if you don’t want to walk the 3 miles between the beach and the dock.

You will have a total of 4 hours once you get to the island. 

 

How many trails are on the island?

There are 7 marked trails to explore, as well as the main park road. We will give you a map of the island that you can also view here.

 

When is the best time to go in order to see the beach?

Low tide is the best time to schedule your trip around in order to explore the beach. On a high tide day, there is little to no beach exposed. You can look for the tide charts and  plan for low tide to be in the afternoon of the day they want to go out

 

What will I see depending on the time of year?

SPRING – migrating shorebirds, alligators, dolphins

SUMMER – dolphins, black skimmers, sea turtles, wood storks, roseate spoonbill

FALL – birds of prey, ducks, oystercatchers, dolphins, roseate spoonbill

WINTER – birds of prey, ducks, oystercatchers, dolphins

Explore. Chat. Visit. And come on back, y’all.
@coastalexpeditions

Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant Rentals

Offering Kayaks and Paddleboards

Take in the stunning beauty of local creeks and waters from one of our kayaks or SUPs. Walk-ups are welcome or call / text to book and we’ll be ready when you are. All gear and instruction provided.

Call or text 843.884.7684 to book.

Outpost Location

Need A Guide?

If you really want to get a feel for the local history, identify the native wildlife, and get to special places, you'll need someone experienced to show you the way. We'll get you there.

Check out our Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant tours.

Rent a Kayak or Paddleboard Click to Book via Text

Isle of Palms Rentals

Offering Kayaks and Paddleboards

Take in the stunning beauty of local creeks and waters from one of our kayaks or SUPs. Walk-ups are welcome or call / text to book and we’ll be ready when you are. All gear and instruction provided.

Call or text 843.884.7684 to book.

Outpost Location

Need A Guide?

If you really want to get a feel for the local history, identify the native wildlife, and get to special places, you'll need someone experienced to show you the way. We'll get you there.

Check out our Isle of Palms tours.

Rent a Kayak or Paddleboard Click to Book via Text