How To Get To Tangier Island Virginia

Tangier Island, in the Chesapeake Bay, is a charming destination off the coast of Virginia. It is not accessible by car, so getting here can be more challenging than some of the other Chesapeake Bay destinations. 

How To Get To Tangier Island Virginia

To reach Tangier Island, one must either travel by boat or by plane, as there are no bridges connecting it to the mainland. Let’s take a look at the few ways to get to Tangier Island. 

How To Get To Tangier Island By Sea

The most popular way to access Tangier Island is by crossing the Chesapeake Bay via ferry. One such option is the Tangier Ferry that departs from the Onancock Wharf, with daily trips to the island. 

Steven Thomas Ferry

One ferry option is the Steven Thomas Ferry. The Steven Thomas departs from Crisfield, Maryland daily, including Sundays, beginning in mid May until mid October. 

The Steven Thomas is a 90 foot boat licensed for 300 passengers. This boat has an air-conditioned lounge, upper sun deck, snack bar and restrooms.It is important to know that any trip to the Tangier Island may be canceled if there are severe weather conditions or if there are not enough people to ride the ferry.

Departing from Crisfield, the ferry ride takes approximately an hour and fifteen minutes to reach Tangier Island. Reservations are required to ride this.

Steven Thomas Ferry Schedule:

Departs Crisfield: 12:30PM

Arrives Tangier Island: 1:45PM

Departs Tangier Island: 4:00PM

Arrives Crisfield: 5:15PM

Tangier Ferry

The Tangier Ferry is also an option and it departs from the Onancock Wharf. The Onancock Wharf is about one hour south by car of Crisfield, Maryland. 

This ferry operates daily at 10 am and 5 pm, with the 10 am boat returning at around 4:30 pm, allowing visitors to explore the island for most of the day. The trip takes around one hour and ten minutes, offering stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay.

Onancock Wharf To Tangier Island Ferry Schedule:

Runs daily from May To October, but exact dates of operation may vary.

Departs Tangier for Onancock:         7:30 AM

Departs Onancock for Tangier:       10:00 AM

Departs Tangier for Onancock:         3:30 PM

Departs Onancock for Tangier:          5:00 PM

To find the most up-to-date information on ferry schedules, visit the website at

Private Boat To Tangier Island

If you prefer to bring your own boat, there are docking spaces available on the island for guests. Private boats can be docked at Tangier Island Marina and Park’s Marina. Just be sure to call ahead and inquire about current dock fees.

Is There A Cruise Or Boat Tour To Tangier Island?

Tangier Island has various cruises and boat tours to explore the island and surrounding Chesapeake Bay area. These tours include historic water tours, wildlife watching, fishing trips, and crab shanty tours.

There is a cruise that leaves from the historic town of Reedville, Virginia.

Cruise Itinerary To Tangier Island

Depart Reedville at 10 a.m.

Arrive Tangier at 11:30 a.m.

Depart Tangier at 2:15 p.m.

Arrive Reedville at 4:15 p.m.

How To Get To Tangier Island By Air

Besides ferries, visitors can also choose to arrive on Tangier by plane, making the journey a quick and convenient choice for those who prefer air travel. 

Specifics vary and advance arrangements are required to get to Tangier Island by air. Private and charter planes can land on the island’s airstrip. Contacting local air transportation companies and pilots will help you plan a flight to Tangier Island.

Location Of Tangier Island, Virginia

Tangier Island is a small, picturesque island located in the Chesapeake Bay on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. It is about 12 miles into the Chesapeake Bay, making it a delightful destination to visit and soak in the natural beauty of the area. The island is part of Accomack County, Virginia, and has a population of just over 600 residents as of the 2000 census.

One of the unique aspects of Tangier Island is the distinct dialect of American English spoken by its residents, which can be traced back to the English Restoration era. This aspect of the island’s culture adds to its charm and allure for visitors.

Once on the island, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich history, culture, and natural beauty of Tangier Island. Some popular activities include educational water tours, kayaking, fishing, bird-watching, and exploring the unique crab shanties

Weather Considerations For Travel To Tangier Island

When planning a trip to Tangier Island, Virginia, it’s essential to be mindful of the weather conditions. Considering the island’s location in the Chesapeake Bay, attention should be paid to potential storms and severe weather events such as hurricanes. Travelers should always have contingency plans in place and be prepared to reschedule their trip if necessary. 

How Long Does It Take To Reach Tangier Island From Williamsburg VA?

The drive from Williamsburg to the Onancock Wharf, where you can board the ferry to Tangier Island, takes approximately two hours. From there, the ferry ride to Tangier Island takes about 1.5 hours. Overall, expect the journey from Williamsburg to Tangier Island to take around 3.5 hours.

Can You Bring A Car To Tangier Island?

Tangier Island does not allow cars, and so there is no car ferry to this secluded island destination.

Even if you could bring a car, the island’s infrastructure doesn’t support many vehicles. Given its small size and the lack of roads, there’s limited space for parking. Even if you were able to bring a car, there would be few places to park it.

The roads are narrow and more suited to golf carts, bikes, and pedestrians. In fact, golf carts and bikes are the primary modes of transport for locals and visitors alike.

One of the charms of Tangier Island is its isolation and quaint atmosphere. Cars would disrupt this ambiance. Touring the island without a car gives you a more genuine experience of this unique location.

Where To Stay On Tangier Island

While there are no hotels on the island, there are a few bed and breakfasts and guest houses on Tangier Island that cater to visitors looking for an authentic experience. The Chesapeake Bay in general has several charming bed and breakfasts for visitors. 

How to Get to Tangier Island Virginia: Summary

Tangier Island is a charming destination along the Chesapeake Bay, but it is not the easiest to get to. The most common way to get to Tangier Island on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia is to take a ferry. If you are someone who has access to a private boat or plane you can also arrive using one of these methods. There are two places you can take the ferry from. The first is Crisfield, Maryland and the second is from Onancock Wharf, which is located an hours drive south of Crisfield.

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