Water activity

Charleston: Fort Sumter Entry Ticket and Ferry Ride

Activity provider: Fort Sumter Tours
Water activity

Charleston: Fort Sumter Entry Ticket and Ferry Ride

Activity provider: Fort Sumter Tours

From US$ 35 per person

Take a ferry ride to the grounds of Fort Sumter, where America’s deadliest war began. Explore the grounds at Fort Sumter National Monument and visit the Museum there.

About this ticket

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 2 hours in advance for a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 2 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Wheelchair accessible


  • Explore the grounds of Fort Sumter National Monument
  • Cruise to Fort Sumter from Liberty Square or Patriot's Point
  • Listen to knowledgable National Park Rangers tell stories about the Civil War's first battle
Full description

Enjoy a ferry ride to the grounds of Fort Sumter and explore the grounds at your own pace. Pass by the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge and take in the sights of Charleston’s stately Rainbow Row and Battery homes.

As you approach Fort Sumter, graceful sailboats and playful dolphins add to the photogenic scene. If you depart from Mt. Pleasant you will enjoy views of the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier from up-close, while tours embarking from downtown will see Aquarium Wharf as they depart and return. Arrive at The Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park, which sits prominently at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor, a strategic location that was crucial to its defense.  While here, explore the grounds of Fort Sumter. Stand on the grounds where America’s deadliest war began at Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park. The first shots were fired here, igniting a conflict that saw more than 700,000 casualties.

Experience the opening battle of the American Civil War and explore its origins with a National Park Ranger. Your approximate 1-hour visit to Fort Sumter allows ample time to explore well-preserved fort ruins and browse Museum Store souvenirs. A visit to Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park provides a window into the life and trials of America’s heroes, from the Civil War to today’s modern conflicts.

Learn about the events leading to the war from knowledgeable National Park Rangers who will relay stories of courageous heroes in action from the Civil War’s first battle. Walk in the steps of those who shaped this nation alongside a National Park Ranger. Then enjoy the beautiful views of the city as you ride the ferry back to Charleston.

  • Fort Sumter National Monument entry ticket
  • Ferry transportation
  • Food and drinks (available for purchase)
  • Tips
  • Access to USS Yorktown CV-10
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users

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Meeting point

Meeting point may vary depending on the option booked.

Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Comfortable clothes

Not allowed

  • Pets
  • Luggage or large bags
  • Intoxication

Know before you go

  • Food and non-alcoholic beverages are not allowed inside the fort’s museum
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited outside. Beer and wine will be available for purchase on the return boat trip only
  • Tours run rain or shine
  • Duration is around 2 hours and 15 minutes. This includes a relaxing 30-minute narrated cruise to historic Fort Sumter
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.7 /5

based on 1507 reviews

Review summary

  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Service

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After getting past hearing inconsistent directions from different employees, the boat road itself and the time at the Fort were pleasant and informative. It would have been nice to hear more about Ft Sumter during the boat ride over and back. The US Park Service personnel at the Fort were super knowledgeable.

March 20, 2023

The guide on the trip was very knowledgeable not only on the ferry but also at Ft. Sumter. The ferry had a snack bar and restrooms on board. Park rangers were also helpful and answered questions. The only cons: A school group was visiting. They were loud and not considerate of others. It was difficult to hear some of the information. We would have enjoyed another 15-20 minutes on the island to explore.

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March 19, 2023

The ferry departed exactly on schedule and the ride was smooth despite harsh winds blowing across the bay. The fort was rich with historic detail and there was plenty to read about the fort's history. The gift shop is tiny, and we found nothing to take as a souvenir. I wish we could have had more time on the island. There was plenty to photograph, but I spent much time inside reading the history before venturing out and there was not enough time to photograph everything I saw. Guess I'll have to come back!

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March 17, 2023

Product ID: 390813